360 Views of the Olympic class reciprocating room

Apr 30, 2009
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Stevefury,
You are to be congratulated on what must have been a Labour of Love. You have retrospectively reconstructed the Boiler and Engine Room layout with its auxiliary pumps that would make a Marine Engineer and Naval Architect proud.
As Codad pointed out no photographs exist (to our knowledge) of the Engine and Boiler rooms as fitted out in the three Olympic class ships. This could be to exposure time of early photographic plates or the use of those 'sodium' flash trays to light up the areas. You mentioned lagging of pipes. From a contemporaneous scan of Harland & Wolff shipyard trades of the day, there are no Laggers. From this one would assume that the pipes were not lagged. Likewise the cylinders on both main reciprocating sets were not jacketed.
Again, well done Stevefury for filling the propulsion vacuum.
Richard
 

codad1946

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Hey Stevefury,

I put your stereo image attached in your above post into a HTC Vive and it was incredibly immersive. Standing there with the engines towering above you and being able to look around at all the auxiliaries and pipework in full immersive 3D is stunning. The resolution of the image is perhaps a bit on the low side for the Vive, if you were able to produce a 4k render or even better a short looping video with the engines running with some appropriate sound effects, the experience would be as close as you could get to really being there.
Will that work on a Mac? I've tried the others that Steve mentions, but they are all for mobile phones, which doesn't quite do it for me!
 

codad1946

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Thanks for the input Codad1946.
Bridge telegraphs- Wow the placement of those have been a huge mystery and IPA throughout the project. I don't think we will ever know their positions for sure.
These were the things I discovered or known about them through trial and error:

*There's a photo of the telephones mounted on what is apparently the aft center pillar of the Olympic as well as the aft electric winch. At least that's not likely going to be the position for them.
*We know from the inquiry testimony there were two telegraphs per engine. Each one had a main telegraph and an emergency telegraph. 4 altogether.
*We know that the position of them could be seen from the turbine room water tight door (Per testimony)
*The actual size of the ER telegraphs are also not known.
I made them the standard size as shown on other H&W reciprocating rooms of the period (I think 22 or 24" diameter).
* I discovered that mounting them on an engine column one above the other placed the top one too high for practical purposes. The column footing (With the big bolts) made the bottom telegraph sit about 4 feet off the ground and the top telegraph about 7-8 feet off the ground (With room to operate the handles). Setting the bottom one out away from the bolted footing made them stick out too far into the area.

How they came to the final position in my project
I had tried to make them work in a number of places: Between the aft & IP cylinder columns, mounted on the IP cylinder column, on pedestals in the aft area and between engine columns, on the forward engine columns (See them on the engine columns in the 3D stereo render in post #10).
*Since they didn't work well on any of the engine columns then I considered mounting them on one of the pillars.
*It seemed sensible they should be visible and accessible near to the starting platform.
*Considering the visibility of them from the turbine room WTD, the center pillar seemed more likely than the forward pillar- So there I had placed them at 45 degrees stacked one upon the other.

If new evidence comes along of where they should actually be, then I'll move them.

Engineers desk-
That is also a thing of confusion. You can see from the stereo 360 in post #10 it started off as a multi-drawer chest. I came across the photo of a H&W engineer desk of the period which was mounted on a large pole, so I cut the bottom off and put it on a pole. Other people (Smarter in this than me) suggested that I put it just aft of the center stairs but before the aft pillar. But it really didn't work there so I just put it behind the forward pillar.
I guess we'll never really know.

For the sake of discussion-
The appearance and position of the gauge board was also a big issue for me. One of my engineering books published around 1910 suggests the Olympic had a central gauge board. But where? How big? How many gauges?
I considered that it should be clearly visible from the starting platform and it probably had a ship's clock and some gauges.
It's another one of those things I had spent a long time working on. It started pretty close as it is now in my renderings. I also tried a similar board hanging from the catwalk above between the reversing gear. Also a gauge board with about 12 gauges which was too big for the area. It didn't work well after I put the telegraphs on the center pillar, so I moved it back where it started- facing aft on the center pillar. Someone far more experienced that I suggested 3 gauges per engine so there it is.

