Hey Men (and Ladies!),
I'm needing some ideas for a cheap and dirty way to build a powered take up rig for winding up the lane cables on our race course. The cables wind up on small spools. It is most helpful to have some type of powered, low rpm take up device. The idea is to mount the reel on a spindle and utilize a powered take up to wind the cable onto the reel. The unit would be portable, so that it could be loaded onto a workboat. Starting at the end of the lane cable, attaching to the reel, which is attached to the take up device, letting the reel/power take up tow you along as it winds the cable onto the reel, possibly not unlike laying and taking up fishing lines. Forgive the non-technical lingo here, as I don't know much about this sort of thing.
I was thinking that a small gasoline engine would do nicely, but short of an expensive gear reduction unit, how can I get the rpm down to something slow. Could I use a series of mechanical gears (eg: a couple of 10 to one gear sets), and couple that to a belt drive with a spring loaded idler pulley to act as the drive clutch. Is this the most cost effective way to go? What might be some alternatives (an old roto-tiller maybe???).
In the words of James Brown........"HEP MEH!!"