Chain Counter Sensor - Lofrans Tigres

Old Bumbulum

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I've got a (2017) Tigres 1500w windlass with a 503 remote control.
The remote of course has a chain counter function but there does not appear to be a sensor on the windlass, or if there is I can't find it.
Strangely I also can't find aything helpful about supply or fitting of the sensor in Lofrans' bumpf, nor even of it's existence!

You'd imagine such a windlass would have a sensor built in - but no mention of it.
You'd imagine the remote kit would come with one but again no mention.
You'd imagine Lofrans would sell a sensor kit as a spare part but if they do I can't find it.
You'd imagine their manuals would describe how to fit one but...

Anyone with experience of obtaining/fittting one? Why are they so shy about the sensor?

Also, Lofrans' marketing bumpf says there is an optional free-fall feature but again I can't find it. Is it retro-fitable?

Any clues please?
 

billcole

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I can't offer any info about Lofrans, but in case it helps, my Quick windlass has a magnet in the gypsy, and there is a small hole (maybe about 5mm in diameter) on the underside of the windlass into which you insert a reed switch supplied with their counter. This switch then closes once per revolution of the gypsy each time the magnet passes it, so sends pulses to the counter electronics which it is connected to.

Maybe your Lofrans would use a similar technique ?
 

NormanS

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For free fall, it's simply a case of slackening off the three legged wing nut. That's the one that holds the gypsy on. Once sufficient chain is out, tighten the nut. It's a form of clutch.
 

vas

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I've got a (2017) Tigres 1500w windlass with a 503 remote control.
The remote of course has a chain counter function but there does not appear to be a sensor on the windlass, or if there is I can't find it.
Strangely I also can't find aything helpful about supply or fitting of the sensor in Lofrans' bumpf, nor even of it's existence!

You'd imagine such a windlass would have a sensor built in - but no mention of it.
You'd imagine the remote kit would come with one but again no mention.
You'd imagine Lofrans would sell a sensor kit as a spare part but if they do I can't find it.
You'd imagine their manuals would describe how to fit one but...

Anyone with experience of obtaining/fittting one? Why are they so shy about the sensor?

Also, Lofrans' marketing bumpf says there is an optional free-fall feature but again I can't find it. Is it retro-fitable?

Any clues please?

to answer your Qs

nope, nothing inside nothing outside a Tigres. I've taken mine apart.
actually no real place to fit a sensor hence no kit from Lofrans.

have a look at this:
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthrea...t-versilcraft-Mystery43&p=5940239#post5940239

Mind, the sensor lasted less than a season :(
got a couple of good slaps from the chain and that was it.
Have a fugly contraption with a 1euro home door/window alarm sensor on a equally fugly ally frame now, but I'm not happy.
Seeing what billcole wrote above, I'm thinking that it would be possible to mount a sensor by the chain stripper below the gipsy (and again drill a hole and add the magnet somewhere convenient on the gipsy)
I'll have a look tomorrow and let you know.
Main problem I see is that if you use that well protected area behind the stripper, you have no way to route the cable other than going straight through the deck and on the "ceiling" of the chain locker, not that bad, just different to what I've done. Actually may be better as now cable is together with the heavy gauge power cables and there's some interference when the winch operates.

cheers

V.
 

rogerthebodger

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I've got a (2017) Tigres 1500w windlass with a 503 remote control.
The remote of course has a chain counter function but there does not appear to be a sensor on the windlass, or if there is I can't find it.
Strangely I also can't find aything helpful about supply or fitting of the sensor in Lofrans' bumpf, nor even of it's existence!

You'd imagine such a windlass would have a sensor built in - but no mention of it.
You'd imagine the remote kit would come with one but again no mention.
You'd imagine Lofrans would sell a sensor kit as a spare part but if they do I can't find it.
You'd imagine their manuals would describe how to fit one but...

Anyone with experience of obtaining/fittting one? Why are they so shy about the sensor?

Also, Lofrans' marketing bumpf says there is an optional free-fall feature but again I can't find it. Is it retro-fitable?

Any clues please?

I fitted an autoanchor chain counter to my Lofrans Tigres some years ago and it was mainly a magnet in the chain wheel and a read relay mounted on the body of the windlass.

https://www.imtra.com/COLLATERAL/DO...DUCTS/AA150_OPERATION_INSTALLATION_MANUAL.PDF

This is my manual

https://www.lofrans.com/category/6-Lofrans-anchor-windlass-chain-counters

This is the lofrans chain counters and it you pick the one you have ther is a manual download on the next page
 

Norman_E

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I have a Lofrans Tigress which is an old 1000 watt model. There is no provision on it for a chain counter. The best method is to mark the chain either with coloured plastic inserts or simply by painting it every 10 metres. If you do need to connect to a chain counter built into your remote control you need to identify which wires have to be shorted to make the counter operate, then ita a matter of either trying to get the remote sensor and magnet that Lofrans use, or just buying a magnetic reed switch and suitable magnet. The latter is glued into a drilled hole on the outside of the gypsy, and the reed switch fitted so that its within range each time the magnet passes.
 
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Old Bumbulum

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Well I never! You'd think an expensive piece of kit like that would all but have one as standard, let alone be so hard to fit one.

I can see that any home-brewed solution is open to damage and corrosion. It's just that when singlehanding a fairly large boat one of these is very useful.

Good info folks, many thanks.
 
