Author Topic: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar  (Read 11026 times)

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Offline wxtech

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USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« on: September 26, 2009, 04:11:14 PM »
I have scanned to pdf a USAF Weather Equipment Technician course book.  The book was course material for the AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar.  The radar was taught as part of the Specialist 3ABR30230 & Technician 3AAR30270 courses.  The courses were taught at Chanute AFB, Il.
This material is in 3 parts due to the large file sizes.
Table of Contents http://www.lexingtonwx.com/techdata/ANFPS77-1tableofcontents.pdf
(1.5 MB file size) 4 pages
Basic Radar Principles http://www.lexingtonwx.com/techdata/ANFPS77-1BasicRadarPrinciples.pdf
(7 MB file size) 10 pages
AN/FPS-77 Radar Components http://www.lexingtonwx.com/techdata/ANFPS77-1Diagrams.pdf
(4 MB file size) 7 pages
This radar was the predecessor to the NEXRAD.  This radar is not dopler, not digital.  It used over 200 vacuum tubes.  CRT image storage was by Polaroid camera.
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline Wx4U

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 05:06:36 PM »
We date ourselves....
I'm sure you are aware of the following: Space, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine, Combat, Military Weather Air Force Weather Technical Library (AFWTL), Asheville, NC, "equips Air Force Weather warfighters with tailored scientific and technical information ...
www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-wx.htm - Cached - Similar

I may get out my old copper 8" rain gauge, but I'm always afraid it will be stolen.
best regards, Bob
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Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 06:13:11 PM »
We date ourselves....
I'm sure you are aware of the following: Space, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine, Combat, Military Weather Air Force Weather Technical Library (AFWTL), Asheville, NC, "equips Air Force Weather warfighters with tailored scientific and technical information ...
www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-wx.htm - Cached - Similar

I may get out my old copper 8" rain gauge, but I'm always afraid it will be stolen.
best regards, Bob
Polish that rain gauge and keep it secure.  A new aluminum one from Ben Meadows is $532.  Mine is stainless steel.
Thanks for the link.  I came at that one before from Air Weather Assoc.  New info now though.
Al
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 12:28:38 AM »
I saved those pdf files and the link for future reading.  Thanks guys!   8-)
Mark 
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Offline Chris H.

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 02:02:13 AM »
Saved all three to network drive..took five minutes. I guess that's a little fast, IDK. Wow. Not doppler (meaning it doesn't pulse?) and not digital, which means it be old skool. And I have a question (I'll probably scan through the PDF's for the answer later), how does it detect storms if it uses a Polaroid cam and not digital or doppler? Confusing..
Weather in Rio Rancho, New Mexico:


Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 07:58:28 AM »
Saved all three to network drive..took five minutes. I guess that's a little fast, IDK. Wow. Not Doppler (meaning it doesn't pulse?) and not digital, which means it be old skool. And I have a question (I'll probably scan through the PDF's for the answer later), how does it detect storms if it uses a Polaroid cam and not digital or Doppler? Confusing..
All radars send pulses.  FPS-77 wasn't Doppler meaning that it couldn't detect the shift in frequency of the returned echo.  A moving target causes a shift in frequency indicating the direction and speed of the target movement.
All echos were displayed on CRTs.  A PPI scan to show distance and azimuth bearing.  An RHI scope to indicate height of storm tops, hail shafts etc.  An A/R scope to measure the echo intensity & more accurately measure distance.  The antenna could be made to sweep in azimuth or elevation, or the antenna could by pointed to a cell for height or distance analysis.
There was no means to electronically record the echos.  We recorded the CRT image using a Polaroid camera.
The PPI scope used a long persistent phosphor that indicated the echos in black, not light green.  The PPI echos would remain on the CRT up to 1 hour.  The scope was back lighted so we could see the black storm images on the scope.  The images were erased with a heating filament inside the CRT.   
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline W Thomas

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 12:03:15 PM »
This sounds very interesting!

Will definitely download!  I still deal with tubes often.   For a little longer anyway,


     Best Regards
     Wayne
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Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 01:48:39 PM »
This sounds very interesting!

Will definitely download!  I still deal with tubes often.   For a little longer anyway,
Vacuum tubes are a lost art.  In the 80s I worked for research physicists.  They didn't know that thyratrons can heal themselves. 
I worked with a young electronics engineer who was a musician also.  He wanted to build audio amps with tubes but didn't understand them.
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline W Thomas

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 03:52:58 PM »
This sounds very interesting!

Will definitely download!  I still deal with tubes often.   For a little longer anyway,
Vacuum tubes are a lost art.  In the 80s I worked for research physicists.  They didn't know that thyratrons can heal themselves. 
I worked with a young electronics engineer who was a musician also.  He wanted to build audio amps with tubes but didn't understand them.

I agree!! Some of the best sounding music I have ever heard was through tube amps and " old school" audio technology!
Really hate to see that sort of thing passed up but like you said it IS happening!


     Best Regards
     Wayne
CW8217
CoCoRaHS VA-SM-1
KVAMARIO3 Wunderground 
VWS 14.00 P45   OS WMR 968 &  Davis Vantage Pro 2  / Dedicated Server
GR Level 3 ,Level 2 AE Radars  Weather Display 10.37P  Mid Atlantic Weather Network Member
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Offline Chris H.

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 04:29:45 PM »
This sounds very interesting!

Will definitely download!  I still deal with tubes often.   For a little longer anyway,
Vacuum tubes are a lost art.  In the 80s I worked for research physicists.  They didn't know that thyratrons can heal themselves. 
I worked with a young electronics engineer who was a musician also.  He wanted to build audio amps with tubes but didn't understand them.

