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post #1 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Winch power switch

I just bought and installed a Harbor Freight 3000lb wireless remote winch. It is designed to hook directly to the battery (only two wires). I do not want it to be on all the time.

I know I could install a relay and have the winch come on when the Quad is turned on but I would rather have manual control of when the winch has power. I don’t want to do any butt winching.

I believe I read that a 3000lb winch operating at full capacity draws ~160 amps.

I need a heavy duty switch with low resistance. Any ideas on where one might procure something suitable?

Who has their winch set up this way, what kind of switch are you using, and where did you get it from?

I appreciate any help.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Maybe look into one of the switches they have that goes inline with the cable...

Search for battery disconnect switch...lots of HF stuff comes up.

they're all designed to disconnect the battery, either for safety or to leave a vehicle for a long while to eliminate parasitic draw.

Likely have no trouble with 160A...since they're in series in the cable..

Also I see HP also has ones that the 'key' completes the circuit. Could just keep the key with you and pop it in when you need to winch..

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post #3 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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I didn't come with a contactor? All winches come with a contactor setup. The Contactor is the switch that energizes / de-energizes the winch motor. Your winch motor is NOT continiously energized or it would be operating. The contactor determines to whether to reverses the DC to make the winch go in or out depending on what you select on the switch. Since yours is wireless, I suspect your contactor receives the signal from your remote.

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post #4 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcfishguy View Post
Maybe look into one of the switches they have that goes inline with the cable...

Search for battery disconnect switch...lots of HF stuff comes up.

they're all designed to disconnect the battery, either for safety or to leave a vehicle for a long while to eliminate parasitic draw.

Likely have no trouble with 160A...since they're in series in the cable..

Also I see HP also has ones that the 'key' completes the circuit. Could just keep the key with you and pop it in when you need to winch..


I will look into the battery disconnect switches. This sounds like just the thing. Thanks.



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I didn't come with a contactor? All winches come with a contactor setup. The Contactor is the switch that energizes / de-energizes the winch motor. Your winch motor is NOT continiously energized or it would be operating. The contactor determines to whether to reverses the DC to make the winch go in or out depending on what you select on the switch. Since yours is wireless, I suspect your contactor receives the signal from your remote.
Well of course it does not run all of the time, but it is wireless. This means that the winch is constantly drawing power from the battery in order to power the reciever that recieves the signal from the remote.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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You may want to splice a relay into the reciever circuit that is controlled by your main key switch. Now your looking at going into your contactor unless you have additional terminals on your contactor for your reciever.

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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Okay, I think I understand what's going on... does the winch have the contactor/solenoid mounted right on the winch motor?

Likely....

usually they're seperate, and have big wires and also small feed wires going to them.

I'm going to say that you'll need to take the solenoid cover off, and see where the positive feed is from the battery, and look where that cable attaches to the post with the nut.
I'd guess that there's also a small wire attached to that post....that would be the wire that would normally be fed by something that's only hot when the ignition is turned ON. In this case, because of the design of the winch, they just pull power for the 'switching' circuit from something that's hot all the time.

If this little wire exists, unhook it. Hook the big cable back up, and the winch likely will only work if you touch that little wire back to the terminal it was attached to. IF SO.....then you can find an ignition wire, and use IT to power the small wire, rather than it being powered all the time....

If you're not kinda-sorta sure what I'm saying, don;t start jumpering your winch wires and burn something up....

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post #7 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcfishguy View Post
Okay, I think I understand what's going on... does the winch have the contactor/solenoid mounted right on the winch motor?

Likely....

usually they're seperate, and have big wires and also small feed wires going to them.

I'm going to say that you'll need to take the solenoid cover off, and see where the positive feed is from the battery, and look where that cable attaches to the post with the nut.
I'd guess that there's also a small wire attached to that post....that would be the wire that would normally be fed by something that's only hot when the ignition is turned ON. In this case, because of the design of the winch, they just pull power for the 'switching' circuit from something that's hot all the time.

If this little wire exists, unhook it. Hook the big cable back up, and the winch likely will only work if you touch that little wire back to the terminal it was attached to. IF SO.....then you can find an ignition wire, and use IT to power the small wire, rather than it being powered all the time....

If you're not kinda-sorta sure what I'm saying, don;t start jumpering your winch wires and burn something up....

I get what you are saying. However I do not want to wire the winch into the key on the quad. I just want to install a simple switch in the + power wire so I can switch it on and off as needed.

The remote is a key fob, not unlike the door unlock fob that comes with some cars. It will stay in my pocket and I do not want any accidental activation of the winch causing bending, breaking of racks/plastics, and/or burning up of winch motors.

I think the battery disconnect switch is what I want. I did not know where to get one.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-27-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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Get a standard 4 post selenoid. You have the big power cables running in one side and out the other side. You have two small terminals for low voltage wire.

Start with your power source. Most recommend something energized when you turn the key on. You decide. Connect your wire to it. Run the wire to a low voltage switch on your dash. From the low voltage switch run a wire to the standard selenoid I described above. The second small wire terminal on the selenoid goes to ground.

By doing this your winch will only be powered by when two events happen. You turn your key on and the low voltage switch is in the on position.

Jeff

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post #9 of 9 Old 01-28-2011, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Get a standard 4 post selenoid. You have the big power cables running in one side and out the other side. You have two small terminals for low voltage wire.

Start with your power source. Most recommend something energized when you turn the key on. You decide. Connect your wire to it. Run the wire to a low voltage switch on your dash. From the low voltage switch run a wire to the standard selenoid I described above. The second small wire terminal on the selenoid goes to ground.

By doing this your winch will only be powered by when two events happen. You turn your key on and the low voltage switch is in the on position.

Jeff
Thanks this is another good option.

Now that I have some ideas I will go the Autoparts Store and see what looks good and compare prices.

Thanks for the help GC!!
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