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OT: Anyone recognize this? Sperry Gimbal Tool Set

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  • OT: Anyone recognize this? Sperry Gimbal Tool Set

    Got this the other day mostly for the welded aluminum carry case. It is pretty neat, worm gears and matching sectors marked with degrees.

    Anyone know what it was originally intended for. On the lid it says:

    Tool Set
    Gimbal Positioner

    Made by Sperry Gyroscope.

    Nothing that says how old it is, though there is the remains of a sticker that says 82/83.


    IMG_2206 by macona, on Flickr

    IMG_2207 by macona, on Flickr

  • #2
    I don't know - but it's quality stuff... very nice whatever it is.


    • #3
      Many US flag ships had Sperry gyros and several repeaters. One on each bridge wing, one in the wheel house, and one in each radar, for example, and the gyro was frequently placed at the waterline amidships, depending on the vessel size. They were servo motor driven but didn't know which way was which until the gyro master was locked. Each remote could then be aligned to the master at that point. There are also latitude compensators for the gyro that need calibrating. I never worked on Sperry gyro gear other than on radar systems, but have been up to my armpits in Ansch├╝tz gyros many times.

      Anywho, every ship I was ever on that had the Sperry gyro had a kit like that. Another kind of gyro whose name escapes me has a kit that include a container of mercury - about half a cup by volume. Makes an expensive mess when dropped as a co-worker discovered.


      • #4
        Hmm. Like DP said, the ships used them. Ive never worked on a "ships" gyro, only the weapon system gyros and they were sealed units that didnt need any calibration.

        When I was working on the system it was sperry unisys.

        Interesting piece of equipment. Bet it cost alot of money in the day. JR
        My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group


        • #5
          Thanks for the info guys. I figured it was something like that and was pretty sure it was not civilian.

          Well, its going to make a great case for the cameras for my telescope. The parts I will keep around and try to figure something to do with. Might be good for telescope mount, at least in the altitude.


          • #6
            Beautifuly made piece of work, i know nothing about them, but that is an impressive find.


            • #7
              That is the gadget that actor Tom Hanks used to bring Apollo 13 home after he blew a rod or slipped the clutch or something.


              • #8
                An alternate educated guess....

                Gyro surveys are run on electric wireline inside casing to orient tools, to locate bends in the wellbore, or to determine the bottom hole location.

                Before the gyro is run, it must be pointed to a known direction. As it is run, it continues to point in the same direction while the housing may turn or become inclined. Early tools recorded this differential on actual film, later electronics were used, and later still electronic gyros replaced mechanical equipment.

                Sperry Gyro is linked to Sperry Sun drilling services- one of the oldest and most established directional drilling companies (think relief well steering among other jobs), which was aquired by Haliburton a few years ago

                The Doodad posted by the OP looks like the stuff you'd need to point the gyro before running and to verify accuracy after a run, although I've never seen the set-up used by Sperry, we always hired their competitor, Gyrodata.

                If it is for directional drilling gyro, how it ended up in Oregon should be quite a story....
                Last edited by camdigger; 05-01-2012, 03:55 AM.
                Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit