Maintenance News 2006

This is an article written by the Australian Defence Department in March 2006 just after the Cordwheel was introduced into service.


cord reel

The Ruslyn Cordwheel

Reeling problem resolved?

A RODUM articulating a capability deficiency identified there was no lightweight reeling devices available for unit members to order through the system.

RODUM 20011310 and 20011995 refer to the incidence where damage has occurred to deployable fibre optic cables and associated drums. An engineering change proposal (ECP) was raised to solve the problem, and the Ruslyn Cordwheel, NSN 8130/661533558 was identified as a solution.

Another problem identified was that it is simply not practical to use the Battlefield Telecommunication etwork (BTN) 300-metre optical fibre cable assembly when associated communications equipment are located within few metres of the main BTN assemblages.

Another ECP identified the Ruslyn Cordwheel and a 10-metre fibre optic cable will be included in the revised CES for the Circuit Switch Assemblage and SATCOM Terminal Assemblage.

The Ruslyn Cordwheel is a hand held, compact, lightweight (785 grams), rugged and stackable reeling device made from UV stabilised and recyclable impact resistant polypropylene spool and a plastic handle.
Cable can be collected or reeled out quickly and efficiently allowing tangle free safe handling and storage. Ruslyn Cordwheels are able to be stacked vertically or on their sides for easy storage.
The Ruslyn Cordwheel is a simple and easy to deploy reeling device with the potential for many more applications. It has been introduced into service to meet the requirements of the above RODUM and ECP and is open to the rest of the deployable defence user community.

cord reel
Whether BCOG will continue to support the capability outside the BTN requirement will depend upon responses from users.
Towards the end of this calendar year (October – November 2006) BCOG will be sending out a questionnaire to the major users requesting feedback on its application.
Some identified applications for the Ruslyn Cordwheel are to reel and store:

  • COMMS (DON10) 350 m
  • Data (CAT 5) 175 m
  • Power Supply 30 m (15 Amp)
  • Rope 50 m (10 mm)
  • Fibre Optic
  • Audio Video cable
  • Air hose
  • wire

Any feedback on the Ruslyn Cordwheel is valued. We need ‘your input’ via RODUM or email to the National Fleet Manager James McCloskey at james.mccloskey

cord reel
For more information and the supplier’s details the web site is
Solutions to problems can only be found after the problem has been clearly identified. This trial should identify if the Ruslyn Cordwheel helps with reeling out cable, and whether BTN equipment can be deployed better with the new CES.
The POC is WO2 Martin Fisher, BCOG on tel: (03) 9292 4198 or email:

Further information available on the uses page

Cordwheel and JP2089

cord reel

The NATO Ruslyn Cordwheel NSN 8130/661533558 is now used within JP2089 for handling 100 metres of armor sheathed
fibre optic cable.
This cord wheel has many uses in defence and we are proud that it solves a fibre optic cable problem that was being
experienced by JP2089.

cord reel

NATO cord reel with black cord reel and yellow cord reel together with the optional cord reel mount bracket

Further information available on the uses page

Ruslyn Pack Reel and Ruslyn Cordwheel for SES, Army, Navy and Air Force Use

Ruslyn Cordwheel & Ruslyn Pack reel June 2013 Supplied another shipment of Ruslyn Cordwheels to Victoria State Emergency Service.
Victoria SES use the Ruslyn Cordwheel throughout Victoria regions for handling rope, hose and wire.

Exported a shipment of Pack Reels and Cordwheels to our New Zealand distributor InTELCOM.
InTELCOM supply NZ Army, Navy and Air Force with various types of equipment including the Ruslyn Pack Reel and Ruslyn Cordwheel.

Supplied a large shipment of Ruslyn Cordwheels to Geoscience Australia.
Geoscience Australia will be using both the NATO Cordwheel and Emergency Services Cordwheel for handling their field cables.
Further information available on the uses page

Army School of Signals in Victoria

Ruslyn NATO Pack ReelJuly 2011. Two Ruslyn pack Reels have been given to the Army School of Signals in Victoria to evaluate their use as a small cable reel to run out short lengths of Don 10 (WD-1A/TT). The Ruslyn pack Reel has now been looked at as an additional piece of mini cable handling kit which will overcome many problems in the field. We are confident that this Australian made mini cable reel will eventually become a standard part of a soldiers kit.

Prototype Ruslyn Pack Reels

Ruslyn NATO Pack ReelJune 2011. The Australian Army Combat Engineers have taken 2 prototype Ruslyn Pack Reels on excersize to evaluate functionality. This unique small and lightweight pack reel is used for handling Hook & Line, Detonator Cord, Firing cable and Don 10. The Ruslyn pack Reel is specifically designed to overcome certain problems being experienced by operational defence personnel in Army, Navy and Air Force.

Ruslyn Pack Reel

Ruslyn NATO Pack ReelRuslyn Holdings Pty Ltd has developed the Ruslyn Pack Reel® which is a small hand held cable reel for use by dismounted infantry. Prototypes have been produced for demonstration to Army. This mini reel meets all the requirements of Defence to handle 100m (328’) of 3.5mm Hook and Line low stretch high strength pull line. It will also handle 75m (246’) firing cable, 35m (115’) detonator cord, 130m (426’) WD-1A/TT (Don 10) communication cable as well as 20m (65’) of 8mm rope. This is an exciting development as no such specialised small cable reel is available to Defence anywhere in the world. The Ruslyn Pack Reel® is a hand held ergonomic mini cable reel which is extremely rugged and weighs under 400 grams. This small cable reel has no metallic components. Ultimately we would like to supply the Ruslyn Pack Reel to US army and USMC as well as all NATO countries. Currently we are looking for a Defence fleet manager to codify the Ruslyn Pack Reel® with a NATO stock number. The part number for the Ruslyn Pack Reel is AUS004754RPR. This small reel is intellectually property protected and will be manufactured in Australia using recyclable materials.