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  1. #176
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Guys, that's OK...continue stomping. I emailed Tom back channel to get what I need. I suppose
    others can do the same if they have questions about his specific ECU and their specific applications.

    As a subscriber to Tom's thread I have a level of expectation for what he is permitted to share about
    his specific reason for starting his thread....not to have to wade through chip level exchanges...which
    he was not delivering because he knows consumers won't be writing code or creating codecs. Dribble
    started in post 110...

    Not my thread...you more or less overlooked the person who started it and couldn't continue...yes,
    could not continue when he returned to further discuss his development aside from his NDA posted.
    Good to see he has partnered up to bring us a solution.

    Tom, we're looking forward to your latest info.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

  2. #177

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Dribble started in post 110...
    I have no problem starting my own thread. I just thought, like many, that the sharing of ideas online is just what RC universe is all about. This is a complex subject that the modeling industry has chosen to ignore/not venture into for at least my 40 years of modeling. We can share or not share, but those who are willing to try new ideas would be the poorer, I feel, if there was no exchange of information.

    That's how hobbies grow and thrive.

    My two cents.

    I will continue my R&D off site and off forum.

  3. #178
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Boeing,

    Considering the electronic circuitry & code exchanges are all that is left of Tom's thread...
    why should another ECU circuitry and code thread be started.

    As for electric retracts, its only been a matter of small electric motor torque and surviving
    the physical abuse accompanying the less than clean environment the mechanics operate within.

    Faced with those simple challenges investors have shyed away from the toy airplane market's
    deficit of an electronic/electric retract system. IMHO the only reason the Pacific Rim has now
    begun to address the deficit is there are too many e-motor manufacturers.

    Given a motor and drive mechanism can be packaged such that it is sustainable as both a
    mechanical part set and marketer, there are thousands of potential customers. Sustainable
    mechancial design with an ability to lift 5 pounds of wheel, tire, and brake is the issue, not the
    ECU. There are more than enough EE's to address the application of the sum of parts.


    I look forward to the shoe leather hitting the road with practicality...light weight, durability,
    functionality with a 25 to 50# airframe. I almost forgot...what too many designers have in the
    past overlooked....configurability.

    No need for another device to sequence the gear door...integrate it into the ECU. For example
    a B-25 will have multiple doors (more than a pair per axle)...not a far fetched or miracle to
    provide for.

    Sequence and time across function configurability without having to be a programmer to simply
    select what you want and need. Somehow this has been a continuing omission. Overlooked
    possibly, but I think there is a wee bit of less than at the engineering level. Less than being out
    of touch with what a scale modeler VS sport modeler would consider proper.

    Lets look at what challenged this issue before:

    1). Batteries were bulky with long recharge cycles.
    2). Motors were only available in X size with marginal torque.
    3). Mechanics were designed from less than proper material to survive usage environment.

    I predict.... there will be no fewer than two (2) electronic retract modules available in the "near future".
    Each designed as a plug and play replacement for "any" air operated retract system.

    ECU for all potential players should be designed with input from the competitive flying scale
    community to enable not only appropriate mechanical design....but to hedge heavily on the
    investor's ROI because product features and benefits will be witnessed in the real world use
    of their product.....the best advertising they can't buy.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

  4. #179

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    ORIGINAL: Boeing314

    Dribble started in post 110...
    I have no problem starting my own thread. I just thought, like many, that the sharing of ideas online is just what RC universe is all about. This is a complex subject that the modeling industry has chosen to ignore/not venture into for at least my 40 years of modeling. We can share or not share, but those who are willing to try new ideas would be the poorer, I feel, if there was no exchange of information.

    That's how hobbies grow and thrive.

    My two cents.

    I will continue my R&D off site and off forum.

    Please dont allow Ed's baseless accusations and silly ideas to drive you away.

    This forum IS all about sharing information NOT driving it "back channel". This forum would not exist if every exchange had to happen back channel.

    Thats the most ridiculous thing Ive heard on-line in a long long time.

    This thread has had almost 8000 views in a relatively short time. Obviously Ed is a minority of ONE verses many many modelers who are very interested in following your progress - in this thread!

    Moving to "back channel" would waist a lot of your time answering individual e-mails and questions from hundreds of individuals trying to follow this to its conclusion and at the same time leave those hundreds, who dont have access to your expertise, out in the cold.

