N01. Ratchet and Pawl Mechanism
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The ratchet and pawl mechanism allows motion in one direction but locks it in the other direction. In this sense it acts in the same way as a diode in an electrical circuit or a check value in a water pipe. The ratchet and pawl was often used with a winch or windlass, a horizontal drum with a rope or cable attached, which allowed the rope to be wound onto the cylinder but prevented the cylinder from unwinding the rope.

Reference :
Loeffler, Kent (Technician)