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Anybody Build their Own Spreader Control Box???

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by EvenCutLawnCare, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Maybe im missing something but it seems that with some heavy duty toggle/rocker swithes and variable speed switches that a person could build the own spreder controller....? Anybody attempted this?
  2. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I did it for a western 1000 last year. got a HD rheostat from the auto parts store, a lighted toggle, a "project box" at radio shack and a computer cooling fan. It worked pretty well. But it did get really hot, even with the fan, should have used a bigger box and fan to increase air flow around the rheostat. It cost me about 45 dollars all done and is still working today.
  3. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Awesome! thanks for the quick reply....I just cant justify spending 500+ bucks on a new one to replace my junk Snowex. I also got a great deal on two more spreaders without controlleras for my other truck so Id rather not drop 1500 bucks on controllers and harnesses if I dont Have to! Got any pics of the one you buuilt?
  4. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    No........sorry. But it took about an hour to put together. Like I said, make sure you use a big enough box to not crowd anything, wires will become really hot and may fuse together. If you'll be running these alot, 2 would be a good idea in case one fails.
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    you can build them with the reostate.

    another option is to use a 3 way toggle switch, and ceramic resistors... you can play with the resistance to find the 3 settings that you like.. after all, im pretty sure most of us do that anyway with our dials....that is find a number or a setting we like and stick with it for the most part. By doing this you can make it happen for less than 20 bucks, and put the resistors out side the truck to keep cool. i did one for a friend 6 years aog, basicly he had a low/med/ high settings. Low was the width of the truck, med was about 3 feet to each side of the truck, high was no resitance, just dirrect 12 volts

    The bad side, highly consider this, the control boxes you purchase, come with a built in circit protection to PROTECT your motors on your spreader...so yeah save 400 bucks now on your control, and spend it later when your spreader jams up and the motors burn up.....just a consideration for you.

    a reverse switch is a nice thing to add to remove jams

    most controller do this automatticly, but if you make your own its a good idea to start the spreader on high, then lower the speed. if not you can burn up the motor. you can build a circutit with a resistor, and capacitor and a relay to do this , for you.

    also, the reosate will generat some heat, but not enough to the put that it will fuse the wires. your wires are either too small or your reostat is not rated to handel the amps. some heat is normall, if your too the point that things are burning up, your not useing the proper material. Western use to sell a ceramic reostat. it was pretty large, but never put on too much heat. your talking a good way to cause a fire. With the spreader on full, no added reistance, that is the most current (amps) that yoru spreader will draw (with salt in the hopper ,under load) /.....thus that shoud be as hot as things get. adding a reistance or a veriable resistance (reostat) will make the current draw go down, and produce less heat.... if yours is getting warm, i would check your reostat for its rating. 30amps, 12-14 volts, = 420 WATTS your parts, wires, switches ...ALL need to rate higher than EACH of these three numbers.

    this may be hard to find a resistor rated to handel this many watts, so you can use a few in parrelle. If any one wants the math lesson on OHMS law, on series and parrelle circuits , i will gladly post it
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009