    Ed, if you dont want to read a post just skip over it. Dont try to suppress the open - and easy - exchange of ideas this forum represents.

    Tom is no longer contributing to this thread AND he has given his blessing for us to continue what he started.

    What the hell is your problem?

    Larry

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    I look forward to the shoe leather hitting the road with practicality...light weight, durability, functionality with a
    25 to 50# airframe. I almost forgot...what too many designers have in the past overlooked....configurability.
    No need for another device to sequence the gear door...integrate it into the ECU. For example a B-25 will have
    multiple doors (more than a pair per axle)...not a far fetched or miracle to provide for.
    Work continues on the project here at home. My programmer is confident all the things that Ed wants in a retract will be fully realized by us. Want a LCD readout to see how to set the stagger timing for your gear? Got it. Want end point adjustment for each gear door? No problem. What about creating entire subroutines like opening the canopy, lowering flaps, sequencing lights. We can do that too, all with the same unit. With full respect to what Tomapowa achieved, the gear I envision will be more like an extension of a computer radio than a simple pic controller and an up down command. The custom board prototype is due back from China next week, which will make setting up the boards much easier and allow a package system to be created.



    There's more I could say but won't simply because it will only create yet more missiles to be hurled back my way.

  6. #181

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Way to go Ed!

    You've managed to kill a really great thread and screw over several hundred of your fellow modelers at the same time. All for no dam reason at all.

    I want you to know I really appreciate your outstanding contribution to the modeling community. You deserve a reward of some kind for sure.
    Larry

  7. #182

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    As a side note - I was able to find the problem in my board and all three motors are working perfectly with staggered timing etc. Many thanks to Boeing314 and his patience.
    Booker out.

  8. #183
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Boeing314,

    So you do intend to market a replacement module and not just a controller. You are to be commended
    as there is a lot of opportunity out there for robust mechanics with a configurable controller. Is it your
    plan to enclose your actuator mechanics?

    The market needs a single channel controller which could then configure each gear requirement. That
    being motion across time as well as individual if & then queries along time to trigger channels per leg.

    Mechanically this is a much more difficult task than it is electronically. The Pacific Rim has danced all
    around this without response outside of foamy and small EDF & Prop market. I assume they perceive
    the giant scale market to be in deep recession.

    From a cost of solution stand point, a properly constructed actuator and controller presents each of the
    giant scale and traditional air retract customers an opportunity to resolve their individaul issues without
    having to spend a lot of money.

    Are you going to burn your logic in a secure manner so you don't see your work coming around a shipping
    container corner at you?
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

  9. #184
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Larry3215,

    My "intention" is to contribute to the thread focusing on a mechanical solution, not just another
    wannabe failure. The mechanical aspect of electric/electronic gear has been its demise in every
    case to date. Success/failure is not found within code, it is embedded within actuator mechanical
    design.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

  10. #185
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts


    [quote]ORIGINAL: Boeing314

    I look forward to the shoe leather hitting the road with practicality...light weight, durability,
    functionality with a 25 to 50# airframe. I almost forgot...what too many designers have in the past
    overlooked....configurability. No need for another device to sequence the gear door...integrate it
    into the ECU. For example a B-25 will have multiple doors (more than a pair per axle)...not a far
    fetched or miracle to provide for.

    Work continues on the project here at home. My programmer is confident all the things that Ed wants
    in a retract will be fully realized by us. Want a LCD readout to see how to set the stagger timing for
    your gear?
    Actually all other functions are covered in our radios. "The need" is for a landing gear controller and
    durable actuation. Sustainable actuation is the issue everyone else has failed to "deliver" on.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

  11. #186

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    This is a public forum for the DIYers, not for vendors. Keep talking guys the duct tape salesman has no power over you.

    Just put him on your blocked list and keep going, there are people interested out here.

  12. #187

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts


    ORIGINAL: FliteMetal

    Larry3215,

    My ''intention'' is to contribute to the thread focusing on a mechanical solution, not just another
    wannabe failure. The mechanical aspect of electric/electronic gear has been its demise in every
    case to date. Success/failure is not found within code, it is embedded within actuator mechanical
    design.
    Ed, You need the mechanics AND the electronics AND the code or you dont have a functional unit. Mechanics alone is only one part of the story. In my opinion, thats the easy part.

