Simple, Cheap Pickup Winder

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by R. Stratenstein, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    "Standby" switch would look cool, too. Wouldn't do anything, but it would look cool. :p

    And whaddya mean, you don't really need any pickups? Everybody needs pickups. You just don't know it yet. Once you build them, the guitars will come. . . .
     
  2. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh Jim,

    Aren't all of your guitars talking to you now? Mine are. :eek: Some are downright assertive like Pinky. :mad: I think it's an Imelda Marcos thing. If some is good more is better. I bet they'd all really like some new pickups. Think of it as an opportunity to practice your craft. ;)

    Rob
     
  3. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Pickup Winding Day

    Eric (OpenG Capo4) came over to the house yesterday to wind some pickups. He also brought over his beautiful Mesquite-top Challenge guitar, and his current project, the Cherry-topped Pinecaster. Tru-Oil finish is shaping up on the Cherry top, he got the blotching down with a lot of sanding and re-work.

    We had hoped to jam a bit, too, he brought over his Crate amp. (My Bandmaster still hasn't been de-death-capped, lazy tech.), but the day kind of got away from us, so next time.

    Here's Eric putting some copper on a bobbin:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Eric had two Stew-Mack P-90 kits, a SM Stratocaster pickup kit, same source, Telecaster neck(?) kit, and a Tele Rio Grande bridge pup. The Rio Grande was one somebody gave him that was reading open, so we tried to find the fault and fix it.

    Luckily, we did find the fault--there was too much wire wound around it, so Eric cut it all off and rewound it. :lol: Seriously, after much careful work with VOM scraping, re-soldering, and somesuch, it just wouldn't produce a reading.

    Here's a shot of OGC4 performing his magic incantation at the winder, imparting great mojo and tone into the wind in progress :rolleyes:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Just kidding. Don't know what he's doing with his left hand there.

    We did pick up some valuable knowledge in the process. Since I have only 3 pups under my belt, Eric, at 4, now has more experience than me. But anyway, although I like the tension device that Rob DiStefano came up with, it needs some playing with, and holding at an angle, to impart good tension to avoid really loose coils.

    The loose coils on the P-90's led to wire shedding off the sides of the bobbins as they built up, and resulted in some backlash/rat's nests. We were able to salvage them, but Eric wasn't able to wind them with as much wire as he wanted. We got about 7100 turns of 42 ga. on one of them, and I think it was about 8200 turns on the other. Should be a good set.

    Pretty much the same thing for the Strat pup. We were learning, but still, the tension needed to be a bit higher, and the total coil count wasn't as high as desired. Still a perfectly useable pickup, well within resistance range, but hey, you want to be able to wind what you want, not what the winder forces you to do.

    By the time we got to rewinding the Rio Grande bobbin, we'd learned that the other great lesson is that if you keep the collars set more toward the middle, AND kept the tension good, you'll wind a great coil. Earlier, I had set the stop collars so they would allow the wire to go right to the very edge of the flatwork, believing this would create a more full and even coil. Don't know why, but it doesn't work that way. Pulled them in and Eric got a full, even, tightly wound, and even coil. He easily got 9000+ and had plenty of more room if he wanted, but at least he got one over-wound coil that he wanted.

    Here's the day's work Not bad:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    From left to right--2 P-90's, The Rio Grande (check out that cool string covering!), and the Strat pup. We vacuum potted all of them, just to be sure.

    We couldn't do the Tele pup kit, because I haven't cut any spacers for them yet, Strat flatware spacers are different.

    Anyhow, I think OpenGCapo4 got infected with the bug! It's fun, and interesting, and no end to the experiments you can make rolling your own pups.

    Having only experience with winding Strat pups, I hadn't realized how much more complex the P-90's are, and now have an even fuller appreciation of Rob Barncaster's home-grown Firebird pups.
     
  4. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sweet Rick!

    By chance do you have the meter readings off of the p-90s? I'd like to know what resistances equated to those wind counts. Your winder looks so cool. Just gotta love that big DC power supply! I like the way you integrated it into the winder, most excellent. It's a manly winder! In the picture above Eric looks like he is conducting with his left hand. Did you have the Lawrence Welk records on? A wonna and a tooa.....

