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Winch with Safety and Automation?

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#1 Madratter

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 01:03 PM

Up to this point, my observatory built in 1992 has been strictly a manual roll on roll off deal. The roll off part is fine since I go out with the laptop for imaging anyway.

But it would be nice if I could have it roll back automatically. I was thinking perhaps a cheap way to accomplish this is with a motorized (ac) winch. It would need a way to remotely turn it off and on, as well as a way to have a safety stop.

Any suggestions on inexpensive ways to accomplish this? Any suggestions on good winches for this that are inexpensive?

My reason for not going the garage door route is there is some side to side play of my rollers in my track.

Thanks!

#2 tim57064

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 01:51 PM

MR, I don't know if this would be an option for you. I made the purchase of it back in may yet haven't installed it yet.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item1c42a5eef1

Here is another;

 http://www.ebay.com/...=item1c42ea8e90

Tim


Edited by tim57064, 11 August 2014 - 01:56 PM.


#3 TCW

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:08 PM

You will need a limit switch and maybe a backup for safety if you are not there to operate it.



#4 Madratter

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:01 PM

Thanks Tim and TCW.



#5 Alex McConahay

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:03 PM

>>>>>My reason for not going the garage door route is there is some side to side play of my rollers in my track.

 

Why is this a disqualification? Garage doors themselves often have side play. And I know a few friends successfully using garage door openers even though their roofs are not exactly smooth openers.....

 

Alex



#6 Madratter

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:59 AM

>>>>>My reason for not going the garage door route is there is some side to side play of my rollers in my track.

 

Why is this a disqualification? Garage doors themselves often have side play. And I know a few friends successfully using garage door openers even though their roofs are not exactly smooth openers.....

 

Alex

 

I just assumed with the side to side play that the garage door opener, not being in the middle, would put too much torgue on the roof basically pushing it into the side. Maybe I'm wrong (which would be good).



#7 Alex McConahay

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

Or the assumption that the Garage door opener is not in the middle. My friends using Garage door openers have it pulling on the middle of the north wall. The roofs pull to the north. THe long chainway extends north over the northern roof support piers. The motors are just inside the north wall, right in the middle.

 

Alex



#8 Madratter

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

Hmm. I'll have to think about whether there is a good way to mount it in the middle. At first blush, that is problematic. But maybe with some additional thinking on my part...

#9 CharlesW

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 10:14 AM

You might also have a gate company come out and give you an estimate for having it installed. Should be a trivial job for them. 



#10 hjd1964

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:07 AM

I used a wench to drive my ror.  I couldn't get a cable type system to work though so I switched to using it to drive roller chain to pull the roof.  That chain is not attached in the middle but off to the side, no issues (but my roof is heavy.)  Limit switches detect the end of travel.  The wench isn't powerful enough to damage the roof if a limit switch fails so that helps too.  Power on/off and direction is controlled via relays.  That's enough to get it working... but from there I used a microcontroller to automate the whole thing and to provide a power off timeout should a limit switch fail.



#11 GJJim

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:42 AM

I used a wench to drive my ror.  I couldn't get a cable type system to work though so I switched to using it to drive roller chain to pull the roof. 

 

Does she ever complain?  :grin:



#12 hjd1964

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:10 PM

Lol... She only opened the roof up once or twice while we were building the obs, but yes she did complain.



#13 Madratter

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

Thanks Charles and Howard.








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