Micro-cyclotron progress

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George Schmermund
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Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by George Schmermund » Wed May 26, 2010 1:25 am

The micro-cyclotron (uC) has had slow progress up until now do to the steep uphill climb necessary for learning something about RF circuits. I've spent most of my life mainly with mechanical/acoustical/chemical/nuclear devices and related systems that function in the DC to 1 MHz realm. Some of the NIM and detector stuff is faster, but relatively predictable because it mostly uses hardware that has already been designed and tested for 'plug and play'. Learning a new discipline at my age truly taxes the few sober hours I can set aside each day for the purpose of burning in new neuronal pathways.

Anyhow, I'm now developing an intimate relationship with my HP Q-meter and RF vector impedance meter. Over the years I've become a devote believer in the philosophy of "never calculate what you can measure". This imprint has never served me as well it does now. RF stuff is full of non-intuitive pitfalls. I also believe in keeping a good assortment of calibration standards within arms reach as a means of maintaining sanity.

The images show the progress to this point in the uC project. They represent the second generation of design attempts. The ''circuit" was drawn by hand onto the double-sided PCB. The board was then covered with a layer of mylar packaging tape. An Exacto knife was used to cut the pattern. The tape mask was removed where the copper wasn't wanted and then the board was etched with mix of HCL/H2O2. The etching mix works very well and has the added benefit of being clear. It's interesting to watch the progress.

The fabrication part of the uC to this point has been so easy that I almost feel like I'm cheating. (Magnet assembly nightmare excluded!) I guess I'll think otherwise if I can't get it to work. So far this is still a back patio construction project needing no special tools.
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Anything obvious in high vacuum is probably wrong.

Todd Massure
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by Todd Massure » Wed May 26, 2010 3:11 am

Looking good George. I'd like to see the whole set up in person some time.

John Futter
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by John Futter » Wed May 26, 2010 5:54 am

George
You oviously know approximately what your magnets strength is and what you have for HT.
What is your expected RF drive frequency??
If its in the 1-30MHz range then a ham rig will do well as the RF exciter if not then there are other options that I might be able to point you to, I haven't spent 30 years in the RF game for nothing.

All looks like eye candy @ the moment
keep up the good work

Starfire
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by Starfire » Wed May 26, 2010 6:10 pm

Eye-candy indeed - I congratulate you on fine work - RF work is almost a blackart and UHF layout almost mechanical rather than electrical - good luck George and thanks for sharing.

George Schmermund
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by George Schmermund » Wed May 26, 2010 7:50 pm

Todd - When this project is complete it should fit into a lunch box. I just hope you don't want to get together for a show and tell at the airport.

John F - The magnets, when in the yoke, measure to be .94T at the center and tapers off slightly at the edge. I was concerned about the field gradient at first, but it now seems that it's a plus because the beam spiral spacing will widen as the radius extends. This effect should make it easier to intercept just a single beam of highest energy at the collector.

I used this calculator for a ballpark estimate of aim point frequencies. http://www.vk2zay.net/calculators/cyclotron.php . I'm using signal generators for the basic testing. When it's show time I'll use my Kenwood TS 930S transceiver and AT 230 antenna tuner for the real test drive. My power requirements are minimal because all I want at first is a measurable beam. I've got some Keithley stuff for that test.

John H - You're right about the witchcraft part!
Anything obvious in high vacuum is probably wrong.

Todd Massure
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by Todd Massure » Wed May 26, 2010 8:19 pm

Handy frequency calculator, thanks.

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Carl Willis
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by Carl Willis » Wed May 26, 2010 9:10 pm

Nice progress George.

I'll be interested especially in seeing how you seal this puppy up and what you install for an ion source.

Any idea what the low-power Q of your dee circuit is right now? I think the PCB material near the dee gap is going to be significantly lossy and is going to be a challenging outgassing, arcing, and heating issue. You're certainly pushing the envelope (which will make it all that much more impressive if you can get the thing to work)!

-Carl
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John Futter
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by John Futter » Wed May 26, 2010 9:46 pm

George

fine I didn't realise you were a ham and I'm sure the TS940 can be made to transmit anywhere between 1.6 and 30MHz by cutting a diode inside
thats what I have done to my TS440S
73's ZL2TUD

Edit
G10/ FR4 properties are fine up to about 200MHz I have used printed caps in output filters at the kilowatt level for FM broadcast xmitters that run 24/7 with no appreciable heating of the printed caps. Printed caps at 400-800MHz television service are limited to about ten watts so are OK for driver stages not output stages. the printed output filter caps for TV use I change to Polyflon pcb material which is copper clad virgin Teflon.

George Schmermund
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by George Schmermund » Wed May 26, 2010 11:26 pm

John F - I'm not a ham (well, not of the amateur radio sort). I just wanted to keep a nice rig around the lab just in case; for after "the big one!" (bomb, earthquake, frankenstorm, take your pick). Looks like it will be handy before then. Don't worry, the experiment will be well shielded for RF leakage. Besides, it may end up in an industrial band anyway.
Anything obvious in high vacuum is probably wrong.

tligon
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Re: Micro-cyclotron progress

Post by tligon » Thu May 27, 2010 10:15 pm

So many projects, so little time.

I think I NEED one of those!

I wonder how small you can go. Buddy of mine used to think you could make cyclotrons out of molecules such as ATP.

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