Help with zee yarn ball winder!!

*sigh*. I am hoping that someone can help me. Awhile ago, I picked up a Royal Yarn Ball Winder off ebay. It came without instructions, boxes, any of that doo-da. In the months that i've had it, I was blinded by my love for "owning a yarn winder" so much that I neglected to notice that my balls were not coming out as cakes.

I've done some research and some people have been able to fix this problem by adjusting their tension and winding it less tight. Unfortunately for me, I just ended up with a GIGANTIC mess that overtook the space for 50gm balls I am able to make and then got all knotted up on the base.

So, I am hoping someone might be able to help me diagnose my problem?? Could it be because I don't currently use a swift ? Or is there something wrong with my yarn winder? I should note that the little skinny loopy thing (gee I'm technical aren't I) doesn't stay still. It bobs from side to side as I wind - could this be an issue?

I'm about to throw it all out and buy a brand new swift + winder set, but before I do that, maybe someone can help?? *Please*