A fluid driven reciprocating apparatus having a double acting power chamber with signal rods serving as high pressure pistons, or to transmit mechanical power. The signal rods are connected to a double acting piston in the power chamber thereby eliminating the need for pilot valves, with the piston being controlled by a pair of intake-exhaust valves. The signal rod includes two spaced seals along its length with a vented space therebetween so that the driving fluid and driven fluid can't mix, and performs a switching function to eliminate separate pilot valves. The intake-exhaust valves can be integrated into a single housing with the power chamber, or these valves can be built into the cylinder head only of the power chamber, or they can be separate from the power chamber.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.