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drabzz

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Master Poster
Registered: 25/08/04
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #1 
I served from Feb-Apr 1978 at Lisburn. Any other bang-gang members out there?
bowo8505

Obsessed Poster
Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #2 

Did a tour of Belfast RAF Sydenham in 77...Remember vaguely  playing with the "Wheelbarrow"...We held the spares ... The manual extension boom was replaced  by the telescopic boom just in time for the Queens visit (Jubilee Year)... Funny what we remember isn't it...

drabzz

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Registered: 25/08/04
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #3 
Yeah, I remember the new telescopic boom, it really made life easier on some jobs. We would occasionally get visits from boffins trying out a new gadget in the field. Most of the time we jury-rigged things with gaffer tape and broom handles!
jim1492

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Registered: 16/03/06
Posts: 897
Reply with quote  #4 
I did 2 tour one in Derry and the other in Armagh, first tour we had the mark 6 and second it was the 6b and the mark 7. When I finished at Col det we had just gt the mark 8

bowo8505

Obsessed Poster
Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #5 

Theres a lot of new gadgets on the modern ones now...Wern't the tracks on the early ones made from old tyres or something recycled ??

PaddyQ

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Registered: 14/08/04
Posts: 2,830
Reply with quote  #6 
As I recall, the original tracks were made from Chieftain tank fan belts.
PaddyQ
johnh605

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Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #7 
The tracks were made from fanbelts from the Chieftan Tank engine, so we were led to believe. I was attached to the AS of A in the mid 70's and then onto No1 AIDU after that. Can't remember whether we had the mk6 or mk8, brain cells not what they used to be. I never went to Ireland but many of the AT's I served with did.

John H

drabzz

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Registered: 25/08/04
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #8 
The hydraulic rams which controlled the hamper and boom movement were from aircraft aileron or flap controllers, or so I was told.

We had some teething problems with the prototype RC 'barra'; when operating in those Irish fine drizzle rain conditions (you know the ones), the damn thing would start doing the hokey-cokey - with all equipment 'live' too.

Ireland is the only place on earth where I have encountered this type of rain - it seems to permeate your soul with misery.
Mike_2817

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Registered: 13/08/04
Posts: 26,814
Reply with quote  #9 

History of the Wheelbarrow in Northern Ireland

The very first 'wheelbarrow' in 1970 was an electric wheelchair 'borrowed' from a local hospital nicknamed 'Little Willie' [mainly because it had Willie painted on the back of the seat] Early prototypes also used electric lawn-mower parts.


Little Willie had a boom which could be raised and lowered by bicycle chains and had a spotlight fitted as well.
Sadly 'Little Willie' was Lost in Action and probably saved its operators life.

The Mk1 Wheelbarrow introduced in Late 1971 were the first 'production models' which were converted from the 'Packhorse Electric Wheelbarrow' [hence the name] purchased from a Surrey garden centre.


The Mk1 Wheelbarrow was fitted with a low level boom & spring loaded hook to tow away suspect cars, 'Remote Control' was via 4 ropes! it steered by two long ropes to the single front wheel by the operator, one rope changed direction on the motor, and the forth lowered/released the hook!

Like the Mk1 the Mk II & III (both 1972) also only had wheels:
 

It was not till the Mk IV & V (1973) & Mk VI (1975) produced by FVRDU that tracks were first used. I cannot say if the early wheelbarrows used tank fan belts, but they were indeed Heath Robinson devices to say the least!

Tracked Wheelbarrow to follow in new post.




[Article edited 11/03/08]

drabzz

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Registered: 25/08/04
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #10 
Excellent Mike, I never knew about the wheelchairs. Talk about 'make do and mend' eh?


Mike_2817

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Registered: 13/08/04
Posts: 26,814
Reply with quote  #11 

Tracked Wheelbarrow Mk IV to VIII

The first tracked Wheelbarrow was the Mk IV with a 12 volt system, which was very quickly replaced with the almost identical MKV with a 24 volt system in 1973

The final version to be produced by FVRDE was the Mk VI in 1975


It is these FVRDE produced versions of the Wheelbarrow that legend has it used heavy duty fan belts as tracks (Peter Birchall in his book does not go as far to name them as from the Chieftain Tank!) The drive motors are also rumoured to be Chieftain Tank Turret Traversing Motors!

