PU8 v PU12

#1
A quick question for the Corps.

My first posting was 1 Armd Div Sig Regt, and the mast in use there was the PU8. I can't recall ever having to spend more than a bare minimum of time doing mast maintenance on the in the whole time I was there. They were simple to use, and obviously low on maintenance requirements imho.
For the rest of my career, it was PU12s, which were, on the whole, a bag of shite, always needing seals replacing, grub screws drilling out and replacing etc.
So, aside from the obvious extra 4m of elevation, what on earth was the advantage of using a mast which needed so much tlc - or was it just a cunning plan to keep us busy when in barracks?
Over to you lot...
 
#2
I think it all stemmed from the need for the extra elevation. A PU8 could well hold an EVHF pot, but for the extra 3 metres (less 1 cos of top section down) the clamps could fail, and the use of the pins would be better to hold the sections. Also the failure of seals and grub screws, were more often than not caused by operators 'dumping the sections' in order to crash out quicker. Oh and the seals were different, one set were leather the other puvc. Obviously one set deteriorated quicker
 
#4
I think it all stemmed from the need for the extra elevation. A PU8 could well hold an EVHF pot, but for the extra 3 metres (less 1 cos of top section down) the clamps could fail, and the use of the pins would be better to hold the sections. Also the failure of seals and grub screws, were more often than not caused by operators 'dumping the sections' in order to crash out quicker. Oh and the seals were different, one set were leather the other puvc. Obviously one set deteriorated quicker
PU12s came in two flavours though... racal and clarke. clamps and pins. I can't recall having to spend too much time on the any of the masts tbh... unless there were those causing damage by dropping them too fast.

Then again i always avoide using them if possible. Got the LAD to make me some sputniks.
 
#5
PU12s came in two flavours though... racal and clarke. clamps and pins. I can't recall having to spend too much time on the any of the masts tbh... unless there were those causing damage by dropping them too fast.

Then again i always avoide using them if possible. Got the LAD to make me some sputniks.
Meant the Clarke with pins - presume any with clamps were the Radio Relay flavour - never came across one on a radio det of any kind.
 
#7
Meant the Clarke with pins - presume any with clamps were the Radio Relay flavour - never came across one on a radio det of any kind.
The Racals sometimes floated across to the radio dets...

Anyone use the 100ft jobbies... Clark 30s?

You set up the tripod, and loaded the sections in from the bottom. The sections came in 3 6 section sets, and you had a fishing rod to wind them up.

The top needed a set of red lights, and there were up to four windlasses to secure the mast.

mint.
 
#8
The Racals sometimes floated across to the radio dets...

Anyone use the 100ft jobbies... Clark 30s?

You set up the tripod, and loaded the sections in from the bottom. The sections came in 3 6 section sets, and you had a fishing rod to wind them up.

The top needed a set of red lights, and there were up to four windlasses to secure the mast.

mint.
Had the misfortune at 30 Sigs. Also so one go over when on ex in the Falklands - not my fault thank goodness, was doing the 502 at the time.
 
#10
Racals are always best, had them on my 43 at 1 Mech.

Found one in an ISO at 3 Div last week, they took it off me saying we are not allowed to use them anymore with out giving any info on why??
Because the Racals are part of Ptarmigan, even if some did get 'reallocated' to Radio dets.
 
#11
Meant the Clarke with pins - presume any with clamps were the Radio Relay flavour - never came across one on a radio det of any kind.
The old 27foot was a beastie with clamps, it used to make a mess of your hands when one of the clamps released as you erected the mast. I recall having to take a crewman to hospital with an elevated antenna base spike through the skull after he forgot to tighten the mount!
 
#12
And you was fucked if you lost the special wrench to tighten the clamps...

We had those old 27 foot H&S nightmares mounted on the back stub bumpers of our FFRs in my early days in the TA.

One of the dets on exercise entered a Motorway Service Area on the M6, Sandbach, I think, and they had a speed bump right before the height restriction thingy in the "cars" section. Unfortunately, the speed bump shot a section or two out of the 27 footer, and being a very rigid steel post, completely fubarred the hight restrictor. Realising something was awry, they quickly dropped the extended mast, and facked orf before they got caught. A long time ago now, but still makes me smile.
Brings back happy memories of a RR Detachment that deployed out of Bunde with the pneumatic line attached to the MK compressor, as it drove along the mast was rising (I believe the crew had opened the airvalve with a bit of wood) - until it hit the rail bridge, and shifted the entire rail bridge 3 inches out of true......

