January 2010


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JEOL-Focused Probe Users List <[log in to unmask]>
Steven Cogswell <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 11:40:42 -0400
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Hi again probe folks;

It's me, again.  Once again I appeal to the vast helpful group for
thoughts on a problem.

Our venerable and popular 733 decided - for the first time ever in
about 25 years of operation - to break one of the spectrometer tension
cables.   I don't know what the official name for this is, but it's
the wire cable looped around some pulleys, leading from the little
travel cart the proportional counter is in, eventually hooking to a
spring.  Looks to me like the purpose is to keep the proportional
counter travel cart's operation smooth as the mobius belt pulls it up
the track.   What broke is the steel cable itself (has a loop on each

Fear not, I include pictures that show what the heck I'm talking about:  (cable)  (cable outlined by my awesome ms paint skills) (the wonderful block and tackle arrangement)

Now, I'm not worried about the cable.  I've got spare parts I can rob
from our parts 733 (which is where those pictures are from).   JEOL
themselves have lots (part # 616031, 640 mm cable), and are more than
happy to sell me some and I'm happy to buy.   I want to know is... how
the heck do you re-thread this cable?

I've been trying for a few days now on the test setup to thread this
thing, and quite frankly making it around the three-pully-turnbuckle
and getting the loops hooked for me is just about impossible without
getting things tangled.  JEOL themselves say they can fix it, but
quite frankly I can't afford another $5000 bill (that's the estimate,
since they have to travel) to have someone come and do this right now.
 I like the JEOL guys and I would really like to pay them to do this
stupid job, but not really in the cards with the budget the way it is.

So, anyone else had to deal with this problem?  Did you determine a
trick for doing this that I haven't noted?   My other thought, quite
frankly, has been to consider not trying to even do this and just
getting an elastic strap and using that without the block-n-tackle
bits.  I can't see that being a 'precision' bit since it just holds
force against the belt that pulls it up the path.

(to quote me: "I would put a rubber band around that stupid thing and
if it's easy and  works, but degrades in the vacuum and breaks every
week and has to be replaced I'll accept that as a fix")

I suspect this steel cable is one of those "it's assembled before the
spectrometer plate is put in the case, when it's easy" things, but
taking the baseplate out is a no-no.

Any thoughts?  I appreciate your input.

Best regards,

Steven Cogswell

UNB Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility