Moving Curvity with Wiki Here

Over the next few days or weeks I am going to move all the content from the wiki into this WordPress install and then do away with the Wiki.  The original intent for the wiki was to allow other people to add and modify content, but over the seven year life of the wiki, two of which have been public, not a single person has modified or added content to the wiki.

The wikimedia software, compared to WordPress, has always been difficult to work with, from deleting and controlling spam to updating it.  Another reason is that I want the uniqueness of Fry’s story to jump out and the

I may actually leave the Wiki running, but just in the background and make this blog the default.

Latest and likely last update

As this blog is now getting some traffic from forums and such, here is an update on where things stand:

  • The EM Drive duplication research this blog documents, ala “G-Zero” (Wiki) has, for the foreseeable future, ceased because:
    • NASA has done exactly what I had set out to do  (NASA link You can find the NASA paper with a PDF Search)
    • Before the NASA results had come out, I had stopped because I did not have the resources to complete the experiment properly.  After talking with Shawyer directly, I realized that I would need to spend a lot more money to get the machined aluminum copper plated cavity resonating and tested properly.

As for the 440Mhz cavity, it has not been built, only simulated but if anyone wants to donate the funds, I might be persuaded to attempt it.

On a house-keeping note: All the content under the “Research Summary” pages of this site were originally on the now-no-longer-password-protected Curvity wiki.  I have pointed those pages to the original source pages on the wiki (which means all the picture links work).

If the whole alien contact thing of Curvity hasn’t turned you off yet and you are curious why on earth I would spend so much time and money trying to duplicate the EM Drive, the answer is here.

If you have any questions contact me at sean at daniel fry dot com.


Sean Donovan
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

440Mhz Shawyer Cavity – Fabrication Sensitivity Analysis

One of the features of the CST Microwave studio is the ability to use variables and equations instead of hardcoded values for dimensions. The variables can then be swept across a range and, with a robust enough model, simulation can be done at each point.

In this case, I varied the large and small diameter of the cavity and the height to see what affect it had on the frequency of the TE0,1,1 mode. With three variable and three points each, the result was 27 different simulations, i.e. hold the height constant and vary the small diameter across three points, then the large diameter across three points.

CST can also do distributed computation and I had two computer going for two days, one an eight core AMD and the other a six, both with better than 16GBs of memory running three simulations simultaneously.

And the results are.. promising.

The first result was to vary one parameter up to 2cm either side of ideal while holding the other two parameters at ideal values. The results were

  • Varying the large diameter meant the frequency of TE0,1,1 mode only varied from 445Mhz to 437Mhz.
  • Varying the small diameter meant the frequency varied by the same amount, 445Mhz to 437Mhz
  • Varying the height had a larger affect and it wasn’t symmetrical: having a height 2cm too small made the frequency of the TE0,1,1 mode jump to 458Mhz, outside the 70cm Ham radio band. However, 2cm too large and the frequency only fell to ~438Mhz, just a couple Mhz lower than 440Mhz.

Now let us keep the height ideal:

  • With the small and large diameter 2cms higher than ideal, the TE0,1,1 mode was at ~464Mhz (bad)
  • With the small and large diameter 2cms lower than ideal, the TE0,1,1 mode was at ~453Mhz (bad)

To conclude – the resonant frequency will stay around the target 440Mhz as long as the height is ideal or less than 2cm larger and the large and small diameters are within 1cm.



A 440Mhz UHF Cavity Design and Simulation

I was inspired over the past couple of days to investigate the design and cost of building a Shawyer cavity that resonates in the low end of the UHF band, which ranges from 300Mhz to 3GHz [Wikipedia].  At first, I chose a resonate frequency where the cone could be cut from the remains of a 3’x8′ sheet of copper I have and the cavity, shown below resonates at 600Mhz.

A render of a 600Mhz cavity unrolled onto a 3 foot by 8 foot sheet of copper.
A simulation of the cavity in CST Microwave Studio showing the TE0,1,1 mode at 600Mhz with a Q of 104,000!
  • The cavity size is 91.4cm high, 83.4cm for the large diameter end and 50cm for the small diameter end.
  • The cone rolled out just fits inside of a 3′ by 8′ sheet of standard mill dimension sheet of copper.
  • As expected, the larger cavity produced a theoretical maximum Q of 104,000!!