    I dont know about you but I dont have access to a ready made, complete and functional electronics package for the retracts or the ability to write my own "code".

    It sounds like you already have pre-built/pre-programmed ECU's you can use? Fine. Post a link please.

    Other wise, I still dont get why you are trying to kill this thread.

    This is a DIY thread. We need to know how to DIY ALL parts of the system.

    Good mechanics without the electronics is useless. Good electronics without the code is useless.

    If you dont happen to need or want to hear about the "code" fine, skip those posts. Dont try to screw the rest of us over.
    Larry

  13. #188
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    My point clearly goes over the head of those focused on what to them appears as an electronic issue. In
    reality "every electric retract" that has ever been sold has failed due to mechanical issues. ECU's are necessary
    to control a system, however unless the mechanical design is capable of enduring real world use and normal abuse,
    there is no usable system.

    A sincere need exists for an electronic retract "capable of surviving" normal use. This requires encasement or
    enclosure of the screw jack mechanism. A sheath is needed to slide over the frame to prevent dirt and moisture
    from entering the screw path mechanics.

    A sliding center support similar to a fishing reel spooler could contribute a great deal to prevent misalignment,
    warping, and bending as the screwjack pulls the length of screw travel. This could easily travel a parallel path...
    mounted or recessed into the frame. Its a mechanical issue guys...work through the mechanical then design an
    ECU to control it.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

  14. #189
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    There is no one trying to kill this thread...where that came from I have absolutely no idea. Where is it stated this
    is a DYI thread. Its most definately not part of the thread title. This is the Electronic Retracts-Modifying existing
    Air/Servo-operated Retracts under Robotics.

    As for the issue which has "prevented" all previous systems from successfully addressing the need. All of them
    and a controller of some sort always existed. However, aside from the enormous power consumed...the "common"
    failure has always been mechanical.

    I have no issue with anyone working on any type of ECU. The ECU is and has never been questioned as to its
    importance...after you determine the functional specification for design of the ECU to control the mechanical system.

    Instead of reading my post in a negative light when it is clearly focused on the one thing that has failed in "every"
    electric retract ever marketed...why not accept that as the deficit of these systems instead of designing a system
    controller around yet to be defined functional specifications.

    Somehow though I agree a funcitonal ECU (based on functional specifications yet to be defined) is necessary...
    several seem to think that non-mechanical failures were the issue with pervious systems. I suppose this gets to
    the root of the Toyota throttle issue of what is the cart and what is the horse...however all carts have failed to
    provide the solution because their mechanics failed while their motors continued to turn.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Let's see you put a positive spin on this:
    ORIGINAL: FliteMetal

    Tom,

    Sorry to see your thread highjacked. These guys want to jump in the middle of your thread and sit down
    on it (shut it down) instead of exchanging their techno dribble back channel where it belongs. Its as if
    they think this site is a programmer's resource center...[sm=spinnyeyes.gif]

    When you work out control of your ECU please email me at test@buyero.com or wmclayman@comcast.net
    to permit me to understand how your ECU is programmed for end points, stall voltage, speed, multiple
    start-stop controls (gear doors), etc.

    If you want to share your telephone # so I can call...send it to test@buyaero.com

    Thanks,

  16. #191
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Like I said, its over several heads as to "the issue" with electric and electronic retracts. No need
    to repeat what was explained in simple terms.

    Lykes, Kraft, JMP, and all those preceding had one issue which until it can be resolved will not
    improve upon the marketability of any electronic or an electric retract module.

    Arguing instead of contributing to a solution to "the" issue serves nothing but to fuel discord. As
    is witnessed in the most recent example.
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Ed, I have no idea where you are coming from with this or what you're trying to say. You keep contradicting yourself.

    Maybe your spot on and Im just to stupid to follow your logic here. All I know is you have driven away the key people contributing to this thread. The key people that would have allowed us to get a set of retracts working.

    As far as I can see you have contributed nothing except criticisms.

    Tell you what, sense you dont like the direction this thread is going - and has been from the beginning - why dont you go start your own thread and leave us to techno-dribble as we desire?
    Larry

  18. #193
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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Larry,

    If I appear in contradiction then my input is of absolutely no consequence and serves no purpose.
    I'll leave you to your trek.

