Simple, Cheap Pickup Winder

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

  1. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks Rick!

    Now the question becomes, how many RPMs is this thing good for? If it's solid to 2500 it's the big winner! I wonder if Rob D would be willing to hook one of these up in parallel on his lathe winder to check it against the high end Cub?

    Rob
     
  2. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    Rob D is probably crazy enough to do anything. He winds guitarpickups on a LATHE for god's sake!
     
  3. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Good question. I can only vouch for up to 1K RPM's. It's enough for me, for now. I have an idea I might try for a test, though. . . .stay tuned.
     
  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    wish i had the time to experiment as some of you guyz are having fun doing. i think y'all are doing some good stuff, pushing the winding envelope if not folding it up a bit. :D

    guys - i've got a gaggle of sensors and a digi counter for anyone that's interested for the price of shipping - i ain't never gonna need 'em. :cool: :D
     
  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Like your new thread, Rob, and appreciate your offer, but I'm in good shape for sensors, et. al. Maybe when this thread bumps up, somebody who needs the gear will see it and contact you.

    It is enjoyable to see what you can do with the technology, such as it is. Imagine what guys like Leo Fender could have done with what we have now.
     
  6. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A Little Gretsch Side Trip

    Hokey-dokey. Had to dredge this thread out of the deep muck, but I've come to realize the utility in Barncaster's approach that by keeping everything in one thread, even if it is getting long in the tooth, everything is in the same place. I suppose I could have put this in the Gretsch area, or the pickups forum, but this is about pickup winding info, so I chose here.

    My old Gretsch 6119, Chet Atkins Tenneseean, 1961 vintage, was way overdue for a restring, and I've never really taken a good look at the pups, so this, I thought would be my chance. His name is Chet, although I have called him Fred from time to time. He answers to neither, but sounds pretty good through my old Bandmaster.

    Chet was not a premium guitar in his day, Vintage Guitars Info website calls him "pretty much a student model with low-end trim", but that's OK. Chet and I go back a long time, and we're buds.

    He has not the much-lauded in Rockabilly circles Filter'tron pups, but single coil HiLo'trons. I wanted to see their interior.

    Here's Chet on the operating table, closeup with the pickguard and pickup rings in place (note the cracked corners of the pup rings which some heavy-handed boob with a screwdriver attacked [no, actually, for a change, it was NOT me]) Also note the vintage wear on the pup covers, with the gold G logo almost worn off:

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Pup rings off. (totally unnecessary to removing the pups, but I forgot that):

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Two long wood screws hold the cover, the top (plastic) logo plate, and the pickup assembly in place.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    When I first got Chet, in my teens, my bedroom was in the basement of my parents' home. It did not seem so, but apparently it was a bit damp, as metallic things, such as the solder and metal in Chet's pups, developed oxidation, in some cases being discovered just now.

    After pulling the plastic logo plate off, the pup's construction details can be seen. It's a sideways single coil, in the same space a double-coil could be put. I would be surprised if Filtertrons (Gretsch's dual-coil humbuckers) didn't use the same covers, housings, etc.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    No springs, surgical tubing or slabs of foam for mounting. What I had always thought were little squares of cork are actually wood. One of them has slipped a bit, and I reglued it straight when I put Chet back together. The pups have quite long pole pieces, more than enough to adjust the pickup as required.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Both pickups are identical. This shot shows the length of the pole piece screws, and their ample length. The only difference between the two is that the bridge pickup has the little wood blocks on edge, instead of flat.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Having the pickups out, my next task was to determine where to unsolder them. I thought about "ruining the vintage value" of the thing, but if it's just a student guitar with a collectible value of D (on a scale of A to D), I figured a careful de-solder, re-solder job wouldn't hurt.

    While pulling the wires out, I discovered something :D

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Yes, it's a little 3-prong fiberboard plug and socket, in fact, two of them, one for each pickup. It had been wrapped with tape to minimize the thumping around inside the truly hollow body of the Gretsch.

    It was easy to pry apart.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    And there it is, pup and socket, completely free from the guitar, ready for some measurements. The little stub, that looks like somebody forgot to trip the cable's sheathing, is actually a cover for the hot side of the pup coil solder joint, and I'm sure is intentionally done that way to create a test point for a VOM test probe. It sure worked well in that capacity.

    And finally learned the secret of the Gretsch "twang".

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Yeah, these boys are seriously under-wound! When I metered the first one, I figured something was wrong, like a bad short circuit or something, but when the other one metered exactly the same, for all practical purposes, well, they're just underwound pups.

    They are twangy, but not excessively thin, probably partly a result of the guitar being made in a day when fatter, flat-wound strings were the norm. Maybe the magnet configuration has something to do with it, don't know.

