New Home for Doug's Fusor

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Bob Reite
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Bob Reite » Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:17 am

I now have all the mechanical and vacuum aspects reassembled and the fusor is now under vacuum. I really like the intermittent backing pump set up. It turns out that Pfeifffer designed this system to operate this way. In any case, the pix please!
fusor_front.jpg
fusor_front.jpg (255.7 KiB) Viewed 808 times
fusor_rear.jpg
fusor_rear.jpg (278.07 KiB) Viewed 808 times
fusor_pressure.jpg
For those who are used to Torr, the reading on the display translates to 5.6 E-6. Darn good considering it's only been an hour and no bake out.

Next steps reconnect high voltage supplies, coils and ballast resistors and remote control system.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

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Richard Hull
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:09 am

Fabulous work on this important restoration to functioning condition. Great pix and keep the reports on your effort coming.

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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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Ameen Aydan » Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:10 pm

I just wanted to jump in here,

I was talking to Doug about his feed through design a while back, trying to come up with some inspiration to make my own. After that conversation was over, he was quick to mention this "Gonzo" mode of his. Similar to what Bill had mentioned, Doug said that we was bed ridden for weeks and was incredibly sick after the event. It was a long time ago, but I do remember him mentioning something about a similarity between this event and mass spectrometers? One of you can make the connection LOL.

Anyways, he said that he reached the trillion neutron mark. So, hope that help...

AA

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Bob Reite
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Bob Reite » Tue Jul 06, 2021 12:26 am

Update: I got the power supplies and the remote control electronics reinstalled. One of my ham radio buddies came up to visit so that we could do the Murgas hamfest. He also helped me run the fiber optic and 12 pair direct burial phone cable between the fusor shed and the office. I am now where I was when I bench tested the remote control system. I can see the grid cam, admit gas (currently air) into the chamber and read the pressure "after the fact". Haven't found where the code is buried to display pressure, voltage and current in real time. Anyway, pix below:
electronics.jpg
Electronics installed.
gridcam.jpg
Grid Cam, with quartz bulb illumination.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

John Futter
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by John Futter » Tue Jul 06, 2021 7:44 am

Excellent Bob
Is the quartz bulb what Doug had in there for degassing??

Its been a while since I saw it

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Bob Reite
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Bob Reite » Wed Jul 07, 2021 1:09 am

Yes, the quartz bulbs are for baking out. The pressure is down to 6.0 x 10-7 millibar. About as low as you can get with the Viton gaskets used in some places and more than enough for fusor work.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

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Bob Reite
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Bob Reite » Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:46 am

Power supply high voltage side now connected as well as the controls. Because of the limited resolution of the digital control of the ion grid, I went to an old school pot to send 0-10 volts down one of the control cable pairs to the ion supply. Doug originally left the main grid supply preset, there was no provision for remote control of that, so I set it for 50 KV with 10 mA current limit to keep the grid dissipation at 500 watts or less.
hv_connected.jpg
HV connected and ready to go, with at least some of the components for "Gonzo mode".
run_with_air.jpg
A shot from the remote control station. Grid cam shows both the main and ion grids glowing.

Next step is to hook up the audio, so I can hear the REM ball clicking which will be installed next.

After that hook up the D2, put the neutron oven in place with silver foil and a pancake probe.

Then try some runs in Farnsworth mode, but with ion grid which will keep things "lit up" at lower pressures.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

Peter Schmelcher
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Peter Schmelcher » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:44 pm

Bob, I liked Doug’s backing pump solution but always worried about spinning a turbo continuously because ball bearings/lubricants have a lifetime and also his system was ultimately solar powered. My setup uses an ion pump running 24-7. I cobbled together a 3.5kV supply and by using two diodes and 4 AA batteries it is back up for over a day during a rare electrical outage. I occasionally monitor the vacuum by glancing at a 100uA full scale mechanical meter movement wired in the return current path of the pump’s high voltage supply. Full scale is a pressure of 0.9uTorr for the version of ion pump I have and at that pressure it would consume 350mW but lower pressure requires less power. Eventually the pump saturates with hydrogen (the meter slowly climbs slowly over a year or longer from 18uA to 100uA) and a pump bake out is required to rejuvenate and restore the pressure the ion pumped chamber reaches.

My take is that the ultimate pressure of the vacuum chamber are unknown gases (well probably hydrogen) just complicating investigations. Just something to consider when looking for a needle in a haystack.

Very glad Doug’s setup has a good home.
-Peter

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Richard Hull
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Re: New Home for Doug's Fusor

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:01 pm

Remember the old motto.......Once you get it running..........Tune for minimum smoke.

Great effort Bob. I would not want to undertake such a reassembly effort.

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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My Visit with Doug

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:28 pm

Serves me right for being "in the void" for the past year+, but I have only this moment learned of Doug Coulter's demise. I am reading through the "Re: Life, The Universe, and Everything" thread on his personal 'Coultersmithing' website which started in 2018:

http://www.coultersmithing.com/forums/v ... =42&t=1083

...and gets into his health travails in the last few pages.

I visited with Doug not long after the "Gonzo" event. If you missed that account, I posted the tale here:

http://waterstarproject.com/doug-coulte ... -in-a-jar/

I dare say there are some good photos...

--P
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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