PPA Calibration

PPA calibration refers to discovering and setting tuning factors for electromagnet timing. It is performed to: While the default calibration figures usually work well, in some cases, the default tuning factors need to be changed to get reliable rotation on your PPA, and/or Achieving highest possible speed operation of the PPA Finding the best tuning […]

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PPA – debugging

You’ve turned on your Personal Particle Accelerator, but aren’t getting the results you want ?  First, try the basic checklist: Completed the construction, Read the safety advice Performed the commissioning tests Attempted starting the PPA ok, here’s the next level of detail: The ball rolls to a stop, apparently unaffected by the electromagnets: Confirm the second-from-the-end LED […]

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PPA – powering up the Personal Particle Accelerator

So, you’ve either built your Personal Particle Accelerator and completed the commissioning tests, or purchased a ready-made unit. Either way, you’re keen to turn it on and show those Higgs Bosons who’s the boss… here’s what you do now: Review the safety advice Connect and turn on the power supply.  Use between 12V and 20V DC.  The […]

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Day 3 of the world’s largest MakerFaire

We’re on a high after a third and final successful day in Silicon Valley’s MakerFaire. First, the big news: we were awarded ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Sherry Huss, the co-founder of the global MakerFaires phenomenon and vice-president of Maker Media.  She’s shown below awarding Josephine. As Professor Michael Shiloh congratulated us on the win, he explained […]

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Tech Tourists in San Francisco

In the lead up to the big MakerFaire show where we demonstrate our model particle accelerator and laser controller, we’re doing all the touristy things.  First up were bagels and coffee, at Daniel’s cafe… Josephine wanted to take advantage of San Francisco’s ‘thrift stores’ to find some awesome clothes. She went into Vacation thrift store with her […]

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Unboxing Personal Particle Accelerators in San Francisco

Now we’re settled in San Francisco for the flagship Bay Area Maker Faire, it’s time to unbox and test the Particle Accelerators arrived from Sydney, Australia. Looks like the guys from Pack and Send did a great job, no breakages at all ! 3 out of 3 particle accelerators working !!  We call the yellow […]

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PPA – commissioning tests

What happens after you’ve finished soldering your shiny new Personal Particle Accelerator ?  Read on ! Just like other complex engineering, it’s best not to turn it on in one go because: an construction error (for example, in connecting the power system) could damage more than multiple modules it’s hard to know where to look if […]

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PPA – Infrared Photogate Sensor (IRPS) design

An IRPS is required to provide ball position timings, so that the Arduino can precisely calculate the timing of a high power pulse to the electromagnet. The general concept of a photogate is that infrared light shines from a LED (transmitter) to a Phototransistor (receiver) all the time, except when the ball is travelling through and […]

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