R/C Tank Combat

Field Artillery #FA003


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A 27-inch conical barrel is attached to the breach and mounted on the rotating carriage atop an 8 inch high hexagonal base made of 1/2" MDF. The barrel was made from four conic sections cut from poster board and taped together. By using three layers of poster board, the cones were easy to shape, yet sturdy enough to maintain that shape. A PVC tube was used as the center of the barrel, with 1/2" MDF rings used as spacers between the inner tube and outer barrel. The marker barrel fits inside of the PVC center tube. The barrel was wrapped with a layer of fiberglass cloth and carbon fiber cloth (had some laying around the shop from a previous project), bonded with epoxy ... very strong!! The base sits on top of three adjustable feet made from 3/8" bolts that screw into blind nuts and are held in place by wing-nuts. This allows the gun to be leveled on any terrain.

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A large geared motor available from the Surplus Center (www.surpluscenter.com) is used to rotate the 20" diameter turntable. The 4 bolts on top are used to attach the turntable to the motor, while the 5 holes in the outer flange are used to attach the motor to the base. A 1/2" hole through the motor housing allows the elevate and trigger controls to be passed up to the gun while allowing 360 degree rotation. At 6 volts, the rotate is slow, but accurate, allowing the operator to "step" the gun in 1 degree increments. The combination of heavy-duty motor and slow rotation gives the large gun an impressive motion and sound.

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A simple box is used to control rotation, elevation and firing via a 10 foot tether connected to the base of the gun. The base holds the motor and trigger batteries, as well as all of the wiring blocks. The control box uses a standard arcade 8-way joystick to control rotation and elevation at the same time. A large arcade pushbutton serves as the fire control button. With the addition of a couple of simple labels, the controls should be easily understood by anyone and extremely durable.

March 2005: Navarone One is prepped and ready to go for a weekend on the firing range at the Danville Museum Spring Military Extravaganza. Spectators would control rotation and elevation as they attempted to hit 6 targets and avoid an ambulance. Over 2,500 rounds would be fired without a failure ... a good first outing for the naval gun.

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February 2014: The control boards are upgraded to provide fully proportional control of the rotate and elevate motors, and to trigger the solenoid-controlled marker.

The elevate motor is re-wired to work with the new control boards and to reduce the size of the wire fed through the center of the rotate motor.

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