PB400 ParkPro 4F Winch
by Albert Tuertscher
As my PB400 ParkPro 4F can’t make it up the slope behind the house in fresh snow, I had the plan to equip it with a winch for quite some time. And when I saw a picture of an original PB400 W with a Switchblade, and even with a black arm which fits it perfectly, I finally started planing it.
A kit for a 4.0 ton winch has been lying around with me for ages, after all, the covers are made by me. With the introduction of the active winch all winches got a new, reinforced arm, which can be recognized by its rounder shape. Incidentally, this arm is installed in all 4.5 ton winches. And as Pistenking is offering a kit also of this winch, I ordered the arm together with the new winch base and the other accessories. So there wasn’t much left of the original kit, which I could still use. Fortunately the new arm fits also on the 4.0 ton winch without problems.
Bending the sheet metal for the arm is a challenge, but luckily it worked straight away. I glued the parts in several stages with UHU plus endfest 300 in the oven, which facilitates precise positioning. For the covers, I implemented Melvin Müller's suggestion and designed reinforcement frames that I had printed out of nylon. These are available in the AT modellbau webshop on Shapeways. Magnets are glued to the bottom to hold them in closed position, and I made the hinges out of aluminum sheet metal angles, which is much more true to the original.
The winch itself should of course be functional, otherwise I wouldn't be able to climb the said slope. There are only a few model builders who have implemented a powered winch, and even fewer who use a capstan drive for this, as with the original. Many thanks to Adrian Humbel and Melvin Müller for their valuable tips.
Many hours of planning went into the CAD model before I was able to order the one-piece winch frame as a printed part. I ground a special turning tool to turn the grooves in the cable wheels and the capstan head.
The frame is based on the original and fits perfectly into the housing of the winch, in places it is very tight under the covers. During the planning, it was an advantage that I still had the CAD models for the covers.
The capstan head is driven by a gear motor via a toothed belt, which is located inside the drum. The drum itself is driven by a smaller gear motor via a pinion. The winch has an electronic rope force control, whereby the rope force can be adjusted via the remote control.
On the photo to the right you can see the capstan head with the rope. I use a Dyneema rope that comes from the fishing industry. These are very strong and do not stretch, after a little searching I found a gray rope with the correct diameter, which corresponds well to the steel rope of the original.
Testing and commissioning the winch is a game of patience, because a rope salad is created very quickly, and then it is often necessary to dismantle and re-thread it. During testing, the original drum motor turned out to be too weak, I had to install a more powerful motor, for which the frame had to be modified and reprinted. Unfortunately, such a capstan winch is not a cheap affair.
In the picture below you can see the winch test bench, and anyone familiar with this website will recognize the hydraulic test bench, which I quickly adapted for this purpose. The calculated rope force of 36 N, which in terms of scale corresponds well to the 4 tons of the original, was confirmed by measurements. So the winch develops quite a lot of power!
Further details such as the lighting and the remote-controlled locking of the winch will of course also be made. But there is still some time until winter. :-)
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