Monday, February 11, 2013

Cleaning a high-vacuum Penning gauge (cold cathode vacuum gauge)

My high-vacuum Penning gauge has been having some problems lately. The last time that I "fixed" it, I used lead solder to create a crushable metal seal between the parts of the gauge body. Eventually the rosin leaked out and probably caused contamination within the gauge.

I bought some Indium wire on eBay to replace the metal seals after cleaning the gauge with a bead blaster, sandpaper on glass, and lots of alcohol swabs.

Proper explanation of Penning Gauges:


  1. Ben,

    I have tried and failed to email you. I wasn't able to prove that I was human.

    I never imagined that failing a stupid computers touring test was a task for my future.

    I was wanting to ask you some questions about X-ray tubes.

    If you are open to this, drop me a line at saileralan the usual gmail the usual com.


    ~Alan Sailer

  2. Isn't copper wire soft enough and much less expense, not to mention availability.