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Frank Thomas Turning Target system

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Post by gmmpa on 2/21/2020, 5:28 pm

Years ago in the 80s I purchased a Frank Thomas turning Target system at Camp Perry.  Does anyone know if he is still alive?  Does anyone still have one of these units that still works?  Does any have more information about these units or any history about how long he sold them?

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Post by fc60 on 2/21/2020, 7:43 pm

Greetings,

Within the family, we have two of Frank's devices.

He was old when we bought ours, 25 years ago. I fear he may be long gone.

Is there something in particular that is causing issues?

I do not recall ever getting an "Owner's Manual".

Most of the parts, including the antennae rotating device, were sourced from Radio Shack.

Cheers,

Dave
fc60
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Post by john bickar on 2/21/2020, 8:28 pm

Like Dave said, I fear Frank Thomas has "left the range". He was a senior gentleman when I started shooting 30 years ago.

I think there are some forum members from the Tennessee area who may know more about his turning targets.
john bickar
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Post by gmmpa on 2/21/2020, 11:20 pm

I have owned his turning target for 30 years.  It is still working.  I still use it at home and at the range from time to time. I recently opened it up to see how it was designed.  I think it is a unique piece of work. I can't image how he came up with the design.  I wanted to know more about him. 


I was purging old shooting related files and I came upon the instructions. It have his name on it.   It came with a few pages of hand written instructions.  I do not know anyone that has one and I never saw one being used at the range. It is like an antique car that attracts attention at the range.   I thought maybe mine was the only one still working in existence.  I was just curious if anyone still has one and still used it.



Thanks for the reply.

gmmpa

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Post by teg2658 on 2/23/2020, 11:36 am

I had one that quit 15 years ago or so, called and was told he had passed away.

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Post by lakemurrayman on 2/24/2020, 9:55 pm

I have one of his turning targets.It has a brass tag with his name and phone number.2-10-20 second times.It still works good.

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Post by Ed Hall on 2/25/2020, 9:27 am

Per some posts to the BE-List back then, Frank Thomas passed in September 2005 and a close friend took over the target system, still in Frank's name.  But, that was obviously quite some time ago.

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Post by valbern67 on 2/25/2020, 11:31 am

There was a gentleman selling turning target systems at Camp Perry last summer. Don't remember the name.
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Post by robert84010 on 2/25/2020, 7:22 pm

valbern67 wrote:There was a gentleman selling turning target systems at Camp Perry last summer. Don't remember the name.
https://portabletargets.com/

I have one and highly recommend them.

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Post by JKR on 2/27/2020, 12:50 pm

I have a Frank Thomas turner. It broke down on me several years ago and I couldn’t find anyone to repair it. I wish I had it working now as I enjoy shooting International CF. It has a Duel setting as well as BE timed and rapid.
JKR

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Post by Steve in MI on 2/27/2020, 8:35 pm

JKR

What isn't yours doing?

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Post by JKR on 2/28/2020, 7:01 am

Steve,
It’s been a long time. Five years or more. As I remember, it won’t face. I could hear the timer clicking but target wouldn’t turn.
Jim

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Post by Steve in MI on 2/28/2020, 10:33 am

The last time I looked at one of these was over 20 years ago so working from a very foggy memory.
What I remember was a control box with battery at the bench, cable (I think 3 conductor) going down range to the target (motor and stand).
A lot of times the wire going down range was the culprit.
A tv rotor motor was used to turn the target, I think he usually used Radio Shack (of which a lot where made by channel master).
You could open up the motor and see if any model numbers show inside.
Look for voltage coming out of the control box going to the motor.  I think you should see in the neighborhood of 24v AC.  I would check with no wires connected.  If you have voltage check for it at the motor (connect wires).  No voltage bad wire, voltage probably a dead motor.

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Post by fc60 on 2/28/2020, 11:33 am

Steve in MI wrote:The last time I looked at one of these was over 20 years ago so working from a very foggy memory.
What I remember was a control box with battery at the bench, cable (I think 3 conductor) going down range to the target (motor and stand).
A lot of times the wire going down range was the culprit.
A tv rotor motor was used to turn the target, I think he usually used Radio Shack (of which a lot where made by channel master).
You could open up the motor and see if any model numbers show inside.
Look for voltage coming out of the control box going to the motor.  I think you should see in the neighborhood of 24v AC.  I would check with no wires connected.  If you have voltage check for it at the motor (connect wires).  No voltage bad wire, voltage probably a dead motor.
Greetings,

This is the kind of information that helps!!!

