slip ring for turret? need power inside the turret


New member
Dallas, TX
So I've got a fake/replica(ish) tank.

I am trying to get it restored/rebuilt and get it running. One of the things I'll need is an intercom system, but I'll also need power and such inside the turret to run a radio, loudspeaker, and air compressor (for the air cannon). The turret spins 360 degrees fully. I am not sure how it spins yet: I need to pull the turret and see what's down there, and I have to wait till Christmas tree season is over to borrow the forklift to do that because my sister thinks a partially disassembled "tank" will scare away customers.

I don't know what it's called, but surely there is some sort of thing that I can stick at the bottom of the turret cage and run power to so that the cables don't get all twisty and break whenever I rotate the turret.

What's that thing called? Is it a slip ring?

Are surplus ones from tanks or other turreted vehicles available for sale?

My tank does not yet have an engine or power, but I'm pretty sure I'll be building a 24 volt system, so that I can use the M60/M113 headlights I have, and the 24 volt search light and I'd like to add a VIC-1 intercom, so it seems like an ex-military slip ring, if that's what I am looking for, is what I'd need, but is there another option?


Wire Fox

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Indianapolis, Indiana
Wow, that's really something. I'm pretty sure you're in the wrong forum section, but I'll try and offer you what I know anyway. First off, yes, you're wanting a slip ring assembly. I don't think there is any reason you have to actually use a former military slip ting. Honestly, you'll probably end up having to make your own if someone can't chime in with a good source of large slip rings made for turrets. The important thing for you to focus on will be getting it to fit around the turret opening properly and to have enough contacts for all your power and commo needs.

Edit: Duh! I just did some looking around and saw how slip rings work on actual armor. I was picturing a giant ring around the turret assembly large enough for a person to fit through. You can do this, and they exist for HMMWVs with special equipment in the turret, but it would be a massive waste. In the tanks, they take a small, robust slip ring unit and place it at the base of the turret basket, right at the center of rotation, so it's as if the turret rotates about the slip right itself.

If that image isn't clear to you like it wasn't to me at first, try picturing a top-loading washing machine. You could make a large, hollow slip ring to fit at the top of the drum...but it's much easier and cheaper to put a small one at the center of the bottom of the drum. With this in mind, you may be able to buy a cheap $20 slip ring off eBay for testing signal equipment. If it seems to work out, replace it with a much more robust unit that has enough current carrying capacity for the devices you need to run in the turret
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