We have used them for our lift systems for years and have always supported the shafts; however, this year it would save room if we didn’t need to support the shaft
It’s hard to say without seeing the design…how close to the gearbox bearing is the load? how big is the load?
We’re contemplating using one this year again, and it might be difficult to put the bearing where we have in the past, so we might extend the shaft with a thick coupler, and support it at the end of the new shaft.
We are using it for a winch drum, so the load is fairly close to the output bearing. Weight of the robot is around 100 lbs.
That’s what we plan to do also…try it and let us know how it works out…
In 2018 we made a drum that was narrow enough that we could use the bearing on the end of the shaft. Might try that again this year.
I don’t think side-loading a planetary output shaft with 100lbs is going to be healthy for it regardless of the position of the load on the shaft. Planetary gearboxes are particularly sensitive to radial loads. IMHO you’re asking for trouble not supporting it
We put our winch together today. Added the bearing block right next to the gearbox, and the spool after that. Hopefully it’ll survive…there’s cantilever loading on the shaft, but it’s supported by two ball bearings between the cantilevered load and the planetary assembly.
We’ve decided to go a different route. A homemade version of the AndyMark lift kit using PVC tubes as the telescope to attach hooks and Sport gearboxes and Falcons to retract.
I like the drum, what is it made of?
Some oil impregnated plastic we used for chain tensioners many years ago. It’s a really hokey setup, but it might work…we installed the key by drilling a 1/8" hole half in the shaft keyway and half in the plastic, then tapping the square key into place.