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Glenn’s Computer Museum

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Royal Australian Navy Navigation Computer

This is a navigation related computer and display apparently made for the Royal Australian Navy (see the label) by Huyck Sysyems (label on the side, not shown). It is filled with a variety of electro-mechanical components (gears, servos, electrical clutches, potentiometers, etc.) as well as some electronics (high-gain and low-gain amplifiers, quadrature rejectors, and a lot of resistors and capacitors).

Of particular interest is a 19 position mechanical analog memory. The "memory set" knob rotates a carrier with two cams for each of the 19 positions. The selected cams each move an arm which moves an electrical resolver to provide the electrical value for the position. The back of the carrier and its cams and the sensing arm are shown in bottom left picture (there is a cam and arm on both sides if the carrier). What is not shown is a mechanism at the front of the carrier where two servos engage the two screws that adjust the length of the selected cam. This is how the memory values are set.

Exactly what this device does is not clear. The NS and EW knobs on the right move the crosshairs on the display and set values via potentiometers. When not being set, the crosshairs are driven by the computing mechanism. Also, the display is presented in degrees (not NS-EW) and is labeled "wind". Based on my piloting experience, this seems too complicated (oe weird) just to be indicating wind direction. A center knob sets a variance, but variance of what to what? Again, when not being set, the variance display is being driven. Below this knob is a switch (not easily seen) labeled "wind" with positions "man" (surely manual) and "dop" (Doppler?).