US 3732570 A
A remote control for winches having "Winch-In," "Free-Spooling" and "Brake-On" operating conditions includes a hand-held transmitter and a receiver on the winch. The receiver selectively operates "Winch-In" and "Free-Spooling" solenoid controls and an engine accelerator control on the winch engine. A "Manual-Remote" selector linkage assembly is provided to permit either manual control or remote control operation, and a quick-release linkage assembly permits immediately emergency alteration of the winch control to "Free-Spooling" condition.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Fiorentino 1 May 8, 1973  REMOTE RADIO WINCH CONTROL UNIT  Inventor: Antonio Francesco Fiorentino, 2373 Cranbrook Street, Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada  Filed: July 1, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 158,835
 Foreign Application Priority Data Jan. 8, 1971 Canada ..l022l4  U.S. Cl. ..343/225, 318/16, 340/17] R  Int. Cl. ..I-I04b 7/00, H04q 7/02  Field of Search ..343/225; 340/171  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1967 DOnofrio ..343/225 UX 4/1969 Yoshida et al ..343/225 X 7/1969 Dame et al. ..343/225 X Primary Examiner-Donald J. Yusko AttorneyJohn E. Prothroe [5 7] ABSTRACT 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures SUPPLY PATENTED HAY 81973 SHEET 1 OF 3 25 I3 RELAY IA 7 7 RELAY 2A 30 n III-II... 4
POWER v SUPPLY INVENTOR.
PATENTED HAY 9 3 SHEET 2 OF 3 INVENTOR.
PAIENTEBHAY 81973 3,732,570
SHEET 3 [IF 3 ENGAGE BRAKE- s51" FREE-SPOOLING INVENTOR.
REMOTE RADIO WINCH CONTROL UNIT This invention relates to winches, hoists, lifting and towing devices adapted to be controlled from a distance, and has particular application to the logging industry, where a single operator may be required to operate a stationery winch from a remote position at the cable end of the winch, for the purpose of yarding logs.
It has hitherto been the practice in the logging industry to require two operators, one operating the winch controls from a position adjacent the winch drum, in response to signals from a second man, handling the free end of the winch cable.
Such practice has been found to be needlessly wasteful of labor, and may be dangerous due to mistaken voice or hand signals between the two persons involved.
In my co-pending Canadian Pat. application No. 031,781, bearing filing date of Oct. 7, 1968, I have described a remote radio winch control unit, for use with a winch having forward and reverse powered drive, in which the operator, by successive signals from a remote transmitter, may activate, successively, a first solenoid and a second solenoid, connected respectively to a forward-drive hydraulic winch control and a reverse-drive hydraulic winch control.
The invention described herein is concerned with a remote radio winch control unit for use with a freespooling winch, in which the operator, after setting the hydraulic control for the winch in its free-spooling position, manually pulls out the main line on the winch to the desired location, connects the load to the mainline, depresses the operating button on the remote transmitter and activates the winch to its winch-in condition while the transmitter button is held depressed.
The present invention, therefore, overcomes the prior disadvantageous practice in the logging industry referred to above, and discloses an improvement on my previous invention described in Canadian Pat. application No. 03l,78l, by providing a more simplified means whereby a single operator, handling the free end of a single-acting winch cable, may control the winch precisely, without the risk of error induced by misunderstood communications between the two operators heretofore required, and without the necessity of a second operator positioned adjacent the winch.
The principal object and essence of my invention is, therefore, to provide a means whereby a single-acting winch, crane, or other similar device may be controlled remotely, by means of a simple hand-held signal transmitting device operating within range of a receiver unit situated adjacent the winch, hoist, or other device, said receiving device being adapted to operate a winch-in solenoid control on the associated winch or hoist, together with an engine accelerator control on the winch or hoist engine. No physical connection is necessary between the operator and the winch controls and the dangers associated with electrical cable controls are avoided.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a winch control and linkage whereby the condition of a winch hydraulic control may be selectively altered between its Manual Control condition and a Remote Control" condition in order to permit selective operation of the remote winch control or manual winch control as required.
In broad aspect, the present invention comprises a hand-held transmitter generating a signal, a remote receiver adapted to detect and amplify the signal generated by the transmitter, means for amplifying the output from such receiver in order to energize a solenoid positioned on the associated winch and winch engine, to provide for winch-in winding control of the device, and speed and power control of the winch engine.
