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Battleship’s Range Finder / Antenna

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by ULITHI, Jul 9, 2022.

  1. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    D00C2B83-EB5D-4ECD-967C-A9CCF1647CDA.jpeg


    Howdy Folks, I am still working on my painting of the USS New Mexico. I have a question in regards to the range finder shown on a model above and its relationship (if any) with the large antenna behind it. If the range finder is turned for say a broadside, would the antenna turn as well? I seem to see different things in different photos.

    BC3F1A58-8724-4915-A5FC-B3613FC56AB7.jpeg
    This photo above looks like the Antenna did not turn with the broadside. However….. The photo below seems to show the Antenna turned in the same direction. Is this for Radar, and it turns all the time? It seems like a huge apparatus. Any help would be great appreciate as always.

    7F8A12C7-0AB3-44F4-AB7F-5C9ABA14D4A4.jpeg
     
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  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    No relationship.

    The large radar is a search set. If necessary, it could be used a a fire control radar, but it was rare.

    The fire control radar is the small wire dish mounted on the front of the director on the model, so it could turn with the director.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    What Takao said.
     
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  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    As @Takao wrote, the large "bedspring" antenna is an air search radar, which would be continually rotating when in use.

    The cubical director is a Mark 28 or 33 for the ship's 5"/25 caliber antiaircraft battery. It would be aimed in the direction of a target and track it to generate a fire control solution.

    The cylindrical object, also with a radar antenna attached in addition to the original optical rangefinder, is a Mark 31 director for surface fire. This one would control the main armament. Out of the picture a deck lower were two more Mark 31s, one each side, for the 5"/51 secondary armament.

    This grouping is on the forward superstructure; there was a similar set of directors aft.
     
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  5. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Photo showing the arrangement of the forward directors. Note that it predates installation of the air search radar.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2022
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  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It pre-dates the installation of the SG air search radar on the fore mast, which was added during her refit that was completed in October, 1943.

    The photo you have here, shows the new installation of the SC air search radar on the main mast.
     
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  7. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    1D1AD4D2-0D6E-4F26-BC79-B31037769556.jpeg
    Takao, OP, and Carronade, thank you all very much for the info. Here is a zoom in of the range finders in my painting and the antenna on top (kind of hidden by the glare) Keep in mind I have a lot of work to finish this out!

    But, does the general arrangement of the range finders look accurate? I was wondering if the smaller range finders would be pointing as well during the firing of the main armament at night at a very distant target.
     
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  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The upper(top) director was for the dual-purpose 5-inch guns. The lower director was for the main battery 14-inch guns.

    As to the top director...If the 5-inch battery is also firing at the same target, then both directors would be pointing in the same direction.

    If the 5-inch battery was not firing at the same target...Well, I can only say, maybe. In the newer Battleships, the dual-purpose 5-inch directors could transmit data to be used by the main battery. However, I am uncertain about this on older Battleships, such as the New Mexico.

    As always, per Bob Ross, you are the artist and the canvas is your world, you can do whatever you want in your world.

    Honestly, nobody, but us select few, would even take notice.


    PS Don't forget to add a happy little cloud...And make a happy buck while your at it.
     
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  9. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    We may only have seen a peek at a small part of an unfinished work, but I am deeply impressed. Cannot wait to see the finished article
     
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  10. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Let’s not forget that New Mexico had two 5” batteries. The upper Mark 28/33 director controlled the 5”/25 AA guns, which would be less likely to be involved in a surface engagement than the 5”/51s. So we probably wouldn’t see the Mark 28/33 director pointing the same way as the Mark 31s.

    One more thing; there was a rangefinder associated with each group of Mark 31s. This likely would be aimed in the same direction.

    And one more, hope this isn’t getting too confusing, the second photo is of NM’s sister ship Idaho, which was fitted with a true dual-purpose 5” battery, ten of the new 5”/38s replacing the 5”/51s and 25s.

    The model and painting are very impressive.
     
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  12. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    That you all again for your help! I found a photo of her online from November 1943.

    [Photo] USS New Mexico underway, Nov 1943; note Measure 21 camouflage

    It looks like from this photo that the large “bedspring” antenna was not installed yet. So I doubt she had one at the Battle of Pips in July. Oh well, I know I will never get perfection, but want to give it my best. No one will know but me, but I WILL KNOW :).
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Library of Online Images at NHHC is valuable.
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Nice photo...But, it is USS Mississippi on October 8, 1943.

    The image is cropped cutting off the Navy's image description.

    See here.
    http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/014147.jpg

    But you are still correct, the radar was not moved to the fore mast until her refit that was completed very early in October, 1943.
     

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