Off the Shelf Yo-Yo mode ground station

Lets say your goal is to get something made ASAP
Size meh
What could you use for an off the shelf winch for a kite?
Your winch is going to need a good long line
and plenty of motor power
let’s say min speed 1m/s (that’s v low) and min pull 50kg (very low too)
but what’s on the shopping list? (Sometimes engineering is just being good at shopping)

First up…
Normally used for pulling cables through conduit…
This one suffers from length a bit and isn’t super strong.
But the build looks rugged, reliable and the price, needs a good project to justify it - but £500 ish is in reach many places and ~ what you’d expect. Not sure it achieves our minimum pull or speed spec though.
video review

web link

Next up
Let’s go overpower @ 10horse 8kW you could maybe get the MOTOWINCH
Web link

It’s a battery powered high speed and force winch used by surfers / snowboarders for tow riding.
It is remote controlled and a lot more expensive at 5K USD
Test video kinda

The winch on the front of a truck / Quad / tractor … is usually super tough but seldom fast
I don’t want to consider them in the list…

What’s your favourite winch?
Where do you go shopping for your winch wares?
Should we all be making our own with high quality motor controllers and strain wave gearboxes?

For us down here on the south coast. to get of the shelf, your looking and a truck winch. Often found in the boat yards around here.
The closest I get Is a company called ambrow trailers. 25min walk from me. But if I really wanted special? It would have to be custom made, to a custom design? It would likely have a gear set that would help it produce electricity? I do have an understanding what form a winch will take if you were looking to go plug and play? Firstly it likely to have a planetary gear set?

Secondly use as many battery drill motors? as you can get your hands on?
Single input many out puts. High torque may help bring the kite back in?
If you really wanted to be clever? each gear is potentially it own stator?

It really depends how compact you want or need it? If you want something you can Chuck out the back of a Land Rover/ suv / tractor trailer? Then keeping it confined to the cylinder world be an absolute must.

Thankful rapid prototyping capabilities do exist? 3D printers capable of sintering parts with required specs. If you know a rough idea of materials and prices? This is likely to come in around £500-1000. Depends on size as well. Winches are usually hefty lumps so, I recommend manual handling limit be considered in the design? 50kg max optimal would be anywhere between 15-20kg

The winch drum itself could be think walled tube? 50mm and up those over 250mm things will start to get fairly bulky. plasma cut flanges pressed and formed to fit. The whole assembly can be designed to fit inside the drum.
You also have the ability for the cables to run around dolly wheels that can generate electricity on both the reel in and reel out phase?

I personally would air on the practical side. If drill motors look like they might go bang? there always infintiums radial flux style pcb assemblies to consider? At the end of the day your looking at price per kw to produce? If price of production out strips anything you might see in returns? Then it’s a no brainier what happens next. But if it doesn’t? It’s totally viability Turn out to be more economical in the long run? You may just see good returns for the product?

It might be possible to go completely of the shelf for a custom build?
It just depends on the search engine? It is possible to go full meccano here? How you achieve that? Is down to individual preferences and choice.

Oh and don’t be ashamed to recycle parts where required? Majorly cuts down on cost of manufacturing. Pay once, use many times!

Ir I had a favourite winch system? it would be found onboard a ocean going vessel. But understand they can be incredibly bulky. they might not be all to suit to this task? Unless you intend using onboard a ship? Heavy duty mean prolonged viability. It just depends on how you weigh up pros and cons?

Understandably cost is the key factor here.
Anyone else wish to chime in?

Noooooooooooooooo! Rod, please don’t go yoyo :wink: I need you in the torque camp! Once I finished my next two single line experiments I will be back to torque, I promise :slight_smile:

Anyhow: Long time ago when I was looking into winches I found kite fishing winches promising. Something like this:

On a side note: Kite fishers have also come up with all sorts of interesting ways to handle the kite that might be relevant for your lifter - including building their own “kiteoons



Paragliders use tow winches for launch too

5kW nice

I’m sticking strictly in Torque AWES…
This topic is a secret guise for me to source a lift kite launch winch shhhh! don’t tell, I’m trying to get yo-yo gang insider info


My other favourite way to bodge a working solution is adapt an e-bike.
The rear end of an e-bike often comes with >1kW, and a brake for holding the kite from running without using power. (not that a yo-yo would benefit from that Wink Wink)

Kids E-dirt-bikes can be got at around 3kW

Would be a shame to waste all of the front and top parts…

Staying e-bike standards Using a fat-bike hub, you could extend it’s walls with drum sideplates instead of spokes - Or alternatively just make/source a wide rim

Currently on eBay?

Just depends how many you want? Abt. 1kw so you might need a few to stack up the voltage? Transformer bank? If the goal is to match mains voltage?

Ready made and ready to go.

@dougselsam told me to mention “scooter towing hang gliding”.

I searched and found the following video, suggesting an e-bike version from this, then adapting the whole for a yo-yo use.

Scooter winch towing hang glider ( winch for sale )

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I would like to chip in that a base of something heavy, a few bearings, a gearbox and electric motor can all be assembed quite easily and controlled by a vfd.

Maybe that is a better starting point than trying to modify an expensive ebike to do something that it may not be well suited for even.

The vfd can be controlled with the panel even, though youll quickly want something better.

Model sailplanes also do winch launches at smaller scale than paragliders. I think these winches can be build from repurposed car parts and a 12V battery

Just more options?

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