Instructables
Picture of How to hack an Electric Hoist (AC motor)

For this project we were hired to do a small hacking for a trade show. I worked on this with Molmol Kuo. Special thanks to Eric Rosenthal for the consultancy with the electronics and Zach for the support with the code.

The Electric Hoist that we’re giving has a built-in motor controller, a capacitor, and a pendent switch, that allows manually adjusting the directions.

The goal of the project was to move raise and lower a couple of pallets with other stuffs attached to the hook of this winch, not uniformly on time. So we hacked the motor to be able to control the direction from an Arduino UNO, but still allow any manual control from the pendent switch (when arduino is not running).

 
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Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of materials and tools
ArduinoUnoFront.jpg
breadboard.jpg
5Vwires.jpg
wires.jpg
tubing.jpg
425504650_554.jpg
resistor.jpg
tools.jpg

Materials:

1 Electric Hoist
4 Solid State Relays
1 Arduino
1 bread board
200K ohm resistor

Electric AC wire
5V wire
Heat Shrink Tubing or Electric Tape
plastic box

Tools:
soldering equipment
stripper wire
pliers

mpnutter2 months ago

This was a great tutorial and I have began building this. I do have a question for you that I was hoping that you could help with.

My winch is slightly different than yours and does not have a capicitor in it. I do however have a bridge rectifier.

The circuit itself works fine, however if the motor is plugged in and the relays are turned off, nothing happens when I turn it on, The relays light but the winch does not turn. If I unplug the winch from the AC power and plug it back in while the relays are still activated the winch moves. If I do this same thing after flipping from the first two relays to the other two, the winch moves in the oppisite direction. Any idea whay might cause this?

Thanks in advace,

Mike

espdp26 months ago

Very neat. I always like seeing ways people hack things to take greater control, especially using something like the Arduino. Do you have any video or pictures of the finished project and how it was used?

ameliechucky (author)  espdp26 months ago

Sorry espdp2,
We worked on this for an exhibition that at the end
couldn't be installed. It supposed that the motor was holding a pallet
with clothes and moving them up and down, but the people
from the building didn't want us to instal the motor :(

Tinkering_Tom6 months ago

This is almost exactly what I need! I purchased the Harbor Freight 1300 lb lift hoist today, and will be building an elevator out of it for our cabin in the mountains, mostly to haul supplies up and down between floors. My knees aren't what they used to be, and the altitude makes if tough, too. I had taken apart the hoist controls today and made a wiring diagram and schematic of what I found, and was trying to figure out how to interface it with an Arduino, so I can install call switches, lights, interlocks, etc. on it. I am new to building with the Arduino, but have one and have read a lot about the types of thing they can do. This will be a multi-year project, as I only get up there once a year. But at least now, I can begin prototyping and testing all of the controls, and work on the lift platform design. Thanks for the great write up and photos.