The reason for using a lower frequency is that it means less expensive, tunable HAM radio sources and a higher Q.  In other words, a cavity with a fixed resonate frequency and without a troublesome tuning mechanism means the source needs to be tunable.  (And with an ultra-high Q comes an ultra-narrow bandwidth)

However, 600Mhz is outside the HAM radio spectrum and because I want cheap and easy, modding a UHF rig to transmit at that frequency is too difficult, not to mention the amplifier.

So I flipped the problem around, and simulated a cavity that resonated at 440Mhz right in the middle of the UHF HAM radio spectrum allowable in Canada.  My actual process was to take the 600Mhz cavity size and increase it by 1.3636 which is decreased the frequency to 440Mhz (because frequency has an inverse relationship with size).  The simulation came out dead on the first run:

Eigenmode JDM 1.2M tretrahedral simulation showing the resonate frequency at 440Mhz
Eigenmode JDM 1.2M tetrahedral simulation showing the resonate frequency at 440Mhz
  • A Q of 121,000! (A nice 20% bump from a 600Mhz cavity)
  • The size is 81.8cm in height, 113.7 cm for the large diameter and 68.2 cm for the small diameter
  • The simulation was done with a eigenmode JDM solver with 1.2M (million) tetrahedrals using adaptive meshing.  (My AMD eight core 8350 just tore through the simulation which still took hours!)

Then I took the measurements from the simulation and figured out how much copper I would need, shown below:

A 440Mhz cavity rolled out on a 3 by 10 foot sheet of copper and half of a 3 by 8 foot sheet.
A 440Mhz cavity rolled out on a 3 by 10 foot sheet of copper and half of a 3 by 8 foot sheet.

Copper (from ThyssenKrupp) comes in standard sizes, 3’by8′ and 3’by10′ in 12oz or 16oz gauges.  What is shown is *half* of the cone rolled out on top of one 3’by10′ sheet with half of a 3’by8′ sheet next to it.  With a few extra pieces soldered from the unused edges, the entire shape could be cut with tin snips.  To build the entire cone, two of the shown pieces would need to be cut and then soldered together, then formed into the cone.

A 3′ by 10′ copper sheet at 12oz gauge, at today’s prices costs $290 and with the 3′ by 8′ 12oz sheet I already have, I would need two 10′ ones, bringing the cost up to $600.  This would not include the top or bottom sections which I would either make from a 3′ by 8′ sheet of 32oz copper I have or from aluminum sheeting (not ideal only because it cannot be soldered to the copper – the conductivity difference shouldn’t matter because it carries hardly any current).

Of course, with 12oz copper, the cavity will likely need an external support structure which I haven’t figured out yet.

Building the cavity would be the first step and with my SignalHound spectrum analyzer good to 4Ghz, I could figure out if the Q is in the right place and high enough.

Then I would need to purchase the Ham radio equipment, two pieces of it pretty exotic, a 1Kw linear amplifier and a isolator that can handle 1kW returned load.

I found a commercial linear amplifier that can be had for $5KUS (pretty good!) from Lunar-Link International. You can also buy a kit and make one yourself starting at $1275US from W6PQL, however, all the connectors, housing and everything else could easily add another grand and I run the risk of messing something up.  However, I could modify it by adding a 1KW isolator on the output which would be nice.

I found some good information on isolators here and even a commercial one that can handle 400Watts here for $1700US.

The next step is to add a power and measurement probe to the simulation and then do a high-count tetrahedral transient solver simulation.  With that result in hand, the next step would be to build the cavity and test it.  If the Q was high enough and stable enough (didn’t move because of a flexing cavity), it would then be time to source the HAM equipment and test it for movement – hoohah!

Magnetron Spectrum Output Success

It’s been along time since my last update, but I’ve managed to measure the magnetron spectrum output using a Signalhound. I sent an email to Signalhound and this was their reply:

For quick hoppers (FHSS), you will probably need to turn image rejection off to catch the signal.  This will speed up the sweep but will also pass the image frequency (21.4 MHz below frequency of interest).  If you turn video bandwidth down to 6.5 KHz and RBW to 25 KHz, Power Average mode, then turn on Max Hold, you should be able to capture and measure the signal.

These suggestions pointed me in the right direction to get the Signalhound working the way I wanted. Unfortunately I think the signal is very rapidly changing frequency so the max hold suggestion is the only way to see the signal.

