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Fv439 Ptarmigan


Dougy FV432
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The Genes were not coupled up - each vehicle provided it's own power. One was opearting, the other standby. The Onan could just about cope cope with the radio-relay kit and lighting. The other one had to be started up to put the kettle on!

 

I imagine it just about coped with the message centre kit. In the "softskin" role the Bedford equivqlent (TEV-A) usually towed a 1 ton trailer with two 6 kVA genes.

 

As for the type of radio-relay kit - look at the Sankey communications trailer thread. I posted a couple of pics there - and it was the same equipment ie SR C50/R236 with RFA13 and BID200/10. (NOW you're really confused?)

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Thank you both, Stone and schliesser92.

(I Did find your previous post on the Onans, but I enjoy being spoilt!)

Our 'Control Sigs. knew about BIDs, I did see a few, but that's as far as it went!

Thanks lads

Chas.

Edited by ChasSomT.
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Hi Again All,

 

Went to see some 439s today. Was able to see inside the radio relay version. There where two of them and even these had differences. Made a little video, not brilliant lighting but you can get the idea of the inside.

 

 

 

Had a closer look at the generaters on one of them, they looked like Onan 3.5kv ones, but diesel.

 

439RRInterior094.jpg

 

Both had their oil sump bungs missing and one the oil filter missing, seemed odd, do they "kill" them????

 

Chas, did you say you had pics of the 439s linked up, would be great to see them!

 

Regards

 

Dougy

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Both had their oil sump bungs missing and one the oil filter missing, seemed odd, do they "kill" them????

They have their CES checked when they're backloaded but some things don't get checked thoroughly (or aren't on the list...) so they 'vanish'!

 

Stone

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Just had a look at the video. The two vehicles seem to be fitted with Triffid, so would be "Ptarmigan-related", ie the last batch produced. Another clue is the antenna stowed on top. NOT C50, which had a log-periodic antenna, which everyone knows is a "logarithmically-spaced series of transposed dipoles".

 

The cable drums seem to fitted with cables - the outside ones should have "Quad" cable for connecting to the message centre (or access point), the inner ones coaxial-cable for the antennae.

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Hi All,

 

Well done Roger, it all seems to be coming together now! Was good to get to see inside the radio relay version. Just need to see a exchange vehicle now.

 

Shame you haven't got any pics of them set up in service Chas, but looking forward to you getting pics of your friends.

 

Yes, Stone they do seem to "loose" some of their kit along the way! But Ferretkitt the one(05FA68) with the stuff piled up in the back had more bits with it, it had the support legs for the scam mast and the frame for the mast was chucked in the back. The interior trim seemed tidier, the other one (17EA68) had a bit of a puddle going on up the front, guess where the hatches had been left open. Both had engine panels removed or open? and 05FA68 had the bungs missing from the generators.

 

They all seem to have good running gear, the 439s also seem to have heavier duty shock absorbers fitted.

 

The ones under cover down the bottom of the yard are the ones i would want to be lookiing if i was lucky enough to have the chance of one. They seem to have recently undergone an overhaul.

 

Regards

 

Dougy

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Hi All,

 

Robin, I think the ones in the tender had a guide price of £6500, if they realisticaly reach it, that is anyones guess. The only way to know for sure is to contact them.

 

As for the masts, it seems funny that there seems to have been a lot of the scam masts for sale recently. There was fv439 RR version sold up there at the last tender with its mast

 

http://www.fv432.co.uk/wwwfv432couk/variants/Fv439%20ptarmigantype1page1.htm

 

I have mentioned earlier in this thread that we saw one with its generators fitted but the sump bungs missing!

 

When you refer to the diesel engines I assume you mean the K60 pack. First if you were intersted in one of the 439s make sure it HAS got a pack and that it runs and go from there. I think they are a pretty reliable pack compared to the B81.

 

Regards

 

Dougy

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One thing that I can't remember is how the SCAM masts were pumped up on the FV439s. In the airportable role we used a hand pump, on the Bedfords we used the air line. I can't for the life of me remember what we did for the FV439s!

 

Important : when pumping them up, especially with an airline, do it one section at a time. We used to have some clever idiots who undid all the clamps and shot the air in. There were cases where the mast shot up, banged against the end stops and the antenna promptly fell about 40 feet to the ground. With the C50 antenna this was expensive - they cost about 1250 quid (icluding fibreglass "stringer"!

 

In some cases the seals were blown. A mast used to cost (mid-1970s) about 1,000 quid. And they weigh a bit (about 1/4 ton!)

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Hi All,

 

Robin, I think the ones in the tender had a guide price of £6500, if they realisticaly reach it, that is anyones guess. The only way to know for sure is to contact them.

 

 

Dougy

 

Do Withams still show the results of the last tender? If they do that should show how much they went for but it won't have the tax included in the fee 15% on top of the highest bid. Tax reverts back to 17.5 in the new year.

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Dougy

I have just read through this thread again - fascinating! My mates 'Message centre' 439, 05FA53, is still on Withams website, with pictures

http://www.mod-sales.com/direct/vehicle/,37,/23166/FV_439_Tracked.htm

 

The interior shot shows the two teleprinters, one on the right just inside the door, facing back, and the other further in facing left, on the left.

 

The sales blurb says 'Direct from Service', complete with equipment INCLUDING 2x diesel generators, Electronics etc. So we hope the Onans still have their sump plugs and oil filters , we will see!

 

My mate has managed to get it registered, Historic vehicle Tax Free, 'H Reg.' The DVLO chap asked its weight, 'Ooh, 15 tonnes . . .' 'Ah, I will put it down as an 'EARTHMOVER' then !

Army bridge Classification is 19, but I expect it has lost a bit of kit.

