HowTo: WinDIY – assemble pitch actuator

One component that is intended to make WinDIY safer is the pitch actuator.

This allows the angle of attack of the wing to be changed using a push rod. In an emergency (e.g. if the speed is too high), the angle of attack can be changed so that the wind can no longer transfer sufficient energy to the blades.

In this way, the speed can be effectively reduced, especially in strong winds.

The structure of the pitch actuator is described in the following article.

Safety instructions

I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble.

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Helpful articles:
In addition to the parts and tools, all you need to assemble the pitch actuator is patience and a few simple skills. You can find tips on the individual steps in the following articles:
Mechanics – cutting internal threads

Necessary tools:

Hot glue gun
3D Printer
Allen wrench
Soldering iron

Material required:

In the list below you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

4xM3x50 countersunk head screw
6xM3x25 countersunk screw
2xM3x16 countersunk head screw
15xM3 nut
2xM3 grub screw
1x603ZZ ball bearings
1x606ZZ ball bearings
1xM6 mother
3xM3x40 cylinder head screw
1x3-6V gear motor
about 10cmHeat shrink tubing
about 1mCable (various colors)
1xB103 B10K Ohm Potentiometer 10K 75mm SC6080GH

The required parts

In the picture you can see the parts required.

The plastic parts shown can be found in the Nerdiy GitHub. Here:

I printed the parts with the following settings.

  • Perimeter: 5
  • Infill: 30%

The screws should preferably be made of stainless steel so that they do not rust due to moisture.

Preparation of the individual components

Before you can begin assembling the entire pitch actuator unit, you should first prefabricate a few smaller components. For example the drive wheel and its carrier.

The drive wheel is supported on one side by a 603ZZ ball bearing. On the other hand, it is mounted on the motor axis of the drive motor.

First you need the parts shown in the picture.

Then insert the ball bearing into the corresponding recess on the front of the gear as shown.

Make sure the gear is as level as possible in the recess.

Seen from the side, the ball bearing should barely protrude from the gear.

In order to be able to attach the gear to the motor axle later, you should now screw in the two grub screws as shown.

You may need to thread the holes first. How you can do this is described in the following article: HowTo: Mechanics - Cutting internal threads

Seen from above, this is what it should look like.

Make sure you screw in the screws as shown (not too far).

The transmission carrier is now prepared. To do this you need the parts shown.

Insert the screw into the transmission carrier as shown.

You can then screw on the nut on the other side.

Close-up of unscrewed nut.

For an initial test, you can screw the screw in completely.

Other opinion.

Later you will have to loosen the screw again to insert the gear.

Assembly of the prepared parts

Now you can start with the actual assembly.

For final assembly you now need the previously prepared components and the remaining parts shown.

First you need to insert the M3 nuts into the base of the pitch actuator as shown.

Close view of the inserted M3 nut.

Another close-up view of the inserted M3 nut.

Another close-up view of the inserted M3 nut.

Next you need to insert the M3 screws into the gearbox carrier as shown.

Until they look out of the transmission carrier on the opposite side.

You can then insert the gear carrier into the base of the pitch actuator as shown…

... And screw it together with the M3 nuts previously inserted.

Another view of the screw connections.

Once screwed together, the whole thing should look like this.

Now you need to insert the previously prepared gear into the carrier.

To do this, you may need to loosen the bolt from the gearbox carrier again.

The gear can now be inserted into the recess as shown.

Then you can screw the screw back into the gear carrier and thus into the ball bearing hole in the gear.

To store the gear on the other side, you now need the parts shown.

First, insert the ball bearing into the recess in the base as shown.

The axle carrier shown can then be fitted through the ball bearing...

... into the gear.

Another view of the axle carrier in place.

You can then screw the inserted axle support onto the gear using the prepared M3 grub screws.

Additional view.

Install gear motor

In order to be able to drive the gear later, a motor is of course needed. You can see how this is installed in the following paragraph.

To do this you will first need the parts shown.

Now first insert the axle of the geared motor into the axle carrier.

The motor should then be in the base as shown.

To ensure that it stays in place, you can now screw it into the base using the screws shown.

To do this, insert the screws into the motor housing as far as they will go.

The screws are screwed on the back with the inserted M3 nuts.

Once assembled, the whole thing should now look like this.

In order to have an anchor point for the shaft to adjust the pitch angle, you now have to fix an M6 nut in the base.

You will need the parts shown for this.

First insert three M3 nuts into the base as shown.

The M6 nut is then inserted as shown.

Once installed, it should look like this.

To prevent the M6 nut from falling out, you can secure it with the plate shown.

To do this, screw the plate to the base.

View of the finished screwed plate.

Connection of the pitch actuator to the base plate

So that you can mount the pitch actuator correctly, you must mount it on a base plate. This is described in the following paragraph.

You will need the parts shown for this.

Now insert four M3 nuts into the base of the pitch actuator as shown.

With the help of four M3 screws you can now attach the base plate...

…screw it to the base of the pitch actuator.

Once screwed together, the whole thing should look like this.

View of the other side.

Attach cables and install sliding resistance

In this step, the cables are attached to the motor and the sliding resistor - which can later be used to read in the pitch position - is glued in.

In this picture, the supply lines for the geared motor are already soldered on.

I strongly recommend securing the connection contacts with some hot glue after soldering.

Not just so that the contacts are electrically insulated. But also to protect the fragile contact lugs from mechanical stress caused by bending.

Now it's time to wire the sliding resistor.

As you can see, this one is already wired.

To do this you will need three cables and three pieces of shrink tubing approx. two cm long.

On the page shown, the contact of the wiper is connected to a cable.

On the other side, the two contacts of the resistor are each connected to a line.

Close view of the connected resistor contacts.

Close-up view of the connected wiper contact.

Other view.

You can also attach an adapter to the grinder.

Simply place it on the metal surface of the grinder.

Close-up view of the adapter attached to the metal surface of the grinder.

After the sliding resistor is wired, you can glue it into the holder provided with a drop of hot glue.

The cables should run out of the holder as shown.

The construction of the pitch actuator is now complete.

Other view.

Other view.

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary.
Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂

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