Tech Staff Meeting Notes March 17, 2008

Current Top Priorities are: Station maintenance and TDOT wireless link.

This meeting focused on how best to take advantage of the remaining three weeks of time Greg has before retirement. His last day could be April 11 which is essentially 3 weeks. Greg is willing to be flexible and depending on how he uses vacation, just needs to put in those weeks sometime before June 30 (though we don't want to drag things out). We will see how things go this week and revisit this on friday (3/21). Greg's Top Priorities are:

  1. Engineer and diagram Boswell/Richardson Towers installation (aka TDOT wireless link).
  2. Aqcuire Spectrum Analizer for John.
  3. Transfer computer room power tables to Steve.
  4. Finish Generator maintenance and electrical infrastructure training with Bill and Chris.
  5. Pole and Zero braindump seminar.
  6. SLU Mountain Grove installation.

There are four levels of priority.
PrioritiesWish to try to get these done (or make progress on) before the next meeting (yeah right)
Second TierFit this in too if an opportunity arises. May be good to do instead of priorities but check with Mitch. Likely to be a priority in a previous and/or subsequent month
As Time PermitsFit these in when you can but not instead of first or second priorities
OtherStuff we hope to get to and don't want to forget about

The task list updated February 6, 2008. Note that everyone is still needed to work on essentially all tasks. There is however, a single person who is primarily responsible for each one. Mitch of course, is ultimately responsible for everything.


Station Maintenance, NMSZ

Station maintenance is the top priority.

Holly's list on 3/11/2008 from /gaia/smeagol/dat2/Working/NM/200803/20080311_104120_MAN (italics are mmw comments).
Stations down:

Strange signal/noise ??? but basically unuseable (for small events):
PLAR - mostly horizontals (looks like a roughly 8 Hz monochromatic signal modulated in amplitude by a roughly 1 Hz signal; not sure what kind of motor that would be).
MARM.EHN (this channel looks like almost pure digital noise.
BRNM (looks like a constant amplitude roughtly 4 Hz sine wave).

TIPT replacement. Jim and Chris had a favorable meeting with the warden of NWCC (Thomas Mills) regarding locatin an ISIS station somewhere on their 250 acres. The ops people he wishes to consult were not available so in the interim he requested a cover letter, drawing, picture, and draft MOU. Jim gave a pickture and drawing to Mitch and Mitch will write the letter and MOU.

Need a dual mux assembly or two. Have the AMUX64T's. Pat will build up the rest of the hardware.
MKTA spare air conditioner is repaired. Needs to be returned to the doghouse.
Need a remote reset at lnxt. We'll use an ADAM 6060 internet reset device.
Need new RF preamps, radio align, etc, etc at MKTA.
PEBM and HENM sometimes have telemetry fades. Should reevaluate comms.
Brush at NMAD isn't too bad, we may just need to trim up around the guy anchors.

Mud Island vertical array is operational.

The recorder disks should be reformatted as a routine maintenance task next time access is available. The constant read/write to the fat file systems lead to fragmentation. Don't ya just love dos?
Lost contact with recorders 1 and 3. Can reset all 7 recorders which implies the equipment enclosure at each node has power and that at least the reset radio and telemetry are working.


At long last we have success at LCHS (except for needing a replacement moxa at RLAP, and for to open the firewall ports for RLAP). Jim and Chris were not burning daylight and were burning headlights. Jim's report:

Here's a brief summary of the work that Chris and I completed up in Lake county this week.
LCHS-Installed a new freewave enclosure adjacent to the tower on the T&I shop wall. Ran a new branch circuit to provide "secure" power to our freewave enclosure. Ran a new Cat5 line from the enclosure to the network drop in the T&I classroom.
NWCC-Installed freewave radio for link between NWCC and LCHS ,and downloaded Feb 08 data.
NMKM-Reinstalled/reioriented antennas for freewave radios for the links between NMKM-LCHS and NMKM-RLAP. Downloaded Feb 08 data
RLAP-Reinstalled new and improved Steiner solar regulator and battery in tower enclosure. Reoriented antenna and installed freewave. Found that the problem with fiberlink between tower and GPS monument was with MOXA power supply and/or MOXA in the tower enclosure. We had no replacements so brought the bad parts back and we'll have to fix this final problem before next download is due.
MAIR-Downloaded Feb 08 data.
So we now have ethernet communications to all of the Lake County GPS sites minus the problem at RLAP. I've placed pictures of the work at the following UMdrive location: /jbollwrk/GPS

Items left:
Comms for MAIR, CJTR.
Portageville needs a visit to check router enclosure for fan and general SOH. Also need to replace 6A power supply with a 3A. Done.


Notes from John from February meeting. We didn't get a chance to talk about these during the March meeting so Mitch just added some comments in italics to keep from forgetting next time.

To be installed:

LRVA - We have permission, can install any time.

WSNC - (Winespring Bald, NC) - Special use permit turned into Forest Service, waiting for their O.K.

Maryville - After performing a radio test, it was found that the cave site we had permission for will not make the radio link to Starr Mtn. We can either set up a repeat or find another site. Given the other problems with the cave site, (possible noise problem from swimming pool pump, extremely low clearance, would have to modify an S-13 to get it to fit), I think it is worth looking for another location. I have gotten several possible cave sites from cavers in the area.


CCRT - Needs a rebuild after a bad lightning strike. I have the Panda II box here and am realigning it.

PLVA - Martin Chapman wants to take it over for VPI since we have abandoned it, I suspect though he won't be able to make the radio shot because we are on the south side of the mountain. (it won't work going to VPI so let's redeploy the hardware somewhere else.).

