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What we learned in the desert.

Dear Editor,

From our tour in Iraq helping to Keep a Firefinder radar system operating, we learned several valuable lessons that will make things easier for other Firefinder crews:

Forget what the TM says about how often to do PMC--do a complete PMCS daily.

In the desert, the Firefinder needs all the PMCS help you can give it. We tried to do a completes PMCS every single day and would do two PMCSs daily if we had the time.

In addition, we tried to spend two solid hours daily working on one specific area in the Firefinder, covering every possible problem. There are so many things to worry about with the Firefinder that it's easy to overlook something. Devoting our complete attention to one specific area every day helped us catch things we might have missed otherwise.

Clean Filters daily.

The Firefinder filters weren't intended for the Iraq desert. If you don't take them off daily and blow them out, the filters clog up and components start to overheat. Use low-pressure air to blow them out, but not a truck air hose, which can have moisture in its air system. You don't want filters even slightly moist since the moisture draws sand.

Don't leave out filter screws.

Some crews leave out a Few screws in each filter so they can remove the filters easier. But then sand can get in through the screw holes, which defeats the purpose of the filter. Screw in all the screws.

Get three sets of filters.

Then you can just swap out filters when they need cleaning and you have a spare set for replacing damaged filters. Store the filters in sealed plastic bags to seal out sand.

Get a good vacuum cleaner.

We used a 400-Hz vacuum, NSN 7910-00-530-6260, that sucked up sand in the shelters and compartments and then could be reversed to blow out filters.

Don't forget the Filters in the ANITPQ-37's signal processor and the ANITPQ-36's inverter regulator.

"These are the two most over-looked filters for the Firefinder. IF they become too dirty, the signal processor or inverter regulator overheats and shuts down.

Double the Filter on the ANITPQ-36's transmitter compartment.

Sand was getting through this filter so we taped a second filter over it to double its protection.

CW3 Kenneth Evans

GGG Tobias Lisenring

Ordnance Training Detachment

Ft Sill, OK

For the -36, you need extras of these filters:

curbside, NSN 4130-01-097-5912;

roadside, NSN 4130-01-110-7547;

inverter, NSN 4130-01-098-7899.

For the -37, you need extras of these filters:

filter cooler, NSN 5840-01-101-7070;

filter cooler, NSN 5840-01-101-7071;

filter cartridge, NSN 5840-01-101-7068 (comes in pairs);

BSU filter, NSN 4130-01-092-3485 (comes in pairs);

BSU filter, NSN 4130-01-325-0044 (comes in pairs).
COPYRIGHT 2006 PS Magazine
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:AN/TPQ-36, -37 Firefinder Radar Systems ...
Author:Evans, Kenneth
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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