Varian 979: "turbo not ready"

The turbo pump on a Varian 979 leak detector seems to not be working.  The fuse is fine.  In the "System Info" menu, it displays "TURBO NOT READY".  I can not find any explanation or troubleshooting advice for this message in the manual.  Any suggestions or resources?

  • On that model, the vacuum system must reach a certain level, to start the turbo pump. So, in your case, it could be the thermocouple is burned out, or the backing pump is not working, or the turbo controller has failed. If you have the capability, check the ultimate vacuum of the backing pump alone (should be at least 50 mT), then ohm out the thermocouples (both the system and test port), and lastly, the turbo controller.

    You may call Ken or george at 800 882-7426, option 5.

  • Thank you for the quick reply.  I hooked up a gauge to the test port; the backing pump is pulling sub mT.  Next I checked the system and test port TC gauges and I get 1-2 ohms between all pins.  So I guess it is the turbo controller?  Two things to note: we had a power surge a few days ago, and although the unit was switched off, it was plugged in; so maybe that damaged something?  Secondly, I can hear what sounds like the turbo trying to spool up every minute or so (short missile-drop sound), but it never seems to.  Anything specific to check on the controller?  What are the options moving forward (do you repair the boards, sell new ones, etc.) ?

  • I hesitate to delve much further into troubleshooting, with me not knowing your background. I do not want to have you do something that may be dangerous to you. Please call me at 800 882-7426, option 5 this afternoon. I can talk you through a little deeper. Ask for george (I am the good-looking one!).

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