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Dual Cycle Flip Flop Timer

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by qmuless32, Aug 17, 2017.

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  1. qmuless32


    Aug 17, 2017

    Im trying to get a winch to go out 1-4 feet then retract in a continuous manner and would like to know the appropriate timer to get if such a thing exists.

    Some kind of dual input cycle timer that turns one side on for a few seconds then turns off that side and turns on the other input for a few seconds, going back and forth in a flip flop manner.

    Any ideas?
  2. dorke


    Jun 20, 2015
    Welcome to EP.

    It isn't clear enough.
    Do you want to measure the time it takes to travel the winch from one side to the other?
    Do it in both directions of the movement?
    qmuless32 likes this.
  3. AnalogKid


    Jun 10, 2015
    Also, what controls the winch? Does it have a mechanical gearbox for reversing, do you reverse the power connections to the motor, does it have an electronic controller, or or or?

    There are many ways to make a timer circuit that has an output that is in one state for 4 seconds, then another state for 4 seconds, repeating. Also, there are low-cost modules on ebay that will do this. The more difficult part is interfacing that timer signal to the winch power.

    qmuless32 likes this.
  4. qmuless32


    Aug 17, 2017
    Thanks for the fast replies.

    I haven't bought the winch yet but ideally i need something (winch/hoist) that will lift 8 10 pound lights spread out over a 20x20 room up and down 1-2' feet every 10-60 seconds, or faster is alright too but nothing too fast. I figure a winch or hoist on the right kind of timer connected to system a pullies will do this well but perhaps be too fast, however i can restrict how much cord goes to the lights by placing a stop like a metal o ring a few feet away from the hoist.

    i am currently using a motor running horizontally on a bar called the lightrail 5.0 but it is slow and can only move 2-3 lights at a time and is a pain setting up, as its meant to move lights horizontally not vertically and its pretty expensive.

    So the bare minimum of what i need will just let out the hoist cable for several feet/seconds then retract the cable for several seconds in a continuous motion moving the lights up and down 1 or 2 feet each cycle. Would be better if i could control the speed but i realize thats not very likely so instead i am just looking for a repeat cycle timer that will flipflop every 5-10 seconds or so, going for letting out a few feet of cable then retracting.

    i am assuming the winch has two power sources one for one direction and one for the other but i am not sure how they work. Another way to do this would be to set up some type of machine that would press the buttons on the remote control for the winch for a set amount of seconds, but seems a little superfluous.

    Thanks again for the help sorry if my explanations are confusing.
  5. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    A 10 lb light Moved up and down by 2 ft in 60 seconds is not a large demand for the motor but the gear drive and physical build of the winch would have to be reasonably substantial, not to mention any mounting. I think individual motor/ gearbox arrangement would be a better idea with common wiring. If you used a microcontroller, you could get sync from shaft mounted encoders on each winch if accuracy to n-th degree is really necessary. Other than that, a microswitch operated at top and bottom of each cycle with a delay to allow each unit to be in the same position at the start of each cycle. Micro could also produce a common pwm signal for all units for speed control. I would tend to get a small scale model with perhaps 2 motor/ gearbox units working first up and go from there once bugs are sorted.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    qmuless32 likes this.
  6. qmuless32


    Aug 17, 2017
    Hey thanks for the idea. That would be nice to have a custom micro controller what would be a good place to get one built?

    i have thought about going the C++ or VB route but would prefer not having a dedicated computer not to mention its been a few years since ive done any programming and dont know what controllers i could use for that so that would allow for very precise custom controls. Having individual winches would be nice but i would prefer to have it be simpler, would really like to use an existing flipflop cycle timer if one exists which i cant see why it wouldnt and have found some things that might work.

    I can almost get 4 lights on the mover i have now but the motor keeps stopping because of angular torque thats why i thought something like a wench on a timer could handle all 8 seeing as its less than 100 pounds and mounting shouldnt be an issue attaching it to the 2x10 rafters.

    Really would like to get the whole room on one mover, but two if i have to. Currently could put them on 3 $400 lightrails but its a little shakey and they cant take alot of angular torque so I am having to angle down several feet to keep the motor moving and switch down to lighter lights, already been messing with it a few days and am already ready for a vacation.

    Thank you very much for your help.
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