Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pickup Winder: Building a Custom Winder

Not many people know this, but building your own pickup winder is both cheap and easy. After endlessly reading and re-reading Gavin Bramley's thread on the Build Your Own Guitar forum concerning building your own pickup winder, I resolved that this was something that I absolutely, positively had to do!

Electrical components - It's a very simple mechanism really.
I ordered all the parts from aliexpress some months ago and have been waiting for a suitable time to get started on it. In terms of internal parts, all you need is:
  • 240V AC -> 24V DC power supply
  • 24V electric motor
  • 24V electric motor controller with reverse
  • Electric counter
  • magnetic switch and magnet
All in all these parts set me back approximately $50USD.

I still have a couple of parts to source before I can complete the project, but that is a little way off:
  • 240V wall socket wire (i'll probably butcher a cheap extension chord)
  • internal hookup wire
  • brackets to mount the spindle to the pickup loom
  • a guide for the wire as it winds
I am also thinking of incorporating an Arduino circuit to measure the resistance of the pickup as it is being wound. I know that it's quite easy to build a resistance meter with Arduino (I have all the parts), but the only trick will be a mechanism to actually keep contact with the end of the wire that first attaches to the pickup and is spinning with the spool. I've still to find a solution to this problem.

Anyway, today I (finally) got in and started to build an enclosure. My base dimensions look good, (I made sure I could accommodate the power supply and the controller easily on the floor of the enclosure) but the height looks way off. It looks way too top heavy to me - the way it is now it will shake itself to pieces when the motor gets going.

First steps in building a plywood enclosure.
I reckon I'll take the height down by half before I put the rest together. I've built a motor holder as Gav suggested in his thread (two pieces of oak with a hole through the center) and am just waiting for the glue to dry before adding some adjustment bolts and installing it on the inside wall.

Once I've done this I can get a mock up of the wiring completed. Hopefully I won't electrocute myself in the process! Stay tuned for more progress in the coming days!