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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if there are 12 volt electric winches available that have variable speed (meaning from 0 to top speed and viceversa), google search does not show much.
Or does anyone know if you can buy or build a controller for a winch that would let you have a variable speed without loosing torque?

Any suggestions or ideas......? :smiley-confused009:
 

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I am not sure that 12v winches, are all that fast to begin with. It's usually with the fast winding, high torque things, that people get in trouble.
 

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+1. I have 2500 lbs. Superwinch winches both on the front and on the back of my Polaris Ranger 6x6. They have been fine but they are not variable speed. (FYI, for my next all terrain project, I might try the Harbor Freight 3500 lbs. winches.)

And come to think of it, I cannot think of any 12v motors on a car which are variable speed, from starters to window regulators to winches.

Of course there are 12v dc variable speed cordless drills.

Is the switch on a variable speed cordless drill a rheostat?

What happens when you use a rheostat as a switch for a 12v DC current motor? Do rheostats only work on AC current?
 

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Torque would be a product of the motors ability to create power and for that it needs voltage and amperage.
To be variable speed by way of controlling the motor you would lose all that torque for the slower speeds as you'd be cutting the voltage way back.
If you did it with a transmission you would be able to keep the torque or pulling power but it would be more complicated and heavier.
 

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Almost any motor can be variable speed it just needs a fixed resistor, multiple resistors or a variable resistor to use up part of the voltage that would normally go to the motor.
 

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You're definitely on the right track... you just need to make sure the controller you use is rated for the amperage your motor draws.

And that amperage can be considerable! I randomly picked one 9000# winch HF sells... it has a 4.6 horsepower motor. 4.6 HP = 3450 watts or almost 290 amps at 12 volts.
 

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Does anyone know if there are 12 volt electric winches available that have variable speed (meaning from 0 to top speed and viceversa), google search does not show much.
Or does anyone know if you can buy or build a controller for a winch that would let you have a variable speed without loosing torque?

Any suggestions or ideas......? :smiley-confused009:
You might find that a electric forklift truck speed controller would do what you want. They are good for high current, but I believe they cost a small fortune. Many years ago, the company I worked for sold Cableform controllers, not sure if they are still around or not, but they were quite popular with the forklift manufacturers back in the 80's
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How about a motor controller out of an old golf cart?
That is the best option I have foud so far, but it can get pretty expensive. I'll have to monitor eBay and see if something pops up, or see if I can locate a golfcart "junkyard" somewhere. :)
 

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Hmmmm - I see golf carts turning up at auctions fairly often. Keep an eye out on local auction houses - one is bound to turn up. That's a great thought there.....
 
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