Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

WWII Style Fire Control?

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by captinjoehenry   » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:51 pm

captinjoehenry
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:36 pm

I'm wondering how possible it is for Charis to introduce WWII style fire control for their war ships. The fire control computers themselves were mechanical so Charis should be able to make those at this point. The only thing I'm not sure on is the stabilization that the system would need. I would think either a mechanical linkage, pneumatic or hydraulic system should be able to do it but I'm not entirely sure.
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:58 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2119
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

captinjoehenry wrote:I'm wondering how possible it is for Charis to introduce WWII style fire control for their war ships. The fire control computers themselves were mechanical so Charis should be able to make those at this point. The only thing I'm not sure on is the stabilization that the system would need. I would think either a mechanical linkage, pneumatic or hydraulic system should be able to do it but I'm not entirely sure.


To put it simply: it wouldn't work. Yes, in theory it is possible to replace electric parts with mecganic or hydraulic - and it would even work! - but only in laboratory conditions. On actual ship, with all vibration and roll, the required overcomplicated mechanic would almost immediately start to fell apart. You would need extremely precise tolerances on multiple high-precision components, and not just in some "isolated box", but in system, linked with different parts of the ship (directors, rangefinders, gun turrets, ect.)
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by captinjoehenry   » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:02 am

captinjoehenry
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:36 pm

Dilandu wrote:
captinjoehenry wrote:I'm wondering how possible it is for Charis to introduce WWII style fire control for their war ships. The fire control computers themselves were mechanical so Charis should be able to make those at this point. The only thing I'm not sure on is the stabilization that the system would need. I would think either a mechanical linkage, pneumatic or hydraulic system should be able to do it but I'm not entirely sure.


To put it simply: it wouldn't work. Yes, in theory it is possible to replace electric parts with mecganic or hydraulic - and it would even work! - but only in laboratory conditions. On actual ship, with all vibration and roll, the required overcomplicated mechanic would almost immediately start to fell apart. You would need extremely precise tolerances on multiple high-precision components, and not just in some "isolated box", but in system, linked with different parts of the ship (directors, rangefinders, gun turrets, ect.)

I was thinking that they wouldn't link anything really. So have the firing computer in the bowel of the ship and have someone relay the range from the rangefinder down to the fire control computer have them run up the numbers. Use voice tubes to tell the turrets where to aim. That way the only thing that would be needed is each turret would need to know when it's level to fire. Which I think might make it workable.
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:45 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2119
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

captinjoehenry wrote:I was thinking that they wouldn't link anything really. So have the firing computer in the bowel of the ship and have someone relay the range from the rangefinder down to the fire control computer have them run up the numbers. Use voice tubes to tell the turrets where to aim. That way the only thing that would be needed is each turret would need to know when it's level to fire. Which I think might make it workable.


And what the reson to have complicated electromechanical computer, if errors and delays from manual dara retranslation would nullify all advantages?

You see, in fire control, humans are the weakest part, the major source of errors. The major advantage of USN WW2-era fire control systems was that they get the human factor out of the link as much as possible. Even shooting the guns was achieved automatically; the gun commander just ordered a system to fire, but the actual moment of firing was determined by automatic, when the gun was exactly in required position.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Silverwall   » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:24 pm

Silverwall
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 374
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:53 pm

I would also point out that while a lot of electronic things "CAN" be done via non electric means they are fiddly, complex, delicate and most importantly HEAVY.

Going for a non electric solution will be between 2 and 5 times the weight depending on the tech chosen. You can see this if you watch the car shows on restoring old cars. Pulling out pounds of hydrolic tubing and resevoirs for a few light wires and a small electric motor.

This means that an installation on a ship that weighed 10 tons displacement in WW2 will now weigh 50tons displacement in safehold and in fire control most of that weight will be topweight which is the worst place to add it.

Replacing all the electric controlls and lighting and power devices on 1945 Iowa would undoubtably add a massive amount to its weight and reduce it's performance an habitability.
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Theemile   » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:04 pm

Theemile
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: All over the Place - Now Serving Troy, Mi

Silverwall wrote:I would also point out that while a lot of electronic things "CAN" be done via non electric means they are fiddly, complex, delicate and most importantly HEAVY.

