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smalleststar
05-02-2006, 05:32 PM
Does anyone know what mechanical malfunction you could get on a submarine? It needs to be something that's serious, not necessarily going to end up as an all out disaster. I've googled about a bit, but it seems it's the kind of thing they don't write up in great detail - for obvious reasons I suppose.

I have a short story in mind about a navy clerk with OCD, ordering and despatching parts to ships and subs. He's too anxious to do the job properly and sends off some wrong parts, and somewhere in the back of his mind he knows he's done something wrong. That alone wouldn't be enough to cause disaster, but that mistake will interact with a series of maintenance errors, setting up a lurking and growing problem, initially disguised by the subs own override defence systems. I probably don't need too much technical detail because it would swamp the story anyway, but I feel like I can't write it without some notion in the back of my mind of what's happening. It'd be great if anyone could help or point me in the direction of some information.

Many thanks.

rtilryarms
05-02-2006, 08:48 PM
If it were me, i would have the Lube Oil Pump supplying the Main Reduction Gear (MRG) fail. Both times my ship went dead in the water was due to this failure. Once was a breakage and once was a maintenance error.
You may have to put a sentence in ther which describes what it the MRG does but it isn't real technical.
On a sub the pump is attached to the MRG it is for lubrication. in larger vessels thre are also lube oil pumps for cooling. It was the cooling pump that failed on us. I forget if they have them in Subs.

smalleststar
05-02-2006, 09:06 PM
Wow! That's great. Thanks so much. And there was me, thinking I might not get a response. What a fantastic resource this site is. I just did a search on the problem you suggested and it brought up loads of detailed stuff that I wouldn't have found in a million years. It sounds like just the kind of chronic problem that I need, where people might misdiagnose a new problem because they expect it to be the usual problem. And it sounds like maintenance errors could easily interact with it. Fab! Like you say, I shouldn't need to much detail, but I'll be able to throw in a few words that make it sound more authentic.
Thanks again.
(PS. Can I come back to you if I get a bit stuck?)

MadScientistMatt
05-02-2006, 10:14 PM
Is this a diesel or nuclear sub?

smalleststar
05-02-2006, 10:54 PM
Is this a diesel or nuclear sub?

For this story, it could be either. It needs to be a problem that wouldnt take too much explanation. Some explanation is fine, because my obsessive character will be worrying about what might happen, thinking through the possible outcomes. Do you have other possibilities for me?
Thanks.

rtilryarms
05-02-2006, 11:14 PM
(PS. Can I come back to you if I get a bit stuck?)

Of course. and there are some retired navy Officers on here that will be happy to elaborate as long as it does not lead to irresponsible or classified information.

There are no secrets with the MRG technology especially the info you will find on the web. It is cleared.

bylinebree
05-03-2006, 11:18 PM
When I read your title I just had to laugh...now WHAT kind of up-periscope are we talking about??

My elderly mom-in-law calls her yearly colonscopy an "up periscope" test.

Sorry, just couldn't resist.

Maryn
05-04-2006, 04:15 AM
bylinebree, I'm taking your post as license to share the fact that twice today, on seeing the subject line, I've read it as "Peniscope Up!"

Maryn, blushing

dlcharles
05-04-2006, 04:36 AM
bylinebree, I'm taking your post as license to share the fact that twice today, on seeing the subject line, I've read it as "Peniscope Up!"

Maryn, blushing

Smalleststar: Try the standard failure which happens in everything from the space shuttle to ships, subs, even tanks and jet fighters- the twenty-five cent gasket which shuts down a multi-million dollar piece of equipment.

Maryn: Sigmund Freud is turning over in his grave hoping to get you on his couch.

Billytwice
05-04-2006, 04:42 AM
Check out:
http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/britsubthetis.html
to see how a speck of paint can sink a submarine.

rtilryarms
05-04-2006, 04:57 AM
Check out:
http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/britsubthetis.html
to see how a speck of paint can sink a submarine.

What an incredible story. Thanks bill

Tornadoboy
05-04-2006, 05:44 AM
When I read your title I just had to laugh...now WHAT kind of up-periscope are we talking about??

My elderly mom-in-law calls her yearly colonscopy an "up periscope" test.

Sorry, just couldn't resist.

Oh man you've got me rolling on the floor with that comment! :ROFL:

bylinebree
05-04-2006, 10:42 AM
Sorry, I meant "colonoscopy." I really can spell, it just doesn't show!

Maryn's comment had me LOL too. Ah, the tricks our eyes can play.

smalleststar
05-04-2006, 09:27 PM
Thanks all for your contributions and help, the speck of paint story is very interesting, I like the chain of unrelated incidents that come together to make disaster. Fascinating.

Maryn - my dayjob is psychology and I agree, you need to be put on a couch pretty soon! I can just imagine the free associations...

Thanks again.