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Greg's Nike Utilities

Purpose: describe some systems which are not directly related to firing a missile, such as

and more directly related to firing a missile ;-))

Greg Brown ( gregorio_cafe @ comcast . net ) supplied all these images :-))
( and talk to him about additions and corrections of text or pictures ;-))
Last update Feb 3, 2014

Van Heaters

Van Heater

Van Heater Control Panel

Van Heater Blower

Van Heater Blower Control

Van Heater Battery Box

Van Heater Battery Panel
I, Ed Thelen, know less about these heaters (stoves) than I should :-(( Ours, in cold windy Chicago, were always broken - cause, water in the gasoline collected in the glass water/sediment bowl, froze, broke the bowl, and we could not get replacements.

The picture shows what appears to be a metalic sediment "bowl" which might get expanded when water froze, but might not break ??

About water in the gas - the fundamental problem was that the gasoline tanks were in the air, so that gravity flow could fill truck gas tanks. The outlets were at the bottom. As the temperature in Chicago rose, the air in the tanks expanded and some went out the vents - but when the temperature fell, wet air from Chicago flowed back into the tanks. As the temperature fell further, dew would form, drop into the gasoline, and settle to the bottom.

To try to keep the vans warm, we hardly ever turned them off in the winter, and we closed the air vents for the equipment cooling air.

Event Recorder
At our Nike Ajax site in Chicago in 1955-1956, we ignored the Event Recorder. we regarded the concept as rather flawed. It recorded where the computer THOUGHT that the missile and target were and the miss distance.

Unfortunately, if the radars were not correctly boresighted and adjusted, (which we regarded as the major concern) the information fed into the computer, and hence into the Event Recorder were bogus - useless -. The Event Recorder didn't have film in it, and we did not order any.

In the experience of many people, the missiles did either of two things,
- Did the "Right Thing", flew and blew up where they were directed
- OR Failed immediately, did not take steering commands, went straight up - "Moon Shot"

Telephone Switchboard
This was connected to many duty stations, including Battery Control Officer, Azimuth Target Tracking Operator, Missile Tracking Operator, Launch Control Panel, Mess Hall, Orderly Room, ...
There were also automatic circuits to create communication loops in
the IFC and the Launcher Area during alerts

Frequency Converters
The transportable Nike system (except the underground magazines used near populated areas) was all 400 Hz (cycles-per-second) for light weight. Less iron is needed for 400 Hz transformers than 60 Hz transformers.
During the extended periods between alerts, when commercial power was likely available, frequency converters, such as this were used to convert commercial power to 400 Hz. This saved gasoline and wear and tear on the generators, and wear and tear on the generator operator.

Launcher Control Console Arming Keys
I, Ed Thelen, know little about these, except that the "Two Man System" for nuclear warhead control was (likely) a separate system from this.