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How do I connect to kill three winches via a FIA kill switch?????

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Does anyone have a wiring diagram for wiring a FIA kill switch that will kill the engine and also the winches which I believe is a MSA rule for extreme challenge events? The FIA kill switch is easy to wire/connect it’s the supplies to the three winches.

 

There must be an easy way to do this? As all extreme boys must have this, for the life of me I can’t see an easy way to do this without a load of bits contactors etc etc etc

 

I have the three winches through isolators but want/think they should all be controlled via ONE kill switch or am I wrong? I am running two alternators.

 

I am in the process of tiding up the wiring on the landy hence asking the question.

 

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the rule was written previously as requiring 1 kill switch for everything, however that wasnt really achievable,
 

i believe its since been rewritten to allow 2 kill switches, at the moment i run a 12v switched isolator for my winches & a mechanical one for the vehicle, switch the mechanical one off & the winch one drops also

 

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It was rewritten to allow two switches and also to make it clear that you could also use a solenoid to isolate the winches. IMV the latter is always the best option, use an Albright single pole solenoid for each winch next to the battery (you could use 1 for more than 1 winch but I prefer to keep everything independent), that way you can easily wire it so it will only activate when the ignition is on (turning off the ignition removes power from all winches), have a master switch on the dash that disables all winches, fed from the ignition,  and when you turn the power off with your FIA switch the winches are also isolated. One master switch kills everything, engine and winches, without putting too much current through the FIA switch.

I was responsible for the regulation amendment although the MSA modified the wording slightly which, IMV, made it less clear but that's their job !

Prior to the regulation change nobody complied with the regulation as it was worded, more the "spirit" of the regulation.

Edit... sorry, nobody running electric winches I should have said !

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1 hour ago, Dave W said:

Prior to the regulation change nobody complied with the regulation as it was worded, more the "spirit" of the regulation.

 

I'm sorry to say that statement is not true, for many years my winches and car were all isolated by one FIA master switch and I guess most peoples setups were.
The clarity on using solenoids helped this argument.

As long as you powered your winch solenoids off the FIA master switch then all electric winches were isolated via one switch, as the nature of all switches are as electrical isolators.
The regulations never stated the distance the isolator had to be from the battery positive terminals or the type.
Adding an additional set of albright contactors as a solution is just moving the isolation point slightly closer to the battery and on most twin motor setups is lowering safety, as most people tend to only run 1 power cable to the winch contactors (usually 2) this means you are doubling the max possible load of this additional isolator (which can already be over it's rated current carrying capacity) to up to over 10 times it's rated capacity. Thus leading to possible failure of the isolator switch (usually in the non isolated position).

Given problems of using under rated components I also ran backup manual isolators which had high current ratings.

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I saw one setup on here which used a solid bar to link three FIA switches together, which was effectively one switch, kill one and it killed them all.

Also seen a bowden cable version of the same.

That all said, one FIA switch feeding the separate solenoids for the winches is going to be tidiest.

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3 hours ago, zardos said:

I'm sorry to say that statement is not true, for many years my winches and car were all isolated by one FIA master switch and I guess most peoples setups were.
The clarity on using solenoids helped this argument.

As long as you powered your winch solenoids off the FIA master switch then all electric winches were isolated via one switch, as the nature of all switches are as electrical isolators.
The regulations never stated the distance the isolator had to be from the battery positive terminals or the type.
Adding an additional set of albright contactors as a solution is just moving the isolation point slightly closer to the battery and on most twin motor setups is lowering safety, as most people tend to only run 1 power cable to the winch contactors (usually 2) this means you are doubling the max possible load of this additional isolator (which can already be over it's rated current carrying capacity) to up to over 10 times it's rated capacity. Thus leading to possible failure of the isolator switch (usually in the non isolated position).

Given problems of using under rated components I also ran backup manual isolators which had high current ratings.

The MSA technical committee specifically stated that that did NOT meet the regulations and this was confirmed by the MSA cross country committee and Ian Davis in November, 2010, I have the letter from the MSA confirming this somewhere if you really want to see it. I suggested that the winch solenoid could be interpreted as an isolator providing it was controlled via the FIA switch, as you describe. This was rejected out of hand by the MSA at the time and their view has not changed. The technical committee felt that the winch solenoids had to be isolated under the existing regulation. When the regulation stated that ALL electrical items should be isolated from the battery by a single switch, they included winch solenoids in those "electrical items". I had an, at times, quite heated "discussion" with the MSA regarding the implementation of the new challenge regs and it's taken 6 years for then to finally agree and amend the regulations.

Similarly, another "trick" that people use to make the FIA switch easier is to wire the alternator direct to the battery, this also doesn't meet the regs then or now.

