Scanning electron microscope offer

John Foust jfoust at
Sat Sep 29 23:11:49 CDT 2007

At 09:58 PM 9/29/2007, Dave McGuire wrote:
>  Yeah.  I'd love to do more of that with mine; I'm midway through  
>the construction of my new lab (converted 3-car garage) which will  
>hopefully allow me to (among other things) resurrect my SEM. 

If anyone wants a classic SEM, I have one I'd part with.

In summer 2001, I picked up a circa 1983 Amray 1610T SEM with 
a PGT 4000 EDS (energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy unit) from 
Northwestern University.  It had been donated by Littelfuse out 
of Des Plaines.  It was still palletted and wrapped when I got it.
It was in purportedly working condition, but NWU never used it.
See the pictures at:

I performed a few simple repairs to the unit: resetting the 
chamber door hinges, resoldering a few broken connections,
and mapping the reconnection process, gathering docs.
I found the tech at Littelfuse who'd once known the unit, and 
picked up a few more manuals and schematics from KLA Tencor and 
a fellow in Germany.  

I have floppies for the PGT, a half-dozen extra filaments, 
a Leybold model D8A vacuum pump, and the vibration isolation 
unit (a bucket filled with cement with a tube through it.)

The Amray is run by an 8085.  It'll magnify down to about 50,000 x.
The PGT computer is a customized RT-11 running on a PPD-11/23.
It powers up but doesn't boot.  Hitting the reset button does 
trigger the floppy, but I'm not seeing anything on-screen.

It's heavy.  The column base is 33"x33" and may weigh as much 
as 1,200 pounds, but the real danger comes from it having a
high center of gravity.  

The Amray console is wider and may weigh only 300 pounds.  The PGT
is in a 19"-ish rack with a terminal on top.

A friend and I moved it all with a pallet jack and a flat-bed
truck.  (He was sympathetic to crazy projects like this because
he does the same with Jaguars.)  To get it in and out of my 
garage, I used a bucket on a tractor.  For the last few years,
it's been in heated storage at a friend's facility with a dock.

Sometime in-between now and then, I saw the same model Amray
and PGT sell for about $15,000 on LabX.  Of course, the difference
between working and "sitting in storage for seven years" may be wide
and costly so don't think that I think it's worth that.  SEM techs 
get a nice penny per hour, per diem, and travel.  I have no idea
what I'd take for it.  If I get tired of it, I'm sure all that 
quality stainless steel in the column will fetch a nice price 
at the scrapper.  :-)

I'm open to offers.  I'm in Wisconsin between Madison and Milwaukee.

- John

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