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Motorized kite string winder! - a piece of junk that works

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Picture of Motorized kite string winder! - a piece of junk that works
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Yep, it's a piece of junk.  It is made from all sorts of pieces of junk, but hey, it works.  Forget the sore arms and a tangled mess of kite string and welcome the motorized kite winder! 

This project was composed of mostly junk.  Most likely, you won't have the same type of junk I had, but with a little creativity you could come up with something better.  I have posted quite a few pictures on how I did it and also explain it a little in each step.  The pictures are here to get your brain turning and to come up with a better piece of junk!  This is a good project to do if you like to use your creativity.

This kite winder was designed for extremely high kite flying and aerial kite photography.  Neither really took off - literally.  My mp3 player that had a camera on it turned out to be too heavy for my little kite.  Also, the other problem was that we rarely get steady wind here.  We are in the middle of the jungle many miles from the coast and wind hardly ever blows like I like it to for flying kites. 

On to the instructable!   Vote for me in the contest, if you enjoy this instructables!
 
And yeh, I was bored when I made this. My dad's response when he first saw it, "What is that?". 


 
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Step 1: The pieces of junk

Here are some of the parts that I used in my kite winder.  I doubt that you would have these things on hand, but you can get an idea of what I used. 

Broken, plastic basketball board bracket
Two pieces of scrap wood
Bicycle bearings
Washing machine hose strainer 
Some unidentified piece of plastic
Chunk of aluminum pipe
Good old zip ties
A high torque geared motor from a old rc car
A hinge

A spring
Wood screws
An eye hook
6v lantern battery
Alligator clips


You get the picture!  Use whatever you can find!


Step 2: Finding a base and attaching the motor

Picture of Finding a base and attaching the motor
Well, I didn't feel like cutting anything, so I just used two piece's of scrap wood for the base.  You can use whatever you can come up with. 

The motor is a high torque geared motor out of a rc car that I got at a thrift store.  It works great for this project.  Attaching it to the base was fairly simple.  The motor needed to be mounted a little high so I used a piece of aluminum tubing I had around.  The motor is attached by two wood screws and zip ties. 

Luckily the shaft of this motor had a geared end that nearly fit snug into my spool of twine.  I used a washing machine hose strainer to give it a tighter fit. 

Step 3: Adding the crazy mount to the board

Picture of Adding the crazy mount to the board
For this I used a bracket from a kids plastic basketball net and modified it for my use.  I made a right size notch in it to fit a bicycle bearing tightly in it.  The next piece I don't know where I got. :)  It was lying around in my work room.  Anyway, it fit perfectly through the bearings and into the spool.  It might take some thinking, but you could probably come up with a similar set up.   

Another thing to do in this step is to add a eye hook for the string to run through. 

Step 4: The foot switch

Picture of The foot switch
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The foot switch works great.  It is a simple contact switch composed of a hinge and a spring.  You can see how I did it in the pictures.  The negative voltage from the battery goes directly on to the hinge.  The hinge then makes contact, when pressed down, on a wood screw.  The foot switch is mounted on another scrap piece of wood. 

Step 5: Wiring every thing up!

Picture of Wiring every thing up!
I kept the wiring very simple and straight forward.  The negative from the battery goes straight to the hinge part of the foot switch.  The positive from the battery goes directly to the other motor wire.  To reverse the direction of the motor, just switch the alligator clips on the battery.   A potentiometer could be wired in to control the speed of the motor, but I didn't think it necessary for my needs. 

Step 6: Finished!

Picture of Finished!
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Now you are all finished!  The only thing left is to try it out.  Have fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this instructables.  I also hope I got your brain turning!  "One mans junk is another man's treasure."

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to leave a comment. 


nireves11 year ago

Nice i might try this
the unidentified pice of plastic looks like it came from a cd spindle

rogueleadr1 year ago
Haha I made one of these out of K'nex when I was about 11 or 12. This looks a bit more useful though... mine had to be slowly hand-fed into the system.
wilgubeast1 year ago
Great photos and a clever solution to something I never realized could be a problem. Nice work.
pkertt1 year ago
one of the best examples of making something useful out of nothing!! great instructable!! as a kite flyer, it has me thinking.
th3_jungle_inv3ntor (author)  pkertt1 year ago
Thanks for the comment! I am glad you like it! I would love to see it if you can come up with something better. Thanks again!
th3_jungle_inv3ntor (author) 1 year ago
I would appreciate your vote if you enjoyed this project! If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to comment. Thanks!