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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

capstan

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


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