IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

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Bern Bareis
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IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Bern Bareis » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:56 am

Bern Bareis - IEC Fusor - Entry for Neutron Club

Key Components:
1) 6" dia. stainless steel vacuum chamber with precision welded seals.
2) Bertan 105-50N -50kV 20mA Power Supply
3) Alcatel MDP-5010 Turbomolecular Pump
4) Alcatel CFV-10 Turbomolecular Pump Controller
5) Welch 8811 Two-Stage Rotary Vane Backing Pump
6) SEC-4400 (20 sccm) Mass Flow Controller
7) MKS 943 Vacuum Gauge with MKS 421 Cold Cathode Sensor
8) Varian 951-5092 Angle Valve (used for throttle)
9) MKS 145-0025K-120VAC/60Hz
10) Oil mist filter for item 5 above
11) Velleman K8061 Extended USB Interface Board (provides computer control for A/D, D/A, and digital I/O for remote control of items 2, 6, and 7 above)
12) Praxair PRS40121331 Two-Stage Regulator
13) Deuterium Lecture Bottle
14) NeutronRAE II Neutron and Gamma Detector
15) 5% Borated Polyethylene Shielding
16) CeramTec 21194-01-CF 40kV High Voltage Feedthrough
17) Titanium Cathode Grid (0.062 in. dia. titanium wire)
18) Endoscope Camera (non-medical) with approximately 6 in. focal length. (grid camera applies a mirror and gamma ray shield)

Chamber Operation in Star Mode (-15kV, 14mA, 28 mTorr)
D2 -15kV 14mA 28mT 3-28-2015 1.JPG
The run below has 1 to 3 N/s peaks. The graph below is generated directly from the NeutronRAE II and was captured as a screen image. Note that neutron count-per-second is in green and gamma uR/h is shown in red.
D2 -15kV 14mA 28mT Run Neutron and Gamma CPS vs Time Chart 3-28-2015 3-50PM.JPG
Vacuum Chamber Setup (Shown: green 5% borated polyethylene shielding, 6 in. dia. vacuum chamber, NeutronRAE neutron/gamma detector, MKS 421 cold cathode sensor, Varian 951-5092 angle valve (throttle), and Alcatel MDP-5010 Turbomolecular Pump).
Reactor P1.JPG
Endoscope Camera Attachment for Cathode Grid
Cathode Grid Cam.JPG
Backing Pump, Oil Mist Filter, MKS 145-0025K-120VAC/60Hz, and Alcatel MDP-5010 Turbomolecular Pump
Backing Pump 2.JPG
High Voltage Feedthrough
HV & MKS421.JPG
MKS 943 and CFV-10 during pump down
2.7uT Pump Down 3-28-2015.JPG
Bertan 105-50N Power Supply and Praxair PRS40121331 Regulator and Deuterium
-13kV Run HV Supply.JPG
Thank you for your consideration.

John Futter
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by John Futter » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:09 am

Bern
Nice setup
I think you will qualify for the plasma club with little difficulty.
You will need to a lot more work to gain entry to the neutron club.
Looking at your Graph there is nothing statistically to show a measurable neutron count.

I think you will need to coax your system up in voltage a fair bit more.
Also consider a secondary neutron detector via activation of silver to measure the silver decay curve

Bern Bareis
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Bern Bareis » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:25 am

Hi John,

The anomaly you are seeing with the graph is due to scale factor. Since the gamma peak is at 1,029 uR/h in the graph and is affecting the automatic scaling of the NeutronRAE II, the 1 to 3 N/s level is harder to see, but it is there if you zoom in on the graph. The measurement equipment is designed specifically for neutron and gamma detection. Neutrons are being generated with peaks at 1 N/S to 3 N/s on the run shown in the graph. Those are actual neutron counts from the detector. The data run is below. The data in the graph was taken in the -15kV range. It is a bit difficult to make adjustments and take pictures at the same time so the -13kV image was near the beginning of the run and then the voltage was increased. Also note that I prefer to be safe and keep the runs at around -15kV as the neutron count does go up with increased voltage and the Bertan 105-50N power supply being applied is certainly capable of up to -50kV at 20 mA. You should research similar data runs from others who have already been inducted into the Neutron Club. For example, Andrew Seltzman had similar data runs and results at -15kV and generated fusion operating as low as the -10kV range. To see Andrew's -10kV test run, refer to Test Run 3 at: http://www.rtftechnologies.org/physics/ ... t-runs.htm

Here is a data set (index is in seconds) from part of the run in the graph where neutron levels are picking up (actual neutron counts are shown):
-15kV Run Data.JPG
The above data from the neutron detector clearly shows proof of neutrons being generated.

