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Dynamo-technology switch ?

  1. Sep 24, 2013 #1
    "dynamo-technology switch"?

    From this article:
    NBC news article

    What is a dynamo-technology switch? Why were they not using another type of switch? Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2013 #2
    For those not willing to click the link, a nuclear bomb was dropped in North Carolina in 1961, and this switch failing prevented it from exploding.
  4. Sep 24, 2013 #3


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    They tried to use a CRM-114 switch but it wouldn't fit. :smile:
  5. Sep 25, 2013 #4


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    Where do you get this? I read the article and it isn't completely clear to me whether the failure of the switch prevented a detonation or if a failure would have caused detonation. My first assumption was that had the switch failed it would have detonated.
  6. Sep 25, 2013 #5
    The actual document the guardian links to on that same page says 3 of 4 switches fired. The idea there was all 4 switches had to trigger in sequence to detonate the warhead. One did not. The other three were "set off by the fall."

    I just don't know what a dynamo technology switch is to really know how to interpret things. Like, were the other 3 supposed to be triggered by the fall? If not, then yes it was those 3 switches that failed and not the one.

    Anyone ever hear of a dynamo technology switch? Is it like a solenoid or something?
  7. Sep 25, 2013 #6


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    So one switch was operating properly, and the other three were not (unless someone armed them for whatever reason).

    I don't know what "dynamo technology" means.
  8. Sep 25, 2013 #7


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    It's a fancy name for a "motor driven rotary switch". I've no idea what type(s) were actually inside that bomb but these are some common types.

    This information is about early locking systems that 'might' have been on some weapons of that era in addition to normal arming. (ESD devices, mechanical locks or a PAL type devices) All modern weapons do have these systems.

    hardware https://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb/nsam-160/Theater_Control/chap2.pdf
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
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