I had mentioned that I am currently rendering a HD fly-through of these spaces and that it will take a long time to finish.
I had ran an ultra-low version to preview and verify everything was OK before doing the time commitment.
I decided to upload it as a teaser, linked below.

-All- the fancy rendering stuff is turned off. No shadows, no shading, no transparency etc etc etc. As bare as can be. It's only 320x180 resolution so very blocky and jagged. The signs identifying the various pumps have been removed and will rely on narration. The black block around the human figure will not be seen. The human figure appears as a wireframe shape which is placed as a size reference in various places within the tour.

The auxiliary pumps are not animated in the video below. Some of them are running in the final version.
I noticed there's at least one eccentric which is 180 degrees off. Too late to correct it now.

So here's my teaser on YouTube:
Steve
Here's a picture of the engine model - no doubt you have already seen this? It shows the gauges at the control stand. I don't know how accurate this model is, but the vertical wheel is how most steamships were manoeuvred, and would probably be the HP steam valve. I'm not sure of this as the drawings in the Britannic pdf only show the handwheels facing down.
Titanic's Portside Engine - Part 1
Beautiful model though.

Stephen
 

Stevefury

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Dec 27, 2017
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Below is the only existing photo I know of which is said to be taken in the Olympic reciprocating room. The acceptance of its location seem to be pretty much universal. I believe the article was published in 1911. Man I'd give my bottom dollar if the camera would have been swung to point forward!

There you can see the aft LP engine column on the left, aft WTD, electric winch etc:

18174.jpg


Hi Stephen.
I am sorry you are having a problem viewing the 360, they are hosted on Momento360.com... Maybe a firewall issue or something? I'm not sure.
I am very envious of the person's skill to create such an intricate and amazing triple expansion engine- but I don't think it reflects the Olympic class engines very well. At least in accuracy to the prototype.

Rancor,
The experience of viewing the stereo 360 3D in VR is truly unique. I had a bunch of them uploaded to PhotoBucket but they changed their policy and none are viewable to the public. (Dastardly deeds!)
I can check later- I think I still have copies of some test renders of the like on a hard drive somewhere. I'll upload them here if I can find them (My PCs are occupied rendering my project as previously mentioned).
Yes, the resolution of the posted 360 stereo is very low. I really don't want to upload any UHD images in the public domain.
-Steve
 
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Rancor

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Jun 23, 2017
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Hey Steve,

No dramas, totally understand keeping the UHDs off the net. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future however you choose to share it.

Stephen,

The Vive only works on windows at the present, however I guess you could maybe dual boot windows on your Mac. You do need a bit of grunt on the GPU side to drive one though, the system I was using runs a Nvida 1070 which seems to work quite well.

If you do end up using one may I recommend trying the Titanic Honor and Glory Demo 3. I'm sure you've already tried it in 2D but in VR it's even better.

Also highly recommended Titanic VR, this allows you to explore the exterior and interior of the wreck (limited to the bow section at this stage) and in VR is an amazing if somewhat sombre experience. Unless you're James Cameron this is probably the best way to experience the wreck. I think VR has a huge amount of potential for this sort of experience.

Titanic VR | Immersive VR Education
 
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codad1946

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Apr 28, 2016
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Below is the only existing photo I know of which is said to be taken in the Olympic reciprocating room. The acceptance of its location seem to be pretty much universal. I believe the article was published in 1911. Man I'd give my bottom dollar if the camera would have been swung to point forward!

There you can see the aft LP engine column on the left, aft WTD, electric winch etc:

View attachment 39254

Hi Stephen.
I am sorry you are having a problem viewing the 360, they are hosted on Momento360.com... Maybe a firewall issue or something? I'm not sure.
I am very envious of the person's skill to create such an intricate and amazing triple expansion engine- but I don't think it reflects the Olympic class engines very well. At least in accuracy to the prototype.