Here is the output after turning the magnetron on for 15 seconds at 100% power:

Here is the output after turning the magnetron on for 20 seconds at 30% power:

The pictures don’t tell the full story here. When the magnetron first turns on you see a peak around 2.465GHz which then slowly moves to the right as the magnetron heats up. Here’s the output after turning the magnetron on for 30 seconds at 100% power:

The flattening of the spectrum suggests that I’m right about the frequency shifting to the left as the magnetron heats up. Here are all 3 waveforms superimposed on each other:

This result makes me think that it’s possible to minimize the frequency drift by cooling the magnetron. The next step is to try the same tests with a water cooled magnetron. Fortunately I have a surplus Astek D13449 under my desk to try once I reverse engineer it (no information is available from the company about it).


(Original post here)

Machinist Training, Simulation Results and Power Breakthroughs


  • Machinist training starting well, simulation results and power supply breakthroughs.

The first machinist class, covering the theoretical material, ended on December 7th and getting %96 in the class means I had fun!  For example, we learned how to calculate tapers which will be immensely useful for future cavities.  The practical part of the class starts in January and I look forward to it.

Neil has also been busy in Kelowna and came up with some great finds:

  • He emailed the manufacturer of the Signal Hound and, among other tweaks, learned of “peak hold mode” making it capable of seeing the magnetron’s jumpy signal.  This is great news!
  • If you remember October’s update, we had contacted John Gerling at in order to get some specs and schematics for the ASTeX magnetron head which his company repairs.  Given he had licensed that technology to ASTeX, he responded that he could not help us, but, Neil managed to find a service bulletin off his website that showed us something interesting – the ASTeX magnetron head uses an electromagnetic!!

    Woohoo!  We had suspected as much looking at the wires that led into the magnet, but having a diagram means we don’t have to guess.

On the cavity side, I have also been simulating like crazy in order to learn more about how modes are created.  I have been working primarily with two types of cavities, a larger circular cavity at 1.5Ghz and another at 5.8Ghz.

Back when I started this research, I was looking for other people who had been working with the TE0,1 mode and found a paper, Energy Storage Cavities at the ALS, (actually a website at the time) written by two summer students at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  They built a simple round resonating chamber made from some scrap aluminum pipe with a diameter of 33cm and a length of 72cm where the TE0,1,5 mode resonated at 1.5Ghz.  They were testing, completely unrelated to the EMdrive, to see if they could use the cavity as a type of energy storage mechanism for tuning purposes on a particle accelerator.  Their results are useful because they published the size of cavity and the frequency the got the TE mode at, which I can duplicate with CST.

I have also learned more about CST Microwave Studio, for example, that I can use the Eigenmode solver to find modes!  The Eigenmode solver is like a simpler version of the Frequency Domain solver I have been using before, but is perfectly suited for resonating structures.  My old work flow use to be:

  • Build a cavity with ports -> Solved with the Frequency solver over a large frequency range requiring a lot of samples (20 to 40 or more) -> Looked for the resonances on the S parameter chart -> Added field monitors at all the resonances -> Simulated -> Looked for the TE mode -> (and if necessary, re-simulate).

My work flow is now:

  • Build the cavity with probes but without ports – > Simulate with the Eigenmode solver to find what the resonate frequencies are -> Find the TE modes and their frequencies -> Then add ports -> With a narrow frequency band centred on the TE mode , simulate with the Frequency Domain solver.  By using a narrow frequency band, the Frequency domain solver takes much less time and it reduces the guess work, as there can be up to ten or more resonances in a single gigahertz spread.

The Eigenmode solver also shows me what a pure TE0,1 should look like and at what frequency, for example:

But I learned something else, thanks to “” [link], a probe can act as a disturbance and split a mode:

“Now we break the symmetry of the structure with a little cylindrical indentation as shown below.  Such a perturbation “splits” the eigenfrequencies of modes 1 and 2 from the original 16.83 GHz to 16.5 GHz and 16.87 GHz, as found by the eigensolver tool.”

Even if the Eigenmode solver shows that a cavity can resonate in a TE0,1 mode, the trick is to add a probe that will actually excite that mode.

I also learned from a powerpoint slide entitled “Introduction to RF Cavities for Accelerators” [PPT Link] by Dr. G Burt at the Lancaster University.  When using a loop couple to the B-Field (Magnetic field) probe, as we are, the larger (and deeper) the loop, the lower the coupling.   Interestingly, when using a straight probe, the higher the penetration, the stronger the coupling.   I had run into this exact situation because when I reduced the size of the cavity to resonate at 5.8Ghz, I didn’t reduce the probe loop size and couldn’t figure out why the TE mode was so messed up.  After reducing the size of the probe size in half, it works like a charm (Q of 32K).

