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Jun 24, 2013, 06:45 PM
3 Sons - Legos and Lift
2motheus's Avatar
Thread OP

Winch and retriever you may already own (mostly)

Here's a video link for fun. A few weeks ago we tried powering a OneWinch with a plain old riding lawn mower. We had also been working with farm dog Thor, the Lab/Rot mix who by now has become quite an expert at getting the chute. He makes his appearance around the 2:00 mark.

It was a happy day for all except for the worm who shows up at the end.


See you in Muncie in a few days,

Tim and boys

OneWinch Power Alternative (2 min 46 sec)
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Jun 26, 2013, 10:35 PM
Registered User
That is kind of amusing. However, I suspect that the lawn tractor is noisier than those two kids would be in the same application. At least after a few launches. And you probably only need one pulley if the two kids are pulling.
Jun 27, 2013, 07:19 AM
founder of the SSP
Steve Boone's Avatar
That was funny. Now the next thing is to do it next to a ditch with a row boat and trolling motor.
Jun 27, 2013, 02:41 PM
3 Sons - Legos and Lift
2motheus's Avatar
Thread OP
Yes, Lincoln - plenty of options here.

The reason I tried the mower was that some people doubt their own strength or balance for doing the hand pull. The mower is a readily available power source that many already have at their field.

A single turnaround pulley would work, of course, but the mower (or kids) would have to move at 4 times the speed. The OneWinch mechanism allows the pull to occur at a very safe walking speed.

Jun 28, 2013, 06:05 PM
Registered User

You'll have to make a lot more launches before the kids quiet down, if you make it that easy. ;-p

BTW, I think you have an interesting product there. May have to get one some time. I am mostly practicing my landings when using a high start, so I don't need a higher launch. If my field was shorter or I wanted to practice catching thermals from heights comparable to those in contests, I might change my mind.

A nice point I've noticed about your device is that there's no stored energy hazard. If you are not pulling on it, then it's fairly safe. With the high start, any time there's tension, there's a potential hazard for anyone blundering into it, and a hazard for anyone near the stake or along the line if something snaps when the rubber is stretched. I suppose if a stake pulls out your system is not as hazardous as well. Having one stake pull out was enough to get me to switch to an automotive lug wrench for a stake. I'm not fond of flying pieces of metal aimed at me!

As far as the pulley, if the two kids do it F3J style, then they only have to go twice as fast as the One Winch. (I'm assuming the One Winch is 4:1at most?) Judging by this video, it looks like they don't have to go very far or fast, although for a real F3J launch they'd have to pull pretty hard:
F3J contest (0 min 23 sec)


I say if it really needs a trolling motor it's not really a row boat but a motor skiff. Except for launching sailplanes, I suppose. That might not be a good match for oars. But profaning a real row boat with a trolling motor is an atrocity.

a very simple but real row boat:
Jul 02, 2013, 01:09 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Great video and a fun idea.

However I can say with confidence that the OneWinch does not take a lot of effort to launch, even when working by yourself launch a 3.2 meter Thermal Dancer.

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