NSW - Tank (yep, 52 ton) guy looking for some assistance

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Jazper, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Jazper

    Jazper Member

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    Posting on behalf of an acquaintance

    So, this guy has a tank, that's right a 1951 tank, he's off in country NSW and the tank he's got has got a problem. The problem is with the Gyros which operate the turret, and the tech is (as you can imagine) ancient.

    He's looking for someone who might be able to build a replacement system for managing the gyros/turret.

    The turret operates on a metadyne, and is fully electric using 24v DC/150A. He has substantial documentation, so schematics, and descriptions of how it all works in stock form. If anyone is interested in taking this on (and potentially getting paid for your time) let me know, either by pm or in this thread, and I'll put you in touch with the tank guy.

    Shouldn't be rocket science, arduino (due or something) with a few gyros hooked up to relays etc..

    If no one is interested, I'll think about taking it on myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  2. mtma

    mtma Member

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    Damn the whole description is a teaser... I'm guessing at 52 tonnes the guy has a Centurion?
     
  3. Jazper

    Jazper Member

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  4. B.D.R

    B.D.R Member

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  5. Soc

    Soc Member

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    My dad was a raeme tank tech, might know how the cents were fixed originally...
     
  6. Soc

    Soc Member

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    Just had a chat to dad and he said it was probably the STAB system and its similar to the system on the leopards if so.

    He's good on clutch, engine and the whole driveline (and would be happy to help if needed) but wasn't working on the electrical side. He's going to ask around in the next week to see if he can find someone who worked on the original systems.

    If he finds something, I'll let you know.
     
  7. Jazper

    Jazper Member

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    He wants to replace the original gyros and control box, as they're becoming hard to get
     
  8. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Not much short of rocket science except it's V2 vintage.

    The two axis gyro provide an AC voltage proportional to the acceleration of the tank in two axis. In turn that keeps the elevation and traverse of the gun pointed at the same position. Added into that is the gunners input to aim his gun. There's all manner of interlocks and limits built into the system.

    You'd also want to ask upfront how much the owner wants to keep original. Interfacing to the original gear could be quite a challenge. This is serious heavy metal with lots of potential for components to get damaged.

    First thing I'd suggest trying to do is to diagnose what's wrong with the original gyro and/or amplifiers.

    [edit]

    That takes care of some of the above.

    OK, then step one is understanding exactly how the parts he wants to replace interact with the rest of the system. Overall it's a pretty big job even then. Not like you can just stuff it all in a plastic box and hot glue it somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  9. crazyau

    crazyau Member

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    Maybe try Keith farmer Glen Simpson, His tank will be at https://www.facebook.com/KeithDDD/

    But if only around 150 came back to Oz, I guess all restorers would already know of each other.
     
  10. Redferatu

    Redferatu Member

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    Guy in Cowra is selling the stuff from the war museum. Probably has parts, knows of mechanics, etc. I would call them.
     
  11. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    The only components I can see in this system that would be close to impossible to repair are the vacuum tubes. For the rest new mechanical parts can be made by anyone with a lathe and mill. Carbon brushes could be a challenge although I recall people getting ones larger than needed and filing to fit. Used to work with an ex Royal Navy guy who maintained the electrics on a boat for the Maritime Museum (Lady Hopetoun?). The analogue meters were a challenge.
     
  12. Jazper

    Jazper Member

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    First of all, a big thankyou to everyone who has replied to this thread.

    As one of the tasks, the owner wants to speed up the "spool up" of the turret. It currently takes about 40 mins to get going when the equipment is cold, so another reason to look at getting a new system in place.

    To answer a few questions:
    1. The owner wants to keep things looking original but is open to modification or even replacement of existing systems.
    2. The owner wants to modernise wherever possible to more reliable systems, and if possible, speed up "boot" time of the turret.
    3. There is a big box where the original equipment for this sits. Plenty of room to retrofit.
    4. Existing gear replacement is a non starter - expensive and very very difficult to get, or need to be custom made.

    Ideally the idea would be to control the turret with new electronics, however that would work.
     
  13. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    The spool up time arises from the existing gyros spinning at 12,000 RPM and being spun using induction.

    IMU modules are readily available.
    Need electronics to interface to existing gun elevation and traverse sensors. Existing sensors seem pretty crude but replacing them with modern encoders would involve challenges.
    Other challenge is driving the motors, lots of amps involved.


    I know someone who might be interested, he's worked on the camera mounts that go on helicopters and he has a machine shop. Keeping a camera pointed in the same direction is no different to keeping a gun pointed at the same target. The people who make the camera mounts also make systems for guns and missiles, no surprise really.

    Have to say in true OCAU ethos that there's one important thing missing from the functional specification. Not much point having a turret that keeps a gun pointed at a target when the gun cannot fire, boring.
    I feel a need, a need for "tank paintball".

    [edit] He's taken the bait, PM sent.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  14. Malakai

    Malakai Member

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    Oh I have to follow this thread, amazing!
     
  15. /invariance\

    /invariance\ Member

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    If there was any way the communication could be kept up and this thread turned into a worklog, it would be epic!
     
  16. Jazper

    Jazper Member

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    Well the guy mentioned hasn't answered calls, so guess he is on holidays, I am investigating mosfet setups to drive the 150a/24v DC motors, project is progressing albeit slowly.
     

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