I agree!! Some of the best sounding music I have ever heard was through tube amps and " old school" audio technology!
Really hate to see that sort of thing passed up but like you said it IS happening!

MOst of my favorite music was done on tubes. Looks like if I become a musician, won't have that nice sound of tubes. Today's digital stuff just kills, and I don't like the Cher effect.
Weather in Rio Rancho, New Mexico:


Offline W3DRM

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 08:16:08 PM »
This sounds very interesting!

Will definitely download!  I still deal with tubes often.   For a little longer anyway,
Vacuum tubes are a lost art.  In the 80s I worked for research physicists.  They didn't know that thyratrons can heal themselves. 
I worked with a young electronics engineer who was a musician also.  He wanted to build audio amps with tubes but didn't understand them.

I agree!! Some of the best sounding music I have ever heard was through tube amps and " old school" audio technology!
Really hate to see that sort of thing passed up but like you said it IS happening!

MOst of my favorite music was done on tubes. Looks like if I become a musician, won't have that nice sound of tubes. Today's digital stuff just kills, and I don't like the Cher effect.

There are many audio buffs who still believe that you can't get good audio reproduction with solid state devices and that the old tube technology is the only way to go..
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 08:27:44 PM »

Yeah mine as well..
I remember in my teens I played bass in a semi successful country group and always used a Fender Bassman amp but I did cheat and used a Peavey cabinet :lol: I always got done what I needed to with good tone..LOL!
Now I'm mostly an acoustic weather nut :grin:  Play in a local bluegrass group. but in my basement recording studio I still have lots of tube processing and a ribbon microphone or two ..guess old habits are hard to break..  sorry for getting waaay off the original topic :grin:  Memory still works pretty good sometimes LOL!


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Offline SlowModem

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2009, 06:25:50 AM »
Now I'm mostly an acoustic weather nut :grin:  Play in a local bluegrass group. but in my basement recording studio I still have lots of tube processing and a ribbon microphone or two ..guess old habits are hard to break..  sorry for getting waaay off the original topic :grin:  Memory still works pretty good sometimes LOL!

There's a great bluegrass/americana station in Knoxville.  www.wdvx.com.  you should check it out.

Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA


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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2009, 01:49:18 PM »
I think I caught that station once when we were driving to Nashville. Is it a public broadcasting station?
It was a dandy station IIRC
Thanks for reminding me! I'll swing the fm array down that way and see can I get it  :grin:


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Offline SlowModem

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2009, 02:39:11 PM »
I think I caught that station once when we were driving to Nashville. Is it a public broadcasting station?
It was a dandy station IIRC
Thanks for reminding me! I'll swing the fm array down that way and see can I get it  :grin:

It is a public station that started out in a 14' camper trailer.  They transmit with 200 watts.  I can't hear them here at the house unless I listen online.  Their website is where most people listen to them.  wdvx.com

Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA


Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2009, 05:48:00 PM »
More AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar diagrams added.
The block diagram is in 3 parts due to the large size.
http://www.lexingtonwx.com/techdata/ANFPS77BlockDiagram1of3.jpg
http://www.lexingtonwx.com/techdata/ANFPS77BlockDiagram2of3.jpg
http://www.lexingtonwx.com/techdata/ANFPS77BlockDiagram3of3.jpg
This is the last of the FPS-77 tech data that I've found.
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline W Thomas

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2009, 09:50:09 PM »
I think I caught that station once when we were driving to Nashville. Is it a public broadcasting station?
It was a dandy station IIRC
Thanks for reminding me! I'll swing the fm array down that way and see can I get it  :grin:

It is a public station that started out in a 14' camper trailer.  They transmit with 200 watts.  I can't hear them here at the house unless I listen online.  Their website is where most people listen to them.  wdvx.com



Thanks Greg!!

I
ll definitely listen in on the stream!
With that low of a TPO I'm glad they have a stream online otherwise it'd be a no go from here I guess!


     Best Regards
     Wayne
CW8217
CoCoRaHS VA-SM-1
KVAMARIO3 Wunderground 
VWS 14.00 P45   OS WMR 968 &  Davis Vantage Pro 2  / Dedicated Server
GR Level 3 ,Level 2 AE Radars  Weather Display 10.37P  Mid Atlantic Weather Network Member
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Offline 10ACTony

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2017, 12:14:03 AM »
Any chance these could be reposted?

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Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2017, 12:22:14 AM »
Any chance these could be reposted?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Repost about vacuum tube audio technology, radio, or Radar information?
Al - aka Wxtech
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline 10ACTony

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2017, 12:26:28 AM »
Weather equipment tech manuals. I was a weather equipment tech. Chanute in '68. Self Ridge  AFB after tech school.
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Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2017, 12:31:31 AM »
I'm still rebuilding my weather technical library on lexingtonwx.com.  I'll put the info back online soon. 
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline 10ACTony

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2017, 12:35:05 AM »
Really appreciate that.  If you would please post here when it's back on line.  TIA.
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Offline DanS

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2017, 04:19:20 AM »
I'm still rebuilding my weather technical library on lexingtonwx.com.  I'll put the info back online soon.

Hi Al !   Glad to see you back on here. I was wondering where you were and glad to see you're still here with us.  :-)

Offline wxtech

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2017, 07:10:05 AM »
Thanks Dan.  I got married!  Now the priorities are hers; house, yard, early to bed.
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline DanS

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Re: USAF AN/FPS-77 Storm Detection Radar
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2017, 08:13:38 AM »
Thanks Dan.  I got married!  Now the priorities are hers; house, yard, early to bed.

wow, all the best!!!   Congratulations.