WTF

5 09 2009

So after I installed the deuterium handling system I tried turning on the vacuum system, but it seems I’m not able to pull a vacuum now! The turbopump won’t spin up past 1/5 speed as indicated here (the bar of green LEDs):

IMG_4022

The pump won’t spin all the way up if the chamber is not holding a hard vacuum. Or at least that seems to be the case based on my experience with this pump. I suppose a sanity check would be to install a blank conflat over the pump and fire it up. But this would require some work uninstalling and reinstalling.

Assuming the pump is telling me there is a leak, it must be a leak in the deuterium system I just installed, right?

Time for some troubleshooting. I tried this configuration:

IMG_4021

This is just the fluid feed throughs capped with VCR caps. Still not able to pull a vacuum in this configuration. Lets eliminate failure points again and just install a blank conflat here:

IMG_4023

STILL FAILURE! WTF!

Basically the chamber configuration is untouched from it’s last know working state except for this blank conflat. I’m really perplexed. What just happened?

UPDATE:

It looks like our turbo pump is blown. What a bummer. I put a blank conflat right on the pump to see if I could get it to spin up. No dice. Then I noticed the sound coming from the turbo pump isn’t right.

I’ll speak with the manufacturer on Tuesday about steps to fix this. What a bummer.








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