The continuous high average-power microsecond pulser (CHAMP) ion accelerator is being constructed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Progress on the testing of the CHAMP diode is discussed. A direct simulation Monte Carlo computer code is used to investigate the puffed gas fill of the CHAMP anode. High plenum pressures and low plenum volumes are found to be desirable for effective gas puffs. The typical gas fill time is 150–180 μs from initiation of valve operation to end of fill. Results of anode plasma production at three stages of development are discussed. Plasma properties are monitored with electric and magnetic field probes. From this data, the near coil plasma density under nominal conditions is found to be on the order of 1×1016 cm−3. Large error is associated with this calculation due to inconsistencies between tests and the limitations of the instrumentation used. The diode insulating magnetic field is observed to result in lower density plasma with a more diffuse structure than for the cases when the insulating field is not applied. The importance of these differences in plasma quality on the beam production is yet to be determined.