ANH Han Solo belt greeblies

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phillbarron

Active Member
Looking around, it seems like no one's identified the white box greeblies from the ANH belt. Apologies if that's not the case and everyone except me knows what they are. If so, this is a really pointless post.

I was procrastinating the other day, trying not to do any work and started idly wondering what they might be. They look like relays and aircraft relays seem like a good bet given how much of Star Wars was made from aircraft scrap. Scrap suggests old and I thought they might be British. From that starting point I whiled away a few hours on Google and came up with these:

s-l300 (1).jpg

Have these come up before?

Okay, so they're the wrong colour, have (probably) too many prongs, no writing on the short side or dimple on the long side ... but the shape and size looks close.

A bit of investigation told me they're vintage RAF parts, produced in the '50s and, importantly, covered in some kind of rubber paint.

Maybe they're white underneath? Maybe there's a range of these a d one of them is the correct one?

Further googling found this:

s-l640.jpg

Which looks closer, and this:

s-l225.jpg

Which might have a dimple and who knows what kind of prong configuration?

So I bought one and disassembled it.

And discovered ... it's not the right one.

20180831_153742.jpg

The one on the right is a resin replica I inexpertly assembled.

The one I bought is silver under the coating and has the same prong config as the second one I found. It's not right, but ... it's kind of close.

20180831_153500.jpg 20180831_153245.jpg 20180831_153143.jpg 20180831_153612.jpg

A coat of paint and it might just work. The size is a little large at 5x4x2 cm, but it looks and feels very Star Wars.

It would need bigger pouches on the belt, but I don't know ... what do you think?

20180831_154525.jpg 20180831_154516.jpg

If nothing else, maybe they can help someone else get closer to finding the real thing?
 
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Cameron

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
OMG...I think you found what it could be!!!! Ive been searching for 10 years to even find a glimmer. Well done!! The exact one is now a matter of time.
 

phillbarron

Active Member
OMG...I think you found what it could be!!!! Ive been searching for 10 years to even find a glimmer. Well done!! The exact one is now a matter of time.

It may well be a dead end. The white case suggests bakelite instead of metal (or the coating starts off white and degrades to orange? Seems unlikely? ), the dimple suggests it plugs in. Maybe GEC made a commercial version of these for non-military applications?

Or maybe it's something completely different altogether?
 

Cameron

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It may well be a dead end. The white case suggests bakelite instead of metal (or the coating starts off white and degrades to orange? Seems unlikely? ), the dimple suggests it plugs in. Maybe GEC made a commercial version of these for non-military applications?

Or maybe it's something completely different altogether?

It could have been painted. This is the closest relay / electrical piece Ive seen to date. Getting close.
 

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scottjua

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow! Bravo... I've been searching in vain as well... but this is the closest thing I've seen! I'm sure it's some stupid rare variant two steps removed from what you have there.
 

Kovnyn

Sr Member
I've always assumed the power packs were vintage relays of some sort.

Do you know which aircraft those came out of? We know a lot of props and greeblies were vintage aircraft components, like IG-88's head, and that aircraft engine has been identified, so it's possible the relays came from the same aircraft. I don't imagine the prop department for the OT acquired several different aircraft for parts, maybe just one. So that's where I would continue looking.

Edit: OK, so a quick Google Search shows the IG-88 head came from a Rolls Royce Derwent V jet engine, used primarily in the Gloster Meteor jet fighter, which saw service from 1943 through the early 80's when it was officially retired. So it's possible that they acquired one of the earlier jets that had been retired from service for the props.
 
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phillbarron

Active Member
I've always assumed the power packs were vintage relays of some sort.

Do you know which aircraft those came out of? We know a lot of props and greeblies were vintage aircraft components, like IG-88's head, and that aircraft engine has been identified, so it's possible the relays came from the same aircraft. I don't imagine the prop department for the OT acquired several different aircraft for parts, maybe just one. So that's where I would continue looking.

Edit: OK, so a quick Google Search shows the IG-88 head came from a Rolls Royce Derwent V jet engine, used primarily in the Gloster Meteor jet fighter, which saw service from 1943 through the early 80's when it was officially retired. So it's possible that they acquired one of the earlier jets that had been retired from service for the props.

I'd assumed they'd bought boxes of scrap from various planes rather than a specific plane. More of a job lot of parts.

The components seem to have two reference numbers, there's GEC's number M**** and the MOD's reference which is either 5C/**** or 5CW/****.

I think.

