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Old 01-12-2016, 11:33 AM
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To all owners of Smittybilt X20 winch

If you have Smittybilt X20 winch unhook the battery now. The wireless remote control can pick up electrical interference and reel out or in on it's own. I first noticed this a couple of months ago, but just thought something had got on the remote in the glove box. The cable had reeled in squeezing the urethane cable stop into the roller fair lead. Then it happen again, I was walking up to my jeep and the winch started reeling out cable by itself. Good thing I wasn't driving down the road.
Good new is Smittyblit will replace at no charge ( imagine that!) the complete control box, cable, and handheld remote. The new control box has switch on the side to cut all power when not in use. I would think it should be a safety recall at minimal. Call 310-762-9944

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Old 01-12-2016, 02:32 PM   #2
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Dude, that's nuts. I've been running the first gen of the Smittybilt X20-8 for 4-5 years, which has the wired remote, so no issues here. Never been a fan of wireless winch remotes anyway; don't want to have a battery issue at a crucial time. Glad to hear they're taking care of the issue.

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Old 01-12-2016, 02:54 PM   #3
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Dude, that's nuts. I've been running the first gen of the Smittybilt X20-8 for 4-5 years, which has the wired remote, so no issues here. Never been a fan of wireless winch remotes anyway; don't want to have a battery issue at a crucial time. Glad to hear they're taking care of the issue.

Prepare for the landslide of '...Chinese junk...' and '...should've bought a Warn...' posts.
lmao right?

We see interference issues all the time in newer cars. Hell it happens with TPM systems sometimes. Only so many frequencies that can be used. Prefer wired when possible and logical
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:31 PM   #4
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So that's why the garage door opens every time I use my winch! Ha ha just kidding!
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:37 PM   #5
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So that's why the garage door opens every time I use my winch! Ha ha just kidding!
My Warn opens the garage door and parks the jeep. Then gets me a cold beer.







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Old 01-13-2016, 12:18 PM
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I figured I would get the whole "should have bought a Warn or Buy American" well when you use a winch as little as I do these low priced and cheaper brands do okay. I have to say the two times in two years I've had to pull someone out of a mud hole, oh and also pull a deer up a tree to skin it out, the winch worked fine.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:05 PM   #7
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if you notice on all winches now have an on/off switch for the receiver which eliminates the problem.

FYI - the wireless operates on 315mhz, the same as garage door openers, keyless entry systems, TPMS , millions of different things. Its an open frequency and use throughout the US. unless you spend high $$ for a private frequency, you have to deal with interference. If you look at any electronic device you own there is a warning that it must accept unwanted interference. Its part of the FCC regulations. Even your $$ Mercedes has to deal with interference. Ever come out and see your car doors unlocked or garage door open?
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:09 PM   #8
Knows a couple things...

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They may operate on a common frequency but garage door openers and winch controllers are digitally encoded. That doesn't make them 100% perfect but that digital 'key' that is sent each time the button is pressed makes the communications pretty darned secure.

That said, I won't use a wireless winch controller because I don't like the extra delay that the digital encoding causes.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:16 PM   #9
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They may operate on a common frequency but garage door openers and winch controllers are digitally encoded. That doesn't make them 100% perfect but that digital 'key' that is sent each time the button is pressed makes the communications pretty darned secure.

That said, I won't use a wireless winch controller because I don't like the extra delay that the digital encoding causes.
Not as secure as you would think. I had a nissan remote that regularly opened my neighbors toyota trunk when I unlocked my doors. Go by a car dealer somtime and hold the panic button on your remote and see how many cars doors unlock, or horns honk. You would be suprised.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:01 PM   #10
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Not a problem anymore with the current model

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Originally Posted by jayjeep View Post
If you have Smittybilt X20 winch unhook the battery now. The wireless remote control can pick up electrical interference and reel out or in on it's own. I first noticed this a couple of months ago, but just thought something had got on the remote in the glove box. The cable had reeled in squeezing the urethane cable stop into the roller fair lead. Then it happen again, I was walking up to my jeep and the winch started reeling out cable by itself. Good thing I wasn't driving down the road.
Good new is Smittyblit will replace at no charge ( imagine that!) the complete control box, cable, and handheld remote. The new control box has switch on the side to cut all power when not in use. I would think it should be a safety recall at minimal. Call 310-762-9944
I have the newer one, I guess, that has the power switch on the side so I think I'm safe but thanks for the heads up. Mine didn't come with the "handy magnet" in the remote so I'm contacting customer support about that but otherwise I think this is a phenominal winch. Warn haters be damned, this is a solid, reliable, worth every penny winch and I wouldn't switch it out even if you gave me a free Warn (mostly because I don't want to have to go through the torture of mounting it again but you get my point).

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Old 07-03-2017, 02:09 AM   #11
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Not as secure as you would think. I had a nissan remote that regularly opened my neighbors toyota trunk when I unlocked my doors. Go by a car dealer somtime and hold the panic button on your remote and see how many cars doors unlock, or horns honk. You would be suprised.
I got a steel plate in my head and every time the wife runs the microwave I piss my pants and forget who I am for an hour - cousin Eddie

I just don't understand the wireless remote winch thing. Just one more thing to go wrong. Why complicate an already potentially complicated situation?

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