Compared to the 27 foot and the 48 foot mast (Im a former D11 crew) the clarke 12Metre was an advance, at least it didnt do permanent damage to anyone who was erecting it, unless you were really fooling around with the thing. I recall it could get very brittle in the cold, at least the 27ft mast would bend, whereas the clarke would snap.
 
#13
Heh. How about the bodged Clark masts trailer-mounted (and vehicle-mounted on Vampires) used for a while at 14 Sigs? Horrible bloody things, compressor at the base and secured by clamps. To this day I have a dubious thumbnail where a collapsing mast section caught my thumb between collars - there I was, at -10 degrees centigrade, at the top of that bloody silly ladder, hanging by my thumb from a blood-streaked mast....
 
#14
Heh. How about the bodged Clark masts trailer-mounted (and vehicle-mounted on Vampires) used for a while at 14 Sigs? Horrible bloody things, compressor at the base and secured by clamps. To this day I have a dubious thumbnail where a collapsing mast section caught my thumb between collars - there I was, at -10 degrees centigrade, at the top of that bloody silly ladder, hanging by my thumb from a blood-streaked mast....
Oh yes I remember those, they were tall masts too! Didn't they have one on the Vampire vehicle too, must have made the vampire very unstable to drive, and when erecting the mast!
 
#15
Brings back happy memories of a RR Detachment that deployed out of Bunde with the pneumatic line attached to the MK compressor, as it drove along the mast was rising (I believe the crew had opened the airvalve with a bit of wood) - until it hit the rail bridge, and shifted the entire rail bridge 3 inches out of true......

Compared to the 27 foot and the 48 foot mast (Im a former D11 crew) the clarke 12Metre was an advance, at least it didnt do permanent damage to anyone who was erecting it, unless you were really fooling around with the thing. I recall it could get very brittle in the cold, at least the 27ft mast would bend, whereas the clarke would snap.
Ah yes, I managed to snap a PU12 in Denmark, trying to get my dipole a little more horizontal, other end attached to a building, so one of the sections gave way - d'oh!

PS. And it snapped at the weak point - where the pin passed through the mast.
 
#16
It was always the mark of a real manly man's RR Op if you could carry your SCAM12 out of the bin to where it was needed. Must be why me knees are fecked nowadays!
 
#17
Remember we couldn't understand why the C 70 shot kept dropping in and out, be we finally worked out the keying pieces for the top two sections of the SCAM 12 had shattered due to the intense cold and the Helicals were just spinning in the wind.. and probably why the petrol in the 3 1/2 gene float tank had frozen on the upwind side of the truck. First problem was solved with cam string, second by just using the downwind side one for 36 hours straight. (Bunde CCE, out-det 1976-7, Hi Alf).

Oh, and I saw Alf renest a "walking" fully erected mast by himself after a boxhead had driven by and caught and snapped a mast guy rope. (Village name was Lorup, and He didn't get away with it....But thats another story).
 
#18
fortunately I never saw the 27' after training - what a piece of crap, no pneumatic damping and the crappy locking collars which the nipples snapped off.
I was still using the 36/ 48' at Alpha troop 16 as late as 87 - talk about manpower intensive. The 36' could obviously be slotted together and then walked up, winching the additional sections under it to make it up to 48' could be scary - 6 people to erect a mast? ridiculous.

While we are on the nostalgia trail, who remembers the 36-60 and blandford dipole antennas for the C42?
 
#19
While we are on the nostalgia trail, who remembers the 36-60 and blandford dipole antennas for the C42?
Blandford Dipole... was that thing that looked like a Bangalore torpedo? You pluged the cable in to the middle section, ten screwwed the other sections on to it, there was quite a substantin screww fit. The top of the dipole had a rotating 3 pronged spinner, that you attached guy lines to... i think th ewhole thing was about 3 meters long.
 
#20
Blandford Dipole... was that thing that looked like a Bangalore torpedo? You pluged the cable in to the middle section, ten screwwed the other sections on to it, there was quite a substantin screww fit. The top of the dipole had a rotating 3 pronged spinner, that you attached guy lines to... i think th ewhole thing was about 3 meters long.
Thats the one - what a load of rubbish. We found one in a dark cupboard at 1 Bde in about 88, the Troop Comd was adamant he wanted to try it out - it took hours of painful explanation as to why we didn't use them anymore ie we had a much better antenna in the clansman elevated.

The 36-60 was an utter pain (the name referring to the frequency range) a sort of thick telescopic whip, marked along its length from 36 to 60 (funnily enough) so if you changed freq by more than a couple of megs you had to drop the mast and adjust the length of the whip element - Larkspur, what a load of antiquated rubbish even back then!
 

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