Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

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Tom McCarthy
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Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:53 pm

Hey all,

I recently got my first part, it's not so much a part but well..It's a start!

The part I got is a 20Mhz, Kikusui, twin channel oscilloscope, model is COS5020. I got it for free of a man named Richard Tarr, he was selling it on an Irish site and I threw him an email telling him about the Fusor and he was very happy to donate. Richard himself is a software engineer with a bit of expertise in electronic engineering, from what I can tell. I collected the 'scope with my Uncle last week, RIchard did not have any probes left, nor a power cable, but I used one of the power cables from one of my guitar amps and it turns on, must be a good sign? I'll try and source a probe or two in the next few days.

The other reason I was in RIchard's area of the country was that I was visiting Dr. Patrick McCarthy of University College Cork. Dr. McCarthy is a plasma physicist who splits his time between Tokamaks in the Max Planck Institute For Plasma Physics in Germany and his own research in Cork which focuses on magnetic confinement fusion. He himself has a sort of experiment/machine akin to a demo Fusor, but not quite.

The machine has a large, two-part chamber, which is evacuated by a turbo and roughing pump. Turbopump cost €13,000… One part of the chamber is not used anymore, but has a picket fence of magnets surrounding it from former experiments. The other, used part, has a tungsten filament in the centre, connected by feedthrough to Dr. McCarthy's various supplies. A stack of 3cm rare earth magnets on either side of the chamber creates a confinement "bottle" for the plasma that is created within. Helium-4 enters the chamber and is negatively ionized. Dr. McCarthy's power supplies have a low enough voltage but fairly high amperage, they generally have a maximum of c.100v and c.100A. Other than the Helium-4 being negatively ionized and a plasma forming, another interesting thing happens. Two different "types" of electrons emerge inside the chamber: Hot and cold, this is due to the Maxwell distribution as all electrons enter the chamber at the same energy (from the power supplies), but they gradually exchange their energies and so you have two different streams of them.

I'll most likely be visiting Dr. McCarthy again in the year, he has also agreed to try and find some parts for me.

Cameron Key, if you're reading this, please don't mind the post-name-steal.

Pics are linked, if anyone has advice on how to get the file sizes down, it'd be much appreciated and I'll try to get them posted here.
Cheers,
Tom

http://imgur.com/a/Jc69U

John Futter
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Re: Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by John Futter » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:09 pm

Tom
Download Irfanview
It is a free picture viewer that allows resize/resample to reduce pic sizes to waht this board likes

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:28 pm

Thanks for the tip, John. However, I cannot use Irfanview as I'm on a Mac, found a tip that showed me how to do it with Preview though on a post on some forum about it for Mac.

Tom
DSCF7903.jpg
Dr. McCarthy's control panel.
DSCF7902.jpg
A stack of 3cm rare earth magnets.
DSCF7904.jpg
Close up pic of top of control panel.
DSCF7905.jpg
Bottom of control panel.
DSCF7906.jpg
Pumps and a bit of the vacuum line.
DSCF7911.jpg
Better pic of pumps.
DSCF7908.jpg
Chamber with Langmuir probe.
DSCF7909.jpg
Chamber, red metal is picket fence of magnets surrounding unused part.
DSCF7910.jpg
Helium tank.
DSCF7915.jpg
Small electronics set-up for measuring current, voltage etc. inside chamber.
DSCF7916.jpg
Some of Dr. McCarthy's spare parts.
DSCF7918.jpg
Me and Dr. McCarthy
IMG_0107.jpg
Oscilloscope front.
IMG_0109.jpg
Oscilloscope back.
IMG_0108.jpg
Oscilloscope.
20140220_114841.jpg
Me and Richard, sorry for the bad quality.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:01 pm

Thanks for sharing you visit! You are doing the right thing. Visiting people and making new contacts is a real plus. You never know it what ways they may contribute directly or indirectly to your effort and you get a bit of education on the journey.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:31 pm

It's all about who you know, isn't it? Dr. McCarthy said he might be able to get me some parts - some of his conflat, maybe something else if I'm lucky - and he'll make an effort to get me into another lab in Dublin where they have multiple labs focusing on plasma research and analysis.

I'll try and keep you guys updated with pics from any visits, but it'll probably be a while before I get into another lab, hopefully not too long though.

