I am now in programming mode for the next few months and Levitee work will slow. I am sending off the final drawing for the cavity tomorrow to emachineshop.com and, depending on quotes from other places, will likely make my final ($2K!) decision this week. I sold BRCM shares this week to pay for the cavity and the money is ready to go. The plan, depending on if I can get the price verified, is to have the cavity turned, then the inside buffed to a mirror finish and a copper electroplating applied. I have also got back quotes from Canadian suppliers for plating the cavity with silver and amazingly, if it has already been plated with copper, getting it plated with silver is only $300. I might go that route if it bumps up Q. My only fear at this point is that I will get the turned cavity back and it will produce a similar Q to the previous cavity, which means the simulations are messed up. It will then be literally back to the drawing board. <sigh>
I have also been spending many hours going through eBay and various sites to learn about continuous magnetron power supplies and I have found lots of them, as low as $400 and up. However, most present a problem – they require 208V single phase and sometimes 220V, triple phase power. That is not something the lab at the UofA has! (Thank you Rambabu, for confirming).
I realize now that, having gone back over my costs, I spent nearly a thousand dollars for my first cavity. My next one is going to cost roughly $2500. The first magnetron power supply was free, and my second one will likely cost about a thousand dollars.
I also got a line on a water cooled magnetron and if things go well, I should have it in my hands for about $200 (An Hitachi 2M130)
I will also be updating the wiki with the latest results, adding a section for the magnetron tests and the results from the spectrum analyzer tests of the cavity.