Author Topic: Unknown x-ray communication equipment  (Read 974 times)

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Offline wmac23

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Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« on: April 30, 2019, 03:34:17 pm »
Please excuse my ignorance. I'm looking for someone to help explain what the equipment I have attached pictures of. I recently purchased a property that has many electronics that were built/used by a nuclear physicist who was a neighbor of my grandparents. I have been told he was registered federally for communications and his goal was to communicate with extraterrestrial life. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Online TimFox

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2019, 05:30:10 pm »
Your photos don't show the manufacturer's name clearly, but that is a conventional x-ray generator, with a high-voltage power supply and an oil-circulating heat exchanger (air-cooled) to cool the anode.  Such x-ray tubes typically ran with positive and negative high-voltage connections, and the medical tubes often used rotating anodes to allow short operation at high power.  Note the slot at the center of the tube, that collimated the beam into a relatively flat sheet.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2019, 08:06:16 pm »
Be glad that you can't just plug that contraption in! It looks to be a very 'Heath Robinson' construction, lots of bare terminals and heatsinks (leaving aside the dangers of the tube and high voltage supplies). There are a few folks around here with professional experience of X-ray equipment who can probably help you, Fraser comes to mind.

If the house was owned by a nuclear physicist who built something like that, you might want to invest in a low cost Geiger counter in case there are any other 'interesting' items lurking in the basement.

Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline radiolistener

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2019, 08:31:27 pm »
may be this is nuclear reactor?  :scared:
 

Offline helius

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2019, 09:40:21 pm »
It appears to be a setup for X-ray crystallography or fluorescence tests, as opposed to X-ray imaging.
 

Online 0culus

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2019, 10:58:43 pm »
Be glad that you can't just plug that contraption in! It looks to be a very 'Heath Robinson' construction, lots of bare terminals and heatsinks (leaving aside the dangers of the tube and high voltage supplies). There are a few folks around here with professional experience of X-ray equipment who can probably help you, Fraser comes to mind.

If the house was owned by a nuclear physicist who built something like that, you might want to invest in a low cost Geiger counter in case there are any other 'interesting' items lurking in the basement.

That was my thought too. No telling what might be `glowing' in that basement...  :o
 

Offline Jwillis

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2019, 11:04:57 pm »
X-Rays to communicate with extraterrestrial life eh. You might consider a aluminum foil hat and some lead underwear.Safety first.
 

Offline radiolistener

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2019, 12:57:49 am »
You might consider a aluminum foil hat and some lead underwear.Safety first.

I think lead apron will be more suitable in this case  ;D

« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 01:01:47 am by radiolistener »
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2019, 09:17:54 am »
Please don't! I have a bit of a thing for ladies dressed in Lead, I think it's the inability to run away very fast!  :D
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2019, 12:01:05 pm »
I think someone is "taking the piss" .

The most likely possibility is that the nuclear physicist was a ham, hence being "registered federally".
He may or may not have been involved with SETI.

The "communications with extraterrestrials" stuff is either a garbled interpretation of the above, or an exasperated answer to a silly question.

My feeling is that the X-ray equipment is probably totally separate from the "communications" aspect, & is probably redundant stuff from his work.
He may have had the intention to set up some kind of museum of earlier types of such equipment.

 

Offline radiolistener

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2019, 12:09:53 pm »
may be he used amplitude modulation and tried to communicate with aliens in such way (with help of X-ray beam directed into window)  8)
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2019, 12:34:50 pm »
There are some really smart guys over on the photonlexicon forum who know about lasers/xray stuff.

They might be able to help also
http://photonlexicon.com/forums/index.php
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Online Bud

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2019, 01:22:36 pm »
may be he used amplitude modulation and tried to communicate with aliens in such way (with help of X-ray beam directed into window)  8)

Judging on the amount of rust and dust it has been quite a while since he spoke with the aliens last time.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Offline radiolistener

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2019, 08:10:09 pm »
Judging on the amount of rust and dust it has been quite a while since he spoke with the aliens last time.

dust is not a problem for X-ray :D
 

Offline LaserSteve

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Re: Unknown x-ray communication equipment
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2019, 08:37:36 pm »
I'm the one on PL who worked with X-rays the most.  Drain the really old and chemically nasty  oil on that, dispose of it responsively, take the X-ray machine to the dump. Get some money for the tungsten wheel in the X-ray tube, after you remove the vacuum from the tube by placing it in a thick, closed,  cardboard box and smacking the seal tube indirectly with a very large hammer while wearing PPE.

If the guy was a radiation physicist, find some one with an alpha capable radiation counter and sweep the house, including inside drawers.

Do not even dream of powering that up.  In the grand scale of things, overexposure to X-rays, especially to your testis, small children, babies, and small pets, is a great way to rapidly accelerate death from cancer..

If you feel uncomfortable, the radiological  health offices of  nearby universities would be whom I would call first. They probably would know the deceased and have an idea of what he might have been doing. In the US, most states have a radiological safety section that loves dealing with unlicensed sources. In fact, if that house was sold to some one with a source in it, they might just void the license of the realtor.

One  day my former employer had a class on what to do if I had a CT machine torn apart in the field,  when and if a car accident or serious head  injury happened.  If  we needed to set up an emergency scan with a partially calibrated  machine on a surgeon's verbal order, the lesson on the potential consequences is something I will never forget.  Especially the part about what the dosage could do to a newborn.

Evidently the situation had happened to field engineers in the middle of rural nowhere.  And Yes, you will assist the radiologist in running  the scan if you are reasonably certain the PSU and Controller is working, per policy.

Don't F,,ck around with unknown X-ray sources, period.  Especially ones that may not have a energy shaping filter installed on the beam port.  Unfiltered beams usually radiate large amounts of low energy  x-ray photons that are not usable for imaging, but will ratchet up your adsorbed dose.

X-rays would suck as a communication medium, the beams from most systems usually diverge like crazy and follow inverse square law.  Air scatters and or adsorbs the beam rapidly.

    I once was given charge of a laser lab installed in a former radiation facility. There were pancake counters laying around, so I fixed one and searched the lab. When I was satisfied the lab was clear, for a joke I scanned inside my new desk drawer.  I'm very glad I did. It was reasonably hot, and setting there long term with the drawer open was not a good idea.  A wipe of a special towel while wearing gloves solved the problem. 

I prefer smiling X-ray techs, especially compared to that last sad picture, so here:

Steve





« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 09:13:02 pm by LaserSteve »
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