    Rob
     
  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanka-you boys. Kind words about Mr. OK-1. Of course, I have you to thank for turning me on to the power supply, but it does make the thing look Official, doesn't it?
    He'll be getting a Hall Effect counter trigger as soon as the parts come in and I can squeeze a little time for it. I also need to remount the motor, so the beam tracks perfectly, vertically plumb, without wobble.
    Anyway, once we broke the code on setting the collars, and wire tension, it worked great.

    Actually, I forgot to cue up the music. I had loaded the CDs that came with "The Soul of Tone" for some good Fender amp vibes, but didn't remember until late.

    Last but not least, P-90 #1 had 7100 turns, and read 5.56K ohms.
    P-90 #2 had 8262 turns, and read 6.84 K ohms.
     
  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    That baby looks like you could call Mars on it. :p
     
  7. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    Or Jupiter :rolleyes:
     
  8. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

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    I think my hand was either moving toward or away from the speed control. Since the voltage was over 16 in that pic I must have been winding one of the P90's and in the process of making it backlash :lol:

    I've found that the sweet spot on the OK-1 is about 10.6 volts. But every 1,000 winds or so I would stop the machine so I could see how the coil shape and tension looked.

    Already installed the Strat pickup I wound in this beast. Needs a black cover to match the rest of the hardware, but it sounds like a Strat pickup should. Great bass response. Very bell-like clean tones. Just the right amount of skronk when some gain is added:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sweeet...:cool:
     
  10. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    ET Phone home. :rolleyes: LOL. I thought if I made it look kind of official, it would attract the cosmic mojo of the universal consciousness, infusing it with tonality and unworldly vibes. Looked like it worked for Eric's strat pup!
     
  11. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Excellent OGC4. Enjoyed winding. Glad its got some Strat tone for you. Can you post an audio clip, pleezze? Love to hear it.
     
  12. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ohh, Mannnnn

    This is beginnin to pi$$ me off. At myself, actually.

    When we last left R. Stratenstein, we had ordered up a nice (supposedly) genuine Squier tailpiece/vibrato, brand new for only $17 on ebay.

    It came in yesterday, and durn if it isn't pretty nice. I was shocked.

    Here's how it looks on R. Strat with his nice new pickguard. He is so thrilled that he's going to look like the cover boy on Duchossior's Strat book! Well, almost.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Here's a closer view of the bridge/tailpiece. Nice size, fits the mounting holes, covers the stupid side hole, it's shiny.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    However, just one little detail had escaped me. A Harmony neck is not as wide as a Stratocaster neck. I should have realized that, as there is some side clearance between the Harmony neck and the strat body. It unfortunately really shows up with a practice string up of the E and e strings. They're right over the neck binding, about to fall off the edge. Ohhhhh Nooooooo

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Sorry about the crappy out of focus photos. Just that kind of day for me. :(

    So I'm thinking even if I do re-drill the pickguard holes, and put in the pups, they'll not be under the strings properly, and it'll look funny, and besides I can't think of a way to jury-rig the bridge to bring in the strings. (Don't want to either).

    So what have I got?

    I got my 3 nice strat pups all wound up and rarin to go. Soldered into the harness and everything.

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    I also got a pickguard and a bridge tailpiece that I know fit R. Stratenstein's body. Trouble is, the pickguard has humbucker size holes.


    Hmm. Seems a guitar parts supplier has a big, once-in-a-lifetime sale going on, wonder if they have any Strat bodies cheap? Maybe even a neck?, or would I want to build one? Never done a Strat neck, but I do like the classic headstocks on Strats. Hmm.

    Now how about R. Stratenstein?

    Rob Barncaster, as I recall your firebird pickups are the size of mini-humbuckers--do I have that right? Well, right or wrong, what would it take to fill up those regular HB holes in R. Strat's pickguard, with some of them fine-toned firebird pups? I think I just found my excuse to wind up a couple of them! (If you don't mind holding my hand through the process, that is)

    Well, time to turn it in for the night. I had a couple more pictures, but it rained today in Atlanta, so my ATT internet is all but down. I'd be up until 2 AM if I tried to upload any more photos.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Gonna run over to the GFS site and see what they got in a Strat body.

