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Thread: Advice before I start a large Argon thats been siting for a year?

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    Default Advice before I start a large Argon thats been siting for a year?

    I just purchased that lovely Liconix some of you spotted on ebay last week. It's here, and opening it up, it looks even better then I had hoped for. The PS, and the head are in MINT condition, the digital hour meter is only showing 141 hours, I've got the orginal documentation from Liconix, showing it producing 1.3 watts @ 514.5 & 1.1 watts @ 488, both @ 30 amps.

    I was able to track down the last user, and it was in service one year ago. They even left tags, with notes attached to the water lines for the next user...they even signed it! I am amazed, Union Carbide (last owner) really took great care of this thing.

    So, anyone have any advice when I plug it in? BTW the tube model # is 5302AT made in 1991
    The only thing wrong I can see is some white spots (looks like calcium deposits from water) near one of the water connections on the tube.

    Thanks in advance!





  2. #2
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    Do you have the schematics? Do you know the test target for the tube? Ie NNN volts at XX amps?

    Small frame argon 101.

    Start at 3/4s of rated current. In current, not light mode. If its stable, leave it run for at least a hour.

    If you have a ampclamp, put it around one of the cathode leads and watch Delta T on the cathode, increasing cathode current soon after she starts is a good thing, it means the pressure is correct in the tube.

    My buddy has two of those with dead psus, that is why I'm asking about the schematics.

    Its a ballasted tube, so there is nothing to adjust. I would run some CLR in warm water through it to remove any deposits in the magnet.

    Steve
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    Default

    Looks like you hit the jackpot with that one.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    Do you have the schematics? Do you know the test target for the tube? Ie NNN volts at XX amps?

    Small frame argon 101.

    Start at 3/4s of rated current. In current, not light mode. If its stable, leave it run for at least a hour.

    If you have a ampclamp, put it around one of the cathode leads and watch Delta T on the cathode, increasing cathode current soon after she starts is a good thing, it means the pressure is correct in the tube.

    My buddy has two of those with dead psus, that is why I'm asking about the schematics.

    Its a ballasted tube, so there is nothing to adjust. I would run some CLR in warm water through it to remove any deposits in the magnet.

    Steve
    Thanks for the advice, looking through the manual, there are some schematics of the head. I don't see any on the P.S. I've got about a 30 page manual that came with the system. If you want, I can scan it, and email it to you?

    Other than watching the current draw on the cathode, anything else I should be watching for when I start?

    Thanks again, for the help!

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    Default No Luck :(

    Help! I finally had time this morning to hook it all up, but no luck All I get is a very dim blue light

    Here are the electrical readings I took:

    Cathode is holding steady @ 27 amps with no change after startup
    197VDC from cathode to anode
    3VAC on Anode

    P.S. has a current limiter of 10amps for the first 30 seconds, so I can't try starting it at a higher current.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  6. #6
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    that means you either have a intracavity shutter closed or it needs the mirrors aligned

    steve
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    Lightbulb

    Hey there J -

    Quote Originally Posted by superj7777 View Post
    Help! I finally had time this morning to hook it all up, but no luck All I get is a very dim blue light
    Well, if you're getting 'plasma glo', but no beam, that's at least 'in the ball-park'... Are you familiar with how to 'tune / walk' an ion? (...not 'questioning', just asking, since I've zero knowledge of your skill-set...

    Quote Originally Posted by superj7777 View Post
    P.S. has a current limiter of 10amps for the first 30 seconds, so I can't try starting it at a higher current.
    Ok, well, *after* that 30 sec, CAN you turn it up? If so, (and nothing is smoking or catching on fire or squirting water, etc... I'd say, try it! 10A is very low current for such a big tube and save-for, like, really-small lasers (ie: Lex 88s, air-cooled 60x's etc) you might not see much lasing - even if the mirrors are in-tune - till 15A+ - have you tried to run it up, at all? Try and Let us know.....

    peace...
    j
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

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