    Speaking of magnetics and such things, these are oriented South up

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    The bobbins are fairly small, measuring 2-5/8" long by 7/16" wide by only 3/8" high. Both coils are fully wrapped. I could not tell if they were potted, the ribbon wrapped around them was tightly adhered, but did not look waxy. I did not get a look at the actual coil wire, but doubt I could eyeball between 40-45 Gauge, which it most likely is, anyway.

    There are two metal pieces in addition to the magnet. One is the L shaped piece that is drilled and tapped for the pole pieces on one leg of the Ell. The other piece of metal is a trapezoid-shaped piece. Both are 1/16" thick, and appeared to have been adhered to the magnet with silver paint. The paint had given up the adhesion, but the magnets held the pieces in place.

    The magnet is a good sized rectangle, 2-1/4" X 9/16" X 1/4" thick. I have no idea what AlNico grade it is. The pole pieces do not seem to have the strength that a standard Tele does, when tested with a screwdriver blade.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    One additional detail, if you look in the upper left side of the bobbin top, you'll see a little boss with a hole in it. The top and bottom flatware of the bobbin are identical, and on the bottom one, the lead for one of the coil ends threads through the hole, then under the tape, where it is soldered to the coil. Strain relief, no doubt.

    After a little De-Oxit on the plugs, put Chet back together got new strings, a nice tuning, and all's well.

    Rick
     
  7. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rick,

    Thanks for the peek inside of the Hi Lo Trons. I've never seen a pickup configured like that. In looking at it it doesn't appear that the magnet touches the poles. Is this correct?

    Rob
     
  8. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes, that is correct. The magnet is stuck to the vertical leg of the L shaped metal piece, and the horizontal leg of the L shaped metal goes under the coil, where it is drilled and tapped for the poles. Probably explains why the magnetic strength on the top of the pole pieces, when tested with a screwdriver, seems a bit weak compared with a Tele's pup.
     
  9. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rick,

    Is that big L shaped piece magnetic itself or does the magnetic field from the magnet just envelop the coil by its close proximity? The HiLoTron is quite an unusual piece. That magnet in there is twice as thick as a humbucker magnet. That deserves the Spock "Fascinating".

    Rob
     
  10. sink

    sink Tele-Meister

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    So I pretty much have my winder built; just a few more details to wrap up. But, I could not get the QRD1114 to work and I went through about every schematic on this thread. I guess I'll order the Hall Effect deal and try that. I have the same Cub counter as Rick so I thought it would be a simple build. Also, my counter shipped to me with 64 of something counted. I hooked up the reset button (like Rick did) and it reset itself somehow. I'll have to worry about that later.

    I can build amps and pedals but apparently this is too simple for me. Any who, thanks for the info on this thread it's been a great read.
     
  11. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    i could never get that damned qrd1114 sensor to work. that frustration, and my very pressing need for a more robust and worthy winder, got me to spend the coin on a quality red lion trigger. from playing around with 4 different types, most of those cheap $2 triggers have a working distance in fractions of an inch and i would be leery of their accuracy at realistic winding speeds. a good red lion trigger has a working range in feet - currently running mine at about 4", and in bright light, to boot.

    imo, this is where the problem lies with a counting system - there aren't any for cheap that just work well, if at all, with any winder. i'd love for someone to prove me wrong - please! :cool:
     
  12. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well... For most winder designs, fractions of an inch are fine!
     
  13. sink

    sink Tele-Meister

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    Well, this is actually a science fair project for my daughter. She's cut,drilled, and assembled almost all of the wood the winder, soldered some, and will wind the pickups. This counter is the last bit and we are cutting it close with time. I ordered the Hall Effect from Mouser this morning, hopefully it will arrive in a few days.
     
  14. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    well, yes, that'd be just fine - IF the counter/trigger actually worked with any winder. :D

    still looking for that cheap, universal, accurate to 2k rpm, easy to acquire, easy to install digital counter/trigger.
     
  15. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rob,

    My newest winder will be going together in two weeks or so. I'll be using Rick's Custom Hall Effect sensor with a Cub. My new/ old motors can turn over 2k rpm easy so this set up will get challenged appropriately. More to follow.

    Rob
     
  16. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hey, Rob, sorry I missed your question a few days ago. Although I did not test it separately, I'm just about 100% sure the L-shaped metal is just a bracket (for lack of a better term), into which the pole pieces are threaded, the coil wound around it, and the magnet stuck on the other side. I'm sure the magnetic field would look kind of lopsided, if you used the coil itself as the center, because of course the magnet is on one side of the coil, not under it, or actually inside it, with little slug type magnets a la Tele pups.

    The magnet itself seems pretty strong, but the pole pieces do not have the same strength as a typical Tele pole piece, I assume because the magnetism is derived through the L bracket then through the threaded holes into the pole screws.