Best Regards,

Bern
Last edited by Bern Bareis on Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Rich Feldman
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Rich Feldman » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:24 am

Hi Bern. Welcome to Fusor.net.

I'm in no way a judge here, though I've done lots of science fair judging. Nice setup you showed us. Did you make it? All by yourself? When? Where? How long did it take?

Your choice of thread title suggests that you have not read "FAQ - Rules for the Neutron Club membership". Or you have chosen to dismiss rules 1, 2, 3, etc.
Let's also go check the forum membership rules (in registration dialog). In case the mandatory Introduction post is supposed to say something about the new member, without having to read between the lines. (There's still time to edit it. :-) )

In your spreadsheet, all 21 sample intervals have exactly the same date and time. Waste of cells.
Probably just an insufficiently precise output format, but it's a sign of hasty publishing.
As is the chart in OP, where green signal deflection is less than its linewidth. Waste of ink.
How large _are_ your sample intervals?

You have overcome lots of technical hurdles, so the procedural ones at this site shouldn't hold you up very long.
Good luck!
Last edited by Rich Feldman on Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:50 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Richard Hull
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:52 am

At such a low rate, noise can be an issue. What is background neutron count rate over ten minutes? Once you have your rate up remove the detector tube from its moderator and take a reading and report back.

Low rates tend to demand long count intervals to be significant. Neutrons/sec means little. We need total neutrons counted over an extended period and then over the same period at the same voltage with air or another gas in the system. Even better....Neutrons counted over an extended period and then just pull the detector tube out of the moderator and run over the same interval. Can we have more information and an image of the neutron detector? Your numbers are too low to instill any confidence in you results.
As mentioned, read the rules. Neutron metrology at low levels is dicey, at best.

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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Jim Kovalchick
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Jim Kovalchick » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:48 am

He is not using a tube based neutron detector. He is using a Neutronrae which is a first responder direct reading wearable monitor using both a CsI detector for gammas and an LiI crystal for neutrons. Each crystal is mounted to a pin diode. I don't know if anyone has used these on entry level fusors yet, and I am not certain they are sensitive enough for this work. i could be wrong though. I suggest that moderation be varied as Richard suggests to see if the sensitivity is there.

Bern Bareis
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Bern Bareis » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:42 am

The neutron detector applied is a commercial unit designed specifically for neutron and gamma ray detection. MSRP on the unit is around $3,700 USD. It is a very nice unit to use having remote wireless access via Bluetooth, microprocessor control, user programmable features, and a very useful data logging capability. The NeutronRAE II is a portable neutron and gamma ray detector used in civilian and military applications. Let’s please move past whether or not the NeutronRAE II will detect neutrons. That is what it was designed, developed, and what it is sold for. It does detect both neutrons and gamma rays. Information on the NeutronRAE II can be acquired from the RAE Systems, Inc. web site at: http://www.raesystems.com/products/neutronrae-ii

The question then is whether or not the NeutronRAE II is subject to false readings from background noise or if the neutron sensor is affected by gamma rays. The short answer to both of these questions appears to be “no.” As Jim Kovalchick mentioned, the unit has separate sensors for each the neutron detector and the gamma ray detector. The way that the neutron detector works, it registers no detection of neutrons, until neutrons are actually hitting the detector. The presence of only gamma rays does not set off the neutron detector. The presence of neutrons does not impact the gamma ray detector reading. Each detector operates reasonably independently.

Richard Hull brings up a good point as to what is causing the neutrons to be detected by a neutron detector. Here is an example of the gamma ray reading on the NeutronRAE II during an up to -20kV run with air at 3 mTorr. There were no false neutron detections in the presence of gamma rays during this test.

