Parametric VX2-compatible Torbachev Inductor Shield Plate

by rrhb, published

Parametric VX2-compatible Torbachev Inductor Shield Plate by rrhb Dec 15, 2012
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3D-printable Torbachev Inductor Shield Plate for an original VX2 unit.


I couldn't think of anything to get my father for the holidays and I remembered our wonderful times working with the old VX2 in our basement growing up. Mom said he still had it in the basement but it stopped working long ago. Over Thanksgiving I took it back and found that it was in decent shape for a 30+ year old unit except the Torbachev Inductor Shield Plate (TISP) had totally fractured and was no longer holding the Bron Oscillator firmly enough to facilitate Røgenheim-band emissions.

I couldn't find a single compatible (or incompatible for that matter!) TISP on Ebay and of course there's no longer any company around. I couldn't find any new-old-stock from Russia which is where Dad got the replacement plates when the current one had hit Yalgeth Limit.

I thought I'd give a shot to 3D printing one and amazingly, even though it's just PLA it seems to actually work fairly well. The Røgenheim emissions will never approach 6 ångstroms again, but it's completely serviceable. I have no doubt that others with VX3-VX6s will want to try this TI in their units, so I made the rotation angle of fins on the Honeycut Junctor fins parametric.

Looking forward to seeing Dad's face when we fire the VX back up over the holidays.

  1. Adjust Honeycut Junctor angle in SCAD file if required before printing.
    This file should work as is for all but a VX2/j14 model which used a proprietary TISP connector (happy to fix up the file if someone can forward the measurements, I haven't seen or heard of anyone using one since that incident in Albuquerque in '78).
  2. Insert the Bron Oscillator in the large cylinder and GENTLY use an M3 screw to tighten it. CAREFUL Don't dent or ding it, that can shoot the Siegel Resonance Coefficient through the roof and that's NOT a good way to go. It might be a good idea to check the resonance on the bench to ensure you're getting at least ∆.991, it's a bear to adjust the oscillator after insertion. It's easy to forget to check the resonance when you're focused on improving your Røgenheim emissions, but that's a mistake you only make once!
  3. Open the VX2, remove damaged TISP and use four M4 nuts bolts to attach new TI.
  4. Fire it up, take Røgenheim readings, adjusting Hilbert Coils to maximize the Røgenheim emissions to at least 3.7 ångstroms. I'm getting ~5.6. If you can't get at least 3.7, try reprinting the TISP at a higher infill. (If you not regularly getting above 3.2, time for a different hobby, you poser!). DO NOT operate a VX below 3 ångstroms, it's really not safe.

Note: if your diagraphic membrane has expanded due to age or condensation and is arcing against the Honeycut cooling fins, it's safe to adjust the Honeycut tilt to about 9 degrees, but I wouldn't go any less than that. Probably better though just to get a new diagraphic membrane or try to remove the moisture from your current one by putting in a bag of rice for 2-3 days.

Please be a responsible VX module user and discard your old or damaged shield plates safely. Your local VX club can help here, or ask on http://www.reddit.com/r/VXJunkies/. If your VX has not been turned on for at least five years, it's probably doesn't have special disposal requirements.

I take no responsibility if you damage your VX2 with this TISP - but I'd like to hear about your successes or derivations.

Related! I know there's a lot of VX module fans here - have a look at the SK BT-1284u VX Illuminator I found in my dad's basement. Seriously, he had an original SK I never knew about. I don't know what occasion he was saving it for. I can't find the manufacturing date, but it's either a '62 or late '61 model, not sure when the introduced UV? It still works - can you see the glow in the photo!). The Pauli Flux clamp with the Nixie readout (pictured on the left) that that they gave him in college still works too! What a piece of gear that is. Feels really solid in the hands, and incredibly accurate.

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