Step 4: electro-etch the long end in a 3 molar NaOH solution. Takes about 5 minutes at 19VDC. After the end drops off, you've got an atomically thin tungsten tip!

Step 5: reinstall the base, carefully align the tip using the seven(!) alignment screw adjustments, put the module back in the scope and bake for at least 24 hours. Season to taste. Serve well chilled.

15 hours into the bake, and all SIP pumps now engage! 7 out of 8 happy lights are lit with the pressure still dropping. This is a very good sign!

Boom. All systems happy (if a little high pressure, due to the ongoing bake). Only 6.5 more hours to go!

...and then to let it cool overnight, reassemble, boot it up, and THEN see if we get a beam.

SEM ownership is not for the impatient.

@hackerfriendly Been really interesting watching this. Can you share any of the tasks that you normally use your SEM for?

@jmwright It's a shop resource with no specific purpose. I rescued it from a lab that was decommissioning it.

We've used it to look at decap'd chips, minerals, bugs, pollen, etc. If you have something you'd like to see under the scope, please suggest it!


@hackerfriendly A rescue SEM, awesome! I once saw a project that allowed telescopes to be shared with high school students remotely. Not saying you should do that with your SEM, but it would be interesting if there was a program to rescue scientific equipment so that students could share it remotely.

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