    Let me know how it goes, or if I can help with the Hall sensor. I'm sold on them, and am anticipating the ACW-3 with great eagerness. Especially how you work the live center. Dang it, there 's just so much interesting stuff to be done, but stupid stuff like having to work keeps getting in the way and robbing my time! :cry:
     
  17. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

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    What is the consensus on "the" Hall Sensor to order?
     
  18. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Muleskinner Blues

    Well, I got a little work done on my Strat pickup mule/GFS factory strat/rehab Frankenweenie- WUG project.

    As mentioned above, I got a GFS factory liquidation Strat-like body with swimming pool route to fit the strat pups I wound, which I found would not fit into old R. Stratenstein. Also got a neck that was supposed to fit the body, but was too tight, and couldn't even be forced in.

    Made a template, and routed the neck pocket. It removed very little wood, mostly very thick, plastic-y finish that had a sweet, plastic odor. Lacquer, it ain't. After chipping off a thick coat inside the trem tail piece route which was so thick it was actually interfering with the operation of the whammy bar, I noticed the body seems to be made up of numerous layers of material-like substance about .75mm each. Except where they sanded off the forearm relief, there are no layers, it just looks like some nondescript wood. Maybe when I fully strip/sand the thing later I'll reveal the mystery.

    So I get the neck in place. Fairly good fit to the body, not great, but it will do. Clamp the neck down and put on an old Squier neck plate to check location. Holes ain't right for two of the neck plate holes. OK. Drilled them out, sanded down some dowel plugs, CA'd them into place. Sunday, placed the neck plate, marked and re-drilled holes in body, and neck screw holes. Still fits good. Scale measures exactly 25.5 inches from nut slot to saddle area. Good.

    Body has a hole in it like there's supposed to be Micro-tilt on the neck. Ain't gonna happen, I believe in good neck/body coupling and besides, the neck plate hides the hole.

    Reassembled the pick guard with pups, pots, switch, etc. Slides right into pl- - what tha--? Now I see that the overhang of the neck (22 fret model) is low enough to interfere with the pickguard. Started scraping on the pick guard to thin it so it will fit under fretboard overhang, then decided it looked stupid, and sawed off the overhang and last fret. No doubt I'll someday miss that very highest position, but them's the breaks. Sanded and filed the end of the neck.

    Now the pickguard will fit . . .holy hell, now what??? The damn Grizzly pickguard radius doesn't like the damn GFS neck butt radius. Which one is right, which one is wrong?

    That's the wrong question. The right question is, which one is easier to fix. Right, sanded, filed and smoothed the pickguard radius to fit. Harder than it looks. My hat's off to you guys who sculpt pickguards that fit to within atoms of tolerance.

    Got some #4 X 1/2 inch SS oval head screws at Lowe's, that make good pickguard screws. 11 of 'em--is that right? What a strange number. Anyway, the pickguard is in place, the neck is in place, and looks like the string angle is gonna be OK, might need a little shim--normally, I'd route the angle in and avoid shims for the coupling, but I'm doing this on the fly.

    So, finally, we're down to the pictorial section of today's post.

    Photos of current state, close up of pickguard in place with new pups waiting to be tested (and meanwhile serving as good holder for little bridge adjusting allen wrench), shot of Zippy the Pinhead headstock (careful, you'll put somebody's eye out with that thing), and shot of botched locking nut install, which I"ve cleaned up in prep for glueing on a small piece of matching wood to hold nut in place, and try to form a transition. What a crappy looking headstock, if I do say so myself.

    Main functional thing left to be done is to glue in the piece that will hold the nut, and file a nut for the thing. Will take some time, and work of course, has gotten crazy-busy just now. Always somethin. Also, I just HAVE to drag out the ROSS and put on the belt sander and take care of Zippy's Pinhead. Guess I'll sand a little ball end up there, try to Fenderize it as much as possible. Any other ideas? I'm open.

    Rick
     

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  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I ordered the Honeywell SS451A from Mouser electronics.

    It's omnipolar, meaning that it will work with either North or South end of a magnet.

    Data sheet says it works with a wide variety of DC voltages, 3 VDC to 24 VDC.

    This model switches on and off, in the presence of a magnetic field, rather than some other sensors, which vary resistance in response to magnetic fields. This makes it ideal for winder applications with a magnet rotating on the end of the winder beam, past the sensor.

    My initial experiments showed me that you need to use a good strong neo. magnet to ensure good counts at high speed. Close proximity as it goes past the sensor never hurts, either, but the Hall sensor seems less sensitive to that than the Opto sensor did.
     
  20. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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    I'm using one of these with a sewing machine motor. Dont know the max speed of the motor but this sensor never skips a beat.

    [​IMG]
     
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