I have also been studying the magnetic field configuration around the probe to verify that the reason a shorter loop probe has better coupling is because it properly encircles the magnetic field.

I have also been trying a variety of probe shapes and locations to increase the Q value:

I ordered up more probes mounts for the upcoming future test cavities and got ones that are threaded to make mounting easier:

These are SMA style connectors which are only for measurement of the test probe cavities.  I will move back to N-style probe connectors when an actual high powered cavity is built.

On a different front, apparently a “Douglas Eagleson” [Link] also tried to reproduce the EMDrive, but failed.  I tried emailing him but it bounced.

Some of the latest discussions on the EMDrive are here which starts in March of 2011 and ended in December 3rd, 2011.   Not much of note, except a link (that still works) to the Chinese paper.

Gruending Design and Test Setup


  • Neil is now setup to go, need better magnetron power supply

My trip to West Kelowna was a success, I survived the 24 hours of driving (there and back) and we have a better idea of the challenge ahead.

The first thing we did was set everything up including the water cooling and magnetron and ended up with the following

On the left is the water pump and radiator, then the magnetron connected to the circulator which was connected to a section with tuning pegs finally ending in a short (metal bolted to the end). In the foreground you can see a multimeter and a high voltage probe we used to sample the magnetron power supply. We also used a microwave detector to test for stray radiation and the thermal imager to make sure the magnetron didn’t overheat.

We then hooked up the variable step attenuator, programmed it for 70dB and connected the Signalhound to the isolation port on the circulator. After getting a few sparks when the high voltage for the magnetron arced through the wire shielding, we recorded a few results.

It was soon apparent that the magnetron was jumping frequency too much to even show up on the Signalhound which takes measurements every 150mseconds. (As a reference, the HP 8753D analyzer at the university samples at 50msec, and even there it was jumping around way too much).

We then hooked up a high voltage probe to record what the magnetron input voltage looked like and I was surprised to find this:

From Neil’s blog he writes:

  • The peak to peak AC voltage is about 4.4kV and is shown AC coupled. The current waveform is DC coupled and is changing directions which makes sense in an AC powered system. The peak current draw is about 12A with a RMS current of about 8A. These numbers don’t make sense though because the RMS power consumed using these numbers would be 16kW (2kV * 8A) which is quite a bit more than a 110V plug can supply. I will need to try and repeat these measurements once I go over the test setup.

I was under the incorrect assumption that domestic magnetron power supplies used some type of rectification in order to create a 4.2Kv DC cathode voltage, but apparently you can run the magnetron off AC as well. We are guessing that the reason the magnetron output jumps frequencies, is because of AC input. I plan to send Neil another newer microwave oven that uses a different kind of power supply to find out if it too drives the magnetron with AC, or a DC voltage and if it makes any difference in the magnetron output.

The conclusion of our trip is that we need to test more magnetrons and magnetron power supplies in order to find a setup that has a much steadier output. Once we have a steady output that can be measured by the Signalhound, we can then use a feedback loop to center it on the cavities resonant frequency.

Along that line, I found a paper that mentions the magnetron theory of operation which had some interesting points:

  • “For most magnetrons the temperature coefficient is negative (frequency decreases as temperature increases) and is essentially constant over the operating range of the magnetron.”
  • “The “automatic” synchronism between the electron spoke patter and the r.f. field polarity in a crossed field device allows a magnetron to maintain relatively stable operation over a wide range of applied input parameters. For example, a magnetron designed for an output power of 200kw peak will operate quite well at 100kw peak output by simply reducing the modulator drive level.”
  • “The pushing figure of a magnetron is defined as the change in magnetron frequency due to a change in the peak cathode current.”

Here are my takeaways from the paper:

  • Frequency control may be easier by controlling the magnetron cathode current with a constant temperature then controlling the magnets

Or, it may be a combination between controlling the cathode current and magnets that gives the best result.

