Clutch Mechanism

Hi All,
I'm looking for a expertise in distributed power, that is, a multiple cable pulling system working off of one main motor or engine, that works with
clutches or other mechanical means.
Any ideas? People?
Brad Smallridge AiVision
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Brad Smallridge wrote:

IBM typewriters (and probably others) used to use spring clutches.
Take a continuously revolving shaft, wrap a spring round the shaft. Connect one end to something to be driven.
Now, if you move the other end of the spring in the opposite direction, the spring tightens on the drive shaft and is driven round. Kind of difficult to describe, but a very simple idea.
This way, a small solenoid can control quite a lot of power. These gadgets are also pretty quick, inertia is low.
Drive is only one direction of course, but there are plenty of solutions to that ...
YMMV
Dave
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I never new anything like that was used in typewriters ! Sounds like a very interesting mechanism.
I have had a similar idea in mind for years based on the principle of the capstan - the rotating, indented shafts that are used on ships to hall them in to a harbor wall. Anyway the capstan is a device which amplifies the force pulling on a rope. It means that you could use a bunch of small servo or stepper motors to control much larger pulling forces. The key to doing it successfully would probably be accurate measurement of the large forces and incorporation of these measurements in a feedback control loop. My guess is the big disadvantage would be wear and tear on the cables involved. It is also difficult to effect correct tensioning of the low force side. If the tension is not well controlled then 'sticking' can make the system unstable and difficult to control. I have always thought that materials science should come to the rescue and give us good materials for the capstans and cables that would reduce these problems. Maybe by using springs IBM has done just that.
The advantages of a multiple capstan system are - -one big motor can make all of its force available on any single cable . -the motor's power can be shared between multiple cables simultaneously. -much lighter than using lots of big motors if all cables are not in operation simultaneously. -output is linear instead of rotary, very handy in robotics.
There is also the double-capstan which can pull in both directions.
If your Google-fu is strong you can find the maths of capstans and a few control projects on the web.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

.. > There is also the double-capstan which can pull in both directions.
That's a well known form of mechanical amplifier. It was used in early Sperry autopilots and in the Bush Differential Analyzer.
It belongs to the list of "clunky things people had to do before amplifiers worked", along with Ward-Leonard drives, thyatrons, and amplidynes.
                    John Nagle
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I know about capstans. I have a patent on this topic. And the wear and tear issue can be addressed with suitable materials.
But I was not aware they were used in IBM typewriters. Can you tell me where these are found?
Also, I am not aware of a capstan that pulls in both directions. The double capstans, I am aware of, use two drums to avoid the cables from tangling.
Brad Smallridge AiVision
wrote:

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Dave wrote:

Electromechanical clutches are widely available. See
http://www.ogura-clutch.com/products/industrial/howtheywork/electromagnetic-clutch.html
If you like purely mechanical solutions, see Camco,
http://www.camcoindex.com/products.htm
Their stuff is boring, reliable, and rock-solid.
What's the scale you're talking about? Are you feeding thread through a loom, or driving winches for docking a ship?
                    John Nagle
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http://www.ogura-clutch.com/products/industrial/howtheywork/electromagnetic-clutch.html
Thank you. These are sites I haven't seen.

I am looking for strokes of a few inches and forces ranging from 3 to 100 lbs. If you look at my old hand design on my website, and envision the rest of the body, you can get a good idea of where I want to go with this.
Brad Smallridge AiVision
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