Gun Pod Extension Mechanism


 

Now the fun begins!  First, we have to cut the gun pod doors.  In order to make the doors even, I constructed a jig with 2 scraps of wood and a mechanical pencil lead.  Running this around the pod, while holding it against the end of the pod insured two identical cuts.
 


 

Before actually cutting, I outlined the cut lines with fine-line drafting tape to make the cut line more visible.
 


 

There is a blue light at the front of each gun pod.  I wired them in with wire wrap wire, and will run these to the two brass rods used to extend the pod.  This way, I get power to the LED without having to run any wires, and it will look that much cleaner!  
 


 

Here you can see the tubes that the rods will move back and forth in. Prior to building the wing sections, and knowing that I was going to do retractable guns, I drilled the holes for these on a drill press so they lined up perfectly.
 


 

I cut down some extra plywood formers from the Vario kit to make the "core" for the pod cap these get tacked in with a teeny drop of CA.
 


 

The brass rods get their ends threaded so we will have something to "grab" onto!.
 


 

Now, the trick:  We insert the rods into the guide tubes, and coat the nuts on the end with the soot-like 3M Guide Coat.  When the end cap is perfectly aligned, each rod is pushed out and spun to make perfect, circular soot marks on the plywood!  This marks the exact point to drill.
 


 

The cap formers are drilled, and Aeropoxied into place.  Inserting the assembly into the guide tubes to dry ensures that they are at the proper angle and will continue to slide easily when the assembly has cured.
 


 

On the inside, we have an 8711 servo connected through a T-rex 700 pitch linkage to a ball link on an assembly I made on the lathe.  Nice and compact, it moves the arms out with authority.  A JR Matchbox gives me fine control over the throws and limits for these 2 servos.
 


 

Disaster strikes!  Somehow, one of the LED's has stopped functioning..  I have to mill out the area to remove the old LED (they are all encapsulated in Evercoat Metal Glaze and epoxy now), reinstall a new LED, and use a Dremel with a diamond wheel to cut channels to run the wires to the guide rods.....
 


 

All's well that end's well, I guess.  The Gun mount actuation system is functioning perfectly:
 


 

Well... Not quite the end!  Les (my photographer friend came by, and I was showing him how the pneumatics and lights were going to connect, and before you knew it, I had the port side all connected up!  So, I decided to give everyone a sneak peek of the pod in actual operation!  Hopefully the wiring will be neater before I fly it!
 

 



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