Acid Washed

28 02 2011

All photos.

I just disassembled and acid washed all the parts for the coil former and electron gun. This degreases and cleans the parts.

I used a 15% HCL solution.

The aluminum started bubbling, so I didn’t leave it in long. The Stainless and ceramic I left for 15 minutes.

The parts will dry overnight.

Analog Oscilloscope for Sale

28 02 2011

All photos.

Got a Tektronix 2445 4 channel analog oscilloscope for sale:

Starting $1, no reserve.

Comes with 4 HP probes.

RGA Baseline

25 02 2011

All photos.

I’ve decided to adjust my research by taking smaller steps more frequently.

Yesterday I installed the RGA to get a clean baseline for the vacuum system.

It didn’t detect much! Which is good news:

I also spent HOURS organizing the lab. Getting wires off the floor, shelving, etc:

And got a stethoscope for future vacuum diagnostics:

Safety Upgrade

20 02 2011

As readers have pointed out, it’s time to put a lid on the power supply. Took care of that today:

I also added a fuse for the AC side:

Added a chassis ground for all surfaces:

Insulated this diode which could have shorted the bus bars:

Added a permanent voltage meter (steampunk):

Permanently attached bleed resistors to slowly drain the capacitor bank by default.

1,200 Amps

19 02 2011

All photos.

I wanted to look at the current flowing into the coils from the coil powersupply.

I passed the coil current through this ammeter shunt resistor. 100 mV =  100 A.

With the capacitors triggered at 400 V, we see a > 1,200 A current spike lasting about 10 ms:

That’s some current!!!

Deep Vacuum

18 02 2011

Let the pump run all night.

The chamber with blanks got down to 98 nanotorr:

Pretty great actually.

Now we have a baseline best case performance for the vacuum system.


17 02 2011

All photos.

I found the fucking leak. It was the glass viewport. The passivation ate the metal between the glass and the steel:

For the record: do not passivate glass viewports.

I found the leak by listening. Late last night the building was quiet enough to hear the leak. I didn’t hear a hissing so much as I heard the sound of the pump emanating from the surface of the glass.


I will let the pump run overnight to see how deep a vacuum we can get with just blanks.

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