Syren, Brig, SC&H R/C Square Rigger, 1/24 scale - Page 15 - RC Groups
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Jan 09, 2013, 10:56 AM
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TBowman's Avatar
Thanks Dan

That's the approach I will likely take when the time comes. Will redraw my parts once I have the wiring, tubing and breech plugs assembled. Work it into some 18 pounders too just for fun too.

Will draw both breech plug parts along with the revised barrels to ensure exact fit and hole alignment. The breech plugs will be made out of a different,high temp material but at the same time as the other 3D parts.

Always wondered about the "gun stuck on" issue. Would be a bummer to have it go off while inserting the reload. To be honest...I don't think I will be doing excessive shooting, reloading and shooting on any given sailing day. May be completely wrong especially with Gary's encouragement. LOL

Is the amount of powder in the drawing the load you typically use? That's WAY more then I was envisioning. I LIKE IT!

Can't wait for that video!

kind regards
Last edited by TBowman; Jan 09, 2013 at 11:30 AM.
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Jan 09, 2013, 12:10 PM
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DanL's Avatar
Originally Posted by TBowman

The breech plugs will be made out of a different,high temp material but at the same time as the other 3D parts. Lucky you!

Always wondered about the "gun stuck on" issue. Would be a bummer to have it go off while inserting the reload . A big advantage of these barrels. They are long cooled before reloading in the reload rack, and of course not "in-circuit" at that time. When plugging in new barrels, the power key must be removed. The circuit should have a large Dean's plug (wired as a jumper) to serve as a visible plug in key for power. It should be on deck and easily accessible. The key should be pulled before reloading as an absolutely positive power-off mode. Also serves as an emergency quick disconnect. I'll video reload procedure. Always be to the side of muzzle (hands too), wear eye protection, and use a tool to press barrel into place, NOT fingers.

To be honest...I don't think I will be doing excessive shooting, Yes, you will

Is the amount of powder in the drawing the load you typically use? That's WAY more then I was envisioning. I LIKE IT! About 1 to 1.2cc per load, but will be less with smaller barrels. My barrels are 11/32 OD/5/16 ID. You really need to use a loader that gives high repeatability and clean, fast loading. Drawings published previously. With only a foam wad and low back pressure/short barrel, powder burns to big flash and puff of smoke - not much bang. We evolved to bigger dia. barrels to get more powder in to maximize smoke. Even slight wind can blow away a lot of smoke and reduce the effect. I may try some powdered sugar and pot. nitrate in with the BP to see if that generates noticeably more smoke.
Can't wait to see your guns.
Jan 09, 2013, 06:40 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar

New power pack with live guns

Well I promised to do a video and its about a week late now. Here is a video that shows what happens by just changing the battery with everything else unchanged from my full rebuild and full cleaning of contacts and new igniter wires and such. I had put a real effort into getting all my guns to work for the last video I did on the ships first unavailing at the SFMYC lake. If you saw that video you will remember that only two guns went off. I KILLED MY OWN BOAT BY TOUCHING THINGS. When will I ever learn. It worked before I cleaned it and put two new 11,000 mah batteries in it. Well I only tell this to let you know that I have done nothing since that day but to only add these new batteries with a much higher rate of success like she used to. So the Prise is back and looking good today. After our little storm blows over in a few days I'll go out and see how many full side volleys I can do on one charge. I think that will be useful information to me by letting me know what I can expect out of a full days use on one charge. Meaning if I can only get three volleys then I'll buy another pack for my tool bag.

any questions?
Jan 09, 2013, 07:27 PM
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TBowman's Avatar

Congratulations Gary.

Jan 09, 2013, 07:33 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
Thanks Tim. It will be a bit more fun for me to do the endurance test in about 4 days and I will video my outcomes as always. No videos, no proof I say. Hope no one was thinking I was taking any shots here....


p.s. I just got a email from a buddy I have been talking with and he sent this video. May be a bit off topic of us. But I like the science it shows.
Have you seen this one.

Jan 09, 2013, 10:56 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar
Gary... taking shots? Good pun.
For your multiple broadside test on the water, be aware that any moisture that gets into an empty barrel will pretty much guarantee that that barrel won't fire after reload. That might cloud your test results.
A good way to get an idea of how gutsy your battery is to hook up a voltmeter to the batt. "Fire" the guns with no powder - just run the switch around to power all the ignitors. Watch the voltage sag as the igniters are activated. As you repeat the firing over and over, you should see a point where the sag gets pretty big. That's a good indication of where the guns will start missing. It's ballpark, but easy to do as a first cut.

Gotta go do a video....
Jan 10, 2013, 02:12 AM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
yes, you just gotta. I really can't wait. I have reserved my seat already and will warm up the popper.

Now as for the buzz kill. yes I can do the test proper by using the meter and look for sags and all. But but but no smoke no fun. Boy I would hate to see smoke if it was just a meter test, that just would be a buzz killer. But its all about the smoke. I have 2 or 6 real dedicated viewers who hold me to a higher standard. I just don't think the meter needle wiggling is going to come across as an action scene. Can't go viral with snoozer movies. I have 300 pounds of powder being delivered so I should have enough now.

Well whatever I do I'll report the outcome here.

Jan 14, 2013, 05:31 PM
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DanL's Avatar

not the video you are expecting....

Still a bit to do before I can get Syren outside with all guns onboard and video a demo broadside, but here's a quick vid of the new cartridge loading system.
The cartridges are a pain to make, but once you have a couple of sets ,they are easy to reload and swap out in the guns.
Vid is a quickie, rough and too long, but shows the idea.

