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Aug 17, 2021, 09:26 AM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Thread OP
Idea

Winch from Glow engine starter.


Recently was invited to a casual gathering for a bit of glider competition. Pulled out my old Olympic 650, put a radio in her, fixed up the nose; her last flights were electric and the nose needed some work to put her back in stock condition.

Had a blast, but needed some practice and spoilers to be a bit more competitive. Installed the spoilers last week, and started looking for some surgical rubber tubing for a high start. Wasn't quite sure what I needed, and was a bit put off by the cost.

What I did have was an old electric starter from my glow engine days. Though smaller and less powerful than the typical winch motor, I reasoned that it would perform at least as well as a typical high start. So I started going through my junk for parts.

Found a couple of cheap 5/8" bearings, a piece of 1/'2" copper water pipe, and some ply wood.

Pulled the motor apart and removed the pressure switch. Drilled a hole perpendicular to the shaft and stuck a pin through it to interface with a slot in the copper pipe.

Mounted the bearings into a couple of plywood blocks dadoed into the base and slide the shaft in. Motor was mounted onto a couple of triangle wood pieces and held in place with a velcro strap so it could be uncoupled from the shaft easily.

Switch salvaged from the starter was glued to the base with a piece of rubber mounted ply acting as a pedal.

Got 750' of bright pink mason line and wound it up. I had a decent high start thirty years ago, and though the surgical rubber rotted away, and the line got used for other projects over the years, I still had the 'chute and ring.

Cut an old hub out of a bicycle wheel and attached it to a bracket and I had my turnaround.

Tested it last week, running a 4S 5000mah battery, she worked like a charm with my 2 meter Oly, Though slightly underpowered. No pulsing of the winch switch, just punch it and climb. At the peak, the drag on the line slows the motor to nearly a stop, but still providing a powerful zoom for a few extra yards of altitude.

Wasn't sure if this was all gonna be a waste of time, but I have a functional winch, and I have only about 20 bucks into it (the line and a couple of collars is all I needed to purchase.

Over the last week I have made a few refinements, End caps on the spool, new line guides for the spool and turnaround, and a new parachute.

Having computer issues, will have to add pictures later.

Cheers.
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Aug 17, 2021, 10:01 AM
DHG
DHG
Kinetic Sculptor
Subscribed! Starters I got.

Thx,
Duane
Aug 17, 2021, 10:44 AM
Registered User
What weight of line are you using? I suspect you can get away with sonething a lot thinner than is usually used in a winch, at least for the last couple of hundred feet. That should help the performance. Similarly, a small chute in light fabric that pulls in tight may help as well.

Must be nice to have winch batteries that are easy to carry.
Aug 17, 2021, 11:00 AM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
What weight of line are you using? I suspect you can get away with sonething a lot thinner than is usually used in a winch, at least for the last couple of hundred feet. That should help the performance. Similarly, a small chute in light fabric that pulls in tight may help as well.

Must be nice to have winch batteries that are easy to carry.
No specs on the strength, but seems up to the task. Would have preferred braided over twisted, but could only find white. Will be setting up in a local park and the bright pink should allow passersby to see it before tripping over it.

https://www.rona.ca/en/nylon-seine-t...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Aug 17, 2021, 11:30 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
For a 2m size like your 650 I could also see a lighter grade of line having some positive effects. Not only less drag for the portion up in the air but also for less line drag through the grass from the winch to the turn around.

A quick check on Amazon shows that we can pick up braided 80lb test fishing line for under $20 and have enough to do two or three re-lines. It won't be as easy to see on the ground but it should give you a little boost in the available power department which you're giving up to both ground and air drag at the moment. Not to mention that it won't "grow" the drum diameter as fast as you're getting with the builder's line. As the line winds on and builds up the diameter you're reducing the torque. It may be that is what you're seeing with the power reduction near the top of the climb?
Aug 17, 2021, 11:59 AM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
For a 2m size like your 650 I could also see a lighter grade of line having some positive effects. Not only less drag for the portion up in the air but also for less line drag through the grass from the winch to the turn around.

A quick check on Amazon shows that we can pick up braided 80lb test fishing line for under $20 and have enough to do two or three re-lines. It won't be as easy to see on the ground but it should give you a little boost in the available power department which you're giving up to both ground and air drag at the moment. Not to mention that it won't "grow" the drum diameter as fast as you're getting with the builder's line. As the line winds on and builds up the diameter you're reducing the torque. It may be that is what you're seeing with the power reduction near the top of the climb?
Considered common monofilament fishing line: as you suggest; less resistance dragging across the ground, more resistant to abrasion, and the extra stretch may add some energy.
However, fishing line has a tendency to twist up when slack and could result in a tangled mess coming down, the nylon line is a bit bettter, but one of my most important considerations was visibility with the possibility of unwary folks walking over it.

Not sure about the increase in drum diameter mason vs. fishing line, but I don't know that it is significant. Though it no doubt adds to the loss of power at the top, the mason line is still pretty fine, and also soft so it gets compressed pretty tightly when wound under load.
Aug 17, 2021, 12:34 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Nice job of that!

Get some paint or varnish onto the wood to stop it from soaking up the dew off the grass. Or at least to keep it from picking up dust if you fly from dirt conditions.

