Cartridge Start

NSA66
1st October 2010, 14:49
A bit of a co-incidence but I was about to post this query when I decided to read the 'favourite engines' thread. Towards the end of that there is mention of cartridge starting of auxilliaries.

I have just read Brian Callison's 'Stollenberg Legacy' where he mentions the explosion of a starting cartridge somewhere deep in the hull; from the narrative I assumed that he was talking about a main engine startup. I was aware of cartridge start systems for aero engines and smaller diesels but I couldn't see the likelihood of this working for main propulsion engines - it would have to be a hell of a shell to turn a big WW2 diesel over.

Does anyone know if this was possible or is it just a bit of artistic licence?

Ted Else
1st October 2010, 15:23
Cartridge Starters were used on the Dark class FPB's of the RN (Deltic engines)

NSA66
1st October 2010, 16:11
Cheers Ted. I didn't know about their use on Deltics but I guess the relatively light weight of the Napier engine would make them a good candidate for such a system.

The (fictional) ship described in the book was a large, German-built, Soviet general cargo ship with, presumably, a single low speed diesel. I suppose it's expecting a bit much for a novel to go into too much technical detail, but I think it is implied that the main engine was started this way.

ccurtis1
1st October 2010, 16:12
Not a cartridge as such, but Deutz auxiliary engines had an insert to fit which looked like a candy cigarette, or to be a little crude, a tampon, in each of the cylinders, which if were not fitted, rendered starting almost impossible. Don't know what these contraptions were, but we subjected them to all sorts of on board tests. Throwing into the boiler furnace. Nothing. Beating on the anvil with a hammer. Nothing. The blessed things just worked. German Excellence ?????

price
2nd October 2010, 08:59
Rowbothams' Bridgeman had a cartridge start on her windlass motor, the safety aspect would raise some eyebrows today, she carried low flash products. Bruce.

howardws
2nd October 2010, 16:02
Not a cartridge as such, but Deutz auxiliary engines had an insert to fit which looked like a candy cigarette, or to be a little crude, a tampon, in each of the cylinders, which if were not fitted, rendered starting almost impossible. Don't know what these contraptions were, but we subjected them to all sorts of on board tests. Throwing into the boiler furnace. Nothing. Beating on the anvil with a hammer. Nothing. The blessed things just worked. German Excellence ?????

Duvant (spelling?) diesel generators on P&O Ferries 'Dragon' had the same system and they wouldn't start without the inserts. Something to do with the indirect injection system as far as I remember.

The Deutz emergency generators on OCLs 'Small Bays' could be started by putting a piece of celluliod film into a very robust pressure vessel mounted on No 1 cylinder, followed by a burning match and the smart closing of an isolating cock on the top of said vessel. Not a task for the faint hearted!

E.Martin
2nd October 2010, 18:42
Was AB on a WW2 Chant 1951,the winch on no 1 hold was also used to heave in the anchor,Gypsy on the winch,Gypsy on the windlass with a chain to connect the two,what a job to start the winch!!,first lighting a cartridge putting it into the winch moter then cranking the handle,time we did get the winch moter started we would all be knackered.

Peter Short
4th October 2010, 01:52
I have seen a couple of quite different cartridge starters. One was the simple type used on the Marshall single cylinder diesel tractor engines where the cartridge (very similar to 12 gauge) fits into a breech in the cylinder head, the firing pin is struck with a hammer, and the gases act directly on the engine piston. There is also provision to insert a cold starting aid, i.e. it looks a bit like a short cigarette (from memory).

The Coffman-type, as used on the Napier Sabre and other aero engines, is quite different. The cartridge is fired, the gases push on a piston which causes, via a lead screw, the starter pinion gear to engage then rotate. There are usually several (five) cartridges in a magazine, so several attempts can be made. The Coffman was reckoned to develop about 25 hp and was pretty light in comparison to a starter motor and battery. The combustion chamber on the Coffman could be remotely mounted if required (probably to allow easy access for cartridge changing?)

By the way, one of my teachers was a Typhoon pilot in WW2, he told us that if the Sabre failed to start after all the cartridges had been used, all 48 sparkplugs had to be removed.... excess priming could cause hydraulic lock on the sleeve valves, but also wash the lubricants off the sleeves.

Duncan112
4th October 2010, 10:26
7th item down - here http://www.spitfirespares.com/SpitfireSpares.com/Pages/power.html

seeanji
5th February 2011, 10:41
I remember that in the '50s both cartridge and celluliod being used to start emergency generators, you belted the cartidge holder with a hammer to kick it off. The celluloid as described.
If I'd known then what I know now I would not have gone near them.

billyboy
5th February 2011, 10:54
The napier sea lions in the RAF launches had a cartridge start system. Used to scare the life out of anyone rowing round the stern of one at fire up time.

johnjames06
6th February 2011, 21:28
The main engines on the Ton class coastal minesweepers ( Deltic engines) were started with cartridges. Deltics were not a popular engine as the governors were too complicated for the average engineer to understand.

Don Matheson
6th February 2011, 21:50
Have seen them on smaller Deutz engines although not on the larger types where starters were fitted. The small Deutz engines,usually harbour sets, were wound by hand to get some speed before the combustion lever was thrown over. For an older engineer it was good to have a young seaman winding the handle. This told to me by an Older engineer as I wound his Deutz on a visit to his tug.

I thought the engines on the patrol boats and minesweepers also benefited from a spray from an ethenol type of spray and after a while the engines would not start without it. Perhaps thats just another urban myth.

Don

gordy
6th February 2011, 22:01
The Bluey I was on (Ixion I think, but could have been Jason or Patroclus) had a celluloid start on the emergeny gen.
No big drama as I recall. We used lifeboat matches.

