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Quick steps to good launching.

* Remove the travel locks before raising the launcher.

Sounds simple, but every year some Patriot crew forgets. And that can bend the launcher platform, which is a big league repair. Before you hit the button to raise the launcher, visually check that both travel locks have been removed. And make sure the locks have lanyards. Otherwise, the locks will disappear.

* Pay attention to cables.

If the cables that connect to the rear of the launcher are loose or in bad condition, you're going to have power problems and firing faults. Feel all the cable connectors to make sure they're tightly screwed on. Make sure none of the cables are kinked--that could damage cable wiring.

Look for cuts in the cables' covering. Cuts let water corrode the cable's wiring. Cover small cuts with electrical tape to seal out water. Cuts larger than an inch need your repairman's attention. He may need to put shrink tubing over them.

Keep cables connected as much as possible. That keeps dirt and moisture out of the connectors. If you do have to disconnect cables, screw on their protective caps. If the caps have disappeared, tie a plastic bag over the connector. Order new caps.

* Take it easy with circuit cards.

They're expensive and critical to the launcher. Make sure the power is completely turned off before installing a circuit card. Just flipping off the 28V switch is not enough. Otherwise, the circuit card can be zapped when you plug it in.

Use the circuit card extractor to remove and install circuit cards. Using pliers can damage the card. Make sure you're putting the card in the right slot. If the card doesn't slide in easily, you've probably got the wrong slot. Forcing the card can damage it and the slot.
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Title Annotation:Patriot Missile System ...
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
Words:295
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