Syren, Brig, SC&H R/C Square Rigger, 1/24 scale - Page 7 - RC Groups
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Feb 17, 2012, 05:45 AM
Registered User
Note - now there will be 90 BP loads onboard (vs 18 in the single shot gun system). I realize the potential risks. Don't try this at home....
Be careful, if it is not for the boat than for you.
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Feb 18, 2012, 04:57 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Ramp up loads gradually, would be my suggestion. That is, load 1 shot in all magazines.

If that works, load 2 in one, 1 in the rest... then 2 in 2, etc.

The big danger is chain-firing, where flash escapes into an adjacent loaded chamber, penentrates the seal of the wadding, and touches off a shot that's not lined up with a barrel. This vents hot flame into the parts of the ship that are not designed for it. Flashover is a constant concert to muzzleloading revolvers. Since you are depending on a dry seal between wad and chamber, the risk is greater than that run when I load my revolvers (my seal is a blob of Crisco over each bullet, making a wet seal).

It was probably flash penetration of the British magazines that sank so many British battle cruisers in the Jutlands WW1; it's guessed that a German hit on a British turret ignited ready ammo, and the seals on the ready ammo storage lockers were insufficient, leading to a chain fire as the British flash penetrated the turret's magazine down below. In a repeat performance, it was probably flash penetration into an HMS Hood magazine (from one Bismark hit) that sank the Hood WW2.

Been there, seen that, no need for Syren to repeat, you know.
Feb 24, 2012, 07:10 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Firing Gun System - Loading

With 90 individual barrels to load quickly and accurately, an "autoloader" will be used. A smaller version is used on the current guns on Syren and Surprise. This new loader meters in a larger load and has a bottle big enough to hold enough powder for all 90 barrels.
The loader has been calibrated and feeds each load very accurately.
Plans and pic of old and new loader attached.
Feb 24, 2012, 07:26 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar
Dan, this looks like things are coming along very nicely. I am hoping for more work so I can save some money for gas and make the trip north to do battle this summer or fall.
Feb 25, 2012, 10:13 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Neat autoloader, DanL.
Mar 20, 2012, 08:59 AM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Firing Gun System - Carronade Profile

There is some progress....the target completion is still this spring.
Here's the profile for the "stub barrels" that will show at the gunports. The stubs will be turned on a lathe from 3/8", Schedule 80 ABS pipe.
The bore scales out to 9.6", much bigger than the scale prototypical 6.25" for this size carronade. The OD is not that badly out of scale.
The trade-off of the oversized bore is that the larger bore allows a larger diameter and powder charge in the main barrel (for more smoke) and keeps the total L/D ratio of the combined main and stub barrels low for safer internal barrel pressure.
The stub barrel ID also needs to allow for any slight misalignment of the main barrel behind it, which will have a slightly smaller diameter.
Last edited by DanL; Mar 20, 2012 at 09:09 AM.
Mar 31, 2012, 12:09 PM
Registered User
Hi Dan'l,
Why not make a 9 position rotary switch and use the common to change from port to starboard? A push on/push on switch controlling the commons will transfer the rotary switch action from port to starboard. You will need to add diodes on the positive lines to avoid the whole wiring circuit being hooked together but that is all. That is finally what I have done. My original wiring circuit, very elegant, was to send a positive to one cannon and then a jumper to the other side. This works great with only two guns but fails miserably with multiples. I have now started making loading charges using flash paper and BP. I roll a piece of flash paper around a rod, twist one end, then load using a small funnel, then twist the other end. These are much easier to load than Paratroopers method and, because of the additional flash paper, give a much larger bang.
Apr 01, 2012, 07:44 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar
The circuit you describe is similar to what I do use. Specifics posted back when I built Ray's system:
A microswitch selects either stb or port positive contact arms. There are two rows of positive contacts inside the rotary switch - easier fit in a smaller switch to get all 18 contacts in, and diodes aren't required. Did use diodes in an early test circuit - worked fine but caused the typical 0.7V drop, and since only 3V were being used for ignition at the time, that was a significant drop.
"Rolling your own" is a good approach for cartriges. What you describe as Ray's system is actually very easy with the autoloaders I made for each of us.
The latest approach with the 5-barrel gun design uses a direct BP load with autoloader and with no flash paper. It's quick and easy - needs to be since we will now need to load nearly 100 barrels per sortie.
Your rotary switch looks fine and the flash paper cartriges are a great idea. I like the report that there is good sound associated with the flash paper cartrige. Seems harder to get with BP without a really too tight wad.
Many approaches are possible - will be interesting to see where we all are at in another couple of years on gun design. Anxious to see Jerry T's ammo approach too.
(edit - just saw your PM - geez, I'm in MX - only a day late. I do like and agree with your post...)
Last edited by DanL; Apr 01, 2012 at 09:22 PM.
Apr 04, 2012, 04:14 PM
Registered User
Hi DanL,
Me again. A buddy of mine has come up with another electrical system for firing guns. He uses the rotary switch to control relays that fire the guns. This has some advantages in that a 7 position switch will conrol all 14 guns. It doesn't require diodes. And the firing current goes through the relay contacts rather than through the rotary switch. I plan to get some more diodes that have lower voltage drop and try again to fire my guns. If this doesn't work I will use his relay circuit.
Apr 04, 2012, 06:46 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar
If your guns misfire, it may be just that the nichrome can't get hot enough in the brief time that the rotary switch makes contact. That is teh battle I constantly fight, and which causes the relatively slow progress of the broadside. Too much current and the wire burns out. Too little and the contact "on" time has to be too long, etc etc.
Three questions, please:
What voltage battery are you using to power the nichrome igniters?
What is the size/type of the battery (AA, C, D) and capacity(amp hrs)?
What is the dia. or gauge of the nichrome and how long is the "live" section?
Apr 06, 2012, 02:42 PM
Registered User
Hi DanL,
I am using either two Ni-Cad or two alkaline, depending on the voltage drop through the diodes. These are D size batteries in series. I am still using standard Glo Plugs. So far with my limited firings I haven't burnt out a Glo Plug yet. I think some of the improvement in the sound of the firing is in small rubber washers I use as the wad. They are a tight fit in the bore of the carronades. They provide more back pressure than the backing rod.

Aug 04, 2012, 05:26 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar

Hello DanL, Stopping by to say hello.

Hello DanL, Permission to come aboard and have a chance to learn more. I am looking for a discussion area to join in on about HMS Surprise. I see that you have a few and so does FormerParatroper. I would take your suggestion on where I might post next time.

I met Ray last May when I went over to pick up his USS Surprise. He and his wife are wonderful people and I enjoyed my short stay in Kentucky. I have followed reading your discussions for a few months now reading and catching up with 5 years of posts. Thank you for all your hard work in figuring out how to get to a finished build that folks like me can read and try and copy. I am looking to see how I can capture or print this for a home manual for quick reference.

I have been in RC boat hobby for around 5 years and now find that I need to grow into sailing and trying to understand Phils model. I do not call myself a builder, so I am very green compared to all who post here. This is why I might be better placed into another discussion area. With that said, I am now starting to put back into one piece the Surprise that had to be folded up into the back of my pickup. As you know Ray had a killer setup for getting to the lake that I will not be able to follow. For now I need to keep this small for transport.

Mostly all that needs work is the Bow Sprint. (I hope I used the right name here) I will soon be more informed on the names of the pieces involved. I read a posting you did where you made Hearts and use tie wraps to set up as needed. You posted on Dec 20, 2010, 07:21 PM, report #2722 that you made and setup this approach with photos. I am thinking that this will be a great way for me to configure mine for faster lake side setting up. I also saw how you suggested making these connections.

So I just want to stop by and report on what I am doing with Rays great ship and where I am with it and will try to start up with reporting on progress and later videos or sailing adventures. I will soon stop by and talk with Phil about this also and with any luck I hope to meet anyone near me that might also have one of these ships so that maybe I can find myself sailing with a fleet here on the west coast.

Aug 04, 2012, 07:58 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar
Gary--it is good to see you are becoming active. I for one am looking forward to seeing your ship on a video.

Go straight at them.........
Aug 07, 2012, 06:43 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar

Good to now be active

Hello Ray, I have good news to report. I was able to fully test Surprise with radio today and all is working great. This is not big news in that you already know that she is already a great working ship, this just shows that I was able to get her home in one piece. I am now just waiting for my order of hardwood hearts that I ordered to make my quick connects for folding her up to travel in the back of my pickup.

I really enjoyed the day you took me out to sail her with all your rigs. You have set the bar very high for any other SC&H ship owner for what has to be the best way to get out and enjoy sailing. You and your wife were the perfect hosts and gave me new levels to rise to for going forward. My plans are a bit optimistic but I hope to get to a 3 to 4 day a month sailing season and I now want to look for different lakes to make for interesting videos. This should also help me to get better at sailing her. Speaking of witch, is there a link to folks talking about sailing techniques.

Now that I have Surprise decks opened up, here is a fast question, Can you remind me on recharging batteries. I see the small pack for the canons and removed them so I can recharge them when I am ready. The second is the ships batteries, I see only the one charging plug and I am guessing that is the only other charging port that I need. Would this be correct.

The other thing I am doing is making a manual with most of the topics I have found here in the forums. I am looking for a schematic of the lines and wenches I have seen a few post. I am going to test and see if I can place attachments now of something I found earlier.

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Description: If I did this right this should be one of the schematics I am looking for for the current layout.

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Description: This is the idea that DanL offered that I want to copy to make lakeside rigging a bit faster.

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Description: I found DanL's explanation of how to make these in this posting.

So if this worked, did you already post a schematic similar to this one of the lines and wenches? If not I will try and draw one so if anything happens in the future I will have a starting point to try and avoid rubbing my head to much.

The more that I have gotten in and around the ship the more I am impressed. You sir are a master builder.

I am going to now hit submit and see if this post makes it the way I intended it to be.

Aug 07, 2012, 07:38 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar

Sailing Surprise

This is great news Gary, and both of us on this end are quite pleased to hear it.

I did not draw any diagrams at all. All that came from Lootenant Dan and several others. There are some threads with different systems but I have no idea how to find them. Usually someone posted a link and I could find them that way but on my own it is dark and I have no torch.

The ships batteries are chaged with the large brick charger and a white coupling on the end. It attaches directly to the coupling in the hatch you are looking at. When they are fully charged the light blinks--or it goes steady--one or the other. Those batteries will last all day and since I put those really long lasting ones in the radio you should have an all day charge on those as well. The transmitter charger is the small one. Take the radio and the charger to a hobby shop full of airplanes and have them teach you how to charge those particular batteries. I cannot remember some of the stuff Dan taught me.

My work is amaturish compared to Dan's, you should see his ship. Had it not been for him and several others on the threads I would not have been able to do what I did do.

Here is what you are looking for.

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