20-610 3kV Adjustment

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The 20-610 high voltage gun supply used on PHI 600 and 660 scanning Auger systems provides the beam voltage, filament current and emission voltage to the Lab6 filament in the cylindrical mirror analyzer.

As part of the linearity adjustment process, the beam voltage is set to 3 keV so that the top of the elastic peak comes in at 3 keV.

The 3 keV elastic peak adjustment potentiometer in the 20-610 is R108.   The process is simple:

  1. Adjust the specimen stage Z axis for maximum counts and best shape of the peak during a 3 keV elastic peak alignment.
  2. Adjust the analyzer control gain so that the AES peaks come in at the correct location in a survey. Typically clean copper is used since it has both low and high energy peaks.
  3. Reacquire the elastic peak but do not move the specimen stage. If the elastic peak does not come it at 3 keV, move the elastic peak to 3 keV by adjusting R108 in the 20-610.

Sometimes there is not enough range of adjustment with the R108 potentiometer.  For those cases, this blog post will explain how to modify the PCB 100 board in the 20-610 in order to extend the 3 kV adjustment range.

The schematic below shows the R108 potentiometer circuit.

R108 Pot

The ends of R108 are connected to + and – 12V via two 49.9 K ohm resistors, R107 and R109. Adjusting R108 adds a small offset current to IC 103, which in turn changes the 3 kV output of the 20-610.

If there is not enough range with R108 then we need to change the balance between the + and – 12 volt supplies.   The way to do that is to remove R107 and replace it with a 100 k ohm trim potentiometer that is set to an initial value of 49.9 K ohms. 100 K ohm trim pots are available from any electronic component vendor (Digikey, Newark, Mouser….)

To prep the 100 K ohm trim potentiometer, the center wiper connection needs to be soldered to either end as shown below.

Bend center pin

With an ohmmeter, measure the resistance between the trim pot legs and adjust it for a resistance of 49.9 K ohms.

Turn off the 20-610 and on the back of the unit, unplug the main power cord, the remote program cable and the unscrew and remove the large HV cable connector. If there is a ground wire attached, remove it as well.

Place the 20-610 on a work bench and remove the 100 board. You will need to remove the board tie down bracket. Important! – Make sure that the 20-610 in unplugged when removing or installing the board tie down bracket as it is very close to some exposed wires that have voltage on them when the 20-610 is plugged in.


R100 board location in 20-610

remove bracket




Unsolder R107 and install the new trim pot on the back side of the 100 board.   You will need to bend the two pins on the trim pot so that the adjustment screw faces up.

R107 resistor

Reinstall the 100 board inside the 20-610.  Make sure that it is seated all the way into the mother board connector. Reinstall the board tie down bracket. Do not put the cover back on the 20-610.

Install the 20-610 into the electronics rack and reconnect the large HV cable (be sure to screw it in all the way), and the HV programming cable.  Make sure that the 20-610 main power switch is  OFF and then plug in the main power cord into the interlocked power strip.

Slide the 20-610 out enough so that you can get to R108 and the new trim pot.  Make sure that the 20-610 main power is OFF.

Remove the filament cap from the analyzer (3 screws) and connect a DVM and high voltage probe to either of the filament tabs.  The ground reference on the high voltage probe should be connected to the vacuum chamber.


***Caution, high voltage is present! Refer adjustment to qualified personnel ***

Turn on the 20-610 and using AugerMap and the normal turn on procedure, set the beam voltage to 3 kV.

***Caution, high voltage is present! Refer adjustment to qualified personnel ***

Center R108 and then adjust the new 100 K ohm trim pot so that the voltage on the filament cap is 3,000 volts.

Turn off the beam voltage in AugerMap and then turn off the 20-610.

Reconnect the filament cap to the analyzer.  Press down on the cap as you tighten the 3 screws that hold the cap onto the top of the CMA filament adjustment housing.

