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Old 11-19-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
Ian Streten's Avatar
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Remote Windlass Switch Problem

Hello.* I have a Trader 39 that has a Cayman 1000w windlass.* The windlass is controlled by two combined footswitches.* One for up & one for down.*Each switch is incorporated with it's own solenoid.* I have tried to fit a remote control windlass switch to this system without success.* Now it could be because of my lack of electrical knowledge or could it be that trying to connect a control box & wireless switch to my type of system is not possible.*

Any ideas & feedback would be very much appreciated.* Thank*you.*
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:34 AM   #2
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RE: Remote Windlass Switch Problem

Ian, it should be possible, as my winch was once up only under power and free-fall down, and it is at least 30 yrs old, yet a marine electrician was still able to fit a remote switch, extra leads and solenoid and convert it to remote power up and down. It has just had its first outing today after the first internal service in at least 15 yrs, and it is humming like a top. I think it is just one of those jobs you need to farm out to an electrical guy.

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Old 11-20-2011, 05:23 AM   #3
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RE: Remote Windlass Switch Problem

Pics and/or wiring diagram would be of help because there are a couple different the type of new switch you are using...
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:23 AM   #4
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RE: Remote Windlass Switch Problem

That type of solenoid would need a battery negative provided to the case I think to complete the circuit when voltage is provided to the "switch" wire. This creates a magnetic field that pulls in a plunger with a contact disc that connects the two large terminals on the solenoid. One of those large terminals has a large cable with constant battery voltage to it. When it closes, it provides battery voltage to the other large terminal. The first step would be to understand the original system and how it works.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:30 AM   #5
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Remote Windlass Switch Problem

I believe you need to get a reversing solenoid (similar to this... ).* You would move the big cables from your foot switches to the appropriate lugs on the reversing solenoid.

It's then easy to wire multiple, low-amp remotes using small wires. I think you could still use your existing foor switches as low-amp controls but it might be cleaner to replace those too.

I replaced a single direction windlass, which only had a single foot switch, with a new Maxwell with a reversing solenoid.* I added switches at both helms and also a handheld, plug-in remote at the bow.* I also re-used the up-only foot-switch but never use it.* The wiring wasn't particularly complex but you do need to get it straight in your head before doing it.

-- Edited by Tonic on Sunday 20th of November 2011 10:31:15 AM
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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RE: Remote Windlass Switch Problem

Richard describes exactly what you need to do. Sounds like your windlass is already wired to reverse direction so all you need is the reversing solenoid which handles the high amperage instead of the foot switches. There are more manufacturers than Maxwell for this prodect so check out what works best for you. With the solenoid installed you can add low amperage toggle switches where you want them (upper and lower helms) and you're good to go.

I have this set up and always drop the anchor from the helm but raise it with the foot switches so we can hose off the chain as it comes up. Works great.

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Old 11-20-2011, 11:02 PM   #7
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RE: Remote Windlass Switch Problem

Easy. the solenoid gets energised, either by the foot switch, or by the remote switch. both get wired to the same terminals on the solenoid. You can attach as many remotes as you want, so you can operate the windlass from the house or the bridge, as well as from the foredeck.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:27 PM   #8
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RE: Remote Windlass Switch Problem

Concerning the reversing solenoid, my Maxwell windlass will not work in the retrival or up direction. Works fine in the down or setting direction. I changed the control leads on the solenoid so the up is now connected to the down and the down is connected to the up. Now with the switch positioned in the up position the windlass winds in the down position (as it should), but positioning the switch in the down position, it still does not move the windlass in the up direction or either direction for that matter.*

Is this likely a problem with the solenoid or the motor.*

Note the same thing happens as described above regardless of which switch I use, the foot switches or the helm switch.*

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