Last week we looked at an example of the cover used to protect D10 field telephone wires from the elements. The D10 cable needed a number of accessories including the topic of today’s post, the cable layer. This was a device that helped hold the wire steady (a full roll is heavy), whilst a soldier played it out steadily and evenly. The layer also allowed the user to wind this cable back in after use ready for its redeployment elsewhere. The layer is a metal frame with webbing straps to allow it to be carried and a central spindle with winding handle to hold and manipulate the cable:
The frame is made from pressed metal, with large circular cutouts to reduce its weight whilst still maintaining its strength:
Note also the webbing strap across the end of this piece. The winder was worn at 90 degrees to the body and this webbing strap helped make it more comfortable when worn and pressed against the user.
The cable itself is held on a central spindle, with a large crank handle to turn it and the drum of cable on the spindle to allow it to be wound in and out:
To load the layer with cable, a latch at the opposite side is released by turning the sprung clip so it is in line with the spindle axis:
Note the NSN number stamped into the brass here. Once retracted back, a new drum of cable can be fitted, the spindle pushed back through and the brass catch returned to its usual position which holds everything securely into the layer:
A second rod, with a pair of plastic handles, is fitted to the end of the cable layer to help with manipulating a full carrier onto and off of the user as the full layer is rather heavy:
The carrier would normally be worn on the small of the back so the cable plays out behind as you walk forward, and then worn on the chest when winding it back in so you walk towards the laid cable and draw it back in as you go. In order to carry it over the shoulders, a pair of heavy duty webbing straps are fitted with metal ends and fasteners that go over studs on the frame so they can be attached to secure it once it is in position on the user’s body:
Here the winder can be seen in use during an NBC exercise:
This is another piece in my expanding collection of Post War field telephone equipment, however I am still needing to acquire the correct type of cable drum and a length of D10 cable to go with it to finish this part of the set off.
I think that one will take the ‘split drum’ that allows you to refill D10 dispenser packs. (There’s an earlier version of this unit with stamped sheet-metal (instead of tubular) sides that proved a little too fragile in actual use, hence this rather more heavily constructed version.)