The Trim Pump Starter
In answer to my question, ‘What does this do?’ find former Chief Engine Rm Artificer, Gilles Poirier’s reply below:
The picture is a no brainer to me. The copper colored wheel is actually the starting handle located on top of the starter box for the trim pump. The trim pump starter box is located on the Port side in the control room, but the trim pump itself is located forward of the AMS/ACS.
You will notice that on the right hand side of the wheel is a black lever. The operator shifted that lever either up or down as required, once done it prevented the wheel to be rotated the wrong way.
The trim pump was a very fussy piece of kit. It had four rotors turning in four stators*, the rotors were made of monel** and the stators made out of rubber. It used to seize at times and blow the fuses, we are talking about a lot of juice. So, you started to turn that wheel very slowly, you could always count on the trim pump to make this loud grinding noise on initial start up. Once the stators were well wetted with water things went fine.
* a system of non-rotating radially arranged parts within a rotating assembly
** a nickel copper alloy highly resistant to damage by sea salt