Since the ring catalyst failed we are evaluating two other kinds. We are looking at traditional silver plated nickel and some metal monollytic catalysts. We have some samples of the metal monolyths we received from John Carmack and we hope to test them in a regen cooled engine capable of running in Monoprop or Biprop mode in a week or two. I ordered the nickel screens and hope to fabricate a motor for that configuration in the next two weeks.
I’ve been working on machining the regen engine out of a large chuck of aluminum and the size is stressing the capabilities of my lathe. The Lathe is a manual lathe converted to CNC and the cross slide tool mount was not very rigid. I started more than a week ago to machine some new mounts and the speed control on the Mill motor started acting up. So I bought the Tormach speed control upgrade (stock on the new Tormachs) and Its a great upgrade. Now that is fixed, I’ve spend the last week machining new tool mounts out of large chunks of steel. they should be more rigid. The mill is machining the last piece as I write this so I hope to get back to machining the actual motor on Saturday. Machining Aluminum and the C145 copper is fun, Machining stainless is miserable, machining medium steel is some where in the middle, not as picky about feed rate as stainless, but still wears the tooling a lot faster than aluminum.
On a side note I stick all the tools I use at the mill, draw bar wrench, vice wrench, chuck keys etc… to the back of the mill with some strong magnets. With aluminum or Stainless this is not an issue, when machining steel all the sharp chips stick to the tools making it a hazard to use them. No fun at all.