Author Topic: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.  (Read 448 times)

Dave C

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Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« on: August 11, 2023, 10:20:47 AM »
Hello folks

We are currently having trouble with our Edwards Auto 306 and need to move forward with purchasing a new coater.

The Auto306 is an excellent coater and has served us well over the past 20 years and we would procure a new one but this instrument is now made by a different vendor in India and doesn't have the local service that we have enjoyed in the past.

So we are looking for something with similar capabilities.  We only ever used the 306 for carbon deposition so the ability to coat with various metals probably isn't going to be an issue.  What we really like about the auto306 is that we can get reproducible coating using the push rod method (based on colour on polished brass) by maintaining consistent length on the machined component of the carbon rod, consistent vacuum set-point and applied current during evaporation.

I am looking for feedback and/or recommendations for carbon coaters.

Any input would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Dave

jon_wade

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2023, 07:11:03 AM »
I have the HHV variant of the 306 (9 years old now, used daily, sometimes by the ham-fisted)

I can say I am very happy with it - its all branded parts (Edwards turbo pump and rotary, mitsubishi display and Eurotherm power controller). It hasn't required any maintenance beyond a single change of the rotary oil.  Frankly, its been one of my better purchases!

all the best

Jon



Karsten Goemann

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2023, 05:18:56 PM »
I agree with Jon - we've had our HHV Auto306 for 4.5 years now and it has been excellent.

Nicholas Ritchie

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2023, 11:02:23 AM »
Karsten & Jon,
    How are your HHV Auto 306s configured?  Do you use them for C only or other elements too?
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are"
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Probeman

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2023, 08:42:04 AM »
Karsten & Jon,
    How are your HHV Auto 306s configured?  Do you use them for C only or other elements too?

Our Edwards 306 coater is ancient (bought used 15 years ago) but it is generally reliable.  We did have to machine new electrode parts out of stainless steel as the original aluminum parts wore out. We also had to replace the electrode wires with new cables, oh and we did have to replace the variac transformer with a replacement one from Edwards.

I mentioned this observation to the service guy on the phone from the UK that I thought it was cool that the power dial "it goes to 11", but he said unfortunately the Edwards 306 coater design predates Spinal Tap:

https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/oc92ku/its_one_louder_my_amplifier_goes_to_11_spinal_tap/

He said he thought that the "it goes to 11" came from old railroad engines...  well, at least it's repairable if not completely reliable!

Some other posts on carbon coaters:

https://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=623.msg9166#msg9166

https://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=423.msg2288#msg2288

https://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=878.msg5590#msg5590
« Last Edit: August 26, 2023, 08:47:57 AM by Probeman »
The only stupid question is the one not asked!

Jacob

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2023, 11:31:05 AM »
well, at least it's repairable if not completely reliable!

I'd agree with this. We have the Edwards Auto 306 turbo model here. The PLC inside recently died but there was enough information in the manual to program a new one with a custom program from scratch.  At this point I can't see ever getting rid of the system, even with a major component failure as pieces could potentially be mixed and matched from other manufacturers with some PLC program modifications.

sem-geologist

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2023, 06:59:45 AM »

I mentioned this observation to the service guy on the phone from the UK that I thought it was cool that the power dial "it goes to 11", but he said unfortunately the Edwards 306 coater design predates Spinal Tap:

https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/oc92ku/its_one_louder_my_amplifier_goes_to_11_spinal_tap/

He said he thought that the "it goes to 11" came from old railroad engines...  well, at least it's repairable if not completely reliable!


well, 11 as max used on Marshal Guitar amplifiers (which were featured in Spinal Tap) predates quite much the Spinal Tap.

Probeman

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2023, 08:40:08 AM »

I mentioned this observation to the service guy on the phone from the UK that I thought it was cool that the power dial "it goes to 11", but he said unfortunately the Edwards 306 coater design predates Spinal Tap:

https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/oc92ku/its_one_louder_my_amplifier_goes_to_11_spinal_tap/

He said he thought that the "it goes to 11" came from old railroad engines...  well, at least it's repairable if not completely reliable!


well, 11 as max used on Marshal Guitar amplifiers (which were featured in Spinal Tap) predates quite much the Spinal Tap.

Not according to Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_to_eleven

The only music related knob that went to "11" prior to Spinal Tap was a guitar volume knob on the guitar itself, designed by Les Paul.  The Marshall amp that "goes to 11" came later in 1990 after the movie.

But you can buy them on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Allparts-PK-0142-023-Bell-Knobs-Black/dp/B014I5MR8U
« Last Edit: September 06, 2023, 08:59:22 AM by Probeman »
The only stupid question is the one not asked!

Karsten Goemann

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Re: Looking to purchase a new carbon coater.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2023, 07:08:28 PM »
Hi Nicholas,

We've modified our HHV Auto306 quite a bit. We only coat carbon with it and have separate coaters for metal sputter coating. The vacuum system is turbo and scroll pump.

We made "half-pipe" sample holders for different sample formats so all samples have the same distance to the carbon source. They go upside down onto the three posts supplied with it so we're coating "upwards" from the carbon source.
We modified the carbon rod source it came with so it accepts a single 1.5 mm diameter carbon rod which is clamped at both ends (i.e. not two thicker rods that are sharpened in some way and touch in the middle).
In addition to the quartz thickness monitor it came with we added a resistance-based measurement device to better measure thickness buildup during coating and automatically terminate the coating once a certain conductivity is reached.
Those sorts of modifications are similar to what we already had on our 1970s vintage Ladd bell jar coater, see also this thread here:
https://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=1252

Cheers,
Karsten