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May 31, 2011, 12:25 PM
Registered Taranis User
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgermca
Good day gentlemen, Mark Gervais here, maker of the Comet winch.

To paraphrase Mr. Twain, rumors of my demise have been grossly exaggerated
The rumor did, however, manage to bring you out in the open. Welcome to RCGroups! I hope your decision to join up will bring you some new business and show you that you should have done so a long time ago.
Latest blog entry: Taranis: Aileron-To-Rudder Mix.
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May 31, 2011, 12:41 PM
Dragons, WindMills, all Same
jcstalls's Avatar
I really enjoyed my LBW when I had it.
It was set up with two bags as one with the LBW n gear and the other with the lightweight 12V battery n gear.
Total for both bags was lightweight and was easy to carry the whole system out in one easy trip.
Would launch my old Supra and Danny XL just fine for what it was.
Link to my old setup;
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1040007

Jared
May 31, 2011, 02:36 PM
Registered User
Comet response to my email follows:

Hi Dick,

Thanks for your inquiry.

I have just responded to the thread on RC groups as well. Here goes:

The Comet winch kit comes with:

The frame which includes the tig welded steel ladder frame, CNC cut 1/4" aluminum endplates and handle.
Aluminum spool with brake groove. Brake arm and belt.
Linemaster Clipper foot pedal
for 330$US.

A new imported FLS motor is 159$.

Complete ready to fly Comet winch:

Although it is something I do not normally do, I can supply an assembled winch. I am doing one currently for a flyer in Florida that should be ready to ship by the end of the week. Complete with all noted above and including Comet ball bearing endcaps, solenoids, an on/off switch, solenoid warning LED's and all wiring including battery cables, the cost is 1100.00$US, shipping by expedited parcel post to Florida included.

To make this a complete flyable ensemble, he will be required to supply his preferred winch line,'chute and turnaround
May 31, 2011, 05:44 PM
Registered Taranis User
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
I am doing one currently for a flyer in Florida that should be ready to ship by the end of the week.
Could be this guy.
Latest blog entry: Taranis: Aileron-To-Rudder Mix.
May 31, 2011, 07:13 PM
Registered User
mgermca's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Mike
The rumor did, however, manage to bring you out in the open. Welcome to RCGroups! I hope your decision to join up will bring you some new business and show you that you should have done so a long time ago.
Thanks Michael. Although I have been a member here since 2005 I do not check in often. I have been hiding in plain sight if you will.

In essence, this winch making gig is a hobby. I have full time job as a municipal public works director as well as a family and several other pursuits other than sailplanes including single seater motorsports car prep (formula fords for those in the know) and I have my machine shop here at home.

I make the winch kits in batches of 10 or so and they are only available when the batch is happening, kind of like my hero the Winch Doc when he runs off a bunch of BB's. I do not however post anywhere when they are ready, usually half the batch is sold when they come out of the oven.

I'd like to say I very much like the winches pictured in post #10 of this thread by rogerflies. Congrats, very nice work there, lots and lots of man hours invested in those winches!
Last edited by mgermca; Aug 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM.
May 31, 2011, 08:55 PM
Mongo like wind. Wind Good.
V1VrV2's Avatar
That's a perfect analogy of winch availbility.

I think as a hobby there are several people that like to sell their "stuff" here on RCG to further help offset their cost of materials and equipment. If it turns into a "job" or "requirement" or gets too much critique, we just stop making our goodies for others to enjoy. Those of us who have made and sold planes and/or winches know its something we enjoy doing, especially if it gets appreciation from others here on RCG. That's certainly part of the "reward".

I really like this hobby and when folks like Rogerflies and Comet winches contribute their time and efforts I realize that these folks certainly have other jobs or commitments and their donation of their time to this hobby is sometimes underappreciated, especially by those who don't appreciate the amount of time or equipment required to produce their "toys". I figure $20 bucks an hour is pretty "cheap" for aerospace quality workmanship.

Its amazing that there are certain individuals set up with CNC capabilities and their willingness to produce winches with that equipment is extremely generous (not to mention their "spare time").

My hat's off to you RC toy builders! ,
Jun 03, 2011, 03:33 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
So, it comes to this.

Light, convenient sport winch sold as a complete package.

Rugged winch kit. Buy the package, add the missing pieces.

Big $$ for FLS based winches that are heavy but powerful.

Big Big $$$ for works of art that are also big and heavy.

Nice to know we have choice.

