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Author Topic: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines  (Read 22408 times)

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Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« on: March 31, 2011, 06:03:53 PM »

Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 03:59:33 AM »

Here is a little bit more about the Dake engine in a steering application, from Marine Engineering, Nov. 1903.

Is should be noted that the forward/reverse valve which controlled the Dake could be located remotely, such as in a mining application.  A Dake steam engine has two pistons in a common flat cylinder, has no dead centers, and due to it's low reciprocating mass, can be shifted from forward to reverse very quickly.

I am not a hydralics expert, but I know how things were done in the electrical world, and the electrical world generally worked the same as the hydraulic world.
I would guess that they had small pilot hydraulic cylinders which actuated the large hydraulic valves.  The hydraulic tubes for the pilot cylinders would originate in the pilot house, and be connected to the steering wheel or tiller mechanism.  I would guess that pneumatics may have also been used to actuate steering hydraulic cylinders.

Pat J
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fredrosse

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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 08:13:22 PM »

The sidewheeler Ticonderoga (1906) has both “steam power steering” and manual steering.  This is setup so that if the steam steering engine fails for any reason, the big manual steering wheels can be used to steer the ship.  The first picture shows the big manual steering wheels, locked in position, with just a partial view of the smaller wheel that is connected to the power steering unit.

They had a model of the cable arrangement for this, if the manual steering wheels are locked in position, the steam steering engine works the rudder.  If the steam steering engine is stopped, its worm drive essentially locks the cable drum into position, so the large manual wheels are then unlocked and used to steer the ship.  Clever arrangement.

The steam steering engine is really just a small hoisting engine, no hydraulics here, just steam.
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farmerden

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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 09:58:49 PM »

Here's a video of "Master's" steering.The chain goes up to a shaft that runs forward to the wheel.Unfortunately I was unable to photograph what happens from the engine back!  Den
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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 10:28:03 PM »

Den-

That is a great video.  I have never seen a steering engine in action.
It sort of reinforces the idea that you must have an engine with no dead centers.
I will have to look more closely to see how they are actuating the valve gear with the reversing and all.

Pat J
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farmerden

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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 10:49:54 PM »

It would appear that "Waratah" has the same steering.   Den  The engine is driven by a verticle shaft at the back.[look close]
http://s260.photobucket.com/albums/ii15/maxm86/Waratah/?action=view&current=Video001.mp4
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 10:52:13 PM by farmerden »
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admin

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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 03:53:44 AM »

Den-

You have greatly perplexed me.
No matter how much I study those two steering engine videos, I can't figure out how that reversing mechanism works.

I finally found something in Richard Sennett's book "The Marine Steam Engine", 1918, 11th Edition, about steering engines, and a reference to a "differential reversing valve".  I suspect this is how the engines in your video work, but I will have to read further to be sure.

I will post some information here when I figure out more on the steering engine.

The Sennett book gives a good summary of the rapid advance in marine steam engine design from the early 1800's up to 1899.  I am going to cut and past some highlights of it on this forum.  It is quite interesting.

Pat J
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 12:52:06 PM by PatJ »
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fredrosse

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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 10:59:43 AM »

The steam steering engine I am familiar with was simply a hoisting engine, with no eccentric advance, so it would admit steam, and exhaust for full stroke.  The engine was fed steam through a spool valve, providing forward and reverse rotation on the engine by reversing the inlet-exhaust connections on the steering engine. The same setup as an "in - out" spool valve on a typical hydraulic cylinder, so the engine would run forward-backward depending on the spool valve position.  No steam in/out with the valve in "center position".

The ship's driver (I was going to write "pilot", but that could be confusing if we are talking about valves, so "ship's driver" it is) would position the spool valve by turning the ship's wheel, and the spool would move to a position, say "X".   The steam steering engine would run, driving the ship's rudder in the desired direction, and also this output motion would move the valve body in the direction that the spool had just been placed, the valve body now moving toward "x" position.  When the rudder reached its final position, the valve body was at "X", had caught up to the spool position, and the valve was again centered, the steering engine stopped.  In the instrument world, this is called a simple “feedback loop”.

The actual arrangement had the valve "body" and spool as concentric cylinders, all inside an iron casing.  Power steering in early automobiles was the same spool valve setup, and may still be, however I have not looked into automotive power steering since the early 1950s. 
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admin

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Re: Engravings of Steam Ship Steering Engines
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 12:51:01 PM »

Fred-

I researched the reversing valve last night, and between that and your info, I think I have a pretty good understanding of how it works.  Seems similar to the sliding cutoff valve (dual slide valve arrangement where one valve slides over the top of another, providing better cutoff control).

I am familiar with the Dake steam engine, which was often used as a steering engine, but I was not familiar with reversing any other type of steam engine without a Stephenson's link.

The Dake engine has a three-way valve that looks identical to the locomotive air brake valves.  Since the valving on a Dake is built into the front of the inner piston, it acts as both valve and piston, and is also a balanced arrangement in that the piston moves in a closed chamber with a close fit front in back like some of the balanced D-valve arrangements used on locomotives.

The info I read last night mentioned that the differential valve can be a standard "D" type, but the inner valve must be either a piston type valve, or a balanced D-valve arranged that cannot lift off its seat when the steam and exhaust are reversed.

I am still a little fuzzy about how the steering mechanism and the return-to-center mechanism avoid conflicting with each other.  It is interesting to note that the arrangement is stable, and does not "hunt", which is not always the case in control systems.

Below is what I found last night.

Pat J
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 01:09:22 PM by PatJ »
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