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  1. #1
    Oldhairy is offline Registered User
    Location : Rival34, Queensland
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    Question Techo...Anchor chain counter, help

    My windlass is a Muir and has the sender unit for a chain counter built in ,with a few feet of lead coming out of it.
    I am wondering if, instead of buying a expensive panel display, I can just hook it up to a bicycle distance unit. Don't expect that calibration would be possible but if it reads 1500' or whatever when 30' of chain is out, so what.
    Can this be done by a ham-fisted solderer and without complex maths ?

  2. #2
    nigelmercier's Avatar
    nigelmercier is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldhairy View Post
    My windlass is a Muir and has the sender unit for a chain counter built in ,with a few feet of lead coming out of it...
    Your best bet is to try to find out what sort of data come down the lead. If you can't find out from the manufacturer perhaps you know someone with an oscilloscope.

    I've just designed and built a chain counter for my boat, doing the testing as I type ...
    Nigel
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  3. #3
    Oldhairy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelmercier View Post
    Your best bet is to try to find out what sort of data come down the lead. If you can't find out from the manufacturer perhaps you know someone with an oscilloscope.

    I've just designed and built a chain counter for my boat, doing the testing as I type ...
    Unfortunately no access to an oscilloscope
    No idea what the signal is but the accessory listed is the same as Westmarine ref: AutoAnchor 150 Rode Counter. And Lewmar AA150 chain counter.
    Your project sounds intriguing.

  4. #4
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    vyv_cox is offline Registered User
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    I assume the instrument is some kind of pulse counter. It would seem that the sender is similar to the bicycle ones in that a magnet triggers the sender. However, there must be more to the windlass ones because the bicycle ones just keep counting regardless of which way the wheel is turning. Not very convenient for a chain counter?
    Answers to some technical queries at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com

  5. #5
    Billjratt's Avatar
    Billjratt is offline Registered User
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    Yes, a reversible counter is needed. The direction could be triggered by whichever connection of the motor was energised I suppose.
    I got as far as figuring out it was about a foot per rev, then decided to renew the paint on the chain...
    Left hand down a bit.

  6. #6
    PCUK is offline Registered User
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    Have a look for the AA150 rode counter. I'm sure one will appear on Ebay before long.

  7. #7
    nigelmercier's Avatar
    nigelmercier is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billjratt View Post
    The direction could be triggered by whichever connection of the motor was energised I suppose...
    That's what I've done in mine, much easier than sensing the shaft direction. Looking at the + and - buttons on the Westmarine counter, it seems this is manual.

    It looks like there are various Westmarine sensors available: reed relay and Hall Effect, both require a magnet on the windlass drum. My design uses a photo-reflective sensor to detect the hole in the drum, but the principle is the same: one pulse per revolution.
    Last edited by nigelmercier; 15-02-12 at 18:55.
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  8. #8
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    Smile Anchor chain counter

    I am fitting a wireless remote on a quick windless without free fall. to measure chain going out (I sail mainly singlehanded) simply measure 30 seconds worth etc on a stopwatch, and bob's your uncle.

  9. #9
    nigelmercier's Avatar
    nigelmercier is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland laddie View Post
    simply measure 30 seconds worth etc on a stopwatch...
    ... so you'd be OK if the depth is about 7 to 10 seconds?

    Perhaps not quite as dumb as it sounds, I know my winch lets out about 0.3m per revolution, and does about 2 revolutions per second. Problem is, it's not always let out in one go.
    Nigel
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