Air
Air 3mTorr -20kV.JPG
Air 3mTorr -20kV.JPG (12.16 KiB) Viewed 5672 times
Air -20kV.JPG
The next question, as Jim Kovalchick suggested, is whether or not the unit is sensitive enough. The answer is yes. The neutron readings shown in the graph and prior listing of the output of the NeutronRAE II show that while the cathode is still reasonably cool you can for a short period achieve increased neutron count by increasing the negative voltage level to the fusor without causing the gamma radiation to increase above the background level. The background gamma radiation in the location that the fusor is kept normally reads around 3 to 7 uR/h. Again, the neutron count is zero, when no fusion is occurring as can be seen in the air plasma testing and while the fusor power is turned off. Given that Neutron Club members have been inducted with a few bubbles in a neutron dosimeter, applying -15kV to show similar results using the capabilities of the NeutronRAE II was considered a reasonable means to show neutron generation.
Last edited by Bern Bareis on Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Rich Feldman
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Rich Feldman » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:28 am

Hi Bern. What's the hurry? People might be picking on your attitude as much as on your neutron claim.

Do you think the high-MSRP RAE detector is correctly measuring gamma rays in your "air" example? What plausible nuclear events do they come from? Over what energy range are the counts accurately scaled to R's?
Readers here might justifiably be skeptical of datasheets and brochures for unfamiliar products, just as you know better than to get chamber base pressure from the datasheet of a pump. Is there a calibration sticker or seal? What is your estimated neutron flux in customary units? What's the pressure during your neutron-counting runs?

Are you planning to request a waiver of NC admission rules 1, 2, 3, etc., perhaps on the grounds that they are meant for novices?

Nobody is automatically entitled to be taken seriously here. It needs some earning. Where else have you presented your fusor work? Someone with your name has been a VP at Preferred Voice and Flextronics.

Respectfully,
Rich Feldman
Last edited by Rich Feldman on Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by John Futter » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:00 am

Bern
I did a statistics course many years ago.
A few things stick
A sample is just that until you get around 40 units per bin

This is why I said to do the silver activation.
If you can see the decay curve from silver on your equipment this is the 2nd differing method.

I build nuclear instrumentation as a day job and have just built a neutron monitor to replace the failed unit that monitors our accelerator, the He3 tube cost substantially more than your Neut gamma monitor and this is still exempt the surrounding electronics.

If you can not get silver put two acrylic plates to use, one not exposed and the other sandwiched between two neutron moderators (wax 2"Thick) then develop both with alcohol and observe the neutron tracks under a microscope. I have posted here on this several years ago.

I am suspicious of your monitor because the fusor is a very high RF noise generator and silicon pin diode detectors are highly susceptible to RF noise (exceedingly efficient RF detectors).

Do the run with air in your chamber (after flushing a few times there should be no neutrons but still plenty of x-rays

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Re: IEC Fusion - Neutron Club Entry

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:06 pm

I remain highly suspicious. Frank Sanns had one of these very costly puppies and I was under-impressed when he put it next to my fusor running at over 10e6 fusions per second. It seemed weak and not all that great. I was running at about 38kv applied and 12 ma at the time as my record book showed. I Frank sold it.

At 15kv silver activation is not likely to produce any results without a lot of statistical hocus-pocus. A clean neutron signal is needed for inclusion into the neutron club with some way of seeing no neutrons while doing fusion by removing a detector from a moderator and then seeing the counts start as you insert the detector back into the moderator. Using this method we have passed folks into the neutron club with as few as 35 cpm during a run in a moderator while only getting 3-5 CPM outside the moderator.........That, my friends is how you show me neutrons or with un-equivocal silver activation.

Market, personal, neutron detectors are made for fairly significant neutron fields (health warning systems). Such small dosimeters, regardless of type, are not under any circustances to be used for research purposes. They are just not up to the task. This is especially true for very low level neutron readings. The fusor does not produce a significant neutron field even at a million fusions per second! A million fusions, (500,000 neutrons per second, isotropic) demands a minimum of 35 kv applied.

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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