The last two weeks we have been working at a frantic, panicked pace trying to get the Mark II fusor ready for demo mode at the Engineering Expo. We haven’t had much time to post updates, as we were all still busy with our class work beside all the fusor nonsense. Now that that Expo is in the books, here’s a brief recap in pictures.
The plate that originally held the servo for the baffle valve needed to be machined to accept the viewport we scrounged off an electron microscope.
Half-way through the stem.
Checking a port for the thermocouple vacuum gauge; a perfect fit!
Once the stem was machined off the plate, Chad and Corey help Leo run it through the CNC machine to make the hole that will accept the viewport.
The CNC working away.
The finished, altered plate, with view port mounted.
Our data acquisition unit from Dataq is hooked up to a “sacrificial” laptop that is in turn networked via ad-hoc wireless to another laptop. Isaiah is configuring the data acquisition software, among the rest of the components of the fusor.
Leo taps the plate that will be the vacuum feedthrough.
In addition to fabricating the cart platform for the fusor rig, Mark has also implemented a nice block and tackle for getting the fusor rig up and down the 45 degree ramp to our storage area in the basement.
A shot of the chamber with the temporary HV feed through plate.
All hands on deck! 1 of 3.
All hands on deck! 2 of 3.
All hands on deck! 3 of 3.
Fusor Rig, day before the Expo.
Ultimately, we were unable to ignite the plasma before the Expo, so we opened the chamber so we let people peek inside, and take a look at our grid setup. I believe we have a significant vacuum leak in either the valve assembly that sits just above the in port for the pump, or a leak in the pump due to the rebuild we did over the summer. We will chase down the leaks in the next week or two, and then try to light it again.
Posted by: Ed