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Mr. Fusion
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Ranting Like a Madman
September 30, 2002 — 4:45

Well, the nice folks at Duniway are correcting mistakes due to my naiveté. 
These guys must be saints – or seasoned old vacuum engineers – to put up with
me.  But it looks like I’ll have the 12"x18" glass bell jar (and cage, ‘natch)
the TOPS was originally slated with.  <sigh>  I really love the
current Aluminum beast.  It’s like an Olympic size swimming pool of out
gassing source, though.  I’m also upgrading the backing rotary vane pump
for the TOPS.  It came with a Trivac D4-B, which is really meant for the
lower flow 151 turbo pump.  Since I now have the 361 turbo pump, I really
need the equivalent of the Trivac D16-B. 

more…

First Vacuum
September 27, 2002 — 4:40

Well, I cracked vacuum tonight.  I had a wonderful birthday dinner for a
wonderful friend to attend to, so I didn’t have a terrible amount of time. 
I switched the 20 amp plug out for a normal 16 amp plug and had a mild heart
attack when I found red, black and blue wires.  <sigh>  Seconds later
I had figured out the obvious polarity (mind like a trap, I say) and had it
wired up.  Nice to see high amperage wire gauge again.  (tee hee).

more…

Not quite vaccum
September 26, 2002 — 4:32

Well, I got the plastic port cover from Tap today. I got a 13″ square of Plexiglas, and boy is it heavy. I’ll cut it into a circle, and that should take off a pound or two. Geesh. One forgets how dense plastic is at times. I did forget to get a plug to retrofit the TOPs’ 30 amp socket. I’m kind of leery about replacing this, but I don’t think the system – as equipped will draw 30 amps.
But we’ll see. Since I had gas heating put in, I have all these useless electrical base board heaters in the house. They are all on separate circuits. I have to get an electrician in here and repurpose these circuits to a high amperage 220 circuit in the shop.
So without the correct plug, I’m not going to be able to crack the vacuum on the TOPs tonight. I had some errands to run after robot club and it’s pretty late now. No worries.

And so it begins
September 25, 2002 — 4:17


I
got the vacuum system today.  I picked up the cargo van from the Enterprise
rental place here in HMB around 8:00.  I was remarkably calm.  I only
actually started dancing around like an excited puppy when I actually saw the
system pumped down to 10-6 torr at
Duniway.  The little midget was
humming silently along like a dream.  We lifted it into the van and I was
on my way home.  It was pretty surreal, as beside me in the passenger seat
was the 12"x18" Aluminum bell jar.  Strapped in with the safety belt,
bobbing up and down in the nicely padded seat.  Like the seat belt would
hold the mass if I decelerated quickly.  Oh well.  I had a bitchin’
vacuum system, so a few risks are warranted (tee hee).  Besides, I actually drove the
speed limit the entire way in the right lane.  It’s refreshing to remember
the experience.

more…