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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning in advance.
would like to make each snowcaster electric.

thinking actuator for up/down on the chute and left/right with a motor.

anyone know what length actuator I need or size? and voltage (12v assuming)

:446:
 

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Yes... 12 volts DC is what you want. A 6" stroke should be all you need, the rest is simple geometry. You remember that word, don't you Sly? :lol:

Just find a suitable place to anchor the actuator and then fabricate the mount for the chute in a length that will give you as much travel as you need. You will also need a heavy duty water resistant double pole - double throw switch with center off and spring return on both sides. Preferably one with a bat handle so that it is easy to work with gloves on your hands.
 

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Hydriv said:
You will also need a heavy duty water resistant double pole - double throw switch with center off and spring return on both sides. Preferably one with a bat handle so that it is easy to work with gloves on your hands.
This looks like a nice joystick switch, 4 positions 2 could be your rotation and 2 for the chute tilt, Correct me if I am wrong but I think this would work and the price is not bad. You would have to order the spring back switch that normally springs back to the normally open position.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Position-Joy- ... 2a13d9b55e
 

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The problem with that joystick is that the switches are all single pole, single throw. The purpose of a double-pole- double throw switch is that it reverses the polarity of the DC current to the device being controlled. When the polarity is reversed, then the item being controlled runs in the opposite direction. A linear actuator is a reversible DC motor that spins a screw-jack that forces a ram in and out of the body much like a hydraulic cylinder does.

In other words.... that joystick won't do the job.
 

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mikebramel said:
No, you can use the switch. You dont want the actuators running directly through the switch anyways, too many amps. You need the correct relays
Hmmmmmmmm. Really?

Do auto wiper motors employ relays?

Do power windows use relays?

Not on any of the many vehicles I've owned over the past 40 years.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Universal-G ... 204wt_1165

The above is a linear actuator with a 6 inch stroke that runs on 12 volts and is fused at 10 amps. It will push 110 LBS but will withstand over 500 LBS in static mode. It's certainly strong enough to move that little chute deflector on a snow caster.

Here's one with a 4 inch stroke but a massive dynamic push of 500 LBS... it draws a mere 2 amps with no load and 24 amps under full load. How many amps would it take to tilt the deflector? Perhaps 4 or 5?

Just a guess.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-STROKE-500-LB ... 306wt_1165

And here's the toggle switches you need. Rated at 30 amps 12 volts DC - DPDT - Center OFF - momentary contact.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/30-Amp-Toggle-S ... 500wt_1081

Relays are not inexpensive. You have to find a place to mount them. They are one more thing to go wrong in an electrical system. Realistically, a snowblower only sees a few hours of use each year compared to a mower deck. Are electric controls on the chute deflector and chute rotator a nice feature to have? Absolutely.... especially when you have a cab. They make the job go quicker and give you better control over where the snow gets placed.

Most certainly, relays have their place in controlling high amperage devices but I am not convinced that these two items truly need relays. Calzone is free to make up his own mind on the issue after weighing all opinions.
 

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I have never once felt the need to adjust the tilt on the deflector chute. Do people really adjust it that much?

My power window motor setup works great for the left and right action though. I have it wired through a DPDT bat switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so 6 inch would work. I agree that it does not need allot of push or static hold
the joystick would be nice, if they had a correct one.

Snot.
now that you mentioned it I have never played with deflector chute, usually set it and forget it.
you have now made me question if I need it. I really dont think I do but maybe I will give it a try on one snowcaster.

for the rotation I could use this?
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/product ... rank-Motor

like Tom mentioned, I am going to have a cab on each of my tractors and it would be nice not to have the hand cranks.
 

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You should try and find out the speed of rotation of that motor. Bart's memory might be better than mine on this but I think that 130 to 150 RPM was what worked pretty well. If you have a stop watch, then try this experiment. Wind your hand crank so that the chute is all the way to one side. Start the stopwatch and begin cranking the handle at a reasonable speed until you reach the opposite side. Count the revolutions and record the number of seconds.


