Question for IR battlers

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Postby tankme » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:25 am

For those of you that IR battle at Danville in the US or other places with organized club battles, I have a question about LED placements.  I know the rules vary from club to club, but it seems the consensus is that the clubs with the most rules dictate that the IR LED is supposed to be installed 9mm from the end of a tube no more than 6mm inside.  All light scatters and spreads some after being transmitted - I understand that concept.  From my understanding the tube rule limits the firing arc of the UV LED to make the "shots" more precise and less of a fan effect.  I know that most clubs also have a requirement for a barrel flash or barrel recoil. 

​​​​​​​So my question is, how many people put the UV emitter and the barrel flash in the actual barrel together?  I know it's not doable in smaller caliber guns, but a lot of my tanks have large bore guns (SU-152, KV-2, and a bunch of modern tanks).  Would the high intensity flash interfere with the UV LED emitter pulse?  The barrel flash is typically installed at the very tip of the gun and even slightly sticking out of the gun to be seen from all angles.  I would think that a UV LED emitter mounted in a tube next to the barrel flash wouldn't be affected by the flash especially since the emitter does have a pulse cycle and not just a single flash like the flash LED. 

I just think having both in the barrel is a cleaner look than having to drill additional holes in the mantlet or mounting the emitter on the outside of the barrel.

Is my logic faulty?

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Postby Tiger6 » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:46 am

If you put the IR tube at the end of the barrel, and the flash is still visible behind, you should be good - seen that done on tanks like the Pershing where the muzzle break is quite large.
The basic philosophy is that a) the opponent must be able to see the flash so that they can time their actions accordingly, and b) the audience can tell who fired at who... (kind of important to the museum when they invite the public to come and watch)

The tube size is based on the stock Tamiya spec (because that's where the hobby started, its the accepted baseline that anyone building a stock Tamiya can comply with) - it not only focuses the IR beam to an extant, it also narrows it so that you don't hit out your team mates next to you.

Unfortunately I have lost touch over the years with a lot of my friends who attend there regularly, so I would suggest reaching out on RCUniverse if you need further guidance :(

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Postby tankme » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:54 am

It's cross posted at RCU also. Thanks.

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Postby Exhibitedbrute » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:39 pm

The few battlers I have operate different systems but on the tamiya/Taigen systems I have a 6-8mm length of brass tubing behind the mg port in the mantlet for the ir emitter and the Taigen flash unit and recoil on the maingun. This set up is on my firefly, Pershing Sherman 105, t34 and su100.

In my Sherman iii I have a piranha system which is all built in to the apple, on that I have a 9mm brass tube around the emitter on top of the apple and a flash and recoil in the main gun.

The su85 just has a muzzle flash and recoil but no battle system
The su76 and early Sherman under construction will also have a flash and recoil
The Cromwell will have a tamiya battle system with the clip on emitter set up but a permanent internal recoil and flash

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:42 pm

Does anyone have an opinion if I mount the IR Emitter Led here? The Mantlet can be modded but is this where most Panzer III, IV guys put it?
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IR Emitter in Panzer III.gif
Good Location for my IR Bulb
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Postby Tiger6 » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:57 pm

Most of us take out the existing airsoft red led and mount the emitter tube in its place. The airsoft mechanism is redundant anyway as a muzzle flash is usually required, and in many cases gets replaced with a recoil system. 6.4mm OD Evergreen tube is perfect for mounting the emitter inside, equally you can use 5mm ID brass tube if you need something a little thinner.

If you don't have the tube then the emitter acts like a giant shot gun - poor range and sprays IR everywhere, taking out your own team as well as the other guys. This is frowned upon by pretty much everyone in the US club scene.

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Postby Exhibitedbrute » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:22 pm

When we converted to ir we placed the emitters on all tanks that were converted in the mantlet where the shot warning light is. This was done on tiger 1 panzer iii Sherman and Pershing. They all had 9mm brass tube fixed and the emitter at the end this way we kept the elevation for the emitter aswell allowing us to shoot targets on higher or lower ground

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:19 pm

Any pictures? Just wonder how far out the tube sticks out.
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Postby Tiger6 » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:05 pm

Not sure why you think the tube should stick out? - Sure its a little more tricky to get the tube the correct length if it doesn't poke out, but a little patience pays off...

IMG_20210101_180115.jpg


IMG_20210101_180109.jpg
IMG_20210101_180109.jpg (89.35 KiB) Viewed 389 times

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Postby Exhibitedbrute » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:08 pm

The tube is on the inside. I will take some photos later

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:17 pm

That would be great. The photo does help. I can see it isn't as far out as the BB Led
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Postby Tiger6 » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:39 pm

The tip of the LED should be 9mm from the opening.