Tom

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Re: Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:43 pm

Helium-3 tube arrived today...With a customs charge of €42 which I thought I had avoided. It's 13" long, shipped in good condition. I bought if off cgroat3573 on Ebay (http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.d ... llFeedback). Jack Rosky and Scott Moroch put me on to him after they bought their tube from him. I think he also supplied Connor Givan's tube. Keep an eye, he puts them up every so often and will go to huge efforts to ensure a happy buyer.

Quick question regarding it: I'm certain that it'll take a 2000v bias, but will a 1000v bias be suitable for neutron detection? Example product (which I plan on buying): http://www.gammaspectacular.com/gamma-s ... s/GS-1100A

Tom

Pics:
He3-2.JPG
Tube with 12" ruler.
He3-3.JPG
Blurry photo of label on tube.
He3-4.jpg
Packaging the tube arrived in.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:04 pm

Regardless of what the tube says, it is always a good idea to approach the recommended bias from below.

Once you have a known good , charge sensitive, pre-amp and detection electronics, the norm is to place the tube in a moderator, get a source of fast neutrons and bring the bias up until you get detection pulses.

This is not the forum for this discussion. Check out Carl Willis' videos on setting up a 3He tube. (radiation forum)

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:09 pm

I'll check them out, thanks for the reply.

Tom

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:51 pm

Received my Hydrocar with PEM cell - snatched up for less than €50. Tried putting it together, but the plastic tubing splits at the ends whenever you push it on the nozzles, I'll play around with the fuel cell itself later with some H2O.

I also received my Edwards Speedivac valve (LB1A). I dismantled it and it seems fine - keep in mind I have no experience with these valves. I plan to use it for the deuterium admittance system, but in case it does not work I have a Granville-Philips valve bought too. The disc showing what % the valve is open is not in sync with the actual knob, it can be turned by hand without turning the knob but will turn with the knob too - I'll just have to turn it to 0 and make sure nobody touches it whenever I get to use the thing.

Also, for those interested, I'm getting a 12" spherical chamber manufactured for what is essentially free. Hivac Engineering (http://www.hivac.co.uk) have agreed to manufacture the attached Kurt J Lesker sphere for me and leak test it for only the cost of the flanges, which they receive at a discount and will apparently be well within my budget. I'm also going to be making a presentation to the Trinity College Dublin (http://physics.tcd.ie/applied-physics/) Applied Physics Research Group. Their research is focused on the topics of nanotechnology and clean energy. The guys there were pretty hopeful that I might be able to get some spare vacuum stuff that they have lying around on "indefinite loan" when I go for a look around their labs.

Tom

Pics:
IMG_2504.jpg
Needle valve from top.
IMG_2503.jpg
Side view of needle valve.
IMG_2505.JPG
Needle valve dismantled.
IMG_2508.jpg
Oxygen side of PEM cell.
IMG_2509.jpg
Hydrogen side of PEM cell
IMG_2510.jpg
PEM cell in hand for size comparison.

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Archived - Tom McCarthy's Fusor Efforts

Post by Tom McCarthy » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:36 pm

More parts: Victor VTS452D hydrogen regulator, Granville-Philips leak valve and a Pirani gauge and sensor - Edwards model 503 controller with PRL10k sensor. The gauge has a range of atm. to 1x10^-4 mbar = 7.5x10^-2 microns.

When it arrived, the leak valve's knob wasn't turning the meter. Thanksfully, the meter wasn't broke and the knob itself was simply jamming. A bit of dismantlement and a few sprays of WD-40 sorted the problem. The valve appears to be fine other than that. The Pirani gauge powers on, but I have no means to test as of yet. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the regulator either - I hope not anyways!

Regulator manual: http://victortechnologies.com/IM_Upload ... lators.pdf
Leak valve manual: http://www.mksinst.com/Docs/R/GP-203Lea ... 26-MAN.pdf
Pirani sensor page: http://www.edwardsvacuum.com/Products/D ... /View.aspx

I couldn't find the 503 manual, anyone have a link?

Thanks,
Tom
GPValve2.JPG
Leak valve.
GPValve1.JPG
Leak valve connections.
Hreg1.JPG
Hydrogen regulator.
PGauge.JPG
Pirani gauge.
Pgaugeback.JPG
Rear of Pirani gauge - 7 pin connection for sensor.
Pgaugeheadfull.JPG
Pirani gauge sensor.

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