The Telemotor

Dec 4, 2000
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We've all seen photos of what remains of Titanic's wheelhouse. Does anyone have information as to the manufacturer and, if possible, the approximate serial number. I have located one that appears to be a near duplicate of what is on Titanic, but need more details. Thanks for any help. If what I have found is similar, I will post photos and instructions as to how to see it in person.

--David G. Brown
 
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Alessandro Del Gobbo

Guest
I haven't completely understood your question (my English has to be improved...
happy.gif
), but I try to answer.
I know that on the wheel was wrote: "Brown's patent telemotor Rosebank Ironworks Edinburgh", as I read in Cameron reconstruction of the bridge.
I don't know the serial number...
Bye

Ale
 
Dec 4, 2000
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I have found an instrument that appears to be a somewhat later version of the Titanic's telemotor. However, I am not sure of its authenticity. Just wanted to learn as much as possible before making a public announcement that might be wrong.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Guest
Wasn't the telemotor hydraulically powered?
And why was it called a telemotor? How about how it worked?
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Colin,

The telemotor derived its name from telemetry, which is the process of making measurements and sending the data by radio. In essence, the telemotor was like the remote control for the Titanic’s steering gear and here is how it worked.

There were two wheels mounted forward on the Bridge. The main wheel was enclosed in the Wheelhouse and was connected to the master control of the Brown’s Patent Telemotor.

Directly forward of the Wheelhouse was a second wheel which was linked directly to the master by shafts and gears so that when one wheel was moved, the other would move as well.

The Telemotor system operates on pressurized hydraulic fluid to relay the movement of the wheel from a piston on the master to a slave in the steering engine room at the stern activating the steering gear and moving the rudder into the desired postion.

Telemotors have two master and two slave pistons interconnected by hydraulic lines. The operate in opposites with one pulling and one pushing when force is applied to the wheel allowing for equal positive control in either direction. The slave cylinders on this system were fitted with springs that would return the pistons to the neutral or centered position if the wheel were to be released for any reason.

The third wheel on the Titanic was mounted aft on the Docking Bridge above the Poop Deck and was completely independent of those on the forward Bridge. This wheel was located directly above the steering engines and operated a vertical shaft connected to the helm shaft of the online steering engine.

There was also a forth “trick”￾ wheel which was connected to the vertical shaft of the Docking Bridge wheel. This could be used by engineers working on either engine to directly control the steering.

Hope this helps!

Best Regards,

Brian
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Guest
How do you know so much about this?! Wow i'm very impressed. I'm a bit confused, what is the piston your speaking of? Also are telemotors still used today?

Thanks a lot, Colin
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Colin,

The pistons I am speaking of are valves much like the piston in the master cylinder that controls the brakes on your car.

When the brake or wheel is moved, it pressurizes the fluid causing the piston inside the cylinder to move.

The moving of this piston was then translated mechanically into the movement of the rudder, much like on a car the fluid moves the piston in the master cylinder causing the brake shoes or pads to engage with the rotor slowing or stopping the car.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Guest
I don't have a car. In fact no one in my family ever did except for my grandparents. But they sold thiers long before I was born. I have only been inside a car a few times and at that only a short while so I have no idea about any master cylinder. Sorry
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Colin,

Ok, since you are not familiar with automotive equipment let me rephrase this for you.

The pistons in the cylinders that control the steering engines were much like the taps on your faucets.

When the main wheel was turned, the piston inside the telemotor was moved, this was like opening the faucet on your sink, the hydraulic fluid was moved through the hydraulic lines from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder in the steering gear room at the stern.

This fluid would then fill the slave cylinder to the same level as that of the master and in doing so would open the corresponding steam valves allowing the steering engine to move.

Once the wheel was returned to its neutral position, it was like turning the water faucet off and the hydraulic fluid would drain from the slave cylinder, reverse the steam valve and allow the steering engine to also return to the neutral position.

I hope this helps to better explain the functions of the telemotor.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Colin,

Like the Titanic itself, once I become interested in something I learn everything there is to learn about that subject
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Best Regards,

Brian
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Guest
Yes, me too but where in particular did you find that information?
Thanks
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Colin, do you have a copy of The Shipbuilder Special that was published back in 1911? A lot of information on the inner workings of the Olympic class liners can be found right there. It's been reprinted several times, notably in the Ocean Liners of the Past series edited by John Maxtone-Graham and also in the Shipbuilder articles which were reprinted in a two volumn series by Mark D. Warren.

They're both out of print now, but you may be able to get them second hand by way of some on line booksellers.
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Guest
No I don't unfortunetly. I'd like to though that would really be helpful.
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Guest
Michael, as you may or may not know I'm trying to write a book about the technical aspects of the Titanic. I know a lot about the ship itself but the reason I made this post is because I wanted to know more about the "steering wheel".
I did check E-bay for a copy of "The shipbuilder" but to no luck.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
You might want to search some of the used book networks or make enquiries at a book store that specializes in out of print books. Some of the most useful titles are not all that easy to find and can be rather expensive. You mentioned that you live in Pittsburgh. I come from New Stanton myself and know enough about the city to know that there are a number of such bookshops there. You might also try the local libraries, particularly the facilities at the local universities. You might be amazed at what you can find.