PU8 v PU12

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by JT0475, Nov 5, 2011.

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  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
  3. This is way beyond anorak, this is zips on anoraks level of nerdiness.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. 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. 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.
  6. Don't even get me started on the SCAM12!
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. 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??
  10. Because the Racals are part of Ptarmigan, even if some did get 'reallocated' to Radio dets.
  11. 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. 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. 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. 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.