An additional feature, used when the winch is mounted on a mobile unit such as a log skidder, is a quick-disconnect linkage, located on the control console of the winch which allows the operator to immediately release the winch hydraulic control from the Brake-Set position to the Free-Spooling position, should such be necessary when the log skidder is travelling with aload in tow.
Additionally, for use with a mobile winch, crane or the like, a further safety feature ensures that the remote controlled system cannot operate unless the brake and brake lock-up on the mobile unit are applied.
The invention is herein described by reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof and in which there is set forth by way of illustration and not by way of limitation, one form in which the apparatus of this invention may be constructed, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates schematically and diagramatically a winch control circuit embodying the invention; and
FIG. 2 represents an installation of the present invention on a logging skidder, depicting the control console, cab and engine in outline only; and
FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of the winch hydraulic control actuator and the Manual-Remote selector linkage.
The drawing, FIG. 1, depicts, schematically, a logging winch system consisting of a portable transmitter ll, receiver unit 12, associated amplification and control circuit generally designated 13, winch actuator solenoid S1, and associated winch hydraulic control actuator and Manual-Remote selector linkage generally designated 14, and engine accelerator S2, controlling the winch engine 15 depicted in FIG. 2.
The winch 16, FIG. 2, is single-acting, powered in the winch-in condition, and incorporates a brake, normally of the drum-and-band or disc type, the construction of which is well known to those familiar in the art to which this invention relates. The winch brake is hydraulically operated, by means of conventional hydraulic cylinders and associated linkage, the design and construction of which is similarly well known in the an.
The winch control valve, not illustrated in detail, comprises a three-position valve and valve control lever 18, depicted in FIGS. 2 and 3, operating between the positions of Engage," Brake-Set," and Free- Spooling."
In the Engage position, the winch brake is released, and the winch is powered from the winch engine 14, in the winch-in condition. In the Brake-Set" position, the winch clutch will be disengaged, and the winch brake engaged, so that the winch 16 is isolated from the winch engine 14, the winch being set for towing as when the mobile unit on which the winch is mounted is in motion. In the Free-Spoofing position, the winch clutch is disengaged, the winch brake is in its released condition, and the winch drum will rotate freely, permitting the operator to extend the main line 17, to its desired length.
In order to understand the design and functions of the Manual-Remote winch hydraulics control, it must first be appreciated that winch hydraulic controls are normally provided for manual operation between Free-Spooling Brake-Set Engage conditions, with centering means, whereby upon release from either Free-Spooling or Engage positions, the winch actuator control lever will automatically return to Brake-Set position so that the winch becomes set by means of the winch brake for towing. Such centering means normally include a centering spring. In order to adapt a winch hydraulics control for remote control operation, it is necessary to first remove this centering means, in order that in Remote operations the solenoid actuating the winch hydraulics control may readily move the winch hydraulics control without operating against the bias of the centering spring. However, selective control means must also be provided whereby the operator may alter the condition of the hydraulics winch control 1 when Remote operation is not required so that the winch control may be manually operated only between Engage and Brake-Set condition, returning to Brake-Set under spring biasing but including also a means of rapid release from such condition so that the Free-Spooling condition of the winch may be obtained if required, as when a load is under tow by a mobile winch-equipped unit, and the load becomes a runaway. Under such emergency condition, it is necessary that the winch be brought immediately to Free-Spoofing condition in order to avoid danger to the mobile unit and operator.
In order to accommodate each of these requirements in a mobile winch equippedfor Remote operation of the winch, the Manual-Remote selector winch hydraulics control and linkage means of this invention has been devised which will be hereinafter described in this disclosure.
STRUCTURE OF THE SIGNAL RECEIVING APPARATUS Having thus generally described the functions of the winch, winch hydraulics control actuator and the Manual-Remote selector linkage reference will now be made in detail to the signal receiving apparatus; the construction and operation of the transmitter 11, generating a relatively low radio-frequency signal, and signal receiver 12, capable of detecting the output signal from the transmitter 11, are well known and since the specific details thereof form no part of this invention, further description thereof is deemed unnecessary. It is normally desirable that the transmitter 11 should have an effective range of from 70 to 150 feet, in order to permit effective use of the invention. A greater range is undesirable, because of the possibility of other receivers, operating within the area, picking up the signal.
