How To Convert a 12 Volt Winch To 120 Volt

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022

When there’s a need for power, it most often works best to have both large current flows, but in low voltage ranges. A 12v winch to a 120v power on AC, DC, or both current lines. The voltage can vary based on the rated supply which mostly comes between 100 to 250 or more.

While the 12v winch can draw for up to 200 amps, changing the power source will need an external circuit to be fitted on the perf board. So, how to convert a 12 volt winch to 120 volt? Stay with us till the end to find that out.

How To Convert a 12 Volt Winch To 120 Volt

As there’s the AC and DC current line, converting the 12v winch to a higher voltage is easy with a step-down converter which you need to get. Here’s how to change 12v to 120v power in the winch.

Converting 12 Volt AC Winch To 120 Volt AC Current

Powering the 12v AC winch to change the power supply to a 120v AC line will require a variable circuit like a power converter (step-down).

There are a lot of power converters that do a great job to alter the 12v winch to 120v power like – the LVYAN 3000W or GEARGO 230W power converters.  

Converting 12 Volt DC Winch To 120 Volt DC Current

You can verily convert the 12v winch to a 120v winch if it’s a DC line using a chopper or boost converter. If it’s your first time hearing the circuit, well it helps to convert the fixed current to a variable DC line.

So, what’s the Chopper? It is a DC equivalent of an AC transformer that can change the current line in step up or down form.

And, if it’s about converting 12v DC winch to 120v DC current with the chopper circuit, then the rule would be:

Voltage = Source of Voltage/ (1 – Duty Cycle)

Now, you want 120v current from the source of the 12v winch that has a specific duty cycle, suppose 0.91 (since the value of duty cycle is less than 1).

In this situation, the voltage would be 132v by calculating the 12v/ (1 – 0.91). So that means, you can convert the DC current to higher volts but with the chopper.

Bear in mind that the duty cycle can be determined based on 2 things:

  1. The amount of the unit’s rated weight in percentage. 
  2. The duration where the unit runs carrying the load.

Converting 12 Volt DC Winch To 120 Volt AC Current

When trying to change the DC power to AC, you might need a step-up converter. Use the circuit on the left side of a perf board. Then, simply organize the 4 diodes to the right side of the transformer. Be sure the 4 diodes look similar to diamond shape.

After that, insert the step-up converter on the edges (left and right side) in the 4 diodes. Adjust the wires and capacitor filter in the right way.

Link the red and black wire in the step-down converter to the 120v AC power source. Check the connection and electrical connection using the multimeter to finish the procedure.

How To Convert a 12 Volt Winch To 120 Volt

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you convert DC to AC power?

Converting a DC winch to AC power is possible if using an inverter. Thanks to the tiny circuit’s help, it will change the DC (direct current) voltage to the AC (alternative current). Quite the opposite of the rectifier.

Can you power a winch with a battery charger?

It is possible! To power the winch using the vehicle battery charger,  it might need to have an alternator attached to the winch as an auxiliary battery.

Can you run a 12V winch on 120V?

Yes, you can! However, only if you use the practical technique to do it in the right way which we have mentioned above.

Wrap Up

After knowing how to convert a 12 volt winch to 120 volts, you can now comfortably change the power source. You may need a converter or chopper circuit, but they are available in the market at low prices and in different sizes.

Hope this guide helped you a little to try the direction or gain ideas. Don’t be afraid and focus on improving the power supply of the winch, we’re sure you will get there, good luck.  

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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