The 80lb stuff I was suggesting isn't monofilament. It's braided so it shouldn't want to tie itself into knots. Here's one example off Amazon.

https://www.amazon.ca/Dorisea-Fluore...-54&th=1&psc=1

The color and visibility is an issue though. It seems to come in dull grass green, florescent green and bight yellow only. And this yellow and black spotted stuff. And it's thin. So yeah, it would be hard to see on the ground. Being braided though it should resist twisting into knots.
Aug 17, 2021, 12:47 PM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
Nice job of that!

Get some paint or varnish onto the wood to stop it from soaking up the dew off the grass. Or at least to keep it from picking up dust if you fly from dirt conditions.

The 80lb stuff I was suggesting isn't monofilament. It's braided so it shouldn't want to tie itself into knots. Here's one example off Amazon.

https://www.amazon.ca/Dorisea-Fluore...-54&th=1&psc=1

The color and visibility is an issue though. It seems to come in dull grass green, florescent green and bight yellow only. And this yellow and black spotted stuff. And it's thin. So yeah, it would be hard to see on the ground. Being braided though it should resist twisting into knots.
Yeah, noticed the braided part after I replied.

Would maybe pay to have two rolls of line, one for the park and one for the flying field, if my buddies trip over the line and break an ankle it is their own damn fault.

Came out not bad, a few things I would change (put the bearings in backwards, and a longer spool would alleviate the growing drum considerations.) But on the whole, I am pleased with the outcome.

Appreciate your input Mr. Mathews,
Cheers,
Carey.
Aug 17, 2021, 02:19 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
You should be pleased. I gather from the description of your methods that you don't have a big fancy wood shop to go with your model airplane hobby. So putting together what you did using what you had on hand is more than just good. It's a darn fine job and holding your chin a little higher in self pride is well earned!
Aug 17, 2021, 03:19 PM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
You should be pleased. I gather from the description of your methods that you don't have a big fancy wood shop to go with your model airplane hobby. So putting together what you did using what you had on hand is more than just good. It's a darn fine job and holding your chin a little higher in self pride is well earned!
I have a decent shop, but clutter has taken over, and I kind of threw this together, I didn't want to devote too much time as I wasn't confident in the outcome. Built it on top of the table saw as there wasn't room on the bench, and my bench is four feet wide and 24 feet long.

I gotta get rid of some stuff. This hobby has slowly taken over not only my workshop, but my garage, a spare room, and on occasion the dining room table, much to my wife's despair.
Aug 17, 2021, 03:48 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
So..... let's call it a "proof of concept".... Sound good?

It took me the better part of 65 years but I do enjoy keeping things down to a level of clutter where I can still see at least half of the bench top. It has become my new "clean up NOW!" limit. But for a lot of years I lived what you described.
Aug 17, 2021, 04:15 PM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
So..... let's call it a "proof of concept".... Sound good?

It took me the better part of 65 years but I do enjoy keeping things down to a level of clutter where I can still see at least half of the bench top. It has become my new "clean up NOW!" limit. But for a lot of years I lived what you described.
Sounds good, though it may lack in aesthetics, it is functional.

And thanks for sharing your personal experience, there may still be hope for me.
Cheers,
Aug 17, 2021, 05:16 PM
Registered User
hobiepilot's Avatar

Nice work!!


Talk about finding good/needed info.. at exactly the right time! I just put together a Fling 48" ARF glider for a grandson.. but never had any luck with a high-start previously. I do have a spool of 3.5mm surgical tubing.. but I too have a Olympic 650 and several others I want to build.. so I thought I'd have to build a second one for my larger planes. But THIS!?! Now I don't have to pay the shipping to get rid of MY old starter (which I never used anyway!). And yeah.. I put a LiPo on a mini tire inflator, that works REALLY WELL..

A few questions: Does your spool start out as the 1/2 tubing diameter? Or did you actually mount a spool on the shaft? Did you have any excessive heating of the motor?

And a few comments: I have 3 or 4 spools of kevlar based fishing line, that often comes in a variety of colors, and is super tough, and equally light weight. If anyone wants to comment on using that instead, please let me know.

And.. if anyone else wants to build one of these (or just needs a turn around bike hub.. ) I do bike repairs and have a box of them.. if someone will pay the shipping.. and clean/lube the bearings themselves.

I am going to search for info on high-starts as well, to get some flying time in.. but I hadn't started searching yet. If anyone knows of a forum with details such as desired pull versus model size or weight, or rubber size, or rubber to line length ratios, send me a note. My luck with a previous hi-start.. was only resolved with a .049.. so I also have to figure out what I was doing wrong on the launches that made a giant sweeping arc.. aiming the glider directly at the center of (earth) gravity as a result, EVERY TIME!!

Kudos on the fine winch and post! Jerry
Aug 17, 2021, 05:53 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
You won't need much tow line tension for the Fling. I've got a highly modified 9 ozTercel from the old days of javelin launch HLG's and it goes up like a banshee from a 30' loop of old Sig 1/4 flat rubber that was too weak for my free flight rubber power models. I'd say that ONE strand of new tan flat 1/4 would be fine for the Fling when tied to around 150ft of very light fish line for low drag. Like you could buy a 4oz pack of 1/4 and use 30ft of it for the launch rubber. Or a 4 oz pack of 1/8 and make a single 30ft loop.

If building a similar winch I'm thinking it would be a little much for the Fling unless you pulse the switch pedal. And to make this work better use a stretchy line so it soaks up and spreads out the pulses from the motor. That'll limit the line tension to something more manageable for the Fling. Or perhaps use a 3S pack with the Fling and 4S like Carey when running the Oly 650 up the line? With common connectors this would be a POC.


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