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IFC Battery Control

Also see Part of the digital modernization (about 1980)

This is where the Battery Commander (or Battery Control Officer) and the Acquisition Operator sat. This was the central command place of the battery. Summations of the status of other places of the battery arrived here, and commands to battery components went out from here.

Visitors could view this area, but only after various charts and documents were covered, such as:

- A pie diagram showing the azmuths and elevations below which our radars could not see.
Near by big buildings, trees, etc. had a large effect on this
- Various other commands, codes, and materials regarded as classified.
- The main plotting boards often contained diagrams of safe zones, ... visible under the thin transluctent plotting paper.

Expanded view of Battery Control Trailer
John Porter, manager of SF-88, reports that
"The Battery Control Van is 20.5 ft long, 8 ft wide, 7 ft high, with a 6.5 ft tongue."

Left Side of BC van

including computer and manual plotting board

This is a diagram of the work place. The battery switchboard is just to the right, and the computer cabinets are to the right rear.

Image from Rolf Goerigk

  1. Plotting board, thin paper & ink, largest ring is 200,000 yds (over 110 miles)
  2. T1 quick disconnect (T1 was a van that generated simulated aircraft echos and ECM interference for training purposes)
  3. IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) control panel (the latest version with the Siemens IFF/SIF) (more)
  4. ACQ control panel - control the LOPAR radar (more)
  5. HIPAR control panel - control the HIPAR radar (more))
  6. Precision Indicator (PI) - (expanded view of the PPI -about 22 degrees wide 10,000 yards long)
    - also sent to the Target Tracking operators in the Radar Control van
  7. Target Designator Panel - paints a ring and azimuth line to indicate designated target to Target Tracking operators
  8. Plan Position Indicator (PPI) ("radar scope") more
  9. Tactical control indicator (more)
  10. BCC indicator panel (more)
  11. Vertical plotting board 200 kyds / 100 kft (more)
  12. Status indicator lights, (White, Yellow, Red, Blue)
  13. Target detected speaker (to help arouse sleepy operator)

Plotting Equipment
Horz Plot Arms

used green ink
Example Nike Ajax tracking

Plotting board

Vertical Plotting board
from Michael Keller - Nike Hercules -Nov 2017
  1. This is a later version of the altitude plotting Board, showing the remark in the middle part
  2. MWO Y28-W28 (ca. 1960) and Y81-W7 removes the LOW-ALTITUDE mode from the system.
So, my idea is that the two dead-zones are the same, the smaller one is for the much greater (BALLISTIC) scale, and the bigger for the normal SURFACE-to-AIR scale. Both arcs are under their respective 30000 ft lines.
From my understanding, Ballistic in this case means Anti-Tactical-Ballistic-Missile Mission. (ATBM). So this is a new Mission mode, added with the NIKE-ATBM Version. (ca 1962?)

Why was the Altitude Plotting Board changed then? - (or at last the scale of the height lines) If you want to intercept a missile, comming in fast, you need more time in advance - or a bigger scale. Even the HIPAR reflector was chopped for this steeper angle.

So this is not to confuse with the original SS Mission, which has rather normal trajectory just with a heigth displacement point and a dive and a 180 degree flipover and a baro burst.

Practical use of the above charting equipment is provided by the records of a Short Notice Annual Proficiency provided by Earl Close.


in the battery control van.

upgraded Switchboard,
from Ramiro Carli Ballola

From Ted Willes
I was looking at the picture of the Battery Control Van. Didn't the computer operator sit just to the right of the BCO? I recall that he was there to relay azimuth data to the LCT for emergency procedures purposes. The s/w operator was to his right. (Or is my memory even worse than I thought?) As I recall, the BCO was on the MM circut, the ACQ operator on the Command loop, and the computer operator on the tech loop. The BCO had a switch that allowed him to talk on any loop.

Part of the digital modernization (about 1980)
I received these from
digitized Italian Nike site, Ramiro Carli Ballola
see Nike Hercules Updates
LOPAR HV Rectifiers BC Van Console Lopar Section
BC Van Console TCO & Comp Section BC Van BTE 77
LOPAR HV Power Supply plotting boards
in darkened BC Van
normal in operation
to better see the radar scopes

Now for a little embarrassment - I forgot where I got these images, or who to give credit to -

a clue might be ImageDeposit_dot_com_FREE_Hosting_BIG_UserID_1596_Image_number_2DEEBA8F2B.jpg
This is an upgrade modification from the Hercules equipment at SF-88.
(Dials are replaced by LED displays)

More embarrasment - maybe confession is good for the soul, my soul.
I figured I was a hot shot on almost everything in the IFC - EXCEPT -

So guess what shows up in the e-mail from Michael Keller - mike _ os @ web . de
a blast from the past, December 21. 2013 Nike Ajax - Event Records Analysis all 2.4 MB as .pdf

More Plan Position Indicator (PPI) ("radar scope"),
This is not a "study" of the PPI, just some more images taken during removal of fan noise from a failed bearing.
Photos by Greg Brown, text by Ed Thelen
hole left by removing PPI scope PPI scope, side view PPI scope, top view
3E29 driver tube
A technical description, .pdf format
Target Designator
Sliding handle helps set range and azimuth
Ed Thelen
mug shot

If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen

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Updated Nov 12, 2017