The radial wipe is fairly limited as doesn't have separate start and end parameters.
Not really an issue. Some simple expression math to work with the start angle is all that is required. Otherwise there's a million ways to handle this, but without seeing the actual design requirements of course everything will be a shot in the dark.
Not sure what specific things you want to know. It's basically a mix of the Inheritance, Delay and Spline effectors to create wobbly motion stuff primarily. It's not so much an effector in the classical sense, but an automatic animation generator. If you have a specific idea in mind, I'll be glad to try it out and provide the file.
There is this cute little thing called the Constraint Tag. Make friends with it. Nobody in technical animation cares to animate stuff the way how it actually works in reality. It's always forward kinematics vs. inverse kinematics, gear rotation driving axles and engines and so on. And a mere 500 items? Most of my CAD models had more nuts and bolts on a minor sub-assembly.