Saturday, October 8, 2011

System Pre-Test!

Last night's pressure leak was just a loose connection, and I fixed it this morning. I then connected the electrical system, pressurized the breathing gas / suit inflation system, and turned on the master power switch. All well! The new pressure regulator works beautifully and is much easier to control, right down to even finer than 1psi increments. Pressing the inflator button on the suit worked to send gas to the suit (on the right, with the pressure restraint garment pulled aside from the connection for now) and the electrics turned on a small 'cockpit' light (on a foot-long snake neck) to help illuminate the instruments, and the voltmeter displayed the battery charge. Power is flowing through the main breaker without loss of amps downstream, and the oral-nasal mask breathing system worked to inhale breathing gas from the tank and then purge exhaled gas out the appropriate hose. It all works. Now, back to the last adjustments of the pressure restraint garment, which means more sewing, which I can only do once I get my hands on some large sailmaking needles; I finally broke the last of mine last week. This was the last one remaining from the set that Dad bought for me before the sailing raft expedition back in 1998-1999. So - very close to the full suit test, and I'm looking for people to help with that, which will include one suit manager, one power/gas system manager and one person to shoot stills and video.

But wait! One more component to build -- the suit coolant system, requiring a new fluid pump and sewing the coolant hoses into a special vest. Still -- awfully close, now, to the incredible day when I can demonstrate the viability of this system! Hoo eee! The anticipation is fantastically energizing!

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