Many thanks,

Dave
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Post by JKR on 2/28/2020, 12:46 pm

The one I have uses a remote. There are no wires from the bench to the turner.

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Post by fc60 on 2/28/2020, 6:15 pm

JKR wrote:The one I have uses a remote. There are no wires from the bench to the turner.
Greetings,

An original Frank Thomas unit with remote?

If so, can you provide more information?

I would love to be able to control my unit from the firing line.

I am good with metal working; but, hit and miss with electrical stuff.

Cheers,

David
fc60
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Post by JKR on 2/29/2020, 5:08 am

Dave,
As winter settles down a bit I’ll get it out of storage. Steve has offered to help me figure out what’s wrong with it. He knows electronics. I do not. Perhaps he’ll be able to provide you with the information you seek. This unit was given to me by Jerry Wilder who was a member of the US team and a good friend of Doc Young. As far as I know it’s all original. I’ll send you some pictures when I get it out of storage.
Jim

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Post by JKR on 3/1/2020, 3:15 pm

Here you go Steve and Dave. This is my remote controlled Frank Thomas turner. Dave as you can see it also has a cord. I have no Idea if the remote unit is original or a modification. I Never used it with the wire control.  Frank Thomas Turning Target system 732fa010
 Frank Thomas Turning Target system 4e063b10
 Frank Thomas Turning Target system 81e9f810

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Post by jwax on 3/3/2020, 3:50 pm

Did that turner actually turn the target fast enough? Antenna rotators are typically rather slow. Did the control box sequence the timed, and rapid phases, or did it simply and manually turn from face to edge?

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Post by JKR on 3/3/2020, 4:31 pm

It did turn quickly. Not as fast as some of the pneumatic setups but way faster than you can picture an antenna rotor working.
This one has timer settings for 2,4,8,10, and 20 seconds. Plus it has a Duel setting as well. Actually a quite sophisticated piece of equipment.
JKR

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Post by teg2658 on 3/3/2020, 11:31 pm

Frank used a antenna rotator in his earlier model then he went to a windshield wiper motor which is really fast, it snaps for edge to face then back. I had one with the windshield motor a friend of mine had the antenna rotator, both of ours had the cord but he also made them remote control for a additional charge. I looked and found his sale sheet last night that described the different options. Both of our turners started having issues working after several years, they were both bought in the mid to late 80s. Mine had 2,10 and 20 second face time. When I called about repairing the turner Frank had already passed away.
Tom Ginovsky

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Post by Fotomaniac on 4/29/2020, 4:41 pm

Anyone willing to part with one of these?

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Post by Wes Lorenz on 4/29/2020, 10:58 pm

fc60 wrote:
JKR wrote:The one I have uses a remote. There are no wires from the bench to the turner.
Greetings,

An original Frank Thomas unit with remote?

If so, can you provide more information?

I would love to be able to control my unit from the firing line.

I am good with metal working; but, hit and miss with electrical stuff.

Cheers,

David
Dave,
I'll bring mine over this weekend and you can hands on.
Hoover

Wes Lorenz

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Post by WillH on 4/30/2020, 9:17 am

Freedom Technologies has a target turner that uses smart phone app.  I've used it at both 50' and 25 yds and works real good.  On the web site there are some pictures and descriptions of how I rigged up mine on various stands.   I don't have a financial interest, just mentioning another option.

http://freedomtech.duckdns.org/index_files/pttc.htm

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Post by zanemoseley on 4/30/2020, 9:24 am

WillH wrote:Freedom Technologies has a target turner that uses smart phone app.  I've used it at both 50' and 25 yds and works real good.  On the web site there are some pictures and descriptions of how I rigged up mine on various stands.   I don't have a financial interest, just mentioning another option.

http://freedomtech.duckdns.org/index_files/pttc.htm

I also use this system, works well and is affordable if you don't mind making a stand. Here's my setup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1BF5lHVXHs&feature=youtu.be

And you can find my plans for the stand on the Freedom Technologies site:

http://freedomtech.duckdns.org/index_files/pttc.htm

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