Rancor,
The experience of viewing the stereo 360 3D in VR is truly unique. I had a bunch of them uploaded to PhotoBucket but they changed their policy and none are viewable to the public. (Dastardly deeds!)
I can check later- I think I still have copies of some test renders of the like on a hard drive somewhere. I'll upload them here if I can find them (My PCs are occupied rendering my project as previously mentioned).
Yes, the resolution of the posted 360 stereo is very low. I really don't want to upload any UHD images in the public domain.
-Steve
Typical electricians, taking photos of a couple of phones when all that engineroom was around them!
I meant to ask before, what's the electric winch doing in the middle of the engineroom? It looks incongruous to me and I've never seen it on any engineroom plans or in any enginerooms.
 

codad1946

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Apr 28, 2016
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Hey Steve,

No dramas, totally understand keeping the UHDs off the net. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future however you choose to share it.

Stephen,

The Vive only works on windows at the present, however I guess you could maybe dual boot windows on your Mac. You do need a bit of grunt on the GPU side to drive one though, the system I was using runs a Nvida 1070 which seems to work quite well.

If you do end up using one may I recommend trying the Titanic Honor and Glory Demo 3. I'm sure you've already tried it in 2D but in VR it's even better.

Also highly recommended Titanic VR, this allows you to explore the exterior and interior of the wreck (limited to the bow section at this stage) and in VR is an amazing if somewhat sombre experience. Unless you're James Cameron this is probably the best way to experience the wreck. I think VR has a huge amount of potential for this sort of experience.

Titanic VR | Immersive VR Education
Once there's a 3D VR walkthrough of the machinery spaces and boiler rooms by Steve, I'm off to get a big PC and a VR headset I guess!
 

Stevefury

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Dec 27, 2017
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Typical electricians, taking photos of a couple of phones when all that engineroom was around them!
I meant to ask before, what's the electric winch doing in the middle of the engine room? It looks incongruous to me and I've never seen it on any engine room plans or in any engine rooms.
The presence of the electric winches was also a surprise to me (And some others too). I understand the aft winch was found during a 2001 wreck expedition and a pair of 4hp winches was auctioned off from the Olympic. The position of the forward winch was suggested by folks far more knowledgeable than myself.

Here's a link you may be interested in:
TITANIC FORUM - Winches in reciprocating engine room (starting platform level)

In that discussion, someone posted a diagram of the arrangement of the auxiliaries of Britannic. It seems some of the pumps may have been arranged somewhat differently within the room than the Olympic or Titanic. Interesting how little bits of information about the Olympic class ships are occasionally released after all this time. Dribbling in bit by bit.
I wish they'd raise the Britannic. I think they'd get a very good return on the cost of raising it. But that's another thread I guess
 
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codad1946

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Steve
What a fascinating thread that was to browse through! Those modeller guys never cease to amaze me. I have been to steam fairs where there are exquisite models of steam engines, and none of the modellers has ever had one iota of engineering training, being clerks, bank tellers, accountants etc. I met a few engineers at sea who could make stuff like that (coming from a fitting and turning background), but there's no way I could do it even with over 50 years as a marine engineer...

Back to the winches - which look pretty good in your final green scheme - for the life of me I still cannot fathom what on earth they were used for! For dismantling a steam reciprocating engine, there's not much difference from doing the same on a diesel engine, other than the parts being heavier (and dirtier), and it's all done with spanners, hammers, chain blocks and overhead cranes. The winch seems an anachronism, unless it was used with a block and tackle to actually lift stuff out of the engineroom via a hatch placed above?

On colours, I like the cream of the main engines; were they actually that colour? All ships I sailed on built in the 50s and some earlier, were painted blue/green or a pale green, depending on the company. I have no idea what the colour was, though when Japanese and Korean ships started to make an entrance, the colour was actually laid down as "Maunsell Blue/Green" or "Maunsell B/G" - the first picture below. Some earlier ships were light grey - it seemed to be a shipowner choice in the days of British Shipbuilders, whereas with the Japanese and Koreans you tend to get what you are given!