Duncan112
6th February 2011, 23:27
I thought the engines on the patrol boats and minesweepers also benefited from a spray from an ethenol type of spray and after a while the engines would not start without it. Perhaps thats just another urban myth.

Don

Certainly car and small boat diesels can get "addicted" to these sprays (Easystart is the trade name I remember)

When I was up at college for my Chiefs there was a lad in the class who worked for one of the Channel Island ferry companies and he was telling a story about having to spray this stuff into the turbocharger intakes of a V12 Pielstick whilst spinning the engine on air to get it started, one day the inevitable happened and the can got dropped into the exhaust pipes running down the V just as the engine caught, the bang was impressive, the MCA surveyor less than impressed.

Tony Morris
8th February 2011, 14:22
The starter that used the celuloid, match heads and a piece of gun cotton was called a "Hansa" starter, very impressive when hit, but you had to be very carefull removing it if it did not go off.

Satanic Mechanic
8th February 2011, 14:32
The starter that used the celuloid, match heads and a piece of gun cotton was called a "Hansa" starter, very impressive when hit, but you had to be very carefull removing it if it did not go off.

I saw it on a ferry I was working on - the film had been replaced over the years and at the time I was sailing there were several spools of Kodacolour Gold 400 next to the emerency gene - I suppose its the thought that counts

Billieboy
8th February 2011, 16:19
I saw it on a ferry I was working on - the film had been replaced over the years and at the time I was sailing there were several spools of Kodacolour Gold 400 next to the emerency gene - I suppose its the thought that counts

Yes, one would need a very fast film for that job[=P]

Satanic Mechanic
8th February 2011, 16:26
Yes, one would need a very fast film for that job[=P]

and lets be honest Black and White would do


For some reason I keep thinking of the gene exhaust on Kodacolour being like something out of Yellow Submarine (Hippy)- probably a high caffeine intake again

Ron Dean
8th February 2011, 16:26
I remember that in the '50s both cartridge and celluliod being used to start emergency generators, you belted the cartidge holder with a hammer to kick it off. The celluloid as described.
If I'd known then what I know now I would not have gone near them.
I was studying Thermodynamics in the 50's. When we had the "Heat Engines" practical, the lecturer would light up a nearly used cigar to use in one of the cartridge start engines.
It was a single cylinder made by the N.G.O.E. (National Gas & Oil Engine Co. Ltd.). I was serving my apprenticeship there at the time.

THEDOC
23rd February 2011, 20:33
Not a cartridge as such, but Deutz auxiliary engines had an insert to fit which looked like a candy cigarette, or to be a little crude, a tampon, in each of the cylinders, which if were not fitted, rendered starting almost impossible. Don't know what these contraptions were, but we subjected them to all sorts of on board tests. Throwing into the boiler furnace. Nothing. Beating on the anvil with a hammer. Nothing. The blessed things just worked. German Excellence ?????

I sailed with these engines and we never ever used the "inserts" always managed to start by cranking. Water cooled Deutz were no where near as good as the aircooled engines which imo were brilliant. I even had a small three cyl one in my boat, they were rock solid.

Billieboy
24th February 2011, 09:38
I sailed with these engines and we never ever used the "inserts" always managed to start by cranking. Water cooled Deutz were no where near as good as the aircooled engines which imo were brilliant. I even had a small three cyl one in my boat, they were rock solid.

I'd go along with that DOC, any Deutz with less than seven cylinders is a good engine, as the number of cylinders increase so do the problems!

Satanic Mechanic
24th February 2011, 10:32
I'd go along with that DOC, any Deutz with less than seven cylinders is a good engine, as the number of cylinders increase so do the problems!

Except Five - avoid the number Five at all costs.



Just had some bad experience with every five cylindered engine I have encountered.(Sad)

Kelpie
3rd March 2011, 23:00
A three cylinder two stroke 120HP Kromhout on a small coaster I was on (1970s) started with blotting paper soaked in a saltpetre solution then dried and cut into squares, rolled and inserted into a cigarette type holder in the cylinder head after being ignited with a proper ciggie. They burned slowly untill compressed.As above no start without them. Easystart once used always needed.,
Crawford

ccurtis1
5th March 2011, 09:57
I sailed with these engines and we never ever used the "inserts" always managed to start by cranking. Water cooled Deutz were no where near as good as the aircooled engines which imo were brilliant. I even had a small three cyl one in my boat, they were rock solid.

The engines I experienced were air start and a bit too big to be hand cranked. They were air cooled. Without the inserts, the attempts to start the engines would invaribly drain the air bottles.

abzexile
8th March 2011, 00:06
I remember when an apprentice in H&W fitting new Napier Deltic on the old Kilmory mine sweeper. I was in the ER when they started one of them, no ear defenders and the idiot starting the engine safely tucked up in his wee room with ear defenders. I couldn't hear for a couple of hours. Did not like cartridge starters.
The MWM engines which I worked on, the generators had the insert type of start assistance. You only needed this in cold weather. Being in the Gulf we never need this. The main engines had glow plugs and you needed these to get them kocking over.

SuperClive
7th August 2012, 18:31
The Bluey I was on (Ixion I think, but could have been Jason or Patroclus) had a celluloid start on the emergeny gen.
No big drama as I recall. We used lifeboat matches.

Ah yes, most of the Blu Flu fleet had the dreaded Hansa starters as the back up 'cold start' device on the emergency gennies. Anchises, Neleus, Patroclus to name but some I sailed on...

Bar engine over to start position mark, unscrew heavy threaded breach piece, insert specified length of celluloid film, screw breach back on, open 'cylinder cock' on top, insert lighted lifeboat match and immediately close cock. LOUD, LOUD BANG!!! (Scares the wits out of you first time...)

I'd forgotten about these until I saw this thread. Think some of the ED ships had them as well but memories fading for those.