Making a Radar

Making a SPS-49 Radar for my Anzac Frigate is one of those jobs that I kept putting off because I just couldn’t work out a way of constructing it. Eventually I decided that I would solder one together from wire using a wooden block as a former. A very time consuming task but it has produced a reasonable looking radar.

Before I started construction I gathered enough information to be able to make a simple drawing at the appropriate size. The drawing in conjunction with several photos was enough to complete this model.

sps49_1A wooden block a little bigger than the size of the radar was carved to shape to act as a former. The block was covered in double sided tape. 8 thou tinned copper wire was wrapped around the former to make the elements of the radar.
sps49_220 thou wire was then soldered to the elements to start forming the support frame. I found that I had to use tape to hold things in place during soldering. Plenty of flux was also required to help the solder run.
sps49_3The first layer of the support frame was completed and the assembly was cleaned up with small needle files.
sps49_4The rest of the support frame was built up with each piece being cut to size and soldered into place while holding it with a small pair of pliers.
sps49_5Laying the wire directly over the drawing and taping it down helped to ensure that everything lined up.
sps49_6The main assembly was removed from the the forming block and trimmed to size. Getting the double sided tape to separate was a bit of a challenge and some minor damage was caused to some of the elements.
sps49_7The two main assemblies soldered together.