Here is my todo list:

  • Send Neil the other microwave to see what waveform that microwave uses to power the magnetron (TODO)
  • Send an email to John Gerling to see if we can get the specs for the ASTeX magnetron head because his company repairs them.  and John responded with “Sorry, can’t help you any further”.  It turns out that John was one of the original designers for the ASTeX magnetron and Gerling spun out the ASTex company which means he considers it IP. Darn!  Have to find another source…
  • Get schematics and/or repair manual for the MDX-10 power supply in case we can use any of the parts. (TODO)

High Voltage High Power Fun

A friend stopped by this weekend and dropped off some fun toys.

He needs a frequency locked 1000W 2.45GHz signal based on a microwave magnetron. I like the magnetron solution because it’s a cheap way to generate such a high power RF signal but they wander between  2.42GHz and 2.48GHz which is a problem for his application. I have volunteered to help him figure out a method to lock the output frequency. I think it will make a great writeup for the blog since I expect it will take a significant amount of reverse engineering and experimentation to make it work.

I would like to point out at this time that the output from a microwave magnetron is extremely dangerous. Microwaves like to boil water and people are 75% water. All of my experiments will be done in carefully controlled conditions and have been checked with a microwave leakage detector. The microwave energy in the experiments will be dissipated using a water load and also the test setup itself, not me.

The first thing we did is setup all of the equipment for the tests. The magnetron and control circuit are from a microwave oven and all of the waveguides are recycled from old equipment. The water cooling setup is a pump and radiator from an old CPU water cooling setup. Unfortunately it takes a lot more than an old microwave for a test setup. Here’s a block diagram of the basic test setup (you might have to click on the image to see it clearly):

With this test setup, the magnetron can only be run for short periods of time. For example, after 20 seconds of operation the magnetron case temperature can reach 50C even with the cooling fan from the microwave blowing across it. Since the magnetron can run for many minutes inside of a microwave the test setup needs to be reviewed to see if the microwaves are being reflected back into the magnetron. Since the magnetron output is shorted, I would expect to see most of the power reflected back towards the magnetron. The isolator should be attenuating this energy by 20db or so but that means that 900W (1000W-1000W/10) would be absorbed by magnetron. Here is a good application note on how isolators work. Section 7.9 suggests a method of frequency locking a magnetron which might come in handy.

We first tried to observe the magnetron output using a Signal Hound spectrum analyzer connected to the isolator reflected power output with an external attenuator. When we tried a 50MHz span centered at 2.45GHz, the sweep rate was about 300 to 400ms. Occasional peaks were observed but it was pretty obvious that either the signal wasn’t there or it was hopping around faster than the Signal Hound could capture. Different attenuation settings didn’t help. My friend had previously tried the same test using a newer Agilent spectrum analyzer and even with a sweep rate of 50mS he observed that it was difficult to see the magnetron output. Even when the Signal Hound was set to a 5MHz span the sweep times were still 150ms to 250ms. I will have to investigate further to see if it’s possible to speed up the sample rates using either a faster PC or with different sample settings.

We also measured the input voltage to the magnetron using a Fluke 87III multimeter and a Fluke 80K-40 probe and got a DC voltage of about -2.2kV and a ripple of about 2.2kV. This surprised my friend since he thought that the magnetron was powered with a rectified DC voltage. I added a CT238 current probe and captured the following waveforms with my Tek 754D oscilloscope:

The oscilloscope attenuation factors were set so that the displayed voltage from the 80K-40 probe was approximately correct on channel 1 (the black trace). The oscilloscope was also set so that the voltage displayed from the CT238 current probe is actually in amps, ie 1V = 1A. Normally you can’t use the 80K-40 as an oscilloscope probe because it has a 3dB bandwidth of about 400Hz, but in this case the waveform is about 60Hz so it’s an acceptable approximation. The CT238 probe has a frequency response of 250kHz which is more than adequate for the signal measured here.

The peak to peak AC voltage is about 4.4kV and is shown AC coupled. The current waveform is DC coupled and is changing directions which makes sense in an AC powered system. The peak current draw is about 12A with a RMS current of about 8A. These numbers don’t make sense though because the RMS power consumed using these numbers would be 16kW (2kV * 8A) which is quite a bit more than a 110V plug can supply. I will need to try and repeat these measurements once I go over the test setup.

