Operating a 4x4 vehicle recovery winch can be a very dangerous business. The mechanical forces generated are large, the attach points often uncertain, and the terrain awkward. If something breaks or gives way it usually means some object will come flying towards the winch at high speed - better not to be too close to it if possible. Many serious injuries have been caused by winch tackle breaking and attachments flying about.
To do his job the winch operator often needs to move all the way around the recovery operation to see how things are progressing. This entails a lot of running to and from the winch control. With a remote winch control the winch can be operated anywhere around the recovery site, and a mobile phone is something most people have near at hand, and the battery is usually charged. Safety and convenience.
To remotely control a 4x4 winch you need to connect a mobile phone remote control for 4x4 winch unit into the existing hand-held switch panel input, and install the mobile phone winch control app on your Android mobile phone.
The Versatile Vehicle Winch
There are many other uses for a winch other than vehicle recovery. Winches are used for a variety of purposes including raising flagpoles, roof trusses, and water-tank stands. Often while performing such duties the workplace is not fullt visible from the winch's location, so that an operator, bound by the length of the switch-panel cable, cannot properly see what is happenening at the hook end. Frequently there is an entire building between the winch and the business end of the cable.
The Bluetooth remote control for 4x4 winch app is installed as described on the connecting page. The line-of-sight range betwen the mobile phone can be up to 60 metres under ideal conditions - more than enough distance to allow free movement all around the vehicle recovery site.
Should the mobile phone lose touch with the control unit for any reason the winch will stop within half a second.
The flashlight button operated the mobile phone's camera flashlight.
The Controller comprises a voltage regulator, a micro controller, a Bluetooth module, and a pair of relays,which simulate the function of the switches in the hand-held panel. They energize either the Reel-in or Reel-out contactor that powers the winch. The controller can be built into the contactor box, or it can be contained within an external, pluggable housing.
The advantage of having it built into the contactor housing is that the system is then ready for immediate action at the flip of a switch. One disadvantage is that the controller will be damaged if the winch is immersed in water. The external unit may be stored in a safe place, however, and it can also be moved between vehicles provided that all target vehicles have the necessary ground wire fitted between the connector plug and the vehicle chassis. This wire is needed because there are only 3 wires soldered to the connector female (+12V, Out_1, and Out_2). Adding the ground wire is simply a matter of soldering a short single core of electrical wire to the 2nd pin of the connector on one side and a lug to the vehicle earth on the other. Building the controller into the contactor housing is somewhat more complex and needs to be done by someone experienced in this type of work. There is adequate space for all the components within the housing, but they need to be placed, mounted and connected together by a person with the requisite technical skills.
The handheld control unit will remain as functional as before. If the controller is built into the contactor box the handheld can be used simultaneously. Great care should then be taken that conflicts are avoided. If the pluggable unit is being used it will have to be unplugged to revert to the handheld panel.
Price - R500.00
Includes controller in a housing with a 5-pin audio connector, WhatsApp and email support. Youmay need to add a Gnd connection between the existing control connector and the vehicle chassis.
PostNet offers a counter-to-counter service for R99 that takes 2 to 3 working days, and this is what many people opt for. Delivery to your door is available from PostNet at additional cost.