Going for a non electric solution will be between 2 and 5 times the weight depending on the tech chosen. You can see this if you watch the car shows on restoring old cars. Pulling out pounds of hydrolic tubing and resevoirs for a few light wires and a small electric motor.

This means that an installation on a ship that weighed 10 tons displacement in WW2 will now weigh 50tons displacement in safehold and in fire control most of that weight will be topweight which is the worst place to add it.

Replacing all the electric controlls and lighting and power devices on 1945 Iowa would undoubtably add a massive amount to its weight and reduce it's performance an habitability.


Years ago I got to see a WWII era battleship fire control computer close up. This was a Electromechanical beast which took details from a long baseline optical firecontrol director (a firecontrol operator brought the 2 images from the 2 periscopes (mounted 10m apart) on top of each other to determine range. The top of this 8'x8'x4'high ediface was covered with dials, displays and gauges - The speed and direction of the Battleship, the speed and AoB of the target, wind speed, were all entered and the solution was calculated, and these details somehow fed back to the 16" and 5" guns.

The Computer itself, I was told, weighed in at ~20 Tons, and was carried up in the firecontrol room in the superstructure. What they showed did not include the rangefinders, the connections to them, nor the connections to and in the Gun Turrets, all of which weighed more than the ~20 tons the Computer represented.

This computer, of course, could be replicated today by something slightly larger than a cell phone (in a non-hardened form), and get multitudes the performance of the 1940 era device I saw.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by pbreed   » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:12 pm

pbreed
Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:54 pm

I actually worked on WW-II era fire control systems early in my career, we built a computer based simulator that interfaced to them and was used to train gun crews in their operation.

See:
http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-056.php
and
http://www.cowardstereoview.com/analog/ford.htm

The thing was built like a swiss watch, amazing technology...

The Ship speed, heading wind etc.. all came in as syncro (electrical inputs) and the outputs were all syncro to the guns...
Give that every single input and output could be switched to manual crank input and dial indicator output with voice relay of the data in and out...

I think that one could build gyro stabilized hydraulically actuated guns and get 50% of the way to a WW-II fire control system with out using any electricity...
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:48 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2119
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

Guys... in theory, you could build heat-seeking guided bomb on purely mechanical & chemical systems. And it would even work. In laboratory conditions.

The problem is, that the actual conditions - especially battlefield conditions - are far from ideal. And there are limits, how far the precision mechanics and hydraulics could led you before the over-complication would kill the whole project.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:27 am

Weird Harold
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:25 pm
Location: "Lost Wages", NV

Dilandu wrote:The problem is, that the actual conditions - especially battlefield conditions - are far from ideal. And there are limits, how far the precision mechanics and hydraulics could led you before the over-complication would kill the whole project.


If the goal is to replace exactly WWII level fire-control with a non-electric system, then you're absolutely correct.

However, if the goal is to have an automated system of gun stabilization and aiming that is better than anyone else on Safehold, then it is eminently doable. Even something as simple as hydraulically linking a gyroscope with the gun platform(s) without any direct computer linkage would be better than anyone else has.

A pneumatic telegraph to pass x-y references to a ballistics table and bearing to a gyro-stabilized gun turrets, (or even just range and bearing) would do wonders for increased accuracy and coordinated fire.

Nothing at that level of improved fire-control would be excessively heavy or complicated.
.
.
.
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
Top
Re: WWII Style Fire Control?
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:01 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2119
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

Weird Harold wrote:If the goal is to replace exactly WWII level fire-control with a non-electric system, then you're absolutely correct.


Well, the goal as stated was -

I'm wondering how possible it is for Charis to introduce WWII style fire control for their war ships.


Now, the simpler systems are possible. But:

Weird Harold wrote:A pneumatic telegraph to pass x-y references to a ballistics table and bearing to a gyro-stabilized gun turrets, (or even just range and bearing) would do wonders for increased accuracy and coordinated fire.


Basically the problem is, that such system would not work much better than pre-WW1 fire control systems. The rangefinder on the top provide just distance and bearing, the plotters are only calculating the elevation and lead, and turrets are training the target by themselves.

The results would probably be of Russian-Japanese war level at best.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
Top

Return to Safehold