Turn the 20-610 back on and turn the beam voltage on and set it to 3 kV.  Bring up the filament current to the normal operating point (typically 1.3 amps)

Perform the AES calibration procedure and adjust R108 so that the elastic peak comes in at 3 keV.   When you are finished with the AES calibration, put the cover back on the 20-610 (front 2 cover screws only) and slide it back into the console.  The AES calibration procedure is listed below –

Auger energy calibration on 600 and 660 scanning Auger systems

This procedure requires sliding the 20-610 high voltage supply out and removing the cover to gain access to the beam voltage offset potentiometer, R108. Turn off the 20-610 when sliding it in out or in, and when removing or installing the cover.


  1. Load a sample of pure copper.
  2. If you are using AugerMap software, set the magnification to 10,000X and use the Area Scan mode to minimize sample topography effect on the Auger signal.
  3. Perform an elastic peak alignment and adjust the Z axis sample position to obtain maximum counts and best peak shape.
  4. Sputter the sample clean until no carbon or oxygen is present.
  5. Re-acquire the elastic peak to ensure that the sample is at the optimum position: highest counts and best peak shape. When the elastic peak is differentiated, the positive and negative excursions should be equal and symmetrical.
  6. From this point on, do not move the sample!
  7. With the beam voltage at 3kV, acquire a survey from 30eV to 1030eV, using .5eV/step, 50 ms/point.
  8. Differentiate the survey and check the peak positions against the correct values as listed in the PHI handbook or other reference. A typical value is 920eV for the high energy peak and 60eV for the low energy peak on copper.
  9. Note: If using AugerScan software, you can simply adjust the scale factor in the AES
  10. Acquire an alignment with a range of 900 to 940, .5eV/step, 15ms/point and do the adjustment in real time. For copper, set the n/e peak to approximately 917eV. When differentiated, the high energy Cu peak should be 920eV.
  11. Acquire another survey and check that the differentiated peak positions are correct. Document the results for future reference and file it in the system calibration log.
  12. Acquire another elastic peak, but do not move the sample!
  13. If the elastic peak is not centered at 3kV, then adjust R108 in the Bertan 20-610 High Voltage power supply to center the elastic peak.

Calibration is complete.

From this point on, every-time you set the elastic peak, the sample will be at the focal point of the analyzer (maximum signal and best shaped peak), and all of the Auger peaks will be in the correct positions.

Hastings RV-16D Vacuum Gauge Repair

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The Hastings RV-16D thermocouple vacuum gauge is used in the Physical Electronics’ (PHI) Auto Valve Control (AVC) to read the vacuum in the load lock and also at the turbo pump.  There are two DV-6M thermocouple sensor tubes connected to the back of the AVC and a relay selects which one is routed to the RV-16D vacuum gauge.

The 0 to 10mV output of the RV-16D (also called the “Hockey Puck” ) goes to a comparator circuit in the AVC and is ultimately displayed on a LED segment graph on the AVC remote.  One bar on the AVC remote indicates up to air and 5 bars indicates less than 5 X 10-3 Torr.

When the Hockey Puck in the AVC fails, it is usually because one of the DV-6M thermocouple sensor tubes failed and in turn some of the resistors inside the RV-16D overheated.   This blog post will show you how to repair the RV-16D by replacing those failed resistors with higher wattage ones that should be able to survive the next time one of the DV-6M gauges fail.

The layout and schematic below show the resistors that usually fail.  R 3 is a 15K ohm 2 watt resistor and R 4 is a 100 ohm 1/2 watt resistor.

Failed Resistors on RV-16D

Failed Resistors on RV-16D

Failed Resistors on RV-16D schematic

Failed Resistors on RV-16D schematic

It is recommended that when you replace these resistors that you increase the wattage.  For the repairs in the photos below, I used a 15K ohm 5 watt resistor and a 100 ohm 2 watt resistor.  These resistors are readily available from Digikey, Newark and Mouser.

And since I already had the RV-16D torn apart I also replaced the capacitor C1 with a new one.

