The Apollo Education Experience Project

CM Interior – Part 4

I needed to build a small but important detail in one of the Lower Equipment Bay (LEB) panels. On either side of the Navigation Station are attach points for a removable translation controller and a removable rotation controller. An astronaut performing celestial navigation would use these to orient the CSM to align with stars. Each controller also had two multi-conductor cables. The connectors for these were recessed into the LEB and Nav Station panels. I’m using just cheap coax connectors, but since dust caps will be on this won’t be noticeable.

I had already cut the hole for one of the connectors in the panel beneath the DSKY. I made it recessed by cutting a corresponding hole in some 3/4″ MDF. a pieces of 1/8″ hardboard would provide the mount for the connector. I aligned the pieces, drilled screw holes, then primed/painted the new pieces.

Painted recess and mount plate for one of the rotation controller connectors.
(Photo: The Apollo Education Experience Project)

Although the connectors are panel-mount, they are still through-hole connectors, so I drilled a center hole in addition to the four holes for the mount screws. I installed the connector with four #4-40 screws and nuts, securing the chain for the dust cap with one of them.. I then fitted the plate in the recess piece in preparation for installing in the CM.

Small connector installed on the back plate and aligned with the recess piece.
(Photo: The Apollo Education Experience Project)

The panel where this connector is mounted actually consists of two layers – a 1/8″ hardboard layer and a 1/4″ MDF layer. The mount screws for the connector assembly will not be visible from the outer layer, so I countersunk the holes in the hardboard and mounted the connector assembly to it with flathead screws. Nylon locknuts will keep the whole thing in place.

Completed connector assembly installed in the CM.
(Photo: The Apollo Education Experience Project)

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