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:45 pm

How do you clear the barrel saddle for the cannon?
Barrel saddle.gif
Seems like the LED will rub against this
My other problem is I can't get the stock LED out of the Mantelet armor. I I actually cracked it. I have since given up. Might need some debonder.
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Postby Tiger6 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:47 pm

I'm using the Asiatam recoil unit, which doesn't have those 4 ribs on the trunnion, but otherwise is the same - the IR led sits infront of that.

The LED was usually held in place with hot glue, perhaps the glue monkey has gone up in the world? I'd suggest trying a hammer and a bit of steel or brass rod as a drift, should pop right out as the resin the LED is made of isn't known for gripping to superglue particularly well.

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:39 pm

I think the Hot glue monkey must be a Gorilla. I broke the Mantelet by using your recommended method. Not your fault as I actually thought of that first and tried it (broke it) then asked for help. The LED is really glued in. Because the whole piece of plastic around LED is basically ready to fall out, I might must pull it off and then use the tubing method and reinsert it. It may not be as strong I fear as the stock LED receptacle. Maybe drill it out? Then I might cut some of those fins off the barrel trunnion. I need to leave some fins so the barrel doesn't slip sideways. There is no way the LED will fit there now if I leave it the way it is. Thanks for the help. I eventually will get a different recoil barrel.
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Postby Tiger6 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:24 am

One thing to remember is that you only need the rib at the end to act as an end stop - you can cut the middle portion away...

Looking at a (as yet unconverted) Tauchpanzer mantlet, I measure 20mm from the opening back to the rib. A Tamiya IR LED measures 8.4mm from the base to the crown. Add on 9mm in front of that for the tube and you end up with a pinch under 18mm. Remove a little of the rib to get some clearance for the LED legs and cables and you should be good?

You will need to drill out the LED mounting hole to insert the tube for sure. I'd suggest back filling around the existing hole in the inner mantlet with Milliput first (once you have the LED out of there) and then gradually work your way up from the original 5mm diameter to whatever OD your tube is. (Secret option B is to backfill around without removing, and drill it all out - but I'm not sure how toxic the working parts of the LED are, and you might not maintain alignment with the barrel?). If you have completely smashed it, then use a 5mm drill bit down your new tube as an aligning tool, and again set the whole lot in Milliput. So long as you have degreased the parts first, that Milliput won't be coming out again.

Unfortunately I dare not bust open my PzIIIL to photo how I did it, as she's getting rather elderly and bits break off every time I take a screwdriver to her... If you are really stuck I'll try to find time to repeat the process on my Pz IIIN and document it for you, but its really not difficult to do if you just take your time.

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:41 am

Thank you for the detailed response Tiger. I'll try and salvage the exiting socket to keep alignment.
Thanks again
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Postby quitcherbitchen » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:18 pm

I drilled out the LED and wore a mask as you pointed out drilling an LED might have some environmental consequences. Sure enough a big POOFFF came out the LED when I drilled it out. Whatever was inside was very high pressure. The LED refused to leave the existing opening. I measure the IR emitter I have and it is 5mm. The Mantlet is only 4mm. So I probably should have just broken off the existing opening. I have to get some brass tube to fit my emitter LED, I have Plastic but it isn't 5mm inside Diameter. It is 6mm. I want a snug fit.
IR emitter.gif
IR emitter bulb is still much bigger then the stock opening
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Postby Tiger6 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:42 pm

https://evergreenscalemodels.com/products/228-250-6-3mm-od-tubing is perfect for the emitter tube. I suspect you may have to mount the tube into the inner mantlet and then carefully drill out the outer part? Otherwise just hog the led port in the outer completely and then backfill and smooth it off after if you don't need to separate the inner and outer ever again? - its honestly been so long since I last tore down a Panzer III that I forget how they come apart :crazy:

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Postby quitcherbitchen » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:33 pm

Thank you TIger your rusty brain has been very helpful. :D Still have questions. First, did you drill out the Inner mantelet backplate for the tube? I assume you would. I also noticed my mantelet was broken. The tank was bought used so I figure they must have dropped or hit the barrel. I repaired it with super glue. Also, thank you so much for the tubing link.
Mantelet cover.gif
Inner Armor mantelet cover does this hole get drilled?
Broken Mantelet.gif
this was found broken. Since fixed
Tube for IR Emitter.gif
should this tube go thru? I assume it would
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