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Old 17th Nov 2019, 9:11 pm   #1
Ed_Dinning
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Default Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Hi Folks, some time ago there was a thread on here and an article in one of the magazines about WW2 valved proximity fuzes. One of the curators at the Science museum is try to track down the details for some work they are doing.
I have one of these devices and some of its component parts, does anyone have the technical details ?

Thanks, Ed
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 9:17 pm   #2
Trevor
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

incredible devices and technology implementation at one time even bigger secret than the atom bomb
studied them about 10 years ago but never seen an actual device
Trev
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 10:56 pm   #3
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Ed,
It would be very interesting to see some pictures of your fuze, please!
Andy
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 11:45 pm   #4
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Hi Ed

Take it that an online search for VT fuze (fuse) has been done?
The early British work comprised some of the secrets taken to America early in WW2 by the Tizard mission in order to gain US assistance with the war effort and development of British inventions including Centimetric Radar Magnetrons.
Hazy recall tells me that early work was carried out in a team headed by a scientist by the name of Lord.

Just about everything can be found on AA Artillery proximity fuses,also developed for High Explosive bombs in order to detonate above ground and used in Mortar rounds to devastating effect post WW2.

Only de-classified some long time post WW2 in any detail.

Mike
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 12:19 am   #5
Terry_VK5TM
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

This one?

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=96822

Magazine, according to that thread was Radio Bygones.
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 12:22 am   #6
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

'Most secret' or not, it's always worth searching old patents. There was an embarrassing episode in WW2 where fledgling bomb disposal were desperate for examples of German bomb fuzes- only to realise later that one or more of the current designs had been recorded at the patent office.

Dave
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 1:23 am   #7
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

I remember reading about that. To comply with German patent law, the patent number was marked on the fuse, but its significance was not appreciated at the time.
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 9:49 am   #8
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Ed,

Have you had a look at the proceedings indices for the IEE/IET History of Technology Group S7 summer meetings?

There was a presentation by one of the regulars about 20 years ago, either at York or Keele if I remember correctly. The presenter made well have had a direct involvement with fuze development.

If you don't find it easily, let me know and I will have a look.

PMM
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 10:06 am   #9
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There is an interesting book "The Deadly Fuze".
Rob
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 10:59 am   #10
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
'Most secret' or not, it's always worth searching old patents. There was an embarrassing episode in WW2 where fledgling bomb disposal were desperate for examples of German bomb fuzes- only to realise later that one or more of the current designs had been recorded at the patent office.

Dave
The same happened with the WWII German navigation-beams: someone realised that the German "Standard Elektrik Lorenz" company which made much of the equipment was a part of Standard Radio in the US, which was also the parent company of STC in the UK. A quick search of the UK and US companies' patents archive revealed all that needed to be known!
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 3:36 pm   #11
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Talking of patents, I think that the British patent for the British work was GB585791. I have not been able to find a copy online. Perhaps it was never published. The USA patent for the same work was US3369487. On the Wikipedia page for the Proximity Fuze is a reference to an excellent paper by Brennan which tells the long and complicated story about the US patent. I have read it, but do not have a copy here.

Some of the US work by Tuve and Roberts was covered by patent US3166015

I have seen, possibly in US3369487, the operation of the proximity fuze described in two different ways. The first is the doppler shifted received signal is mixed with the transmitted signal, and filtered to provide an in indication. The second is that the loading of the transmitter oscillator by the nearby object modifies the radiation resistance of the antenna, and it is this change which is detected.

The electronic circuit in the proximity fuze was the simple bit. The packaging and inclusion of the multiple safety devices to prevent premature detonation were the hard parts.

The book "The Deadly Fuze"mentioned by Rob in post #9 was written by Ralph Baldwin and published in 1980. He later wrote a second book"They never knew what hit them", which was published in 1999.

John
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 4:08 pm   #12
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

There was certainly quite a bit of 'control of patents in the interest of national security' in both the US and the UK during WWII (see Hedy Lamarr and her patent on spread-spectrum).

The cunning design of the battery and its behaviour to act as a safety-device is one of my favourite bits of 'simple but effective' engineering.
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 9:35 pm   #13
John KC0G
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

FWIW, these two articles are short but good:
1. Rocket F. Proximity Fuze. Electronics, 1945, No 11, pp. 110-111.
2. Hunton R. D., Miller B. J. Generator-Powered Proximity Fuze. Electronics, 1945. No 12. pp. 98-103.
You can find them at www.americanradiohistory.com

They were two of many articles in the series titled "Electronics War Report" which appeared in "Electronics" from 1945 onwards
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Old 19th Nov 2019, 5:32 pm   #14
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

GB585791 is is the number of a published patent and is in fact available for inspection and download from the German Patent Office's database DEPATISNET. The following link will take you to it.

https://depatisnet.dpma.de/DepatisNe...B000000585791A

Click on the PDF button at the foot of the page to display the document. At one time you used to be able to download a PDF directly, but now you have to use the PDF DISPLAY button at the foot of the page and then the PRINT option to print to PDF. I have just done this, but the PDF is far too large to post here.
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Old 19th Nov 2019, 8:46 pm   #15
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Hi Gents, many thanks for the information. I also found some other details on Jeremy's (valve collector's) website with pictures etc.

Thanks, Ed
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Old 19th Nov 2019, 10:21 pm   #16
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

I just checked Espace, the European Patent Office's patent search facility, and, while it does find GB585791, it only provides an electronic text version of the document and not a facsimile of the original document, although it does refer you to the corresponding US patent. I know from personal experience that documents that are linked as equivalents in patent databases are not necessarily identical, and our practice at GEC was always to get actual copies of all equivalent family members when looking for prior art. The EPO's current service seems to be an unfortunate change from what was provided a decade or so ago when I was actively involved in patents, when PDFs of all 20th century UK patents were provided. No doubt an economy measure which is especially unfortunate, as attempting to do a search via the UK Patent Office (IPO) web site merely takes you the the EPO's Espace. Personally I usually rely on the German Patent Office's service, which does have an English-language option for non-german speakers, and (IMHO) offers far superior search and print options. Their copy of GB585791 is a scanned copy of their own paper copy, and is stamped with the date it was publicly available in their library. Ironic that I now have to go to a german web site to get a copy of a UK patent!
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Old 28th Nov 2019, 7:45 pm   #17
John KC0G
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

Emeritus, thank you for bringing your professional knowledge to bear on this one. It is most useful to know of other sources. I have an amateur interest in patents, and much prefer to use the EPO's espacenet over the US patent office search engine.
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Old 28th Nov 2019, 11:44 pm   #18
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I usually use the German patent office's site, which has an English a language interface, as I find it more user-friendly for my purposes. I used to do on-line searches in the pre-internet days of the early 1990's, and DEPATISNET's expert mode lets you use the boolean combination of codes that I used to use when searching in DIALOG. You can also select the resolution of PDF downloads.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 10:45 am   #19
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I can recommend R V Jones' "Most Secret War" and Hogg's "British and American artillery of WWII" for general background info on its development.
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Old 6th Dec 2019, 8:11 am   #20
FrankB
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Default Re: Anti aircraft proximity fuzes

There was an article on them in either Tube Collectors Assn. or Electric Radio in the last year.
I do have some of the tubes used in them in my collection that's stored away.
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