It looks like they split the 5C category into different parts (5CY, 5CW ...etc) as things got more complex over time.

s-l400.jpg

These ones (which look closest to the Anovos ones) are M1492 or 5D/1937 M1526 (might be 2 different types which look similar?) and are apparently from a flight computer.

s-l225.jpg

This one, the one I dismantled for the first post, is 5CW/5699. No idea what it was, but I think I had a date of 1957 for it.

s-l640.jpg

This one is 5CW/5131 M1161.

That's assuming none of the various sellers mislabel them.

GEC merged with loads of companies over the years so any of these may also have been produced with a different set of numbers/manufacturers name on it.
 

Dann

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Really nice job finding these!!

I agree they could really have simply been painted, these are just too close to not be almost the exact right part.

Great, one more thing to search for on eBay for hours on end!

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
 

phillbarron

Active Member
Really nice job finding these!!

I agree they could really have simply been painted, these are just too close to not be almost the exact right part.

Great, one more thing to search for on eBay for hours on end!

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

Possibly. I've bought a second one and a set of the more prong-tastic ones. I'm going to knock a dimple in the side with a hole punch, paint them and see which looks best.
 

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phillbarron

Active Member
Found the patents, these relays were patented in 1948. The case design is the second patent, so maybe there aren't other manufacturers making the same style relays?

Screenshot_20180901-110703_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20180901-110538_Chrome.jpg
 

Kovnyn

Sr Member
I'd assumed they'd bought boxes of scrap from various planes rather than a specific plane. More of a job lot of parts.

The components seem to have two reference numbers, there's GEC's number M**** and the MOD's reference which is either 5C/**** or 5CW/****.

I think.

It looks like they split the 5C category into different parts (5CY, 5CW ...etc) as things got more complex over time.

View attachment 840386

These ones (which look closest to the Anovos ones) are M1492 or 5D/1937 M1526 (might be 2 different types which look similar?) and are apparently from a flight computer.

View attachment 840387

This one, the one I dismantled for the first post, is 5CW/5699. No idea what it was, but I think I had a date of 1957 for it.

View attachment 840388

This one is 5CW/5131 M1161.

That's assuming none of the various sellers mislabel them.

GEC merged with loads of companies over the years so any of these may also have been produced with a different set of numbers/manufacturers name on it.

I found the second one you posted pretty quickly in eBay.ca, but didn't get it because you said it was wrong. https://m.ebay.ca/itm/GEC-relay-5CW-5699-for-RAF-aircraft-GD10-/142917528259?itemId=142917528259&du=1

If they bought a box of random parts, tracking it down will be next to impossible. They are definitely vintage relays, though.
 
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phillbarron

Active Member
I found the second one you posted pretty quickly in eBay.ca, but didn't get it because you said it was wrong. https://m.ebay.ca/itm/GEC-relay-5CW...t-GD10-/142917528259?itemId=142917528259&du=1

If they bought a box of random parts, tracking it down will be next to impossible. They are definitely vintage relays, though.

Yeah, that's the same person I bought from. I'm pretty certain it's wrong, but it's a nice looking piece though. If it'll fit in a pouch I think it'll be a good stand in until the exact one turns up.
 

phillbarron

Active Member
I keep going back and forth on these. Individually they look and feel a million times better than the resin replicas ... but up against the belt I can't decide if they look too big?

I still have to paint the relay and maybe fiddle with the arrangement of prongs on the top, but I knocked up a pouch today to see how it looks:

20180903_172816.jpg 20180903_172752.jpg 20180903_173030.jpg 20180903_172953.jpg 20180903_172927.jpg

Any thoughts/opinions?
 

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Kovnyn

Sr Member
They look a little big, but not too much that they look out of place. Do we know if the copies are the correct size, compared to the original belt box?
 

phillbarron

Active Member
They look a little big, but not too much that they look out of place. Do we know if the copies are the correct size, compared to the original belt box?

I'm not 100% certain, no. I need to spend some alone time with the reference photos and a ruler but real life keeps getting in the way.
 

lonepigeon

Sr Member
I've been watching those relays for awhile too.
It sure seems like they're in the right family of parts, but I haven't seen any more accurate versions show up yet.

Nice work on the research!
I hadn't gotten into all the detail about part numbers etc.
 

kurtyboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nice leads, guys. I've always hoped to one day have real ones my display to complement all the other original part accessories.

I was always looking at capacitors.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member


This picture of an RAF Aircraft Relay from my SW Archive is the closest I found that had
a similar shape, however it was hard to determine it's actual size ... so I abandoned the
urge to buy it.

Chaïm
 

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