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Old Jan 05, 2013, 05:23 PM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
15,218 Posts
Question
What is the best way to reel in winch line?

Hello fellow sailplane enthusiasts,

I have been flying RC gliders for almost 20 years now but I haven't been overly experienced with winches. I have been to lots of contests and shagged lots of chutes but most of my personal flying has been from hand launch or high start. I now have a fixer upper winch that I flew from about half a dozen times last year.

The way I have reeled the line back on the winch is a method I think I have seen done in the past. I take the brake off and put a foot on the winch line and kind of slowly reel it in by holding the winch pedal and sort of tapping it in. But that method I think probably isn't the most safe and it tends to leave little groves in the bottom of my tennis shoes. Suggestions for a better method? I think I have seen clubs with some sort of heavy duty gloves. Years ago I used to work in a factory on a hot press and we had these heavy duty gloves for handling hot sheets of aluminum that I bet would be about perfect for this sort of thing. If the gloves is the best method where do I get the gloves?

Thanks!

Ryan
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 05:58 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
695 Posts
We use heavy duty leather gloves in my club, similar to welding gloves. They're real cheap if you have a coupon for Harbor Freight. Protect the hands and wrists well. Also, they help with the soles of the shoes. BTW, they're not as abrasive as the ground, might make the line last longer too.

Mark
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 06:43 PM
Play loud, Fly high
Gil Gauger's Avatar
Vincennes,IN USA
Joined Apr 2007
653 Posts
Line retrieval

Ryan, I leave the brake functioning, wad up a towel (which I use for landing target), and grip the line in the folds of the towel. I get as far from the winch as my footswitch will reach and use one hand on the string and the other on the switch. Maintain a little tension and guide the lay of the line on the reel. I have found the towel safer than a glove, as any snag will just slip it out of my hand.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 06:54 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,518 Posts
I presume this is to pull the line in at the end of the day.

I keep a leather palm work glove in my winch bag. I don't put it on, I fold it over and run the line through it to provide some tension. Then I just tap the winch till the last of the line come in.

Be sure to remove any swivals or other metal from the line before you run it through the turnaround. they will nick the pully which will lead to line damage and line breaks.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 08:24 PM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
15,218 Posts
Thanks everyone for the feedback/ideas. This is exactly what I need to know.

I think I'm going to try the towel method next time.

So the thought is to stand as far from the winch drum as possible when doing this?

Ryan
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 10:48 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
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Actually I kneel right next to it but not in line with the line.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 03:22 AM
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RWCLOUD's Avatar
Fresno CA
Joined Jul 2006
1,745 Posts
I forgot my gloves the other day. so I used the top of my hat
Burned a hole right across my favorite Colts hat!

But for our club winches, we made an adapter for the drum and use a cordless drill to wind the line back in, much safer then tapping on the pedal

Blue Skies......................Tim
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 08:57 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
10,428 Posts
I was thinking the safest way would be a ratcheted cordless drill, with the ratchet... set at a light loading.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 10:11 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Safest? You guys seem some serious danger occuring during reel in of the line?
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 10:22 AM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
15,218 Posts
I'm not really sure, Ed. I'm thinking the method I had been using is probably kind of dangerous to my feet. At minimum dangerous to my shoes. .


Ryan
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 10:39 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
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Yes, if you use your shoes you could hurt yourself. I saw one of our teen members burn a pair of sneekers almost all the way through a brand new sole. Dad was upset about this as these were $150 sneakers.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 06:07 PM
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Yes, it can be dangerous , I have a scar to prove it . I use a pice of 12" piece of 1" aluminum pipe to keep the "reel in "distributed on the drum .it works fine if you pulse the pedal sparingly and don't get greedy . When that chute is ,by all appearances ,one pulse away, don't be fooled . It will leave a mark.it comes in faster than you think as the drum fills up . I wish we had a low speed alternative
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 07:10 PM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
15,218 Posts
On my setup I cant run the chute through the turn around so it always has to be cut loose. But for the rest of you that is good advice.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 07:13 PM
VegasRay
USA, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Oct 2005
202 Posts
Winch Line

Similar to the Fresno guys we use a cordless drill motor. We made a simple adapter from a suitable sized hole saw blade and cut two notches to fit over the winch drum thru bolt. A bit slower then pedaling the line in but so much safer.

Ray
Las Vegas Soaring Clkub
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 07:53 PM
Registered User
Joined Oct 2004
658 Posts
Vegas ray , idea sold , thank you .
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