November 2022 Build Session Report

With a couple of new members joining the ranks, the NTXBG hosted a build session at the Dallas Maker Space. Mike N, Mike D, Jerry, Justin, Fred, and Wes were in attendance working on a variety of projects.

Fred marked out the waterline and calculated his penetrable area for one of his new fiberglass hulls. Justin continued progress on his 3d printed Surcouf submarine, focusing on a 3d printed integrated canon design and drive belts. Mike N, Mike D, Jerry, and Wes worked on various projects including the new canister gun design and canon testing.

It was a highly productive get together with several visitors stopping by to ask questions and learn more. As with all good NTXBG events, we concluded with food, drink, and camaraderie – this time at a nearby pizza joint called Zoli’s.

2019 Annual Report

Ahoy and avast, Happy New Year Battlers!

As this year’s club CO, I look forward to a fun year with many battles. The other club officers will be selected at the club meeting this Saturday. Be there or you will be assigned a position!

Our next event is a club meeting at noon this Saturday, 12 Jan. We can discuss unbelievable new technologies, brag about our battles, tell fun stories, have a good lunch and enjoy the fellowship of our club members and guests. Everyone is invited, especially family members. Bring a guest if you want to.

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Convoy Escort

A lot has been said on the job of being a convoy escort in previous newsletters and in the various forums. But for all the strategy and positioning and such that goes into it and there is a lot, the single biggest part of protecting a convoy is keeping your warship with the convoy. With apologies to Admiral Nelson – “A escorting Captain can do no wrong who puts his ship alongside the convoy.” Since I’ve been the designated convoy escort more times than not, I though I’d impart some “wisdom” learned over the years.

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Electronic Firing Circuit

Most captains equip their ships to fire using mechanical poppet valves (Clippard SMAV-3) as pilots for their MPA-7 or MPA-5 actuators. Opening the pilot valve with a servo allows pressurized CO2 to reach the actuator, which in turn pushes open the main firing valve in the turret body, firing the gun. This is a simple method, tried and true. The mechanical/pneumatic operation is easy to understand, easy to troubleshoot, and very reliable. An example of this system is documented in Safe, Effective CO2 Delivery.

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Safe, Effective CO2 Delivery

Special contribution from Phil Sensibaugh, of the Midwest Battle Group

Obviously, the whole point of warship combat is to be able to sink your opponents by firing ball bearings at their ships.  Hulls are designed specifically to allow penetration, and damage control countermeasures are restricted so as to make the threat of sinking a very real possibility for any combat ship.  Even so, a weapon system that is capable of punching a hole through thin balsa sheet is going to also have the potential to inflict harm on people or animals, or damage property if certain safeguards are not built in, and safe practices followed.  While part of the fun of building models – combat or not – is in the “tweaking”, experimenting, and learning while you try to make something work, there are some aspects of warship design where it’s best to go with a proven solution.  In particular, those areas of warship construction that involve safety – the prevention of injury or property damage – should not be built by “trial and error” methods.  It’s one thing to waste a bunch of your time, trying a new and clever method of building a hull, controlling motors, rotating guns, etc.  It’s quite another when the potential consequences of error can involve serious injury.  Working with gasses under pressure certainly has the potential for causing injury and/or damage if proper care is not taken in the design, construction, and operation of these systems.

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Quick, Easy Stuffing Tube Construction

One of the early problems I had to solve when I built my first ship was the construction of stuffing tubes for the propeller shafts.  Stuffing tubes (or stuffing boxes) are needed to allow the rotating shafts to exit through the hull, while keeping water outside where it belongs.  They also serve to stabilize the prop. shafts and position them solidly where they belong.

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