    Rick
     
  13. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rick,

    Check out James's thread were he installed my pups using Garolite spacers with full sized humbucker rings. Worked great! I'd be happy to walk you through a Firebird build. It's very labor intensive but the results are worth it. I think I may make James' new souped up bridge pup tonight. We'll see. It was a long night with Pinky last night.

    Rob
     
  14. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Will do. Gotta review your build thread on the fbirds, too.

    Just ordered up a couple of pieces of real fine woodworking from GFS to be my Strat pup mule. If it behaves itself, I might try to work it into a playable instrument. If not, it's gonna have a hard life taking on all comers that I choose to wind and "spriment with. Probably get its guts routed out. I'm not a bad man, but trouble like this can turn you just plain mean. Good thing Pinky straightened out, I wuz gonna offer to have you send her over here for boot camp for troubled young guitars. Whip her pink tush right into shape.
    :rolleyes:
    Jeez, as I said before, all I wanted to do was drop in a couple of Strat pups. Now it looks like I'm going to have to wind some Firebird pickups, build a Strat, and who knows what else? Oh, yeah, my Hall Effect sensors came in today, so OK-1 is ready for a new trigger overhaul. :D
     
  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Mission creep! :lol: My mission to practice installing frets did the same thing.
     
  16. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

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    Whats the string spacing on your bridge? I think the common Fender spacing is 2-1/8" but there are plenty of 2" spacing units available. That would probably be enough to pull the strings back down onto the neck.
     
  17. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rick,

    Pinky is not quite ready for the home for wayward women. Let's just say she's got spunk and likes what she likes. As far as scope creep goes, I'm all for it. I call it getting carried away. It takes you all kinds of new and cool places, like to Firebird pickup land. I will document the bridge pickup build that Im doing for James so you wont have to sift through the thread. And I can't wait to see the Hall effect sensor build as the ACW -3 is in he works.

    Rob
     
  18. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Man, you got that right! In spades!

    Eric, you're exactly right. The nice, new, shiny one is standard Fender, at 2-1/8, the old grungy one that does not line up with the OEM mounting holes or cover up the full tailpiece route, is 2" even. If I'd had a chance to think this over a bit, I could have used a nice piece of WBW pickguard blank material I've got to make a new pickguard and be done with it.
    Probably something Freudian in there, the thought of all those dirt-cheap bodies and necks GFS is selling just appealed to the cheapskate in me, irresistably, so now I've got major mission creep. Question is, do I build the Neo-Stratocaster pup mule first, or wind the new pups (probably Firebird ones) and put them in R. Stratenstein, restoring his old configuration? Heck of it is, I'm not completely sure the Strat pickguard I've got will fit the GFS body--it says double cutaway, and looks close, but some of those factory closeout bodies clearly ain't Strat "tribute" bodies.


    Yeah, who is it that has probably my favorite signature line here on the Forum, "Yet another hobby completely out of control"-?? Profound words of wisdom and self-evaluation, I say.

    I appreciate you documenting the new hot Fbird pup wind, if you would, I'd also appreciate your listing the parts, and sources for them. Last night I looked on Mojotone and found the no-hole mini-humbucker pup covers, but wasn't sure the sizes, magnet alnico types, etc.

    I'm gonna go down tonight and see if I can wire up the Hall trigger for the OK-1, will document, and post.
     
  19. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rick,

    Will do on the Firebird info for the build. Can't wait to see the Hall effect trigger!

    Rob
     
  20. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hall Effect Counter Trigger

    Well, had a go at implementing a Hall Effect (non-mechanical magnetic switch) sensing for a CUB type counter on my pickup winder.

    Overall, I'd call it a success! :D

    Here's how it went:

    First had to remove the old opto-electrical sensor from the perf board. I re-used the perf board to mount the Hall effect sensor.

    Here's the old sensor mounted on the winder motor support:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Here it is off, and ready to de-solder:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Removed from the perfboard, no damage done, I hope, but if so, I've got two more of them to play with:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    I had drawn a diagram of the old / new wiring that had to be done. It was very simple. The main change was to combine the - power and the common lead from the Cub counter, connecting them to the same leg of the sensor.

    I wanted to confirm that I had the wire colors right, so I took off the cover of the OK-1:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Kind of a rat's nest in there. I suppose I should get some terminal strips and make a neat job of it, if I'm going to call remote planets with it. :lol:

    Next up, select a good Hall Effect Sensor. Like many electrical components, there are about a zillion of them, and you have to look at the specs. very carefully to make sure you're getting just what you need. The ones I ordered include:
    --Switching type, turning on and off, as they come into the influence of magnetic flux. (Some are called linear, and allow varying amounts of power through, according to the strength of the magnetic field. These won't work for this application.)

    --Omnipolar, meaning either North or South pole will trigger it. Bi-polar ones turn on with one pole, and off with the other, and Unipolar only work with North or South, but not both.

    --PC board type mounting. There are some tiny little Surface-Mounted Devices (SMD) configurations of this device, but I don't have the eyes or soldering skills to deal with them.

    --Wide voltage range--the one I got works between 3 and 24 volts DC.

    The component is a Honeywell SS451A Hall Effect device, I got it at Mouser for I think it was 94 cents a pop.

    Data Sheet: http://www.mouser.com/catalog/specsheets/ProductSheet_SS351_451.pdf

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    I searched and searched through the data sheet for this item, but could not for the life of me, find the pin-out designations. Finally, after looking at a data sheet for another Hall Effect device, I saw tiny, tiny, fine print on the physical dimension drawing, almost invisible. I drew up a big diagram so I wouldn't make a mistake identifying which pin is which.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Soldered one to the perf board. Little harder to do this time, the Hall Effect sensor is smaller than the Opto-Electrical device.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    (Sorry, did not realize this was so badly out of focus.)

    Mounted it back onto the motor support. I originally used two springs to provide adjustment tension for the little PC board and sensor, then wised up and used some pickup surgical tubing. Normally, I don't like the stuff, but if you drip a little silicone lube on the screw, or inside the tube, it'll work OK. Just be careful to never get any silicone on your guitar, or on any wood you ever want to finish. I think one molecule of silicone lube is capable of contaminating and fish-eyeing 100 gallons of finish.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    If you look closely at the photo, you'll see the sensor (little black plastic box), and on the sensor, a round indented area. This is the sweet spot for sensing the magnetism. To work properly, magnetic flux must pass through this point, as perpendicular as possible.



    Next, it was time to select a magnet. I had two candidates in mind. Both are neodynium. The gold cube is about 1/8" and was my first choice, as it is small and light, and I don't think would make any real difference in balance of the winding beam. The other circular magnet is made for latches on cabinet doors, and similar applications, and has a countersunk screw hole in the middle. It is quite a bit more powerful than the cube, though.

    I had drilled pockets in the back side of the winding beam to lighten it, so I had a nice little place to secure the magnet with masking tape.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    To make a long story short, the little magnet worked well--up to about 50% of maximum speed. So I tried the round one. It worked well up to about 75% speed. So I had another of the round ones, and put two of them in. The two worked great, full speed ahead. Passed the one-minute time/count check with flying colors.

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    So, I'm now going to embed the magnets in the pocket of the winder beam, in a bed of silicone RTV caulk. I'm probably going to try and find a non-magnetic object to put on the other end of the beam, also, to balance it out as closely as possible.

    Overall, the circuit is a bit simpler than the infrared opto-sensor, and with the 3 to 24 volt operating range, a whole lot more accommodating of varying voltage supplies. (I'm using a 5 V wall wart). A couple of D-cells, a 9-v. battery, whatever, so long as it's DC. The sensors are quite cheap--just checked--I paid 92 cents for them.

    Here's the circuit that I used. Those of you with the red reset button on the front of your CUB counters don't need to mess with the blue wire or push button switch.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
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