So far there are more questions than answers, but that’s what makes this project so interesting. After a few hours of playing here are the next steps:

  • Contact Signal Hound to see if sampling can be sped up. Right now it’s too slow too see the magnetron output if it’s constantly changing frequency.
  • Verify the power test configuration. The numbers measured aren’t making sense.
  • Try to measure how much power is being reflected back into the magnetron. The large reflected power could cause the magnetron to change frequency rapidly.
  • Can magnetrons operate on DC voltage instead of AC? Maybe a DC voltage will help stabilize the magnetron.

(Original Post here.)

Signalhound Comparison and Attenuator Test


  • Signalhound and 70dB step attenuator seem to work fine

I was up at the university yesterday in order to test the Signalhound and the 70dB step attenuator and both of them seem to work fine.  Here is the test setup for the attenuator:

To change the levels of attenuation, a 15v power supply was required and the attenuator was hooked up between the ports of the network analyzer.  The attenuation was as expected and it was neat to hear the attenuator make a solid click when changing between attenuation levels.

The network analyzer was then used as a super accurate signal generator and hooked to both the Agilent spectrum analyzer and Signalhound at the same time.  The spectrum analyzer was attached to channel two and the signal hound attached to channel one.

The results were then compared:

Looks pretty good, although the Agilent is cleaner and faster, the Signalhound is certainly usable.

Many thanks to Kevin who took a few minutes to configure the network analyzer and spectrum analyzer to make the measurements.

I then packed up all the waveguide components, power supplies, pump, radiator, and magnetrons and carted them out to the car in preparation for my drive to Kelowna on Friday, October 22nd.

Bent probes and cavity a no-go and CNC Machinist


  • Bent Probes and cavity a no-go and CNC Machinist

Last week I was up at the university and tested the bent probes.  The results were bad enough that I didn’t record any results.  The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be much of correlation between what is expected and what is measured.  Worse, I don’t know why.

To move forward, I have to step back to simpler cavities and make sure I can create cavities that match measured results to simulations.  Once there, I can then make and test incremental changes, until I arrive back at the original shape with all the improvements necessary.

Making the cavities by hand, i.e. folding copper into a tube, isn’t an option because I can’t get enough precision.  Using 2.45Ghz requires using cavities that are on the order of the wavelength at that frequency, which is roughly 10 to 12cm or larger (depending on propagation in free or enclosed spaces).  A crappy metal lathe starts at $600 ( – I like the word “Metal Worker” on the side 🙂 ) and a good one goes for a few multiples of that.

Simple small tube cavities are easy on a manual lathe, but eventually, making large asymmetrical ones, which are at the heart of the EMdrive, requires a CNC controlled lathe.  Second hand CNC lathes can be had for about $12K and up but require 220V or 480V and require knowledge about the controllers.  I have neither the knowledge, money, electrical power or space in my garage for such a beast.   Because all the cavities are one-offs and can be large, local machine shops won’t touch them, as I found out when trying to get the $2K cavity built (I think I contacted ten different machine shops).   The cavity is large enough, 280mm dia. at the large end, that it is outside the build envelope of a lot of lathes, and the larger lathes that are capable are all tied up doing more valuable work.   Ordering from is too slow, as the lead time is months and I want to iterate through cavity designs weekly.

I have decided to kill a few birds with one stone by becoming a CNC machinist, my third career.  My first career was a design/marketing engineer at a small BC company, my third was Levitee research, which I haven’t given up, and now a machinist.  I have been working on research now for ten years, four of which was Levitee specific, slowly burning through my savings ($30K left!!).  I also need to again start saving for retirement.  Again?  Yes, I was fortunate enough to have enough money from my first job, and willing parents, to “retire” at the age of 28 when I started down this crazy path. I need to turn on the money faucet once again.

The three birds I will kill with one stone are – learn how to be a CNC machinist, make cavities and money.

The good news is that there is a solid demand for CNC machinists in Edmonton, in large part, thanks to the oil industry.  To that end, I have, through a friend, applied at a local company which has some CNC positions open and without much surprise, they are reluctant to hire me.  To overcome those fears and because I don’t know anything about machining, I have now enrolled in an evening/weekend CNC machinist training course at NAIT and should be done by May 12th, 2012 (costing roughly $2K and 200 hours in time).

On the Levitee front, a few things did get done, for example, I received the Signalhound and I bought cables for Neil.  I plan to be up at the university next week to test the Signalhound against a more expensive spectrum analyzer to give Neil a better idea of the differences.  Things are still moving forward, even if I have to take a side step at this point.  Besides working with Neil to get the magnetron feedback loop working and simulating test cavities, things will slow down.