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I have the next size smaller Lofrans, I haven't installed it yet, but I did order a chain counter, you have to drill a hole and fit it yourself, came free with the windlass, at the boat show. I agree it seems rather Micky Mouse for such a pricey bit of kit..
 

duncan99210

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I spent a happy couple of days mid Atlantic fitting a chain counter sensor to a Tigress on my mates boat (cat, so the anchor locker was midships...). The magnet was already fitted to a hole drilled in the gypsy. The reed switch sensor came with a sort of bracket to fit to the underside of the gypsy; I managed to position it so as to minimise the chances of a whack from the chain and sea water. Sealing the leads was a problem: I suspect it won’t last long. As others have said, it’s not a well thought out solution and I’d think that there must be a way to fit the reed switch internally in the body of the winch.
 

vas

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As others have said, it’s not a well thought out solution and I’d think that there must be a way to fit the reed switch internally in the body of the winch.

fitting the reed switch Internally you are facing two problems:
A. the whole of the interior casing is full of oil (well not really full, but halfway through) So you got to secure the thing somewhere, and drill a hole to get the cables out! Don't think there's any safe way of doing that.
B. you have a problem selecting where you're going to fit the magnet. You may have the clutch loose, in which case shaft will turn, gipsy, no, measurements lost... Adding it to the shaft is impossible (I think)

Where you placed it is way better to where I have it, and i'll move it down behind the stripper as well. Sealing is an issue, but should be possible. At worse, you may afford a 1-2euro sparepart (the reed) every few years...

V.
 

duncan99210

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fitting the reed switch Internally you are facing two problems:

V.

Vas, I was thinking more of a design feature for the makers than trying to retrofit it! No way I’d be looking to drill gear casings or the like to fit one but it shouldn’t be that difficult to redesign the casing so as to provide a secure mounting for the sensor with an internal path for the wiring.
 

vas

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Vas, I was thinking more of a design feature for the makers than trying to retrofit it! No way I’d be looking to drill gear casings or the like to fit one but it shouldn’t be that difficult to redesign the casing so as to provide a secure mounting for the sensor with an internal path for the wiring.

:D

you are of course right, but don't forget this is a 40yo (at least!) design, original fitting on my boat which was built in 76...
Maybe we are asking too much, they are definitely in the if it's not broken don't fix it camp.
 

Old Bumbulum

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Thanks everyone - but despite all the optimistic and sometimes adventurous ideas none of this affects the fact that Lofrans universally publicises their remote control units as having a chain counter function as one of it's primary features.
This, apparently, despite there being no means of obtaining a chain-rate signal from any of their windlasses...

This seems a bit - er - misleading???
 
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john_morris_uk

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Thanks everyone - but despite all the optimistic and sometimes adventurous ideas none of this affects the fact that Lofrans universally publicises their remote control units as having a chain counter function as one of it's primary features.
This, apparently, despite there being no means of obtaining a chain-rate signal from any of their windlasses...

Whar kind of deception is this???

...any of their windlasses..?

Not true. We bought a Lofrans X2 last year and it came with chain counter ready fitted and wired.
 

Old Bumbulum

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All the chain counters I've found so far use reed switches to generate the counting pulse.

Any electronics people out there who might know if a Hall effect device would work - ie have an output able to trigger the counter? I imagine a solid state device is going to be much longer-lifed than a fatigue-prone reed switch?
Would it need an amplifier to trigger the counter?
 
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BelleSerene

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All the chain counters I've found so far use reed switches to generate the counting pulse.

Any electronics people out there who might know if a Hall effect device would work - ie have an output able to trigger the counter? I imagine a solid state device is going to be much longer-lifed than a fatigue-prone reed switch?
Would it need an amplifier to trigger the counter?

I made an anchor chain counter a couple of years ago with a Chinese digital counter for a few quid. I researched hall-effect sensors for the job as I wanted more than the one pulse per gypsy rev than the windlass’ internal magnetic reed switch would give me. I was going to have to invert its output signal for the counter input and would have used a transistor to do that; as I recall the current draw of the counter wasn’t an issue, but you’re using a different one so I can’t vouch for that.

It was this sort of thing (which might have sorted my polarity issue!): http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-12V-4-...all-Proximity-Switch-Sensor-NPN-/221714536440

In the end though I opted to use the windlass’ existing electromagnetic reed switch. I’d say to the OP, it’s a sealed unit and made for the purpose.

As I needed to increase the pulse frequency (to approximate ten pulses per metre so the displayed count related to chain length paid out) I inserted two more magnets into the gypsy at 120° - but that’s another story.
 

mikegunn

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I’ve just finished installing a Lofrans Cayman windlass coupled with a 503 remote chain counter/actuator. The 503 kit left a lot to be desired. Apart from an instruction to drill a hole in the periphery of the windlass drum and glue a magnet (supplied in kit) into the hole, there was no guidance regarding the sensor, other than ensure that the magnet passed it with a minimal clearance. I finished up fabricating a bracket which fitted over the chain stripper’s mounting studs and held the sensor in the required orientation. Fortunately the windlass is mounted under the cover of the chain locker. This effects a reasonable protection to the sensor and its wiring. If the windlass were deck mounted the setup would be somewhat vulnerable to damage from stray feet, chains or ropes. It was worth the effort though as I can now operate the windlass from anywhere on board and see the amount of chain that has been dispensed. Invaluable when singlehandedly mooring stern-to quaysides in the Mediterranean.
Mike
 
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