PS That dirty green one was a ship I surveyed for my company. She had three generators, with one missing everything including the crankshaft. The second was the one shown, with parts rabbited for spares on the remaining working engine which was the sole one they came into the anchorage on - a wing and a prayer - and even that had one of the crankcase doors lying on the plates with a thermometer stuck to it with Blu-Tack, so obviously had a hot running bearing. I failed it and it went for scrap...

"Raise the Britannic" would probably bring about comments such as "Cheaper to drain the Mediterranean"! I think she's in quite good condition though, so needs a way to get an ROV in down aft. I saw a film where they got as far as the aft No6 boiler room door (I think) but had to turn back to avoid being trapped or something. I believe they managed itto get in as the bow is torn off.

Maunsell BG.png


Maunsell dirty green.jpg


Maunsell green 1.png
 
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Stevefury

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Dec 27, 2017
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My engines actually started green/blue-green early in the project. I was pointed to a thread in the modeling forum which discussed ship colors. I've forgotten the reference but the reciprocating engines & various auxiliaries were listed as "Light Mast".

Not finding any color category as "Mast", the Titanic masts were listed as a dark shade of brown. I copied the suggested mast color and lightened it up. The result was similar to the engine color suggested in Cameron's movie so I just went with that. I think the beige works well in an otherwise fairly monotone room.

I guess we'll never really know without paint scrapes from the wreck.

There's a couple things that I've taken liberty with such as the sun light streaming down onto the floor plate level.
Although it makes a good dramatic effect, I doubt the sun would have ever made it to that level- Given the time of year (degree of the sun), and her short life.
-Steve
 

codad1946

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I like the "Mast" colour - I think Cameron's were taken from the pumping house engines in UK, with liberties like the central steam valve that the Chief was swinging when the engines went - allegedly - astern. Typically, all the research went into the interiors of 1st Class of course, which everyone apart from a few like us are most interested in. I think most people don't even realise there's an engineroom down below in ships. I wrote the Titanic starting doc because a student in Glasgow asked me "How do you start the Titanic, is it with a big ignition key?"!
Good news is that your views in the original post are working on my mobile phone - great stuff. I have some constructive points for you regarding connections to pumps, and the guards round the crank pit area (similar to the vid I attached) but will dig out my 1927 Sothern's Marine Engineering book first and do some research. It shows you how to build a steam reciprocating engine from scratch so there should be some good stuff in there. It's a fabulous book, all the drawings are by hand and on tissue paper throughout. I have a vid of a modern motorship engineroom as well, which gives some pointers as to how machinery was and is fitted into enginerooms.
"Step by step" as they say here! Talking of which we are off to our farm up in the hills on Samal Island today to see what a cock the builders have made of our rest-house we're building there whilst we were away in Japan for a couple of weeks. Can't get the staff... I'm hoping for better work for Duterte's Capital Projects that are in the pipeline!

Stephen
 

Rancor

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Regarding the winches, in my line of work we occasionally use chain motors to drag heavy items around horizontally or up ramps, etc. Could the winches have been used for something like that? Moving a spare propeller shaft or something?

Otherwise a line to an overhead rigging point would make sense, but looking at Stevefury's model there's a fair bit of stuff in the way.
 

Stevefury

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I'm not sure how they usually would rig ropes/tackle etc in these spaces, but I've created a new 360 to explore the possibilities within the room. I've removed almost everything for clarity. As I understand it, they have several areas to create anchors/tie points: The i or h beams which protrude out of the crotch of each engine Y frame. The engines have been removed in the 360 but the beams can be seen floating in the air. The large I beams in the center of the room would be a good point, with clever rigging one might use the manual/electric winch above the cylinder heads. Maybe the pillars could be used to rig pulleys? just a guess.

The 360 link:
Empty RM

Attached is a render during the construction of my project which shows the inter-crotch and overhead beams.