TC gauge before repair

TC gauge before repair











TC gauge after repair

TC gauge after repair

When working on the RV-16D be sure to completely unplug the power to the AVC.  I recommend pulling the AVC completely out of the electronic rack or vacuum console. The RV-16D is located in the back left hand corner of the AVC.  If your RV-16D has the metal cover on it you will need to remove it and either cut it around the wires or un-solder the wires an feed them through the case.  Use your cell phone and take some pictures for reference before you un-solder any wires so that you can be sure to put them back in the exact same place. You do not need to replace the cover, the RV-16D will run cooler without it.

One final note.  The schematic is not 100% correct as there is a 49 ohm resistor that is tied across the output on most of the RV-16D gauges that I have pulled apart.  I think that this resistor replaces R5 and R6 as R6 is not needed since only the 10mV recorder output is used in the PHI AVC.   If your RV-16D does not have the 49 ohm resistor, then I recommend that you add one.  It will help to stabilize the output.

49 ohm resistor

49 ohm resistor

If you need technical assistance or parts for the AVC or replacement DV-6M tube please contact us by creating a sales ticket here – RBD Portal Sales


Since the AVC was out anyway, I replaced the pots from the RV-16D (R1 , 1 K ohm) and also the bar adjustment pot in the AVC ( R 103 / K6  25 K ohm) to the AVC front panel with 10 turn 2 watt precision potentiometers and also installed an isolated BNC connector to the RV-16D recorder output wires (Blue and black).

This modification makes it much easier to adjust the RV-16D recorder output when you install a new DV-6M tube and to adjust the AVC for 4 bars when the load lock is pump out.  The 5th bar on the AVC remote is on a timer and will turn on after the 4th bar stays on for 2 minutes.

With this modification installed it is not necessary to remove the AVC cover to adjust the hockey puck output or the AVC 4th bar.

Installing repaired TC gauge into AVC

Installing repaired TC gauge into AVC







Repaired TC gauge inside AVC

Repaired TC gauge inside AVC

10mV and 4th bar

10mV and 4th bar

Soldering wires to front panel 10mV and 4th bar potentiometers

Soldering wires to front panel 10mV and 4th bar potentiometers

AVC Up to Air relay update

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The Auto Valve Controller (AVC) is used to open and close valves on PHI surface analysis systems such as the 5000 series XPS and 660 scanning Auger systems.  The AVC has a small built in microprocessor and so it also has the ability to protect the user from inadvertently opening a valve out of sequence and dumping the system.

The AVC needs to know that the turbo pump is on before certain valve functions are available. For example the V4 ion gun differential pump valve will not open under any circumstance if the turbo pump is not on.

So, how does the AVC know that the turbo pump is on? The Up to Air relay in the AVC auto valve controller is energized by a voltage from the turbo pump controller.

Up to Air relay inside AVC

Up to Air relay inside AVC








When the AVC was designed PHI used Balzers (now Pfeifers) turbo pumps which had a 240 VAC output voltage when the turbo pump controller was ON.  So, the Up to Air relay in most AVCs has a 240VAC coil.

Fast forward to today and some of those original Balzers/Pfeifers turbo pumps and controllers are now obsolete.  So when one of those controllers fails, it needs to be replaced with a new state of the art turbo pump and controller.

These days most turbo pump controllers have a 24 V DC output voltage that can be used to control the AVC up to air relay.  Both Edwards and Pfeifers have low cost replacement packages that are 4.5” CF flange mounted and also dry pumped backed. See information on those pumps at the bottom of this post.

The direct replacement 24 V DC  Up to Air relay is Grainger part number 1YCZ6.  This relay is the same form factor as the original Up to Air relay only it has a 24V DC coil instead of a 240 VAC coil.

