Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Construction day: Part 2

Friends, I am back at it, building samplers for the cruise I'll go on this summer. No matter how simple the design, building samplers always involves a crazy number of steps. My lab actually looks like a disaster zone right now, with raw materials spread all over and two large bins waiting to be filled with the final products.

Connectors I built to attach my samplers to
oceanographic moorings.
I had an interesting challenge when it came to one connector. I've been communicating with the lead technician responsible for the moorings my samplers will go on, and he suggested we use thin PVC to connect my samplers to the mooring lines (see photo). It was all well and good until I realized I had to cut slits into the PVC for the cable ties. How in the world is one supposed to cut 1/2" (1.3 cm) slits into 2" (5 cm) segments of PVC without having an accident? Stay away from power tools, for a start.

I ended up using a soldering iron and just melting my way through the PVC. It worked wonderfully, except that the tip of the soldering iron got gummed up with the melting plastic. I kept a thick rag on hand and wiped the soldering iron every few minutes - easy enough.

Slowly but surely, my project is coming together! I just have a few more steps before the samplers are complete and ready to ship. Onward!

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