    Good luck,
    Ed Clayman,
    FliteMetal.com

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Ed, I have no problems with you wanting to discuss mechanical issues, problems or solutions. I dont think anyone else does either.

    Thats a perfectly legitimate and valuable subject for discussion in this thread.

    Just please dont try to suppress the other - also perfectly legitimate and valuable - portions of the discussion about the ecu and the necessary programming.



    Boeing314 - I do hope you will come back to this discussion and continue your very much needed and very much appreciated and very valuable and very much ON TOPIC contributions.

    Please??

    The mechanics in my opinion, are the easy part of converting existing retracts to electric operation. I think most modelers would agree.

    Im lost on the rest of it without detailed help from guys like you.

    I/we need your expertise.
    Larry

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    ORIGINAL: FliteMetal

    [size=2]My point clearly goes over the head of those focused on what to them appears as an electronic issue. In
    reality "every electric retract" that has ever been sold has failed due to mechanical issues. ECU's are necessary
    to control a system, however unless the mechanical design is capable of enduring real world use and normal abuse,
    there is no usable system.
    Lose the superiority complex pal, I read your posts and don't agree with you. The mechanical aspects are child's play compared to the power and control issues,but the point seems to go right over your head; there is a valid meaningful discussion going on here and it is not centered around you. If this is an example of the way you contribute to causes you must be a very lonely person.

    ORIGINAL: FliteMetal



    A sincere need exists for an electronic retract "capable of surviving" normal use. This requires encasement or
    enclosure of the screw jack mechanism. A sheath is needed to slide over the frame to prevent dirt and moisture
    from entering the screw path mechanics.

    Stop storing your plane outside! and do a bit of maintenance occasionally. Phil Kraft's design worked great for it's day as long as you had a decent battery and could land without bouncing like a kangaroo, it's weakness was the lack of a sophisticated control system and the weight of the batteries of the day, not an issue with modern lipolys
    A sliding center support similar to a fishing reel spooler could contribute a great deal to prevent misalignment,
    warping, and bending as the screwjack pulls the length of screw travel. This could easily travel a parallel path...
    mounted or recessed into the frame. Its a mechanical issue guys...work through the mechanical then design an
    ECU to control it.
    Good Idea! Why not just suggest this and not try to run the thread? Mechanical first? power and control first? tomato tomoto...

    Converting an existing retract implies DIY. If it's not, why post here in the public domain?

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    I'm machining a much stronger version of my retract mechanism for the Robart 630's and hope to post pics tomorrow.

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Hey Folks,
    Just figured I'd pop in here... not to side on anyones side or anything, but to make a few points clear.

    In fact... the mechanics involved with designing a good e-retract system is KEY! At least this is what I ran into...
    The electronics to me are the easy part (maybe because I'm an EE/CE too) but to be honest, during all my designing, fabrication and testing, the mechanics was the toughest part to design properly. The actuator design I have shown here in this thread will work... but not for long (so I found out). The key is properly designing the actuator so that the thrust (push & pull) is isolated from the gear motor assembly. That is about all I can say without "letting the cat out of the bag", sort of say. Mark my words, unless Lado, et. al. redesigned their gear, they will CONTINUE to keep breaking (yes, they are breaking... some don't like admitting this because they put out some $$$ and don't want to be looked at like a fool). In actuallity, I think the "returns" is what put Doug out of business... and it is destined to happen again to the new owner!

    As for other DIY e-retracts electronic/controller options,... please let the thoughts flow freely here in this thread... the more options the merrier! But just remember, without a good and reliable actuator design, you can just throw the electronics away!

    Next week, I hope to hear back from the Co. I'm working with... I'll post the results here...

    Also, I have receive almost a hundred emails/PMs a week re: this project... sry if I had not yet replied... all I can say is time will tell re: my further interest in this DIY project.
    TOMAPOWA

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    I hope this time my post shows up....

    Tom, you say "But just remember, without a good and reliable actuator design, you can just throw the electronics away!"

    I say back to you "But just remember, without a good electronics you can just throw your reliable actuator away!"


    Thats one of the great things about this board and the forums in general - we get to share in and pool, the knowledge and expertise from people with a wide range of experience, training and education.

    To you and Ed the electronics and programming are the easy part and hardly need discussion.

    Im no EE and no programmer to so me thats all black box stuff. I will need my hand held at all points if Im to follow in your footsteps and make my own ECU.

