Tagged: pickup

More Work on the New Winder

December 10th, 2016 Permalink

I’ve been working on the my new pickup winder over the last few weeks. I started with these blocks of MDF…   From there I screwed them together and added a shaft and face plate… I took the face plate over to Bruce Johnson’s shop where he trued the wheel on his lathe for me. […]

I’ve been working on the my new pickup winder over the last few weeks. I started with these blocks of MDF…

 

From there I screwed them together and added a shaft and face plate…

I took the face plate over to Bruce Johnson’s shop where he trued the wheel on his lathe for me. He recommended that I swap my bronze sleeve bearings out for some sealed bearings. I bought some on eBay for a few bucks each.

From there, I tooled these brackets from 6061 aluminum…

 

And attached them to the plates…

In order to make the stepper calibrate with the traverse drive screw, I had to make a 20:1 gear ratio. I used the pulleys and belts that I put inside of the blocks.

Once I got the whole thing together, it looked like this:

Here it is with the face plate and main drive installed. Next, I have to build a base and wire this bad boy up. Oh, and I have to write the software.

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Pickup Winding Obsession – My New Machine – Pt. 2

October 8th, 2016 Permalink

More terrible low-light images… Here’s my rough traverse idea. Right now, I’m just setting the number of steps that it travels then reverses over and over again. I’ll polish it up step by step as I keep moving along with it. There’s a lot of kinks to work out, but the concept is there. The […]

More terrible low-light images…

Here’s my rough traverse idea. Right now, I’m just setting the number of steps that it travels then reverses over and over again. I’ll polish it up step by step as I keep moving along with it. There’s a lot of kinks to work out, but the concept is there.

The next step is to build a chassis for the machine and start building the winder. Once I put that together, I have to figure out how to control the stepper speed based on the winding speed. The optical tach I built last week is going to play a crucial role in that process.

On a side note, here’s a picture of me rockin’ the burro at rehearsal last night. Our singer snapped the photo. A few weeks ago, I wound a couple of coils using an A8 magnet instead of the ceramics I’ve been using. I have to say that I’m pleased so far and I’ve scrapped my original plan of working with C8 magnets. Like the ceramics, the A8’s have a lot of output, but without the aggressive brightness. If anything, they sort of emphasize a more aggressive mid-range while having a nicely rounded top end. They have plenty of well-defined low-end, but they’re not as “tight” sounding as the ceramics. From what I’ve read, the A8 can make a really strong, middy and bassy pickup that losing definition. Sounds perfect for my bridge pickup! We’ll see – on my first tester, I definitely did a pretty mellow wind count. Once I finish my new winder, I’ll start messing around with upping the winds considerably.

Pickup Winding Obsession – My New Machine Pt. 1

October 8th, 2016 Permalink

To get this blog up to speed, I’ve been obsessed with pickup winding since about December of 2015. I build a winder from Jason Lollar’s plans and I’ve been winding furiously since. I’ve been taking a little break from winding the last few weeks, largely because I realized that I’m going to need to upgrade […]

To get this blog up to speed, I’ve been obsessed with pickup winding since about December of 2015. I build a winder from Jason Lollar’s plans and I’ve been winding furiously since.

I’ve been taking a little break from winding the last few weeks, largely because I realized that I’m going to need to upgrade my winder. The one I build from Jason Lollar’s plans is great for winding by hand, but the cam-driven auto-traverse mechanism is kind of problematic for my purposes. For one, the nature of the cam’s motion causes the wire to pile up on the sides. I’ve been able to make it work by feathering the speed control, but the sides inevitably have a few loose winds here and there. Secondly and thirdly, it doesn’t give any real control over the thread spacing nor am I able to accurately repeat any results I get from my builds.

After some investigation, I decided to take it upon myself to design and build an Arduino-driven winder with an stepper-controlled auto-traverse. Despite never having worked with Arduino, I found that this route should work well for me, mainly because I’m pretty good with learning computer languages such as JavaScript, PHP and ActionScript, etc. The Arduino code is supposedly based on C+, which I know nothing about, but really most computer languages I’ve come across work from the same basic concepts – objects, functions, variables, loops, etc. After reading up on it a bit, I’m seeing that I’ll be able to work with it no prob.

I stopped Bruce Johnson’s place a few weeks ago and he gave me some advice about making the traverse really work – specifically, I’ll need to make a device that will advance the traverse a given distance per revolution of the winder. Running from one motor, Bruce’s machine does this mechanically and it basically makes getting a nice, even wind pretty much 100% foolproof. He was really recommending and pretty willing to help me go the mechanical route. I think that the mechanical route has a lot of advantages, such as simplicity, longevity and reliability. However I’m much better with writing scripts and working with computers than I am building mechanical devices. I’ll give this a shot and see how it pans out. If this works, the machine will have a smaller footprint which will be better in my really limited space.

The first step was getting the winding motor. I got an 18v DC motor for $15 on Amazon, along with a nice pre-made speed control. It works great.

Next, I made an optical tachometer and counter with the Arduino board and IR LED and photoresistor. The picture is lousy, but you can see the two components if you look closely. The code and instructions I found on YouTube. There’s a gazillion optical tach tutorials out there – I just picked one that used the same parts I have on hand. The interesting part about Arduino is that you have to get both the code and the electronics right. It’s kind of fun. I’ve done tons of coding and built quite a few stompboxes, so it was really no prob. The mess of wires below is the assembled tach.

Lastly, here’s me holding the motor up to the tach. It’s another bad photo. I just put a flag made from electrical tape on the end of the shaft. I had to hold it between the LED and the photoresistor. As the flag breaks the IR light, the photoresistor sees it and sends a pulse to the Arduino. I got it up to 5000rpm before the tape flew off.

BTW, turning this into a wind counter is super easy. At one point I created another variable that didn’t reset every second and displayed the result on the LCD. It worked no prob.

From here I’m going to build the stepper motor control. The script is a little more complicated and I’m going to have to do considerably more than just cut and paste like I did today. I also have another LCD screen that’s a little more sophisticated and uses fewer pins, so I’ll have to wire that up at some point as well. Once I do all that, I’ll mount the wires more permanently on a piece of stripboard. I think that this will be the hardest part only because I’ll have to design a functioning parts layout. The carriage will just be a base that holds a couple of pulleys and the stepper.

Lastly, I have some more parts on order. They should be coming within the next few days.

BTW, the cost is going to run about $125-$150. I could have done this much more cheaply – for one, I ordered the Arduino Basic Kit, which was not really necessary. I was really expecting that there’d be a good manual included, but most of the info was based around the super basic projects that came in the box. That being said, I don’t regret the purchase only because it comes in a really beautifully designed package. Secondly, I could have scoured my local thrift stores for an old cordless drill and an inkjet printer for my motors, steppers and some of the pulleys. I just decided that for me, it would take more time to scavenge than it would just buying the parts on ebay and stuff. I just wanted to focus more on the design than searching for used parts.