WhirlyReeler Base Unit

WhirlyReeler’s design (UK patent GB2589123 – international patents applied for) allows the following unique combination of features:

  • The cable itself is un-broken between moving and static end – there is no slip ring, that could potentially degrade delicate audio or fast data.
  • The cable is reeled in a single layer onto accurately-made helically-grooved drums for very precise and repeatable positioning.
  • The drop point for the cable remains stationary during the reeling process – it is a so-called ‘zero-fleet’ winch. So the unit may be located directly over a small hole in an auditorium ceiling for example, with the cable dropping directly downwards.
  • When fully ‘unwound’ the mechanism retains virtually no cable. Potentially important where data protocols limit the transmission distance, or delicate audio signals could degrade with long runs of cable
  • We can adapt the mechanism design for virtually any cable size, stroke and load combination.
  • The design permits use of all the safety features that are required for suspension of loads over people.
    For example:

    • Two independent brakes, with brake operation sensors.
    • Direct-struck, positive-break limit switches.
    • An absolute encoder, mechanically keyed to the motor shaft.
    • The option of fitting a secondary encoder allowing SIL 3 speed monitoring.
    • Cable tension sensing using motor torque.
    • The option of fitting a secondary cable tension sensor allowing SIL 3 load monitoring.
    • Crossed-groove detection.
    • Slack Cable detection (as well as, or in place of, tension sensing).
  • In most configurations the motor is directly connected, there is no high speed motor gearbox. Resulting in very quiet operation.
  • The device can be optionally configured to act in ‘tension mode’, so a load can be balanced, and moved by hand.
  • A flexible control architecture so the reelers can be integrated into a client’s host controller or can be controlled by our own system, as required.
  • The typical control system allows users to group reelers so three lines (or more) can lift a microphone frame (such a ‘Decca Tee’) with multiple microphones.
  • A separate ‘manual pendent’ controller can be plugged into a reeler and permit local operation without the main network being connected.

The model illustrated has the following performance specification:

  • Stroke 25 metres (plus 1m over-travel at top and 1m over-travel at bottom).
  • Working load limit 5.5 kg (plus cable self-weight so 7 kg on the winch in total).
  • Speed 1.2 ms-1
  • Self-weight without cable c. 45 kg (this includes all local control, but excludes host control and power supply equipment).
  • Size 391 x 395 x 945 mm. The unit can be oriented either ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’ mode – depending on space availability.
  • Accepts cable diameters up to 7.5mm.

Below is a short video of WhirlyReeler.