With the battery connections made, it was time to test the winch. The plug on the end of the remote cable was different than what I was use to. That's not a bad thing, just a different thing.
The connector plug is keyed and so only engages the socket on the winch housing one way.....trial and error proved to me. If you insert the plug into the socket and rotat it clockwise about 1/8 of a turn, you will hear it click/lock into position. The plug is removed by sliding the small metal locking tab and rotating the plug about 1/8 turn counter-clockwise. (there is a little arrow on the lock that shows which way it slides) It is more difficult describing it than it is actually doing it.
Here is the business end of the winch controller. Personally, I appreciate the OUT and IN on the controller. I realize that the Warn controller uses the little icons to indicate which way the cable is going and that does make for a very universal control and is not language dependent. However, I always have to stop and look at them (with my aging eyes) to see which way I want to move the switch. I can read this one just fine without squinting! Besides that, I'll most likely not have that many non-English reading spotters using my winch remote. If I do, I'm confident that sign language and the arrows will accomplish the task.
I picked up the phone today and called the Phoenix, AZ phone number that was on the owner's manual. I ended up spending about 15 minutes speaking with Bob, who I believe is THE main Bulldog at the office.....at least, that was the impression I got. On a more serious note, I found Bob to be an enthusiastic person who was pretty passionate about his business. I passed along some feedback and got to ask a few questions.
Question #1: Can the winch remote connector or the connector with some attached cable be purchased? The answer was yes, that could be arranged. I explained that myself, and others, often time like to wire an in-cab controller. By using the factory connector at the winch, it can be easily unplugged and the regular controller plugged in when needed. That lead to some discussion about in-cab controllers, etc.
Question #2: Have you considered using SAE hardware versus the metric mounting hardware. The answer was yes, it was considered and no, the metric will continue to be shipped. Bob felt the slightly larger metric hardware was a good thing and has found from personal experience that many brands of mounting plates handle his hardware without issue. He mentioned that his recent trip to Moab for the 2007 Easter Jeep Safari found him selling a winch to a person who had for certain a Warn manufactured winch mounting plate. Those holes were just slightly undersized (as were mine) for the Bulldog mounting hardware.
We discussed synthetic line, tree savers, and a few other topics before the conversation was ended. Since Bulldog is a local Phoenix company, I believe I'll have to stop by and pay Bob a visit in person. I heard he has a killer 3K winch that works well as a TJ suspension suck down winch.
That is about it for now......not much else I can say until I get out to the trail and pull some cable to see how it works. As I said, I'll be reporting back what I discover. Bob insisted that I let him know how it performed and to let him know if there were any issues, areas for improvement, etc. As I said earlier, he is serious about his company and I've no doubt he means to improve his product line where ever he can.
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