This apparatus may be fitted either as a steering gear or as a device for controlling a steam engine or other form of motor. As a steering gear it is exceedingly simple. Two reversible motors are placed at opposite ends of a worm shaft. Traveling on the shaft is a nut, bearing a sleeve which slides on the tiller to allow of rectilinear movement of the nut. The power of the motors varies with the size of the rudder, the maximum anticipated pressure against it, and the desired speed of operations (i.e. of moving the helm). Two motors are used instead of one as a measure of precaution. In case of the break-down of one, the other would be able to move the helm at a reduced speed. If the additional expense is not objected to, the motors should each be of size sufficient to develop the full necessary power, so that only one need be connected up at a time, the other being held in reserve. The carbon brushes of the reserve motor are drawn back, the current cut off and the armature allowed to revolve freely with the shaft.
The Van Duzer-Mason Electric Steering Gear
Ensign Lewis S. Van Duzer