Just because you weren't pulled up at scrutineering doesn't mean it met the regs, the fact that you couldn't actually meet the letter of the regs regardless of setup meant that most scrutineers simply ignored them. How many people were running illegal D shackles, for example, prior to the regulation change ? Come to that, how many people are still using really old D shackles that have now been made illegal as a result of the regulation change !

The new regulation also doesn't allow the winch solenoid to be the only means of isolating the winch btw.

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Yes the new wording in 2017 specifically excludes that setup and forces people to use less safe setups (which is bad).
But up to that change in 2017 I say people compiled (If a committee makes a decision but then does not act to change the regulations then I don't expect people to have to comply with that decision until the regulations were updated).

The fact that the original and current regs still use poor vague terms is still bad.

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16 hours ago, Dave W said:

 

The new regulation also doesn't allow the winch solenoid to be the only means of isolating the winch btw.

Just to clarify my above comment on this, I was referring to separate solenoids inline with the winch solenoid (so effectively have two kill points already), and then the FIA switch kills the switching feed to the first solenoid, which is of course wired right next to the battery with shortest possible cable run!

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So most people will replace their manual backup isolators which are usually rated at 250A with solenoid versions rated at 100A and are thus more likely to get welded shut and thus stop functioning as isolators (a great safety improvement there - not)

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Thanks, it's been a while since I looked and previously there only seem to be 100A version of that available.

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Most modern competition (electric winches) are pulling far more than 250amps under load; and as most are over geared they are under load a lot more

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Absolutely right, for completeness, here's the ratings at various duty cycles:

Thermal Current Rating 100%
250A

Intermittent Current Rating
30% Duty     450A
40% Duty     390A
50% Duty     360A
60% Duty     320A
70% Duty     300A

I'm suspicious even he most abuseful wincher would not be pulling continuously at full load, not least because the alternator would have a hard time keeping the batteries topped up!

If pulling 500A, 100A of which coming the alternator, so 400A, I can imagine you are not going to get more than 10 minutes full load pulling giving the poor thing a chance to recuperate for a good while, while the batteries do the same.

I think it is probably fit for purpose in this case.

 

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Ok - I'm fine with that... I use a 1000amp/48 Volt marine shut off; just because I can and it looks nice

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Ooh shiny 8) 

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I was dubious at first but if you compare the ratings of the single pole solenoids with the ratings of the winch control solenoids that people have been using for 20 years, you'll see that they are rated pretty much identically.

It's a while since I researched it but from memory if you download the Albright specification sheets for both there's nothing to choose between them. I don't pretend to fully understand the ratings as I have an electronics background, not electrical. Many of the current specifications are to do with switching current and not passing current and much of that is voltage related and indicates, as I understand it, the current and voltage that the devices can switch, not what they can pass. As an example, if a circuit is passing 300A and you open the switch at that point, especially with higher voltages, the contacts can be damaged as the contact areas separate from each other. The transition between 0 ohms and infinite ohms in the contacts is not instant and for the fractions of a second in between the current can arc between them. That's not to say that 300A is the maximum it can pass, it's what it can switch. In a cut off solenoid the chances are it will never switch anything like the current that a winch control solenoid might.

I spent many hours pouring over data sheets and talking to control gear experts that deal with this stuff all the time and the conclusion was that I was worrying too much about it. Having run this setup for many, many years I've never had a solenoid fail although I've been through a few winch control solenoids in that time.

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Re: the failures you mention above....

Obviously the isolators are switched much less often than a winch solenoid, they are also likely to be in a nice warm, dry-ish battery box rather than stuck on the front of the truck buried in a swamp, so pretty understandable the winch solenoids fail more often than the isolators. Secondly the winch solenoids are switching at high current, but the isolators are generally only switching when there is no current flow at all... they have a very easy life in comparison.

Your other bits surrounding switching current, rated current etc is all valid, and can give you a headache for sure.

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Probably the key spec for the isolator is :-

Typical fault currents which can be ruptured
(5ms time constant)
Without Blowouts     1500A at 48V D.C.
With Blowouts     2500A at 48V D.C.
With Blowouts     1500A at 80V D.C.

Given that Warn quote up to 500A as the max current from one of their XP motors, then with a twin motor winch that could mean having to break 1000A (Yes unlikely to ever be that high given alternator(s) supply and battery supply (though batteries usually have a high enough CCA to get there for short periods)).

Also the current required is proportional to effort the winch is having to apply so the average is going to be lower.

Also I have had an isolator fail because it was in a warm and dry battery box where the winch solenoids were OK, because the solenoids were in free air/swamp :-) which is better cooled than a closed battery box. This is because a lot of the current rating comes from the products ability to dissipate the heat generate by carrying large currents.

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