A Day in the Lab

10 04 2010

Excellent day in the lab.

I got the elevator key copied, so I’ll never get locked out of the lab. I did a successful test of the mechanical relay.

I rearranged the equipment rack to make room for the coil power supply:

Using 80/20 I constructed a 4U rack mountable chassis for the coil power supply:

Next I mounted the electrical hardware on the sheet aluminum. I started by using a transfer punch to make guides for the drilling. Then I drilled and tapped the holes for M3 bolts:

The first circuit I wired up was the 2 KΩ bleed resistor. Here you can see the bleed resistor wired to the capacitor via a switch. Turning ON the switch bleeds the capacitor:

Next I wired the DC side to the capacitor while minding polarity. Put a voltage meter across the capacitor:

Using the variac I slowly brought up the capacitor to 300V:

Once the capacitor is charged… it holds its charge without much dissipation after the variac goes off.

I was planning to power the relay using this ATX power supply (24V across +12V and -12V):

But during my initial testing it started squeeling and soon blew its fuse!

There was no short circuit that I could see, so perhaps it just died of natural causes?

Anyway… it reminds me: I should fuse the  coil power supply before I go much further!

Funding Credit

10 04 2010

One of the rewards for the Kickstarter project was funding credit on the blog. So here goes! A shout out to my funders:

Lance Conatser
Heiner Wolf
Joey Stanford
Ryan Colucci
Carl Lumma
Gabor Laszlo
Nees and Vos
Paul J. Gitschner
Neil R

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