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Old 12-19-2009, 04:34 AM #1
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Default Variable PSU Problem (solved, Thks)

Some of you might have read some of my posts about my Variable PSU for He-Ne's kicking the bucket. After Long conversations with HemlockMike and others, we found out that replacing the output transistors were out of the question.

Long story short, the outputs are not available and nothing crosses-over to them. (LKB Instruments proprietary components)

So, I gave up on that one and bought a new one.-Fisher/Biotech FB600-- 0-4k@0-200mA.

Now the problem with this one is; it has a safety interlock built-in where it has to detect at least 40M ohm at the ends of the HV cables in order to switch on the HV.

So when I fire it up hooked up to a He-Ne tube it won't "latch" and start the HV output. I checked the He-Ne tube(s) (3 or 4 of them) and they measure Open

I use a Piezo-electric starter circuit as described by Sam Goldwasser to provide the start-up spike.

The tube produces a bright flash down the bore ever time I push the button on the PEC.

Even with using the starter circuit the PSU will not start-up the HV.(there is still no resistance produced to trigger the interlock)

I know the PSU is working fine. If I clip two nail to the HV leads and put the tips of the nails in a glass of plain water (no salt) the PSU will "latch" and start producing HV. (and lots of pretty bubbles)

My question is; How can I make the PSU "see" at least 40M ohms across the tube to make it "latch"?
I thought about putting a 40M resistor across the anode and cathode,but have no idea what that would do to the tube.
I don't think it would hurt the PSU. 40M ohm would not pull up the amperage anywhere close to 200mA even with the 4.5mA (+-) the tube would draw.
But would it keep the tube from starting? I have read (almost) all of Sam's Faq,s and looked for hours online. Of course nothing at all about this problem.

If any one has any suggestions of a course of action I would be very grateful. I don't want to jump blindly into this and possibly ruin a good tube. Or cause a melt-down or fire or a tear in the fabric of time LOL
Thanks! Mark


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Last edited by Greenmechanic; 12-24-2009 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:12 PM #2
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Default Re: Variable PSU Problem

Strange, I can't light my HeNe tube with a piezoelectric ignitor, but maybe mine is too small. What value are you using for a ballast resistor?
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:06 PM #3
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Default Re: Variable PSU Problem

Quote:
Strange, I can't light my HeNe tube with a piezoelectric ignitor, but maybe mine is too small. What value are you using for a ballast resistor?
75k 4W
Did you build the charge pump shown on Sam's Faq's? If it is a small piezo you will need it.
I made mine out of a BIG gas grill ignitor . It will produce a 1"-2" long spark. Lights all my tubes on 1 push. (until my PSU fried that is) I'll be happy again if I can just figure out this PSU interlock problem.
Fought with the old PSU for 2 months, gave up, bought a new one, thought my problems were over but Nooo! I have to figure this interlock problem out, Variable HV PSU's are not cheap!!!
Anybody have any ideas?
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Last edited by Greenmechanic; 12-19-2009 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:55 PM #4
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Default Re: Variable PSU Problem

math time

E/R = I

4x10^3 / 40 x10^6 = .001 Amp

P=IE

4x10^3 x .001 = 4

4 watts So you need 40 megs at 4 watts. Thats a little unreasonable considering few of your henes will run at 4 KV, more like 1400 to 2600 V, so try four 10 Meg 2 watt fireproof ceramic resistors in series.

Digikey has a SLIM-MOX that might do, but its a bank breaking price.

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Old 12-23-2009, 02:24 PM #5
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Default Re: Variable PSU Problem

Thank for the help LSRFAQ. I'll try that as soon as I get home.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:39 PM #6
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Default Re: Variable PSU Problem

Yes a 40 meg ohm across the tube should not hurt anything, just get one that can take the power it will be reciving, or a series string would be the cheapest way to go to reach your power requirement.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:48 AM #7
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Default Re: Variable PSU Problem

Thanks everbody!
I tried the 40Mohm resistors (could only find 1/8W ones)

It worked (latched)
It did vaporize the resistors although. I bought plenty,they're cheap!
I'll order some 2W fireproof ones as soon as possible. They're not cheap!
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Laser count = {88}
Builds by me = 19
670nm=2
650nm=33
635nm2
532nm=14
445nm=2
405nm=13
Scanners and Other Show Lasers=8
Red & Green He-Ne lasers=15
488nm Argon and other Gas Lasers=1
Laser tools (not included in total)=12
METERS
Kenometer Lite
Metrologic Photometer
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