AC Window Unit Compressors

Every fusor and fusion system seems to need a vacuum. This area is for detailed discussion of vacuum systems, materials, gauging, etc. related to fusor or fusion research.
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Monroe Lee King Jr
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AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Monroe Lee King Jr » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:04 am

I just pulled a compressor out of a window unit AC. It pulled 29" with no effort I think perhaps if I get a second unit to run in tandem it might back up a diffusion pump. Tomorrow I'll find another unit in my junk pile and give that a try. I also found a Black Widow nestled in right next to the pump! So watch out lol. Unfortunately that photo came out too fuzzy (wonder why?) I wonder if some better oil would help this pump? I've got a really good pump I can use but I want to try and see how cheap I can do this with just junk I have around here. See if I can get to star mode for less than $100. I'll probably build several fusors this is just the first one for fun!
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Ross Moffett
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Ross Moffett » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:15 am

I believe that the working fluid is used as the lubricant in these pumps. Extended operation without some constant lubrication will burn it up, most likely. Old pumps using R40 (I think?) were lubricated by the refrigerant, modern ones using the non-CFC refrigerants have a squirt of oil in there as well.

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Monroe Lee King Jr
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Monroe Lee King Jr » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:22 am

Yeah I can leak a little oil in there with a needle valve from a cup (modify this air line oiler I don't use). I think I can clean this pump out real good and use some quality oil I have here for my good pump. These compressors have oil mixed in with the working fluid and a little settles in the pump and in the filter dryer. I might not be able to use these if it wont work I'll let you know. I've seen a lot of this and that said both ways. I know in the old days like in 1992 when I started reading the Bell Jar we could still find the old pumps that would work. I've never tried these newer ones we will see I suppose.

Monroe

Thinking about it I guess I should make a catch container for the exhaust to reclaim the oil too I'll do that if I can make a 2 hour run test. I guess I might should do that with just this one pump and see if it burns out or not before I go scrounge up another one.
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Monroe Lee King Jr
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Monroe Lee King Jr » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:46 pm

This pump will work for sure if the AC units cant cut it. Anybody recognize this pump?
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Richard Hull
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:33 pm

Air conditioner pumps? Again, no good for any fusion work. Gotta' have a real pump.

The second pix is better but what kinda' shape is it in. You will have no idea without a decent gauge. As mentioned in my mechanical pump testout FAQ, 50 microns barely cuts it for diff pump use and 30 microns is merely OK. 15 microns or less is good.

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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.

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Monroe Lee King Jr
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Monroe Lee King Jr » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:30 am

Back to back compressors. I need to adapt the outlet to inlet tubing. I'll see what we can pull with this set up. Everyone will know exactly then what to expect. Just for fun!
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Mike Veldman
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Mike Veldman » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:27 pm

Way back in the 60s I played with cascaded compressors as vacuum pumps. I was a kid with limited funds and there were some articles in Scientific American amateur scientist column which suggested they'd work. BZZT! They did make some vacuum, at the cost of refrigerant oil back-streaming all over the inside of the glass chamber under vacuum. I messed with jars stuffed with dish towels as filters, tubes filled with desiccant and finally refrigeration line filters, which did the best but still didn't stop the oil contamination of the chamber. The chamber was a long piece of glass tube I was making a CO2 laser with. Once I put the same amount of work as I'd put into the compressors into an old worn out service pump, my vacuum was clean and workable. Don't waste your time trying compressors as vacuum sources, use the two to make a two stage cooled cloud chamber.

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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:42 pm

Mike's advice is sage. Tandem A/C pumps will never function to any usable level for fusion. They do pollute the fusion chamber very well and are efficient at distributing all manner of filth into the fusion gas environment. Without a calibrated, scientific vacuum gauge you'll never realize just how terrible they are and why you can't seem to fuse at all.

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.

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Monroe Lee King Jr
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Monroe Lee King Jr » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:29 pm

Oh well this is indeed NOT for fusion! This is just to see what I can do with the junk I have laying around! I'll get a turbo pump if I'm serious about fusion! This is just for fun on no money! Just seeing how I can do for nothing first. I am going to make a diffusion pump too! Out of exhaust parts! I think I'll nickel plate them though. This is just exactly for a broke 13 year old to follow if he want's to play with vacuum. I'll present the results! Good bad or indifferent! It's not like I'm worried about if this works or not. This is a $100 fusor I've decided I wont spend more than that and junk I have around here and see what I come up with.

This is just the way I do things. Do what you can for next to nothing first and make dang sure you want to spend the hard cash for the good stuff. Then you appreciate having the good stuff. If you cant do it with scraps in a cave! Then what good are ya! :)

Monroe
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Carl Willis
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Re: AC Window Unit Compressors

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:58 pm

The tradeoffs between time and money, between learning the hard way and getting to a destination promptly, are all personal matters. That said, the economic argument for home-rolled diff pumps and refrigerator compressor vacuum systems has scant credibility. Today's conversation sounds just like Mike Kan's posts from years ago, or the many posts from people whose most up-to-date reference on vacuum technology was evidently an Amateur Scientist column from 1960. Needless to say, the world is a different place now.

$100 for a small, scientific-grade vacuum pump (with free or included shipping) is a common, almost daily, occurrence on eBay.

$100 for a refrigeration-service vacuum pump new in the box from China is an everyday occurrence.

Under $100 for a diffusion pump is an everyday occurrence.

People who are willing to wait and watch for a few weeks are rewarded with even better deals.

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