[time-nuts] Garage built Rubidium standard

paul swed paulswedb at gmail.com
Sat Jan 15 16:21:40 UTC 2011

Corby I agree that it makes sense. Its interesting how the thread has
destabilized into something about radioactivity, the real thread, and lastly
optically pumped RB/CS references.
The last two for me are of interest. I suppose if I wanted to debate RB I
could go to wikipedia or something.

So following your line of reasoning in pulling the cell and then the only
nasty thing is getting the correct laser, and I fear the most expensive part
some optics. Of course that last lines full of traps actually.

My actual real effort quite soon will be following Magnus's suggestion on an
old funky telco Rb. Need to get a heat gun however. But I really do seem to
recall when I had it apart I saw the stuff on the glass envelope as he
described. So for me thats the first attempt at any real work. The other
thing that effects the reference is the tuning cap on the oscillator. Its
quite touchy and even though originally high quality it does need to be

On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 2:16 AM, <cdelect at juno.com> wrote:

> The RB-87 isotope used in Rubidium standards is radioactive, but at such
> a slight activity level that special procedures  and shielding must be
> used to measure it. Any chunk of granite, including your fancy kitchen
> counters, far "outshines" RB-87 as a radiation source! A garage built
> Rubidium standard would be quite feasible. The hardest parts would be the
> glassblowing and Rubidium filling, along with the requisite vacuum system
> and buffer gas filling. Seems it would be easier to pull the cells and
> lamp from some duds and start from there! The cells never wear out.
> Corby Dawson
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