|This page covers the questions most often asked about the WindupKeys.
Q. Where did you get this idea?
A. During a moment of strange thinking in my youth.
Q. How fast do the motorized versions turn?
A. About 30-50 revolutions per minute. The animation on the home page is very similar to the actual speed. Up to 100 revolutions per minute motors are available as an option.
Q. How much power do the motorized versions use?
A. Less than 0.1 amperes during normal operation. Up to a maximum of 0.7 ampere when stalled.
Q. What if the motorized versions get stuck?
A: There is an internal thermal circuit breaker that turns the motor off. This circuit breaker automatically resets after the unit is turned off and cools down.
Q. Which way do the motorized versions turn?
A. They can be connected to turn either direction, but the preferred direction is counter-clockwise which is the direction that a normal spring wound motor unwinds itself.
Q. Do I have to drill holes?
A. Not on most vehicles. In case it is required any drilled holes will be under some body trim piece or emblem that can be replaced later to cover up the holes. Ask about specific cars if they are not mentioned on the "Models" page.
Q. Are they hard to install?
A. If you have some mechanical ability and simple hand tools (screwdriver, wrench, and pliers) you can install them in less than an hour. Some of the non-motorized versions can be installed without removing any body parts.
Q. Do you have recommended installers?
A. No, but any good mechanic should be able to install it using the complete installation instructions supplied. If you live in the Arizona area it may be possible for me to install the key for you instead of charging for shipping.
A. The motor and gearbox are warranted for 6 months and the complete key is warranted for 1 year.
Q. How long to get one?
A. If not in stock, it usually takes 4-6 weeks to build one from scratch. Less time if some of the parts are already in stock. I contract out the machining of the "key tabs," the welding of the key and shaft and the powder coating of the external parts which are the longest leadtime items. Add-on or special features can add more time. Check the "Ordering" page for more details.
Q. How do I order one?
A. Click on the ordering tab on the navigation bar to the left for more details. Keys are considered "ordered" when a $50 deposit has been made to start the unit and hold its place in the next building sequence. Demand has usually exceeded the rate at which I can make these, so you need to secure a place in the sequence. Balance is due when key is ready to ship.
Q. What forms of payment are accepted?
A. Payments can be made by PayPal to my "firstname.lastname@example.org" account; or by check/money order to the snail mail address on the "Contacts" page. I do not accept any credit cards directly. Credit cards may be used when paying through PayPal.
Q. How about wind powered units?
A. At one time I built wind powered units, but found that they cannot be predictable as to when they turn or in which direction they will turn. It was very dependent on the speed of the vehicle, crosswinds and whether there were nearby trucks/cars. So I still offer these, but now call them a "free turning" model which have a combination of a brass bushing and a ball bearing and can easily spin. They may turn in the wind while moving, but I cannot guarantee the type, direction or speed of their motion. I strongly recommend the motorized versions for the best effect!
Q. How about simple magnetic mounts?
A. I have tried these and find them to be unreliable for normal driving. The problem is that the variations in paint thickness and the types of metal alloys used for rust protection in modern cars give varied "holding" power and can result in the key falling or flying off and possibly causing damage to the car or to nearby persons or objects. Therefore I ONLY supply these with the strict understanding that I expect the user to only use them in low speed parades or static car displays at car shows. Use otherwise is totally the responsibility of the buyer.
Q. How about simple suction cup mounts?
A. Similar to magnetic mounts above. The suction cup only works as long as there
is no leakage path which can result in the key falling or flying off. These are actually
worse than the magnetic type because they can leak at any time. Therefore I do
not supply these as either a standard or special order item. Please do not ask for one.