Back to tubes – Wiring & Testing

This is a continuation of the Back to Tubes – Mounts and Adaptors article. Here we’ll finally focus on real action when wiring the heater tube and finally doing some initial testing.

In preparation of the heater tube winding, I first did a review of all the material we’ll need.

The most important part of this ended up to be a set of heat resistant 11 AWG cables, so we can lead them from inside of the tube. (This is actually why our previous attempt couple weeks back failed right at beginning.)

Drilling holes in our 50′ aluminium pipe was the first step, followed by initial wiring and cable insulation.

The next stage was where all the fun started and we needed Serge and Seb! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to take a video of that initial tube winding, but we ended up multiple runs when re-aligning these threads, which I’ve been able to document.

First re-aligning run

Making that thread consistent ended up being quite tricky and after several attempts Seb came with a classical hair brush which did the best.

Using a hairbrush to realign wires.
Thread realigning almost done

Still I took more than few pictures from all that process.

Final step was to test it all.

We took temperature and width measurements and it all worked out. Serge thinks that that tube expanded roughly 3 paper widths.

Finally we ended up having a visitor – Paul, who participated by supervising whole session and came with a way to measure tube temperature through the paper as it was reflecting the thermometer laser. 🙂

Well, all done for now. Seb is still preparing a jig which would allow us to control heater’s duty cycle, but that will be for another article again.

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