The receiver 12 is energized from a direct current l2-volt power supply terminals 20 and 21, and is tuned to detect a modulated radio-frequency signal between the antennae 22 and 23 of the transmitter and receiver respectively. The receiver 12 includes a relay R1, to energize relay 1A, by means of conductor 24. Relay 1A consists of a conventional armature 25, spring 26 biasing the armature 25 against operation of the relay coil 27, which closes the contact points Pl.
Relay contact points P1 are connected by conductor 28 to the coil 29 of relay 2A, which includes contact points P2, armature 30 and spring bias 31 operating against the relay coil 29.
Contact points P2 of relay 2A are connected by means of conductor 32 to solenoids S1 and S2, which are operatively connected respectively to the winch actuator linkage generally designated 33 and engine accelerator (not illustrated), so that when contact points P2 close, the winch actuator solenoid S1 and engine accelerator solenoid S2 are simultaneously energized.
A brake safety switch depicted generally at 34, is in-. cluded to prevent the receiver 12 from functioning unless the wheel brakes on the mobile unit are set, as will be hereinafter described. The brake safety switch comprises a pair of switch points 35 and 36, and a switch connector 37, incorporated in conductor 38 of relay 2A, completing the grounding of relay coil 29. The connector 37 is operatively connected to the wheel brake hydraulic lines, so that energizing of the wheel brakes of the mobile unit will actuate the connector 37 and complete the circuit in conductor 38.
OPERATION OF THE SIGNAL RECEIVING APPARATUS The remote control circuit has been designed to enable the operator to position the winch unit in a desired location, so that the main line 17 can be withdrawn from the winch 16, when the hydraulic winch control lever 18 is set in Free-Spoofing position, the winch clutch and winch brake each being disengaged so that the main line 17 may freely unwind from the winch drum.
When a load has been secured to the main line 17, and the operator desires to winch in the load towards the winch unit, the operating button on the transmitter 11 held by the operator will be depressed, and a signal is transmitted and picked up by antenna 23 of the receiver 12, mounted on the mobile winch unit. When this signal is amplified in the receiver 12, contact points within the receiver 12 will close, energizing the relay R1, thereby creating a current path from the receiver 12 to the amplification and control unit, FIG. 1. Relay R1 is energized, causing contact points P1 to close, thereby energizing relay 2A, and in turn energizing solenoids S1 and S2 by creating a current path to the common l2-volt source. The movement of the armatures of solenoids S1 and S2 will simultaneously operate the winch hydraulic control actuator 33 as will be hereinafter described, and the engine accelerator, by means of suitable adjustable throttle linkage, so that engine speed will be increased to a suitably predetermined value, dependent on operating loads.
When finger pressure is released from the operating button of the transmitter 11, all of the relays R1, 1A.
and 2A will open, and solenoids S1 and S2 will return to their neutral position under the action of the associated spring biasing.
The brake safety switch 34 will be closed only if the brake hydraulics energizing the wheel brakes on the mobile unit are set; failure to set the wheel brakes results in an open and inoperative circuit, caused by the open line 38, FIG. 1. The necessity of this safety feature is appreciated, when it is realized that the winch engine, operating under load in winch-in condition, could cause a runaway mobile unit.
STRUCTURE OF THE WINCH HYDRAULICS CONTROL ACTUATOR AND MANUAL- REMOTE SELECTOR LINKAGE The winch hydraulics control actuator mechanism depicted generally at 33 in FIG. 1, is depicted in detail in FIG. 3. A mounting plate 67 is provided upon which the solenoid SI and linkage assembly is mounted in unit fashion for ease of installation on a winch. Armature 39 of solenoid SI is connected by means of pivoted link 40 to a bell crank 41, journalled for rotation on a bracket 42, secured to the mounting plate 67. A stub shaft 43 secured to the bell crank 41, supports a detent arm 44, with detent located on its distal end.
An operating arm 48, pivotally secured at its forward end 49, to the mounting plate 67, is recessed at on its undersurface, to provide a stop face 50, which registers with the detent 45 when engaged. A sloping face 50 on the recess 50, permits the detent 45 to move counter-clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 3, against the under surface of the member 48, until detent 45 engages the stop surface 50', locking the detent arm 44 against further counter-clockwise movement. The linkage of the winch hydraulic control actuator is proportioned so that when detent 45 is engaged in the recess 50, control lever 18 will be in BrakeSet position.
