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Month: February 2017

A Simple Homopolar Motor

A Simple Homopolar Motor

For an annual outreach event at my institution I’m putting together a few easy experiments around electromagnetism. The program for high school students is aimed at getting them interested in STEM. Searching the internet I found a beautifully simple example of an homopolar motor. All that is needed is: A AA battery A few disk shaped Neodymium magnets, slighty larger diameter than the battery Bare copper wire (I used 14 AWG) The battery sits on the stacked magnets. The wire…

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A Probe Safety Clip for the MicroMag 2900 AGM

A Probe Safety Clip for the MicroMag 2900 AGM

This is a little project I finished some time ago to address one recurring problem with the PCM MicroMag AGM. The AGM probe is held to the transducer by a 7 pin connector (Amphenol/WPI 126 Series Miniature Hexagonal Connector), as shown in the picture. Initially, the pins sit snug in the receptacle and hold the heavy probe in place. However, frequent plugging and unplugging, as common during use, leads to the pins becoming less tightly fit. The probe is then…

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New Purpose for Casting Tape

New Purpose for Casting Tape

I’d like to talk about something I came across a few weeks ago. Due to an accident leading to a broken wrist the ingenuity of glass fiber casting tape came to my attention. Never having had the need for a cast, the technical development in this field passed by me. Googling yielded the product in question: 3M ScotchCast Plus Casting Tape. You briefly soak it in water; then it becomes sticky, while still soft and pliable. Within minutes it hardens…

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Repairing a Probe for the PMC MicroMag 2900 AGM

Repairing a Probe for the PMC MicroMag 2900 AGM

Above is a picture of the AGM probe. The sample carrier (quartz slide) can be seen on the right end of the probe. The quartz slide is attached to a thin polyimide tube that is itself attached to a piezo-like sensor to detect the deflection. The quartz and the tube tend to break easily over time. Sending the probe in for repair is costly and therefore I sought ways to repair the probe myself. Broken parts (either quartz or tube)…

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Rigaku Geigerflex XRD Communication Protocol

Rigaku Geigerflex XRD Communication Protocol

In order to write  a LabView progam to update the original MSDOS data acquisition software for the Rigaku I needed to know how the Rigaku controller (D/Max-B) talked to the computer. The computer and the controller are connected via RS-232. To learn about the communication protocol, some port sniffing was needed. Port sniffing software running on the PC allowed me to eavesdrop on the communication while performing various tasks in the XRD control program. Here’s what I found so far:…

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