Syren Cartridge Demo (6 min 16 sec)
Jan 14, 2013, 07:30 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
Very Impressive demo Dan. Great attention to detail. I was wondering how well a reverse load would look, sound, feel. This helps a lot. Did I detect a small difference in sound? Did this make a Whhhiiieeeessss kind of sound to maybe a pop like a cork gun sound or was that just how the camera caught it. The smoke is whats important and you said you get no blow out and it all burns so smoke it makes then.

thank you.. I was so riveted that I did not even get one bite of my popcorn. I guess Ill have to watch it again.

Good job

Jan 15, 2013, 10:58 AM
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TBowman's Avatar
Hi Dan

Very nice indeed! Impressive amount of smoke.

Thank you for the video.

kind regards
Jan 16, 2013, 08:21 AM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Firing Guns - Take 2.....

Did the first on-board test of the 9 starboard carronades using flash paper (can't get outside yet).
The rotary switch servo speed was programmed for about a 7second sequence.
Beautiful... every gun fired. Pulled the reloadable barrels - every igniter wire was vaporized! Used the same battery that was used for all teh bench testing: 4 NiMH cells (nominal 4.8V, but 5.8V with full charge)
Three things that may have happened:
- the "on-time" is probably longer with the rotary switch than when I manually fire the guns during testing (just a quick touch of a wire lead to the battery.)
- 4-cell voltage is too high (past years used only 2 cells)
- when the rotary switch cycles back to original position, it heats all the igniters again. With an empty barrel, there is nothing to absorb the heat from the wire.

So, re-rigged the battery to 3-cells and will test again. Two cells will fire the guns, but based on past years experience it's just not enough to ensure that every gun will fire every time.
Also, 28g nichrome was used. Have some 26g (thicker) and will try that if the burn out problem continues.

Have Syren rigged & tuned, starboard guns mounted, and she's sitting on the in-line cart, ready to go outside for full charge gun testing. Video maybe tomorrow.
Last edited by DanL; Jan 16, 2013 at 08:37 AM.
Jan 16, 2013, 08:35 AM
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DanL's Avatar

Firing guns - BP vs BP substitute

The sound you describe (really good ear you have for the sound) is a whoosh vs. a pop, like you say. I think two reasons: the test used BP substitute (American Pioneer Powder) and secondly, the front-end ignition. I'll post test shots with different powders and both front end and breech ignition. There are significant differences.
BP really dirties the barrels and smells bad, but with the old guns (breech ignition) it fired more quickly and reliably and produced more smoke. BP sub fired "lazy" and didn't produce as much smoke.
In the new guns (ignition at the front of the charge), the BP sub may be better. Definitely much cleaner barrels. And when fired, there is a visibly longer burn of the powder - the flame and smoke gushes out in big quantities. I think the powder now has time to burn inside the barrel vs, getting blown out before burning. BP works well too, with faster burn and more of a "pop" than a "whoosh".
I also tried a 50/50 blend. Will post test result video.
I'm really leaning toward BP substitute with these new guns. The improved igniter will fire the BP sub reliably, and the longer "burn" with the big puff of smoke will give a more realistic scale look out on the water (kind of like slowing down video of models to look more realistic). BP sub is also very easy to get - BP is getting harder to find.
Anyway, more testing needed to confirm all this.
I may be in SF in late Feb or March - will let you know.
Jan 17, 2013, 11:30 AM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
Good report as always Dan. ill be marking my calendar to keep it clear. we have had wonderful weather here and I have not been able to take advantage of tests are on hold. I have not looked at my wires yet. after your report I bet I dont have any left. I have got to look. ill be back .
Jan 17, 2013, 05:56 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Syren Carronade Test - 3 powder variables

Tested 3 powder variables in the new guns: American Pioneer Powder fffg (1.3cc) BP substitute, Goex BP fffG (0.8cc), and a 50/50 blend of the two (1.3cc).

The APP burns slow - you can see the spray of the burning granules and there is a long "whooshing" sound on teh burn. Lots of smoke.

The BP gives a pop, a big flash and less smoke (the charge is smaller than the APP, so I need to test a 1.3cc BP charge, but that's a lot...)

The 50/50 mix gives a flash, lots of smoke. Probably my favorite of the three.

Hard to tell in one test cuz wind was blowing a bit and varied from test to test.

Still having probs with one or two wires burning out with each 9 gun salvo. Have heavier wire coming and also tried doing a two strand twist - works great and is stiffer and deforms less with heat than a single strand.

In the third test, gun #2 doesn't fire. Have had that gun fail to fire a few times. Need to check its wiring and the #2 contact in the switch. It does fire on the return travel of the rotary switch.

Resistance of the new igniters is about 0.3-0.4 ohms. The batt is putting out about 4V no load, probably less under load. The circuit blew the 7.5A fuse used in the past. Now using a 10A fuse and that's OK.

Three remaining probs with this system:
1. Wire burnout. Will go to heavier wire or twisted multi-strand.
2. Some cartridges are poor fit - too tight, etc. Just throw them out and make extras. Once you get a full set that all go easy-in/easy-out, all is good. I was pretty careful in making them, but you are likely more accurate and repeatable than me.
3. The small hole in the brass cartridge tube that teh igniter passes thru allows
fouling of the outer barrel and will eventually cause contact problems. Need to clean that fouling occassionally. This is an issue with my retrofit brass barrel design, and shouldn't be an issue with a simpler "start from scratch" design.

Here's the test clip.
Brig Syren 1/24 Scale Carronade Fire - 3 powder variables (0 min 56 sec)
Jan 17, 2013, 06:02 PM
Registered User
TBowman's Avatar
Looks great Dan!

What's all that white stuff on the ground?

best regards

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