And don't forget the used market for people selling good used winches.

I wonder, has anyone tried using any current generation auto or truck starter motors?

Happy launching one and all.
Jun 03, 2011, 08:12 PM
Registered User
Smurfmacaw's Avatar
I have a Hot Little Winch and am very happy with it. I've used it at several TPG contests where we needed a winch and it performs just fine and the ping is as good as any fls winch with real balls. I've notice no heating issues at all with multiple launches in rapid succession. Frankly for the money it's one of the best non-f3b winches out there. I do use a CGM battery but the winch is one of the best I've used and I don't think anyone will have any issues.
Jun 03, 2011, 09:56 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thanks for the Hot Little Winch report and endorsement.
Last edited by aeajr; Jun 04, 2011 at 04:19 AM.
Jun 03, 2011, 10:02 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smurfmacaw
I have a Hot Little Winch and am very happy with it. I've used it at several TPG contests where we needed a winch and it performs just fine and the ping is as good as any fls winch with real balls. I've notice no heating issues at all with multiple launches in rapid succession. Frankly for the money it's one of the best non-f3b winches out there. I do use a CGM battery but the winch is one of the best I've used and I don't think anyone will have any issues.

Is this currently available.? Hot Little Winch https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=867558
DR
Punta Gorda, FL
Jun 04, 2011, 12:30 AM
Registered User
rogerflies's Avatar
"I wonder, has anyone tried using any current generation auto or truck starter motors?"

I won't say that I've tried it, but I have looked at a lot of those motors and given up hope of using them. Sure, they're powerful, compact and lightweight, but there are lots of characteristics that make them unsuitable. Here's a few right off the top:

The duty cycle is all wrong. Modern engines start almost instantly every time compared to older engines that needed more cranking time. The owner's manuals always have cautions against long cranking or repeated use of the starter in a short time. Those little high-speed motors get hot very quickly. There's no heavy metal case to act as a heat sink.

All of them have built-in gear reduction. Trying to turn the motor with the output shaft is very difficult compared to a direct-drive unit like the FLS.

They don't have long straight output shafts that make mounting a drum easy. All you have is a gear sticking out, and it moves in and out as the starter is energized. In some cases the built-in starter solenoid also moves the output gear in and out. You'd have to make internal modifications to overcome those characteristics.

They're expensive, unless you buy the cheap knockoffs. Those will probably be plagued with the same quality-control issues as the FLS knockoffs from India.
Jun 04, 2011, 11:18 AM
J.R. DIEGEL
I've built two winches using starters with the bendix
Only problem is the drum diameter has to be 2 1/2" plus
the drum rums on two bearings Internally.
I cut the noise cone off.
The starter bendix/gear/shaft fits into that gismo.
A winch set up this way will cost about $300.00 plus more than normal.

JINKS D.
Jun 04, 2011, 12:23 PM
Registered User
rogerflies's Avatar
That looks like a direct drive Ford starter with a pole shoe and lever on the side to push the pinion out when the field is energized. Something off a '80s V8, maybe. It doesn't appear to have a gear reduction. It looks like you cut off the part of the aluminum housing that normally supports the end of the shaft, so that end is now supported by the bearing on the drum. Correct?

Nice job on the adapter for connecting to the pinion. I know that took some time and effort.

What's the winch weigh? How would you compare the power to that of a FLS?

What are the spools on the table behind the winch going to be used for?
Last edited by rogerflies; Jun 04, 2011 at 12:30 PM.
Jun 04, 2011, 01:12 PM
J.R. DIEGEL
ROGERFLIES

1980 FORD F-150
Correct on the bearings supporting the shaft end.
I do not have a weight on it, I'd say maybe 5 to 8 lbs. more that a FLS.
I've never launched on a F.L.S. winch. But the few who have launched on my winch says mine is a lot faster. It will fold woodie wings in a heart beat.

I also built a winch using a smaller starter with the gear reduction. on that one the bendix disengages out of the drum.

The spools in the back ground are for hands free retrievers. In the picture the are 2" wide. But I cut them down to 7/8" wide for the end product.

JINKS D.
Jun 05, 2011, 02:09 AM
Registered User
rogerflies's Avatar
Wow!! Seeing all that machined aluminum almost makes me want to start building winches again.

Do you have any problem with wear on the pinion and drive adapter on the winch with the gear reduction starter? It seems like having it engage and disengage every time you pulse the winch motor would put some real stress on those parts.


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