[time-nuts] CS reservoir depletion - How to make a tube

Adrian rfnuts at arcor.de
Thu Jan 13 14:02:52 UTC 2011

Sure it would be lots of fun making your own tube or rebuilding a bad one.

This, my favorite internet video, is not exactly about caesium beam 
tubes, but at least shows some of the required skills, as well as how 
much fun it can be.



Tom Van Baak schrieb:
>> Now that we are discussing how to restore Rb lamps.
>> Has anyone given any thought to refilling or refluxing the Cs in 
>> depleted Cs tubes?
> Oh yes, after I ran into my first dead Cs and found the
> price of a replacement tube, you bet I wondered if they
> could be refilled. I mean, the same hp also made printers
> and you can refill them. What could be more natural. But
> a couple of events over the years dashed all my hopes.
> First I got my first opened Cs tube, from an 5061A that
> Corby had. I have no idea how you'd open one, do the
> brain surgery, and put it back together with the same
> purity and mechanical precision that it first was.
> Second, running out of cesium is not always the problem.
> Think about where the cesium goes. When a printer runs
> out of ink it's because it has printed tens of thousands of
> pages. The pages take the ink with them and the printer
> stays fairly clean. But where does the cesium go? It's all
> still inside, every single atom of it. On the walls, on the
> magnets, in the getter, and stuck on the dynodes of the
> electron multiplier. So even if you could add more Cs to
> the oven on one end, perhaps the harder job would be to
> clean up all the cesium residue that's everywhere else.
> It would be like adding more and more fresh oil to a car
> but never emptying the oil pan.
> Third, I got a tour of the hp factory in Santa Clara where
> the tubes were made. I was humbled. The clean room, the
> precision, the tiny EM, the vacuum stuff, the oven assembly,
> the one-time diaphragm that seals the oven pin hole, the
> wiring, the testing, the people, the decades of knowledge,
> the infrastructure.
> Instead what would be fun is for someone to try to make
> their own tube. Save yourself some work and re-use all the
> electronics of a 5061A. But make your own tube. Even
> re-use as many parts of an existing tube as you want. But
> make your own instead of trying to put Humpty Dumpty
> back together again.
> /tvb
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