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A new whatzis for your consideration

Have at it.



It's the starter motor off my 1954 Nash Rambler...painted the same color. (That made it a dead was the starter)
Terrible paint, it looks kinda half hearted.  The nuts? have to allign to keep the center part in a specific position fairly precisely.  It's screws on, into position or a cap?  The centre part looks tempered or hardened.  The ridged? bits suggests it slots into something.

It looks disposable.  A one shot wonder?

Maybe a trap or timing device of some kind.

A splined shaft yellow bellied wobbler, often seen gorging on bird feeders at the north pole.
Dad - so, they eat the *feeders* then?
A son's response.
Provided from a safe remove, too.
@Dad, if you're right, I understand they have very nasty phart.
A rotisserie (sp?) motor? (grin)

Eagle 1
Did the red marking just suddenly appear out of nowhere, or did I overlook them the first few times I looked at this?  LOL
Well, the threads make it some kind of a cap, the shaft with the internal spline means it is driven by something or drives something. The collar with the screws with the red paint means it had to be located in a specific position and tamper-proofed into that position. A propellor fuse of some kind?
Now it looks like a warhead off the Kimpshi 6 Intra Global Yak Impaler.
Ah, Fishmugger, gallantly holding a place in line for Maj Mike.

Frank - the red was there all along.

And, for the record - none of you are even close.

Which is okay - because I suspect that none of you have ever seen this thing in this condition/aspect.

I hadn't.  I knew they existed, and I'd seen pictures from a different aspect, but this view was new to me.

Og - take your thought and reverse it - the item isn't a cap, but a cap has been removed from it.

It really does look like a socket for a splined shaft, but it isn't.

There is a clue in the shape of the yellow piece, if you can visualize it from what's provided.

Yer gonna be suprised, methinks, just as I was.
Hard to see the shape of the yellow piece. Wish there were other pics. Is the end of that "shaft" made to accept a phillips screwdriver?
There *are* other pics, but things start to get pretty obvious with them, so we'll save them for the morrow!  Ooo!  Look!  Pull one wing off a fly and it goes in circles! appears to have the beginnings of a taper...could this be an axle, or some other prop shaft?

it's a high tech pencil sharpener.
I swear the red markings weren't there this morning...
No one has yet mentioned that the whole thing is decidedly asymmetric.  The shaft is asymmetric in its hole, and the hole is asymmetric within the larger thing-as-a-whole. 

Is this the hub-end of an airplane propeller blade -- specifically, a blade off a warplane that had variable-pitch props? 
"Is this the hub-end of an airplane propeller blade -- specifically, a blade off a warplane that had variable-pitch props? "
If it did, there's no damned way I'd fly in anything that was held in place by four 1/4-20 screws. My bet is the entire assembly is less than 4" diameter- and possibly as small as 2"
Noticed that, specifically that the upper left adjustment screw doesn't have a whole lot of adjustment LEFT to it, it's nearly flush with the surface of the nut, as is the lower left, but with very, very little 'reach' left to it. The shaft appears to be intentionally off-center, even within its range of adjustment. (Or the adjuster is worn down to a nub.)

Based on John's last comment, I'm guessing some part of a Helicopter, related to the tail rotor, but not a clue as to exactly what.
I'm with LaMigra, it looks like a mild taper.  The red was always there.

Also, agreeing with OG, appears to be about the size of a full-sized truck oil filter.
the red markings, by the way, are tamper evidents. They tell the mechanic that someone has messed with the screws, and help (before the days of loctite) hold the screws and locknuts in position. it;'s a paint the consistency of thick nail polish and it's a practice still in use in electronics today.

The assembly is dry, so it's not a gearbox, or not exclusively a gearbox, because if it was, there would be some sign of oil. it doesn't look robust enough to be part of a piece of landing gear. There are no clear indications of conductance so it doesn't look electrical. The need for eccentricity and adjustment suggest that it may have something to do with aircraft but I wouldn't rule out some kind of handheld device. This is possibly your best whatsis ever. I am amased, amused, and I expect to be humbled when I learn the true purpose.
Its a Finnish Winter War surplus disgromificator.  However, it appears to be battle-damaged in that it is out-of-plumb.

This is related to the infamous skyhook?

Come to think of it, I've never dissasembled my wife's kitchen aid mixer.
The paint job on those is considerly better than the sneeze on this thing.
MCart, if ya wanna stay married to her... I would recommend you not do that.
 @Argent,  You write, "'disgromificator' This is related to the infamous skyhook?" If I didn't know any better, I would start to think you're becoming a little cynical. If I'm right and you are becoming cynical, *Welcome!" "Skyhook", no, I was thinking more along the line of "PropWash". You would be given the order to out and get a "Bucket of PropWash". Well, as you know, we can't waste it. How do we measure it? This is what I believe the picture is of the main mast support for an *anemometer*, without the top assembly and top gap.
Two thing I notice. 1; The screws seem to be of unequal length.  2; the entire assembly seems be not concentric with the yellow casing. You can see this from the screws at the one and seven o'clock positions.  This seems to indicate that the entire mechanism is not rigidly attached to the casing.  Also from the taper on the front of the casing, it looks like the casing is made of thick metal possibly ruling out an aircraft part.  My guess is a naval hedgehog bomb.
Good Grief, you would think an old fool like me,  would learn how to spell.

*Correction* Grumpy  28 May 2009, 9:37PM.  The last word is *cap*, not gap. 

Czech RPG-7 subcaliber training rocket that fires the 7.62x39 round.
First, I figure the age is 50-60 years old, made mostly out of cast or machined steel or steel-alloy. What are we looking at  on the exterior? Everything on the interior is either stamped or machined steel or steel-alloy. The lower portions are probably painted steel pipe with machining   done on inside at the top, The top is cast, we can see the seam in lower left hand corner of the picture. I'm still having problems with the rings their interactions with the rod at the top. The fitting on the end of the rod is not a Philips Head, it''s the female end of a  friction fitting.

I suspect you will find a machine block arrangement under on that somewhat center rod. I believe it would *not* be self supporting, but more apt to be attached to one of the various Military antennas.

Size, I suspect The opening is about 7-8" outside diameter on the end of a larger flange.

John, I'm sure you'll tell me how far off, I was in my guess. The big thing, it was fun, that is the really important thing. *Thank you, have a really great day.*

As always,