My day dawned bright and early - well, at least early -- after two days of mounting frustration (indeed, at times it seemed as though frustration was mounting me and not in a good way).
Yesterday afternoon, three days of work on one of the Stardrive power amplifiers finally resulted in what so far appears to be success, when I installed the last "floating" power supply we had aboard ship. What it "floats" on is the 36,000 Volt power supply rail, to which all the lesser phantsmajector voltages are referenced: 3 kV for the ion pump, a few hundred Volts to bias the grid and a mere five to seven volts (at some hundred Amperes!) just to light the tube up. It passed all the preliminary tests, so we slapped both high voltage and RF drive to it and whattaya know, there was both output and a distinct lack of overload conditions, a condition that persisted through the end of my shift.
Called Drive Control this morn, still a little asleep, and the DQ op on duty responded with a smile in his voice, "All three finals are clean and green!"
First time I've heard that news in a good long while. Let's hope it lasts us 'til the upcoming refit -- word is there's something Way Better TM in the works!
2 weeks ago