    However, the mechanical issues are - for me - the easy part. You say its important to isolate the thrust loads from the gear assembly? I say "No problem". Been there done that many times. Whats all the fuss about?

    I think that will be the case with many other modelers as well. Especially anyone who has ever built a heli. Helicopters have huge thrust loads and axial loads on the rotating shafts that drive and control the blades. Every successful heli ever built handles that problem with ease. Nothing to it

    So I say the mechanics are not the problem, you say the electronics are not the problem. Between the bunch of us - its going to be easy!

    All we need to do is share that information - which is what these boards are all about

    Now Tom, if you need to keep your particular solutions - mechanical and/or electronic - under wraps for business reasons, I have no problem with that and wish you the best of luck. Who knows, one of us may suggest something you may want to incorporate into your commercial venture. I wish you the best of luck no matter how it turns out.

    If your not familiar with the way heli heads and in particular, the blade grips, are built, Id suggest you check it out. Your mechanical problems have been solved for decades and off the shelf parts are readily available.

    If Boeing314 decides to make a commercial venture with his ECU solutions, and therefore keep them secret, that will kill my chances of following in your guys footsteps.

    I would still wish him good luck in his venture despite it meaning my misfortune.

    If thats the case, hopefully, someone else will come along who knows this programming and board level voodoo who is willing to share.

    I can only hope
    Larry

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    My plans as far as a commercial venture are vague at the moment. I have discussed the possibility with my programmer and we both think that the DIY way may be the better way for several reasons:
    1. You can make the motors fit the gear YOU have.
    2. The way we have set thing us is to make the system programmable by the user (gear doors as well as timing). No other gear controller on the market can make that claim. What that means is extreme versatility for the user.
    3. Making the components smaller to fit on the gear unit without the 'big box' requires technology neither of us has, nor do we wish to pursue atm.

    Everyone seems consumed by the fact that this has to be a 'commercial venture' of some kind. In my mind, it doesn't have to be. From what I've seen so far, the retract manufacturers aren'y pushing hard in that direction either. I've waited a long time to see products like the one I'm making come to market and they never seem to make it. They have all the money and resources and all of China to build these things...so where are the retracts? I bought the Eflite gear and dissected it to see how they made it. They did not go with a current limiter as we did but a timer instead, set to 4 seconds. The end points use tiny limit switches to stop the gear. Perhaps it was the small size of the units that prompted them to go this route. Whatever.
    The fact remains that I can make something with my own two hands that no one else has.

    Will it be perfect? No. Will it work? Yes. Has it worked? Yes. If it breaks, I'll make it stronger. My goal is simply to make an electric retract for myself, and share the information with others so they can follow if they so choose. That's all I wanted to do. YES you need strong motors and gear trains and YES you need the code to run the thing. They are one and inseparable. Neither exists without the other.

    Larry, if you're willing to share info on the thrust bearings I'll share info on the electronics as well as the mechanical parts. Just PM me.

  25. #200

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    RE: Electric Retracts - Modifying existing Air/Servo-operated Retracts

    Here is one option that would work. Depending on the retract type and how much side to side movement there is in the retract drive shaft as it moves from UP to DOWN, you might need to mount the outer race of the thrust bearings to the motor/gear box case/mount or to the retract body. What ever works.

    You can get any size thrust bearing you might need from Boca bearing or several other places. As long as the inner race ID matches your output shaft OD most anything will work. Id want sealed bearings for longer life but there are literally hundreds of options and sizes.

    If you didnt want to machine some way to attach the outer race to the mount you could just use a cut down heli tail or main blade grip that uses bearings of the same OD. You could also just use a fixed partition on either side of the thrust bearing that rides on the outer race. There are lots of ways to do that.

    The key is you want the shaft to run in and push/pull on the inner race of the thrust bearing. So you need to fix the outer race in place some way to the motor mount and/or the retract body. That way all the push pull forces are against the retract body or the motor mount and not on the gear box output shaft.

    The push pull forces from the shaft are transfered to the inner race of the thrust bearing by the wheel collar and the coupling via the small washers on either side of the thrust bearing. Those small washer only touch the inner race.

    There are bound to be dozens of ways to do that depending on how you mount the motor/gear box and how the retracts are made.
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    Larry


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