You don't want to be waiting and waiting for the chute to get where you want it and you don't want it slamming back and forth at a mile a minute. 60 RPM is one revolution per second. If it takes you 10 seconds and ten rotations to go from side to side then a 60 RPM motor would work. I'm just throwing that out as a math example. YMMV.
 

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Sylvester Calzone said:
Snot.
now that you mentioned it I have never played with deflector chute, usually set it and forget it.
you have now made me question if I need it. I really dont think I do but maybe I will give it a try on one snowcaster.
FWIW: In the last 2 years there was only one time when I wanted to adjust mine, and that was yesterday. Very light powder on an extremely gusty day. By setting it lower it would have hit the ground sooner instead of swirling all over the place. To me, it's not worth the trouble/expense. That said, I do plan on adding electric rotation.
 

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Sylvester Calzone said:
Snot.
now that you mentioned it I have never played with deflector chute, usually set it and forget it.
you have now made me question if I need it. I really dont think I do but maybe I will give it a try on one snowcaster.

for the rotation I could use this?
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/product ... rank-Motor

like Tom mentioned, I am going to have a cab on each of my tractors and it would be nice not to have the hand cranks.
I had to go back and look at what I used for a motor. Mine is a power seat belt motor. It looks almost identical to a window motor but instead of a gear on the end it has a 2 inch steel shaft.

I think I paid $10 for it at the junkyard after pawing through shelves upon shelves of auto electric motors.

I chose the one with the shaft because it gave me something to weld to.

I bought a hook similar to the one on the snowcaster itself and welded that to the end of the stub shaft on the motor.

I've never once thought it was to slow. It probably takes 6 seconds to go from full left to full right.
 

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Hydriv said:
The problem with that joystick is that the switches are all single pole, single throw. The purpose of a double-pole- double throw switch is that it reverses the polarity of the DC current to the device being controlled. When the polarity is reversed, then the item being controlled runs in the opposite direction. A linear actuator is a reversible DC motor that spins a screw-jack that forces a ram in and out of the body much like a hydraulic cylinder does.

In other words.... that joystick won't do the job.
I am only vaguely familiar with wiring and always learning. I came across a wiring scheme and wanted to know if this would work with that joystick switch.

Legend:
(+) Positive power in
(-) Negative power in
X1 is wired to X2 on switch
Y1 is wired to Y2 on switch
X2 and Y2 go to actuator

Switch terminals:
X1 (+) Y2-----to actuator

Y1 (-) X2-----to actuator

Then for the contacts on the other side of the joystick you do the same for the rotation. Would this work? I would like to use a Joystick when I set my cab up hopefully this year. If it will not work has anyone come across a joystick switch that would work?

I do have another wiring question to throw out there. A few years ago I had health issues that prevented me from helping my son install aux lights on his jeep. He had the lights installed and wired at a custom / off road truck place. Months later he had a problem with his lights and we determined the switch went bad. We replaced the switch and everything was ok, what we did discover is that they were switching the negative side of the circuit, when I asked them why they said that is how it should be done on 12 volts. Whenever I wire DC I always switch the positive side of the circuit. Does anyone agree? Know why it would be wired like this? The circuit did have a relay installed in it.
 

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If negative side is switched on a neg ground rig then if you accidently cut the wire going to the light or have a bare connection that can be bumped with a wrench or something then you run the risk of shorting the circuit. The shop that installed the lights is full of beans, all neg ground autos, tractors, trucks, ect. are switched on the positive side from the factory. Look at the starting circuit for a vehicle, especially older domestic cars and trucks with external solenoids, and I'll bet even most CCI tractors. The neg goes to the frame and the pos goes to the solenoid. If the opposite were true then the starter would run all the time because the starter is always grounded regardless of if the neg were switched at the starter... Hope this makes sense.

