Technical Glossary


Technical Glossary

Our technical glossary serves as a supplementary reference to our Winch Requirements form.

It defines terms that may be unfamiliar to first-time winch buyers so we can have helpful and productive discussions about your particular winch application needs.



Cable Types

"Cable" is a general term used to refer to what's wound onto the drum of a winch, which is typically fiber rope, wire rope, or a cable with conductors carrying electrical power or data to the payload.

Sharing the type of cable you expect to use with your winch can help us better assess how we can meet your application needs.



Conductors in a cable carry power and/or data signals to a payload. Common conductors include regular wire conductors, coax conductors, or fiber optics.

If your payload requires a cable with conductors, or if you already know what conductor cable you want to use, let us know how many conductors there will be and of what type so we can help specify an appropriate slip ring to match.


Minimum Bend Radius

Some cables, usually those with conductors, will specify that they should not be bent beyond a certain radius. Bending them tighter than the minimum bend radius can de-rate the cable's rated working load capacity and life expectancy over time.

Bending cables tighter than their minimum bend radius can de-rate their rated working load capacity and life expectancy over time. It is important to check for and let us know what your cable's minimum bend radius is so we can design the winch's drum to suit it.


Soft vs Armored Cable

This refers to a conductor cable's jacket construction.

Armored cables have a metal sheathing inside their jacket, or are wrapped in strands of steel wire to help the cable support higher loads. It's often used in applications with payloads towed behind boats.

Soft cable is much easier to bend than armored cable. If its jacket includes load-bearing fibers to increase the cable's rated working load capacity, these fibers are typically a soft fibrous material like Kevlar rather than the stiff steel wires used in armored cables. Some soft cables have no load-bearing fibers and therefore have a very low rated working load capacity.



Power Sources on Site

The type of electrical power source(s) available at a winch's intended point-of-use site can sometimes limit how powerful of a winch can be used.

It is very important to know the magnitude of voltage available (e.g. 24V, 120V, etc.), type of voltage available (AC or DC), and whether AC power source are either single- or three-phase. If known, it's also helpful to specify power or current limits for each source if known.

Example:   Site has 48VDC at 100 amps; 230VAC 1-ph at 15 amps; and 400VAC 3-ph at 25 amps.


Slip Rings

A slip ring is used to transmit electrical power or data signals between stationary equipment on the ground and the cable and the payload attached to the rotating drum.

If the cable on the winch was connected directly to stationary equipment without a slip ring, the cable would twist as the drum rotates.

Here is a helpful video about the basics of slip rings:



Collapsible Boom Attachment

Our collapsible boom attachment is an optional add-on that can be directly integrated into some winch models to provide a small light-duty A-frame that can support a sheave. It can be useful for light-duty hydrographic applications, or can be configured like a tripod for borehole applications.