[time-nuts] R&S XSRM Rubidium

paul swed paulswedb at gmail.com
Sun Jan 23 01:54:23 UTC 2011

Hello to the group.
Indeed I did try the light several times and it does seem to ignite the RB.
But not always.
So thats an area to look at. I seemed to remember neon bulbs could be
triggered. I suppose thats was why I did it for the heck of it.

However Magnus has confirmed that my little silver blob is the RB.
I did try heating the region with a soldering iron at 700 degrees 1/4" away,
but no real difference actually. Have attempted to get the ampule out of the
housing but thats not going to happen. Its held in by a silicone rubber and
though I can dig a bit out its not budging.

Other issue if I do get it out were do you find hi temp silicone to glue it
back in.
Might think an automotive store.

Did break the mica cover glass no effect on operation but I will bet its
purpose was not as a filter but simply to stabilize temp in the lamp area.
So I might have a microscope cover slide some place. I doubt its high temp
glass. Who knows.
So definitely experimenting/learning. Have tested the RB lamp several times
to make sure I haven't buggered it.

Who knew dead Rb references could be so much fun. Now if I see them at flea
markets I can pay a buck and have all kinds of winter projects.

On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 7:11 PM, Magnus Danielson <
magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org> wrote:

> On 01/22/2011 11:31 PM, paul swed wrote:
>> Well pretty interesting late afternoon.
>> The oscillator works but C-11 definitely is troubled. Additionally a key
>> element is an effective ground. Bridge the low side of the ampule to a
>> better ground and the oscillator seems to reliably start. Ignition occurs
>> when the oscillator is in the 80-85 MC range. It can tune from 65 to 130
>> MC.
> Interesting. I tuned for maximum amplitude. Seemed to work well enough.
>  Now the neat part.
>> That 1-2 mm silver dot that I see in the ampule. When warm it actually
>> moves
>> around as you tilt the lamp assembly! Like  drop of water would but very
>> slowly. So I think this is the RB Magnus speaks of. I will need to peel
>> the
>> mica cover off the area to try to heat this up and return it hopefully to
>> use.
>> The fact that the dot moves means I may be able to get it to the center of
>> the sphere to more easily heat it.
>> Magnus when you heated yours did it simply vaporize??? Or did you get it
>> to
>> simply move down deeper in the core area?
> I was quite brutal. I didn't remove it from the back-piece and mica, I just
> heated it up as it would be horizontally oriented. I used the end-piece and
> removal-tool as cool-off area and mechanical holder. I simply just heated it
> as it was heated in the oscillator the first time. Then I got the grey
> surface of the glas. Darn. Next I thought that I would let the got gas
> evaporate up in the colder corner... so I oriented the open glas downwards
> and let it remain in the holder, heated it properly up and saw the grey
> completion disappear, stayed on it with the heat somewhat longer and then
> just turned the heat off and let it sit there and cool down. When it had
> cooled down (I was able to hold the removal tool fairly quickly, so it was
> acting as an OK cooler) I looked into the lamp and could clearly see the
> rubidium blob right in the middle and no more splatter. Nice and clean.
>  Other thing, measuring ignition time. On the first run just for the heck
>> of
>> it I flashed a led light into the ampule and it ignited instantly. So
>> perhaps for old hard starting end of life RB lamps this might be a trick
>> to
>> at least get it going for a bit longer.
> Hehe.. we are starting to have fun now. :)
> Cheers,
> Magnus
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