An operating rod 57 is pivotally secured to the second arm 58 of the bell crank 41 at one end thereof, and-pivotally engages a lug 59 secured as by welding to the winch hydraulic control lever 18. A hydraulics control valve operating rod 60, pivotally engaging in a second lug 61 secured to the control lever 18, is connected to a three-position hydraulic valve (not illustrated), which selectively energizes two hydraulic systems operating the winch clutch and winch brake, respectively.
A centering tension spring 46, connected to the extended portion 47 of the detent arm 44, biases the bell crank 41 and the detent arm 44, counter-clockwise urging the winch hydraulics control lever 18 from Engage position towards the Brake-Set position.
An operating rod 52 is pivotally secured to the distal end 53 of the member 48, and extends downwardly, to engage a cam 54 with a follower member 55, secured to the lower end of the operating rod 52. An operating lever 56, secured to the cam 54, causes vertical movement of the operating rod 52, when the operating lever 56 moves from its downward or vertical position depicted in solid outline in FIG. 3, to its horizontal position depicted in broken outline in FIG. 3. Movement of the operating rod 52 between its raised and lowered positions causes the member 48 to move from its remote position with the detent member 44, as depicted in solid outline in FIG. 3, to its position of engageable contact with the detent member 44, as depicted in broken outline in FIG. 3.
The operating rod 52, is biased downwardly by means of an operating rod spring 64, positioned between an apertured stop member 62 on the mounting plate 67, and a threadably adjustable stop member 65 secured to the operating rod 52, so that the compression in the spring 64 may be adjusted. The spring 64 will be seen to normally bias the operating rod 52 downwardly, against the upward movement of the detent 45, engaging the undersurface of the member 48.
Conveniently, the solenoid S1, bracket 42, pivot 49 of the operating member 48, stop member 62, pivot shaft 63 of the cam 54, and mounting means 66 for the spring as are all welded to the mounting plate 67, depicted in fragmentary fashion in FIG. 3. The mounting plate 67 is then secured as by bolting to the control console of the mobile winch unit, so positioned to permit engagement of the operating rod 60 with the lug 59 of the control lever 18, as depicted in FIG. 3.
OPERATION OF THE WINCH HYDRAULICS CONTROL ACTUATOR AND MANUAL- REMO SELECTOR APPARATUS When the mobile winch unit is set in position for loading, with wheel brakes set, as described above, the operator will move the Manual-Remote operating lever 56 to its downward or Remote position, depicted in solid outline in FIG. 3. In this position, cam 54 will raise the operating rod 52, thereby disengaging the member 48 from the detent member 44, thus permitting the armature 39 of the solenoid S1 its full range of horizontal movement, and the winch hydraulics control lever 18its full range of movement through the three positions of Engage, Brake-Set and Free- Spooling. Under biasing of the tension spring 46, the winch hydraulics control lever 18 will move to its Free-Spooling" position, permitting the operator to manually pull out the main line 17 and secure it to the load.
When solenoid S1 is energized, armature 31 moves inwardly rotating the bell crank 41 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 3, causing operating rod 57 to move the winch hydraulics control lever 18 upwardly into Engaged position, thereby releasing the winch brake and engaging the winch clutch, causing inward winding of the winch drum 16, and simultaneous acceleration of the winch engine by energizing the solenoid S2.
When theload secured to the main line 17 has been winched inwardly to carrying position, the operator.
releases the button on the transmitter 1 l, and solenoids S1 and S2 become de-energized, and armature 39 will move outwardly, under biasing from the spring 46, causing the winch hydraulics control lever 18 to move to Free-Spoofing position, thereby again disengaging the winch clutch. The operator will then normally mount the mobile unit, for the purpose of transporting the load secured to the main line 17 to a delivery point, and before any forward movement of the mobile unit, the operator will move the Manual-Remote lever 56 to Manual" position, depicted in broken outline in FIG. 3. This movement causes the cam 54 to release operating rod 52 for downward movement under the biasing from the spring 64, thereby lowering the member 48 into engageable relationship with the detent member 44. The operator will then move the winch hydraulics control lever 18 to Brake-Set position as depicted in FIG. 3, which will rotate the bell crank 41 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 3, and bring the detent 45 into engagement with the recess 50 on the operating arm 48, where it is prevented from counter-clockwise movement by contact of the detent 45 with the stop surface 50'. Thus the winch hydraulics control is biased in Brake-Set posi tion, for towing of the load by the mobile unit on which the winch is mounted, but may be altered to Engage position by movement of the winch hydraulics control actuator lever 18 to Engage position, detent 45 moving clockwise as viewed in FIG. 3, against the biasing effort of face 50" of the operating arm 48.
