The Latest:

Sep 26, 2023: Back from Vacation

The entire month of September has gone by with zero progress, as I was on vacation nearly the entire month. Hopefully get to things more soon.

Aug 17th, 2023: Making a plan before the plan makes me

I decided that I need a clear plan of action. The following things need to be done before I even attempt to power the system on:

  • Full exterior clean (it needs it)
  • Rebuild the column / new o-rings
  • Replace diffusion pump fluid
  • Replace Roughing Pump(RP) oil
  • Test RP
  • Test Filament
  • Remove RTC battery and replace (Currently 0.8V)
  • Label all wire connections and document
  • Clean / dust all PCBs, photograph at high resolution
  • Do a dump of all eeproms

Fortunately, I have schematic diagrams for the column and a few other great bits of documentation that have been given to me, so I know what roughly to get. To the end of my list, I made a couple amazon and mcmaster orders for a few bits and pieces:

  • A full set of orings from global oring
  • New vacuum hoses to replace the aging gum rubber hoses
  • McMaster for some methanol, metal polish, some new grub screws for alignment, other missings screws
  • New RP oil, grade 19
  • EEProm programmer/dumper
So here goes nothing...

Aug 3rd, 2023: Martin has gone and done something stupid...

I won an ebay auction for a Jeol 5200 Scanning Electron Microscope.
I bought a scanning electron microscope...

I may really have done it this time. This bugger wasn't easy to get, but I got it. I've been wanting a SEM for some time, and have been discussing the various merits with a few folks online via discord. This particular SEM is in reasonable condition, it wasn't horrible, but also not perfect. It wasn't guaratneed to work, so the assumption is that it simply doesn't. Weighing in at around 700lbs, after a night stay in Vacavill to get an early arrival in San Jose, the auction house was able to get it into the back of my pickup reasonably easily with their forklift and send me back on my way 540mi back north to Oregon. Getting it out, however, was a different story...

I had to build a custom ramp...

I'm really glad though that I got it unloaded from the truck that night, as the next day, it rained. Hard. As I write this 2 weeks later, I'm slowly getting a 'blog' page for this done. I've had a chance to poke around the SEM a bit, but haven't done too much. I decided I wasn't going to tear into it too much until I could park my car in the garage and get a few other projects done first.