Engine V3 013-_L_006.jpg
 
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codad1946

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Steve
What on earth is that "intercrotch" for? Looks like a dead ringer to whack yourself into during a blackout...
The parts of a steam reciprocating engine are not that heavy, and the cylinder covers and pistons would be removed out of the top via a chain block and rail. Not that these ships would have done that sort of thing at sea, it would have been left to a shore squad to do when the ship is in port. A bunch of riggers would make short work of whipping a piston out; I could do it meself... Pulled hundreds in my time, up to and including 1080mm bore. We had an electric overhead crane, which I would imagine the Olympic class also had per your description above. I doubt it happened with external combustion engines very often. Our steam pumps years ago just banged away by themselves, and we only took the apart for "something to do". Adjusting valve links was about it. However on diesel engines there is a proscribed running hours and calendar based maintenance routine.
On one Cunard passenger ship fitted with medium speed engines (one of the earlier ones, Cunard Ambassador I think), the engine tops were so close to the deckhead that there were deck plates you lifted up in order to haul pistons and cylinder heads out into the working alleyway that ran above the engine room on both sides. I notice in the model that the cylinder tops were close to the deckhead in places - I need to look again to see if I can spot the lifting gear.

Stephen
 

Rancor

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Jun 23, 2017
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Stevefury,

Another question for you!

Port.png Starboard.png

Noticed these pipes connecting to the LP exhausts of the main engines at the forward end. I understand one (port side?) is the 'silent blow off valve'. Wondering if you know what the starboard connection is for?

Thanks.
 

Stevefury

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Dec 27, 2017
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Hi Rancor.
The starboard side is the silent blow-off valve. There are two connections on the port side facing forward. One is the relief and the other is the turbine start.
Many of these connections were speculative as we (I) don't have these parts of the piping details for this area of the room. I had followed the suggestions closely as possible which were made by more experienced folks than myself and this is how I have them arranged.
Starboard blow-off:
Starboard.PNG


Port side relief (Large upper valve) to a main exhaust return and the turbine start connected to a regulated steam supply:
Port.PNG


Here is a photo of the area on Britannic:
LP.PNG
 
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Stevefury

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Hi Stephen.
I didn't mean to get vulgar or graphic with the beam descriptions.
The beams measure about 9'6" high off of the floor plates. Pretty high for a head banger.


It appears their function was to be an anchor point for lifting. To hang a block & tackle etc. They have what seems to be a loop/hook mounted on rollers situated within the beam to allow the loop/hook to roll from port to starboard as required.

They appear on a couple detail drawings such as below:
1.PNG
2.PNG



Some of those same i-beams in my model have another I-beam on-top one another. The double I-beam is purely a speculation of mine as it is a convenient mounting point for the catwalk frames overhead.

I put a couple identical beams/rollers in the little area up on boat deck level underneath the ventilation/light windows, inside the air/light uptake. They can be seen in the walk-through animation. I have little reference to what may - or what may not have actually been in that uptake space on boat deck. I thought some beams with the same rolling anchor points would be appropriate.

As a note, the room's big structural i-beams which run in-between the engine cylinders just above the engine frames measure about 20'6" off the floor plates.
 

Rancor

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Jun 23, 2017
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Hi Rancor.
The starboard side is the silent blow-off valve. There are two connections on the port side facing forward. One is the relief and the other is the turbine start.
Many of these connections were speculative as we (I) don't have these parts of the piping details for this area of the room. I had followed the suggestions closely as possible which were made by more experienced folks than myself and this is how I have them arranged.
Starboard blow-off:
View attachment 39289

Port side relief (Large upper valve) to a main exhaust return and the turbine start connected to a regulated steam supply:
View attachment 39290

Here is a photo of the area on Britannic:
View attachment 39292
Thanks Stevefury, I think I understand now. The relief line looks like a way to send the auxiliary returns directly to the main condensers instead of the direct contact heater?

And the turbine start allows the turbine to be turned over without the main engines running? Introducing high pressure steam directly into the exhausts of the main engines?

Thanks!
 

Sec'

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Wow SteveFury, that's an incredible piece of work. Really get a feel for it
Just started looking into Titanic and found a couple of photos, admittedly Hnr.433, of the recip ER in construction, and the control stand from the test bed.
Yours seems to match spot on