It will be appreciated that with Manual-Remote lever 56 in Manual position, the winch hydraulics control actuator lever 18 may be moved manually between Brake-Set and Engage positions of the hydraulics control valve operating the winch clutch and winch brake.
Should for any reason the operator wish to release the winch brake in order to set the winch at Free- Spooling" as for example when the load in tow gets out of control, the Mahual-Remote lever 56 will be swung downwardly from Manual" to Remote position, thereby disengaging the recess 50 of the operating arm 48 from the detent member 44, as previously described, whereby the biasing of the spring 46 will cause counter-clockwise rotation of the bell crank 41 as viewed in FIG. 3, and resulting downward movement of the winch hydraulics control lever 18 by means of the linkage 57, into Free-Spooling position, wherein the winch brake and winch clutch are each disengaged, permitting free rotation of the winch drum 16. Thus, the Manual-Remote selector assembly permits immediate release of the load being carried by the mobile winch, should an emergency arise.
Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example, and that numerous changes in the details of the circuit, the combination and arrangement of circuit elements and the quick-disconnect linkage may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What I claim as my invention is:
1. Remote control apparatus for single-acting power winches having selective winch-in, brake-set and free-spoofing operating conditions comprising in combination:
i. transmitter adapted to transmit a radio frequency signal;
ii. a remote receiver adapted to detect and amplify such signal;
iii. winch control means operatively connected to said winch, adapted to selectively operate said winch in any of said winch-in," brake-set" and free-spoofing conditions;
iv. winch control actuator means including,
a winch control actuating motor operable in for ward and reverse directions;
switch means operable in response to such amplified signal for establishing and interrupting the supply of energyto said motor;
linkage means operatively connecting said actuating motor with said winch control means; and
limiting means selectively operable between a first engaged position to limit movement of said winch control means between said positions of winch-in and brake-set, and a second disengaged position wherein said winch control means is selectively operable between the positions of winch-in, brake-set and freespooling. 2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said winch control means is normally biased to freespooling position, so that upon disengagement of said limiting means said power winch will actuate to freespooling condition.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said winch control actuating motor comprises:
a solenoid having a single-acting armature; bell crank linkage means, a first arm of which is operatively connected to said armature;
an'operating rod connecting the second arm of said bell crank linkage to said winch control means;
spring biasing means normally urging said winch control means towards said free-spoofing position; said limiting means including detent means secured to said first arm of said bell crank;
catch means adapted selectively to pivotally engage said detent means of said first arm of said bell crank in order to limit movement of said winch control means between said positions of winchin and brake-set;
manual lever means operatively connecting with said catch means to selectively engage and disengage said catch means with said detent means, thereby adapting to alter the operating conditions of said winch control means between a first disengaged condition of operation between the positions of winch-in, brake-set and free-spoofing, and a second engaged condition of operation between the positions of winch-in and brake-set.
'4. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which said winch control means is normally biased to freespooling" position, so that upon disengagement of said limiting means said power winch will actuate to freespooling condition.
5. A combined direct and remote winch control comprising a winch control lever having successive winchin," brake set and free spooling settings, a mounting panel, a solenoid mounted on said panel and including an armature movable between projected and retracted positions, a crank pivotally mounted on said panel and operatively connected to said armature and also to said winch control lever so that said lever is in the winch-in setting when the armature is retracted and in the free spooling setting when the armature is projected, resilient means biasing said crank to the projected position of the armature, a radio link actuated electric switch in circuit with said solenoid for retracting the armature thereof when the radio link is energized, a detent arm pivotally mounted on said panel and resiliently biased into locking engagement with said crank to hold the same when said control lever is manually moved to the brake set setting, and manually actuated means for disengaging said detent arm from said crank whereby said control lever may automatically assume the free spooling" setting in the absence of energization of the radio link.
6. The device as defined in claim 5 wherein said last mentioned means include a selector arm pivoted to said