24V up to air relay

24V up to air relay










Updating an AVC to this relay is a simple two-step process;

  1. Replace the Up to Air relay in the AVC
  2. Connect the Up to Air cable to the new turbo pump controller.

To replace the Up to Air relay in the AVC first make sure that all valves are closed and that the turbo pump is OFF.

Turn OFF the AVC and also unplug the power from the back of the AVC control.  Depending on your system configuration the AVC is located in the front left hand side of the electronics console, or in the back of the vacuum console.

If the solenoid manifold is located on top of the AVC, remove the screws that hold the manifold to the cover and then remove the cover from the AVC.  You should be able to move the solenoid manifold towards the back of the AVC and not need to unplug the wire bulkhead connector. Just balance the manifold on the edge of the AVC chassis.

If your AVC has the solenoid manifold mounted on the back of the AVC, then just remove the AVC cover.

Slide the AVC out enough so that you can get at the screws which mount the Up to Air relay to the side of the AVC.  The Up to Air relay is located on the right hand side of the AVC chassis.

Make a drawing or use your phone and take a picture of the connections to the Up to Air relay  to make sure that you put the connectors on the same way when you install the new relay. Remove the 240 VAC Up to Air relay bracket and install the new 24V DC relay.

Reattach the relay bracket to the side of the AVC.

Reattach the cover and solenoid manifold.

Reattach the power cord and slide the AVC back in.

Next, you need to attach the Up to Air cable to the new turbo pump controller.   Refer to the turbo pump manual for information on how to make that connection.   There will be a Setpoint output or some kind of external status connection that provides 24V DC when the turbo pump is ON.

Note the polarity of the wires on the Up to Air cable.  On the end that plugs into the back of the AVC, the larger connector is the negative (ground) wire and the smaller one is the positive (+24V) connector.   There are only two wires in the Up to Air cable.  Red is positive and Black is ground.

If your turbo pump controller has some other voltage for the status signal (such as 12V or 5 V DC) then you will need to find a version of the Up to Air relay with that same voltage.


Once the new Up to Air relay modification is complete then you should hear the V5 vent solenoid click when the turbo pump is turned ON.

The V5 vent valve is designed to vent the turbo pump in order to prevent back-streaming of oil vapors into the system in the event of a system dump.  When the AVC was first designed the backing pumps were all rotary vane mechanical pumps that used oil.

New state-of-the-art turbo pumps are typically backed with a dry pump and also have built in vent valves.   If your new turbo pump is also dry backed (both of the turbo pumps listed below are then you do not need the V5 vent function.

The V5 vent valve was mounted on the rough side of the old turbo pump. If your new turbo pump is dry backed all you need to do to disable the V5 vent valve is to close the little needle valve that is either on the V5 vent valve itself or on the solenoid manifold near the V5 vent solenoid.   (The largest solenoid is V1 and then you count out from there, V2, V3….)

If your new turbo pump is backed with a rotary vane oil pump then the V5 vent valve still needs to be connected to the rough line. The V5 needle valve is set to 1/4 turn CCW from the fully closed (full CW) position.

In addition, you want to make sure that the mechanical pump turns OFF when the turbo pump is turned OFF.  If you need help with that contact RBD Instruments.

The affordably priced turbo pumps below can replace the original Balzers TPU 040 thru TPU 062 turbo pumps on older PHI surface analysis systems.  If you order one, make sure that you order it with a 4.5” CF flange.  A 4.5” CF flange will make it easier to adapt the new turbo to the existing vacuum connections.

Pfeiffer Hi Cube 80 Eco

HiCube Eco 80

HiCube Eco 80








If you get one of the Pfeiffer  Cubes then this is the cable that you will need to connect to the Up to Air connector on the back of the AVC –  Digikey PN A120881-ND   made by TE and the TE PN is 22730001-1

Here is the Cable Data Sheet ENG_CD_2273000_A1

On the controller you will need to set option 36  Configure the Accessory B1 to 0.  Then the up to air relay will energize when the turbo pump control turns the turbo pump on.


Edwards T station nETX85H

T station

T station



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