Rob
 

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case680rob said:
If negative side is switched on a neg ground rig then if you accidently cut the wire going to the light or have a bare connection that can be bumped with a wrench or something then you run the risk of shorting the circuit. The shop that installed the lights is full of beans, all neg ground autos, tractors, trucks, ect. are switched on the positive side from the factory. Look at the starting circuit for a vehicle, especially older domestic cars and trucks with external solenoids, and I'll bet even most CCI tractors. The neg goes to the frame and the pos goes to the solenoid. If the opposite were true then the starter would run all the time because the starter is always grounded regardless of if the neg were switched at the starter... Hope this makes sense.

Rob
I kind of felt like I was being BS'd about switching the ground side of the circuit, but, I like to keep an open mind. I also wanted to get clarification before I wire my cab. It has always been my experience to wire the switch the + side. I think they had someone wire the lights that did not know what they were doing and they were covering for them not wanting to have to rewire the lights. Not that it would have taken very long to switch the wires around.
 

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Whether you have a linear actuator or you have a power window motor or a windshield wiper motor..... all of them are motors, all of them run on 12 volts DC and all of them are reversible just by switching the positive and negative leads. Any switch that you choose to control the direction of these devices must be capable of reversing the positive and negative supply from the battery. The Joystick that was suggested won't do that because the idea behind that unit is for it to control the chute rotation motor and the chute deflector motor. I suppose that this could be done using relays as Mike suggested but I think it would take four individual Double Pole- Single Throw relays to do that. Normally, when motors are involved, we don't even call them relays in this application. The term is "contactor". Perhaps you might get lucky and find some surplus contactors for low cost but you are still faced with the problem of finding space to mount them and then enclose them so they are protected from the elements.

If you are wondering about wiring your cab, that is fairly simple. All you need is ordinary 14/2 extension cord wire that has SJO or SJOW stamped on the outer jacket. This type of wire is fairly flexible in cold weather and it is resistant to petroleum based products. You would run a length of this type of wire from each motor, back inside the cab to where you have the two switches mounted. You would also bring the same wire from the starter solenoid to where the control switches are mounted. Install a 10 Amp fuse between the lug on the solenoid that the positive cable from the battery is attached to and the black wire of the 14/2 SJO. The white wire of the 14/2 SJO gets grounded to the bolt that secures the solenoid to the tractor.

A DPDT switch has 6 terminals in this pattern.


1 2

3 4

5 6



To make this switch work properly, you simply join 1 and 6 together and then 2 and 5 together. You connect the motor leads to 1 and 2. You connect the power leads from the battery to 3 and 4. The one pair of power leads can supply both switches. There is no need to run separate leads. IF you find that UP on the switch makes the chute deflector move down, then switch leads on 3 and 4. If the other switch makes the chute go left when the switch is pushed right, then switch the wires going to 3 and 4. Put the white where the black was and the black where the white was. It's that simple. You can choose electrical plug and sockets near the front of the tractor to make removal of the snow caster easy. Use a 115 volt style for one motor and a 230 volt style for the other motor and you will never mix them up by mistake.
 

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markgru02919 said:
I kind of felt like I was being BS'd about switching the ground side of the circuit, but, I like to keep an open mind. I also wanted to get clarification before I wire my cab. It has always been my experience to wire the switch the + side. I think they had someone wire the lights that did not know what they were doing and they were covering for them not wanting to have to rewire the lights. Not that it would have taken very long to switch the wires around.
Its not worth your time to fix a problem that doesnt exist
 

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I added electric controls to my snowcaster about 4 years ago and have some comments based upon my experience with them. I installed two spring centered toggle switches just below the windshield glass. I use the chute rotation control frequently and the distance control infrequently. I think that a joystick control would be difficult to operate with gloves or mittens on and I also think it would be difficult to find a convenient location for such a switch. The switches I am using cost me $2-3 each, take up little room and are easy to manipulate with gloves on.
 
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