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Old 10-07-2011, 02:06 PM   #1
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Hi all! First post.

I've done plenty of DIY and consider myself pretty astute (as far as DIY projects go.) I have a little pickle as I am comfortable with electricity, but not necessarily "educated" in it.

Recently, I added some above garage door storage platforms (basically, angle iron and plywood.) I intend on storing the power washer, lawnmower, snowblower, etc. type stuff up there. As it stands right now, I can manually carry those pieces of equipment up a ladder and place them on the platform however, I'm not going to be able to do that forever. Additionally, it's probably not the safest method and my wife can't do it that way (which brings me to my situation.)

My intent is to put a system in place so that my wife, should anything ever happen to me, would be able to move this equipment. I intend on installing a light duty winch that can be used to lift the equipment up (about 10 - 12 feet) and then just pushed over on to the platform. I've purchased a Harbor Freight 2000lb. 12VDC winch. I figure this'll be just fine for what I want to use it for. I bought it because it is cheap ($49) and could be re-purposed for an ATV or other vehicle if ever needed. My issue (because of lack of electrical knowledge) is supplying the electricity.

Q. How can I convert 120a/c to 12vdc to accommodate the voltage and amp requirements of the winch without breaking the bank?

I now there are 120a/c winches out there, but they seem to be expensive as *$%# and, having a 120a/c winch would defeat the ability to repurpose the winch for a vehicle.

Below are the electrical stats for the winch. Any advice would sure be appreciated. Thanks!

Battery: 12VDC, Minimum 12 Ah

First Layer Wire Rope Performance
Line Pull (lb.), Line Speed (fpm), Amp Draw (@12V)
0, 13.3, 10
500, 10.8, 30
1000, 8.3, 55
1500, 6.2, 80
2000, 4.1, 106

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Last edited by mwarner; 10-07-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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Buy a deep cycle battery, and use that for the winch.
Charge the battery with a trickle charger inbetween uses.

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Old 10-07-2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Buy a deep cycle battery, and use that for the winch.
Charge the battery with a trickle charger inbetween uses.
Wow! Quick reply. Thanks!

Did some quick looking and those deep cycle batteries look expensive (if you haven't noticed the pattern, yes, I am cheap ... at least when it comes to this project.) Even with those costs, is your recommendation just about the only way to do it? Another question ... since this particular winch is designed for an ATV, is it safe to assume that most ATV's would have a deep cycle battery? Thanks again!
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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It might work, but the battery will not last as long as a deep cycle.

This cheaper than trying to install a transformer to reduce the votlage from 120 to 12vdc.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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Alrighty then. I'll stew on how likely it is I'll ever need the winch for a vehicle. Could end up being a 120a/c winch might just be the way to go to keep it simple.

Thanks a bunch for the help!
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:02 PM   #6
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Actually, this got me thinking. Let me run a scenario by you for an opinion...

I can easily (and cheaply) set up a little cabling adapter for this (I think.) The winch is likely only going to be used two to three times a year (as the seasons change.) Using inexpensive electrical components/cables from a Lowes or Home Depot, waddya think about this logic?

- I set up two plug-in pigtail type adapters. One off my car battery and one off the input of the winch (let's say those receptacles are female.)

- I make a plug-in cable that goes between the two (male on both ends.)

- When I want to use the winch, I plug the male/male cable into the female battery and female winch connections.

- Start the car, run the winch as needed, remove the cable, call it good.

I'm thinking that would be a good inexpensive solution. Again, since this is going to be such a seldom used winch, I really hate to invest too terribly much in it. Am I missing anything here? Think this would work?
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #7
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Here is what you will need to drive the winch http://www.voltage-converter-transfo...converter.html Otherwise, you will have to run a cable down from the winch to a power source. Majority of the times, the winch is a 120vac with the winch down low, so it can be plugged into a gfci outlet. You will need to run the cable up to a pulley, then run it down when you need to hoist stuff up.

Personally, I would just get a 120v or 240v winch, not something meant to be on a vehicle.

http://www2.northerntool.com/winches...ed-winches.htm
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Personally, I would just get a 120v or 240v winch, not something meant to be on a vehicle.
If all you want to do is build a lift that will carry one 50-75lb item at a time, I'd just use a $15 boat whinch and a couple pulleys.

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Old 10-07-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
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Mr Chips has your cheapest option.....

Next would be to watch Harbor Freight and catch it when they have their 121 Vac winch on sale....I think I paid $65 for my 800 lb winch...
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #10
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This will lift 500# easily and is less than $10

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Old 10-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #11
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Or just make it simple, get a couple of pulley's, some tow rope for skiing, some steel loops and be done. Probably about the same as Mark's.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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A winch is designed for a horizontal pull with maybe a small vertical component if pulling something up out of a ditch. A hoist is for a vertical lift and is fitted with an electric brake that will hold the full load when you take your finger off the up button. Don't use a winch for a straight vertical lift as it it not designed for that.
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:18 PM   #13
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zircon, a winch will work vertical or horizontal. To make it easier on the winch and yourself, you run the cable through a set of pulley's that allow you to feed the wire through twice, so you use less effort in the pulling.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:15 AM   #14
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The requirements I set for myself were:
- Cheap (Harbor Freight)
- Repurpose-able (Wanted to keep option to remove and reuse on vehicel if ever needed)
- Wife could operate on her own

I REALLY appreciate all the feedback everyone! Jackofall1, you win first prize for "cheap" (for sure.) However, that didn't meet the "wife" requirement (at least nor for my wife.) Keep in mind, only expecting to use this winch/lift functionality maybe three times a year (seaonal equipment change times.)

Altogether (not including my labor hours,) it cost me $49 + tax for the Harbor Freight 2000 lb. winch and about $25 for the #10 cable, the little battery clips, protective tubing (which I probably didn't really need,) and the 480 lb. capacity pulley and clamp. It works really well (once we figured out a proper strapping method when lifting the equipment.)

I took a few pictures (phone.) They're not the greatest, but they give the idea.

Picture of installed winch. Ran power down the wall. Ran the in/out control switch to the front right leg of the platform (you can see the little square blob there.)


Underneath the installed winch looking up. The black wire on the right is the control switch cable going to the front right leg of the platform.


Extended the power input cables down the right side inside garage wall


Put some of that vinyle tubing around the wires protect them when under the garage door.


Put some battery clips on the cables.


Again, I'd really like to thank you all for your comments. This was my first visit to this site and I definitely plan on returning. The response was great.

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Last edited by mwarner; 10-10-2011 at 09:30 AM.
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