capstan

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capstan

1. a machine with a drum that rotates round a vertical spindle and is turned by a motor or lever, used for hauling in heavy ropes, etc.
2. any similar device, such as the rotating shaft in a tape recorder that pulls the tape past the head

Capstan

 

a ship’s winch with a vertical drum for lowering and hoisting the anchor, taking up the slack in mooring lines, lowering fishnets and trawls, and the like. Capstans may be operated manually or by steam, electric, or hydraulic drives. The drives are usually set below deck.

capstan

[′kap·stən]
(engineering)
A shaft which pulls magnetic tape through a machine at constant speed.
(naval architecture)
A rotating vertical spindle-mounted drum on which cable is wound for raising an anchor or other heavy weight.

capstan

On magnetic tape drives, a motorized cylinder that traps the tape against a free-wheeling roller and moves it at a regulated speed.