The goals of this version will be to have a direct gear drive from the motors to the wheels and elevating the centers of the wheels above the rider platform.
Here are some features from solidworks drawing so far…
Lately, while running the reactor I’ve had to be incredibly careful while controlling the pressure of the chamber in order to keep the plasma ignited. If the pressure goes too low, there aren’t enough ions in the chamber to sustain the plasma or the fusion reaction. In order to remedy this, I have been working on throwing together a dirt simple/dirt cheap ion source.
Its loosely based off of the magnetron source designs used by Tyler Christensen and Robert Tubbs. In theory its really just an electrode surrounded by an electromagnet.
I started with a 2.75″ conflat flange with some small high voltage ceramic feedthroughs:
Then made a small filament out of stainless steel wire and attached it with some crimp connectors:
For a power supply I rectified a 9Kv NST with some 1Kv diodes that I wired up and then submerged in mineral oil to prevent arching:
Here is a picture of the whole setup mounted onto the chamber. You can kind of see the magnet coil wound around the chamber:
Finally a nice ion beam! You can see the filament over to the left:
Make sure to check back tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be posting on several new additions to the reactor setup.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts yesterday, I have recently had the opportunity to tour both Vogtle and Belfonte nuclear plants. Due to security reasons pictures were a rarity but, fortunately enough, we were able to snap a few at plant Vogtle.
Two weekends ago Carl Willis (a friend of mine who works as a nuclear physicist at a company that produces piezoelectric neutron sources) flew all the way from New Mexico out to Newnan to stay with me for the weekend. Our span of activities included working on my fusor, modifying my ludlum counter scaler, and touring two nuclear power plants (stay tuned for pictures from that).
Carl was also so kind as to bring along with him a BF3 neutron detection tube and an Edwards KF-50 diffusion pump. After a couple of nights of basic setup and leak checking we were easily able to obtain vacuum pressures suitable for fusion. So fuse we did!……..Until I ran out of deuterium so, for now you’ll have to live with a video about x-rays and some beautiful star pictures.
First off, check out these rays!
Soon I’ll be constructing an electrolysis unit so I can begin fusing again, at which point you’ll definitely see more videos, pictures, and information from me.
I have also been working on an magnetron ion source, look out for more on that tomorrow!
I have just began my second semester here at Georgia Tech and once again have stumbled upon quite a bit of free time. What shall I fill it with? Improvements on the reactor of course!
In the coming days I’ll be posting lots of pictures, videos, and one big announcement (a slight hint: September 2nd-5th)
I’ll have a post up tonight at 8.
I know it’s been awhile, but I have now escaped the clutches of the many things that keep me tied down and busy in order to bring you guys a fresh post.
There has been SO MUCH going on the past couple of months and I must apologize yet again for not keeping this thing updating during such a time. So, I’ll dive right in and giving you a little bit of a briefing on what has happened these past few months and what you can expect in the near future.
You might have been wondering: Chad, why are you slacking with your blog?!. My answer is mainly AP Calculus and robotics. Although I am really quite fond of calculus, it has been a large consumer of my time and has diverted me from this site. On the other hand, robotics is simply another hobby of mine; I have competed in four competitions this year and so far my team has been awarded 4th, 3rd, and 1st places, as well as an award of excellence. The first place and excellence awards qualified us for the international VEX Robotics Championships competition at Disney World this summer (that isn’t until april, but I’ll warn you guys of my absence now so you’ll know beforehand).
Enough with the irrelevant stuff, ey?! On to the reactor/physics research!
First off: I’ve made neutrons!! I am officially a part of the illusive neutron club and also recognized as operating the world’s smallest IEC reactor. The neutron club list can be found here: http://www.fusor.net/board/index.php?site=fusor&bn=fusor_announce&action=view&key=1022854449 .
The youtube video in which I recorded my first neutron producing run can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/votedthewave#p/a/u/2/yxFPNjg5Dv8 .
In other news, I have also upgraded my vacuum system. I am now running a Pfeiffer Thp-055 turbopump instead of the ‘ole diffusion pump. I bought the turbopump on ebay for the ultralow price of $80 and built a controller for it with about $20. The turbopump allows me to take the chamber from atmospheric pressure to ~4.7×10^-7 torr in around 5 minutes; needless to say, its great! (An early test video of the turbo pump can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/votedthewave#p/a/u/0/dRKgAIp7uXU)
Some other small things:
-I had the opportunity speak to the Newnan Rotary club about my reactor. (Email me if you want a copy and I might be to send you one)
-I am currently doing research under Dr. Mark Spraker at North Georgia College for this year’s science fair. (Expect another post concerning that in a few days)
-This past Tuesday I was able to take a tour of ORNL’s SNS and X-10. (I’ll have a post on that later)
-On December 7th I will be speaking at the annual “Eggs and Issues” breakfast hosted at CEC.
If you have any questions feel free to ask. 🙂
So here I am, it’s the 10th of August and I’m back in school. I will surely be kept busy by my Ap Calc class, but I find relaxation in the fact that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my fusor! Here is all you need to know to be up to date:
-The chamber has been certified as being pretty much leak free. (A good friend once told me “Everything always leaks”, and thats the reason for the “pretty much”)
-The connector flange that will sit the chamber on top of the diffusion pump will be delivered tomorrow.
-The new high voltage feedthrough will be installed on the chamber tomorrow.
-The swagelok needle valve for the deuterium supply will be installed to the chamber tomorrow.
-I’ll have my hands on a ludlum counter by the end of the week. (the last part of my neutron detection system)
-Fusion this weekend or next! (Hopefully)
In the meantime however, here is some eye candy! I have for you a video of the plasma in my reactor during a routine pumpdown. At the end there is a slight star. 🙂