CBSC - USC wants to take this station over as a regional station. The USGS seems to have dropped it from their list of backbone stations. (not really, it isn't clear whether it will be a regional station or backbone station but either way USC is taking the lead. That's a good thing.).

NC Node - Need to figure out how to fix GPS time drop-outs. Greg suggests moving the antenna away from the building. I will go in the spring, the Forest Service doesn't recommend I try to drive up there unless I really need to, apparantly the road is passable but not recommended.

GFM - Need a crew to go back up and repair storm damage and replace presumably bad pre-amp card.

RBNC - Replace battery(s), and add another solar panel. Same deal as NC Node concerning roads though. I tried to go up last week and even though I had a key, I had to stop at the first tunnel because of ice.

CPCT - Re-work lighting and pest chaser.

WMTN - Should we consider digging it up and doing another pit (even though I swore I wouldn't do that) The existing one is eroding away and I just don't know how long it's going to last. We may have to end up having this one in sediment. This is the one Mitch and Greg helped dig the pit for, it's so steep on the side of that hill, that the top side of the pit is 10 ft. deep and the bottom side is 6 ft.

ETT Node - Need to rebuild/repair remote reset. We are still not sure if the problem is at Starr Mtn. or at the EMA office. Need to decide whether it would be better to build something in the shop and take it up or try to repair on site.

GMG - E-W is bad, need to check out. Need battery box solar reg mounting plate and need to fuse the battery.

SWET - Chris found the freewave enclosure full of water, we need to design a rain shield for all the aluminum Hoffman boxes, they are leaking at the hinged side because the weather-stripping isn't making good contact with the frame. He put some good tape on it. The battery box was in good shape. (wasn't the problem the orientation of the box?).

BHT - I have never heard anything from the FAA about moving the station to their site on Black Mtn. to improve access and get stuff out of a tree. Right now everything is in a new tree and working great, so there is no rush until that tree dies and falls over.

MVKY - Wait until construction is done and assist Bob Wurth in repairing/rebuilding it. (I believe construction is done.)

NCCU - Greg has the CMG-6 and is working on it.

C1SC and C2SC - The lantronix boxes are in non air conditioned rooms and routinely (especially C2SC) fail in the summer. I've found that if you pull the mss 100 out, wait for 1/2 hour and put them back in, they work fine until it heats up again. Can I modify a box with a cooling fan? Is there another device that deals with the heat of Charleston in the summer?

MYNC - NSN station that has never worked well and doesn't work at all now. USGS is debating on what to do with it. Need to contact them and ask them to make a decision because we are relying on it to plug a hole in our network. If they abandon it, what will we do? Short period at BBG?

Network Completion

The map shows stations with yellow triangles being new ones.
SMNC4done (see note above)
BHT8move (eventually)

Routine Maintenance Kudzu, battery check, etc, etc.

Need to swap out the old node computers at NHIN, GNAR, and AZTN. Steve needs to go to NHIN (but Steve isn't allowed to do anything else until the ew 7.2 upgrade is complete).

Second Tier Priorities

CVTN optical isolation. Need to upgrade to year 3 hardware. Hardware ready.

Steve spoke with Dean Kemp at NWS. They are willing to let us piggyback on their cable internet (not Dean is looking into the possibility of a static IP. This would get NAIT online. Bill called him Dean and didn't have answers to some questions. He'll call him back armed with the IT fact sheet for the mss100's.

Lenox Agreement. Mitch spoke with Ron Martens, EMF Broadcasting. There is a desire for some sort of MOU and a visit to CERI. Mitch will set this up.

FDL. This is the FDL Policy. .

As Time Permits

3876 Power The power for the new lighting on the east side of the general parking lot to the west of CERI is coming from 3876. Chris will check it out to assess the added lightning hazard and see if anything can be done about it. Might be hard to do without the wiring diagram. Chris will make one if needed as time permits.

3890 Power Chris is going to make a diagram for 3890. Good luck son.

Inventory Installing new smeagol broke mysql. Sid is helping get the tables hooked back into mysqld.
Jim has all the broadband sensors defined and is working on additional equipment (e.g. isis) and the connections. Mitch will install Bill's account in mysql and inv so he can start building stations. Mitch needs to sit down with Jim and figure out what we need to have ISTI help us with. Sid will be available after about mid-May to finish up anything we need his help to take care of. Apparently the downloaded docs from guralp for the cmg5td's have the old +-4g contants. Mitch has paper documentation with the correct +-2g constants.


Need new doors on the USGS shed. A small child with a plastic screwdrive could get in. This topic fueled a discussion on security because Chris caught two guys red handed stealing his trailer. The got away without the trailer. Chris is in discussion with UoM Police for and additional call box. Several ideas were given to improve security but it seems the most cost effective is to make sure things are locked, and restricted from open view where possible.

Withers needs to determine current orientation for MPHB so we can pull it and orient correctly.

Need to teach someone (our hazmat dude?) to neutralize etchant and clean the etching tanks. Along those same lines, Greg has a ton of drawings that play only with the "Eagle" software on his computer. Mitch is unaware of a way to convert to a more generic format. Also require a printer that does negative (the one on Greg's serial port does, others do not). Mitch knew this dependence on vendor specific software would bite us one day. That day is soon.

Pink Palace hardware needs to be rebuilt. New construction on the lot on the northeast corner of Central and Highland will likely block the analog transmission to the Pink Palace. Its probably time for a digital display anyway (or perhaps an IRIS AS-1 seismometer). Mitch will ask Gary about it.

John needs a spectrum analyzer.

Evaluate computer room power. Steve will be the keeper of the spreadsheet post-Steiner.

Build more battery charge controllers.