The VG Trio 1 - for when you have better things to do

Have a read of this advert:-

Yes we now have one of these in the space waiting for its resurrection… The system looks to be complete but with no data system, the interface was transputer based using TDAT. If you read the advert above you will note that it use to be controlled by a ‘super computer’ or more likely a 80386 DX running at 16 MHz!

Marketing blurb gone crazy :smile: did you notice the :high_heel:

However as a long term project I can not see any reason why we can not install our own controll systems for all the various lenses (0 to 200 V) and the heaters and valves using a more modern control architecture but on a serious budget. We would need to synthesis the radio frequency signal and ramp it up in a saw tooth fashion as the ions of difference masses are scanned through the quadrupole from low to high

This would make a great project and once finished the space would have its very own hacked mass spectrometer :smile:


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What’s a mass spectrometer? :stuck_out_tongue:

This sounds interesting. Can it be used for anything demonstrably without any of the above work being done?

@WetEmoFish In short mass spectrometers are used to determine the mass of molecules or atoms. :spy:

The mass spec that we have is a GC/MS (gas chromatography mass spectrometer). Molecules in the gas phase are ionised in high vacuum by a 70 eV electron beam resulting in radical cations M+ (molecules who carelessly lost an electron) and fragments (these are formed due to molecular interactions with the electron beam increasing their internal energy causing dissociation or fragmentation). From the fragmentation pattern or mass spectrum (a jiogsaw puzzle) you can determine the molecular structure. The radical cation or molecular ion is equivalent to the mass of the molecule minus one electron assuming it has lost only one.

Basically I found the Trio in a bin and thought it needed some care and attention… awww

We have another mass spectrometer there that is more demonstrably applicable, just need to tune it up we had it pumping last night :smile:

I have a Red Pitaya board that I could donate as a “brain” for the Trio.

This has Ethernet, runs Linux and has some nice libraries for writing applications. With some ADC channels that should be plenty fast enough for acquisition. We’d need a lot more GPIO, though, and something like a Mesa board — which are designed for low latency CNC machine control — could be interesting for this. E.g.

The I/O is highly configurable and driven via an FPGA. They provide LinuxCNC support and protocol documentation, although not sure if the FPGA RTL source code is provided (may not be needed anyway).

Also just occurred to me that the open source ARTIQ platform may well provide the perfect environment for system development!

Been wanting to look at this for some time…

This all looks very possible.

It would be great to work on open source mas spectrometry for the masses with a view to giving older kit a new lease of life, we may even be able to get a grant for this. I also know the product manager for the Trio who also worked on its development and have already sent him an email requesting some more information.

The open souce ARTIQ platform website looks interesting. :smiley:

The :high_heel: reminds me of a website I once saw where a pretty lady “modeled” a large HP server in a data center. She stood over an air con vent on the floor in a short skirt in one shot :confused:

I was more excited by the server :frowning:

There has been quite of lot of this approach to tech marketing over the years, sadly. Although if you can get past the blatant sexism, I can’t help but enjoy the kitsch absurdity of this PDP-8 advert.

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