Research & Development of the Wheelbarrow was taken over by Alvis/Remotec in 1976 and they started to market the Wheelbarrow worldwide, and produced the Mk VII in 1976



In 1977 a Prototype Wheelbarrow with twin single sections of track which could pivot in the middle codenamed 'Marauder' was tested in N.I. by 321 EOD Company but at a cost ratio of one Marauder to four Wheelbarrows it was never adopted. (A Mk VIIa cost around £100,000 each)

Followed by the MK VIIa and the currant Mk VIII Series:



For those of you who have handled a Wheelbarrow, heres a Control Box to play with:



Later models of Wheelbarrow could also be fitted with a Radio Control Unit instead of the cable.

Links to the Remotec Web Site and info on Mk 8 Plus II & the latest Revolution:

http://www.remotec.co.uk/products.htm

http://www.armedforces-int.com/categories/remote-eod-vehicles/remotec-wheelbarrow-mk8-plus-ii-remote-eod-vehicles.asp

http://www.armedforces-int.com/categories/unmanned-vehicle-systems/remotec-wheelbarrow-revolution-remote-eod-vehicles.asp

In tribute to all who served in Northern Ireland and to those members of the Corps who lost thier lives during 'The Troubles'
 
Sua Tela Tonanti

bowo8505

Obsessed Poster
Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #12 

Some great pics there Mike.. Clever things those wheelbarrows...were they not also adapted to have a shotgun mounted as well?...

Mike_2817

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Registered: 13/08/04
Posts: 26,814
Reply with quote  #13 

Yes, Earlier marks used a Browning 12 Gauge Shotgun, But Disrupter's (Pigstick & Buckeye) replaced the shotgun in many cases.

anzioman78

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Registered: 14/11/07
Posts: 1,561
Reply with quote  #14 
Cracking pictures Mike - brings back many memories.

Mick M
johnh605

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Mega Poster
Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #15 
It was also very interesting sighting in the shotgun and putting the marks on the tv screen so you actually hit what you were looking at.
Also the sight on the pigstick was ultra technical, a piece of tape adhesive fabric waterproof 2 inch stuck on the end.
Very effective.

John H
anzioman78

Certifiable Poster
Registered: 14/11/07
Posts: 1,561
Reply with quote  #16 
I'd forgotten about the marks on the monitor screen John, the tape worked a treat, even if the picture was a bit grainy (that's why the tape helped) sometimes! 

Mick M
bowo8505

Obsessed Poster
Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #17 

All clever stuff....

bowo8505

Obsessed Poster
Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #18 

By the wat...the tape wasn't "black'n'nasty" was it... That jungle tape got used for all sorts...I bet there could be a thread  dedicated to just that...

anzioman78

Certifiable Poster
Registered: 14/11/07
Posts: 1,561
Reply with quote  #19 
That's the stuff Ron - like you say it needs a thread all of it's own!

Mick M
Mike_2817

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10,000 and not out
Registered: 13/08/04
Posts: 26,814
Reply with quote  #20 
Ah! Black & Nasty. What every AT & good No2 had in his tool box. Both 1" & 2" wide.

Still have a roll in the garage.
johnscott

Junior
Registered: 03/06/07
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #21 
another one of my favourite units - loved it to bits, did not want to leave!  Fred Moughton, McKenzie-Orr and many others remain forever in my mind and heart ... including those we lost.
Regards to all ...

John 
Mike_2817

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10,000 and not out
Registered: 13/08/04
Posts: 26,814
Reply with quote  #22 

I will be seeing Fred Moughton next month at Bicester (He is the Secretary of the Kineton & Didcot Branch of the RAOC Association) and for a drink before diner.

teepee

Mega Poster
Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 430
Reply with quote  #23 

Had a MK IV in 73 in derry,amazing how the same things stand out:-drizzle and black and nasty. Best wishes Tony Prole(No 2)

keithmacfarlane

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Obsessed Poster
Registered: 15/08/04
Posts: 390
Reply with quote  #24 

I started at 321 Eod in Derry 73 then went to Lurgan. When I arrived at lurgan the Barra had tyres, as were the ones we trained on at Bramley

agriffin

Trainee
Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #25 

The memories are flooding back!  I served with Boyd Squires, Tug Wilson, Rip Kirby, Dave Greenaway, Keith Negal and Frank Haley in Derry in 1973 - busy times and dangerous times but the teamwork and support was second to none.  Any more of you derry-boggers out there?

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