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Old 10-12-19, 04:52
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 271
Default Our Centurion has later gun control system (unfortunately)

I'm working on a Canadian Centurion that is nominally a Mk 5/2. I've just discovered it has the more sophisticated gun control system with the metadyne-type motor generator for the traverse and elevation gearbox motors, as well as gyros and stability control, using vacuum tube-type amplifiers. This must have been great for the guys who used it in anger but I would have preferred the earlier low-tech system that was all electromechanical. I would have had a better chance of getting the gun controls working.
I have found some user-type info in a Centurion users manual for gunnery, and also in the parts manual for the Mk5, but I can't find any good technical info on this system. Does anyone know of a good document?

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Old 10-12-19, 16:57
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Colbert, Washington, USA
Posts: 1,876
Default Unstable Stab

No, I don't, but I am aware from discussions with owners in Oz that the system is probably quite unstable by now. Powering the stab system up is, I understand, likely to send the gun into full depression, so be well clear of the breech internally and barrel externally if/when you do.

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Old 11-12-19, 03:53
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 271

Thank you, Mike. I noticed that warning in the Centurion Armament Manual. It's a really interesting read (if you're a Cent geek) and one explanation of this problem on neglected Cents is random people have twiddled the Traverse and Elevation stabilizer trimmer knobs on the gunners panel. These were used to correct drift to left and right or up and down as the old vacuum tube technology warmed up (or just drifted) from the position selected by the gunner. So when an unsuspecting restorer switched from Hand mode to Stabilize mode, the traverse and elevation gearbox motors would drive the gun to an unexpected position, to the consternation of people in the vicinity.

This manual also tells me powered elevation only came in because gyro stabilization required it, for obvious reasons. Powered elevation only works in the stabilize mode. So I read from that, rather surprisingly, manual elevation was the norm prior to the introduction of the stabilizing capability.

Interestingly, the manual also says there is an Emergency traverse control switch. When selected, it reverts back to straightforward power traverse and manual elevation. I need to check that out. After all, the crowd just wants to look down the muzzle of the gun as we drive past them, especially if we are firing t-shirts.

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