 

I will take my camera next time, and will try and get the hull No. and makers plate. Anything else you want a picture of, let me know.

 

My mate needs me - I have got group h on my licence, he hasn't!

(Not that I have ever driven one of these, and he has!)

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Hi again All,

 

Chas, your mates 439 looks clean and complete, hope he is pleased with it, and i hope the gens are ok! Good that he got it registered with ease, hope he didn't stretch the truth, (I think it would only take one incident and the MoT would come down on our hobby with a ton of bricks). Just don't make your first voyage on the road, get the feel for it before you do, and take him with you as an extra pair of eyes. Make sure the intercomm is working, makes life so much easier!

 

Roger, I'm not sure if this is the means to raise the mast, seems some sort electric driven pump.

 

439RRInterior013.jpg

 

 

Its mounted close to the underside of where the mast is mounted.

 

439RRInterior014.jpg

 

Regards

 

Dougy

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Dougy, it could be a mast-pump, but then again I only saw the older C50 versions. The mast is a lot thinner than the old Clark Mast.

 

As for the weight , I remember that pre-Ptarmigan vehicles, loaded as per SOP7 (including rations, water, spare fuel ,weapons etc) came close to 21 tons!

 

The Signals were renowned for overloading vehicles.

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Had a wonderful 4 - 5 hours yesterday, 'playing' with the 439. I think we've got the gearchange 'sussed' ! About half of the Army's diesel gone now, but that's still 45 Galls. left (Isn't it?) Got some pictures, but the owner's got the memory card at the moment, and I forgot to get the hull No. for Dougy- Doh!

One thing for you experienced in 432s, I read that they pulled to the left, but my experience is the opposite, and the faster I went, the more it pulled to the Right! Won't this wear out the Left brake, if it is constantly applied?

Is there any adjustment we can make in the gearbox to compensate for this, or is it because of the serious 'top weight' on the right of the vevicle on this version? Oh, and we've got the whole Service History from Chetwynd for it !

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  • 7 months later...

Ok - so having looked at this Thread - Can someone tell me in non-army speak what role mine would have played in this whole set up? It is listed as a Telegraph Station, Carrier Mounted. (as shown on that list a few pages back).

 

What would it have done and what would it have had fitted in/on it? Currently it has a genny braket on the radiator grill and two clarke/racal mast style mount brakets welded to the RH side. Inside it is wired for three radios and there is evidence of an additional two shelf radio bracket being fitted on the left had track sill at the back and signs of another, now missing, loom that went to this area ??

 

All ideas greatly appreciated :)

 

Don

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Ok - so having looked at this Thread - Can someone tell me in non-army speak what role mine would have played in this whole set up? It is listed as a Telegraph Station, Carrier Mounted. (as shown on that list a few pages back).

 

What would it have done and what would it have had fitted in/on it? Currently it has a genny braket on the radiator grill and two clarke/racal mast style mount brakets welded to the RH side. Inside it is wired for three radios and there is evidence of an additional two shelf radio bracket being fitted on the left had track sill at the back and signs of another, now missing, loom that went to this area ??

 

All ideas greatly appreciated :)

 

Don

 

Scrap all the junk off it and call it a 432 (you were open to ideas) !

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Ok - so having looked at this Thread - Can someone tell me in non-army speak what role mine would have played in this whole set up? It is listed as a Telegraph Station, Carrier Mounted. (as shown on that list a few pages back).

 

What would it have done and what would it have had fitted in/on it? Currently it has a genny braket on the radiator grill and two clarke/racal mast style mount brakets welded to the RH side. Inside it is wired for three radios and there is evidence of an additional two shelf radio bracket being fitted on the left had track sill at the back and signs of another, now missing, loom that went to this area ??

 

All ideas greatly appreciated :)

 

Don

 

With those fittings, it would not have been a telegraph station! It was probably decommissioned from that role and locally refitted as a radio-rebroadcast or Radcon (radio control) vehicle.

 

The telegraph station would have had an armoured gene bin on top with two 3 1/2 KVA Onan generators. No radio masts, and would have had a BID200 station, a small manual telephone exchange and one, or two, Siemens T100R teleprinters. (Bruin system). For Ptarmigan - I've no idea. That came into service after my demob. Where it would have fitted inthe great scheme of things? Look at the diagram on page 4 of this thread. Your beast, in its original state, would be the chunk at top right!

Edited by schliesser92
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With those fittings, it would not have been a telegraph station! It was probably decommissioned from that role and locally refitted as a radio-rebroadcast or Radcon (radio control) vehicle.

 

I am tracking down its later history - but what you say makes sense. Presumably in the role above it would have been parked up and then used a mixture of HF and VHF to relay from active vehicles to HQ and vice versa ?

 

Is this how a radio-rebroadcast or Radcon worked?

 

Cheers,

 

Don

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I am tracking down its later history - but what you say makes sense. Presumably in the role above it would have been parked up and then used a mixture of HF and VHF to relay from active vehicles to HQ and vice versa ?

 

Is this how a radio-rebroadcast or Radcon worked?

 

Cheers,

 

Don

 

a radio-rebroadcast vehicle would be used as a relay station, especially in the VHF band, to counter problems occasioned by weather conditions (dense layers such as rain effect VHF comms) and terrain (ditto for high hills etc) or range (usually caused by the curvature of our favourite planet!).

 

Radcon , or radio control, would be a control station. This was usually encountered in Signals units, rather than tactical formations. This vehicle could control several nets simultaneously.Usually found in the Divisional HQ net, possibly down to Brigade HQ level.This would be HF and VHF.

 

My expertise was radio-relay, ie multi-channel trunk communications. Mainly in softskin vehicles, occasionally in armoured vehicles, and trailer-mounted (airportable role). I was also a Bruin man - way before Ptarmigan came into service.

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