Tech Staff Meeting Notes May 6, 2008

Current Top Priorities are: Station maintenance

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.

The portable array monitoring the mini-swarm near GRAT was pulled and redeployed for aftershock monitoring near Bellmont, IL. See for more info.


Station Maintenance, NMSZ

Station maintenance is the top priority.

Holly's list on 5/6/2008
Down or Unuseable

Sporadic Outages


Jim noted that it isn't clear what's going on with all the single component failures. Some problems may be telemetry related.

TIPT replacement. Still waiting on word from NWCC warden (Thomas Mills) on the draft MOU mithc sent. It still could be easier to do an addendum to the GPS agreement.

Have a permission for the GRAT replacement to the south of the current GRAT.

Dual mux assembly is ready for testing.
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. Done.
Need new RF preamps, radio align, etc, etc at MKTA.
PEBM and HENM sometimes have telemetry fades. Should reevaluate comms.
Need to knock down the jungle around the guy anchors at NMAD.

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, 3, and 6. 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.
The base isolation bearings will be undergoing a routine check following the Bellmont earthquake. We need to keep an eye on when this is being done so that we can take advantage of it for some maintenance. Jim will order a couple spare yagies (they're a little fragile).

This is the point where we hop on the TDOT wireless network. Its also a strong motion station. When the funds come through, this will become an 18-component "station" like Mud Island. The surface station needs to move to where the boreholes will be. Chris met with AR DOT people and figured out where everything is supposed to go. Most likely we'll do this later this summer.


Chris and James will visit MAIR tomorrow to get comm going there. Need the ISP contact info from Steve.

CJTR still needs comm and a service visit for data download, routine maintenance, yada, yada.

Still sometimes lose comm with stations going through LCHS. Not sure why but it seems to come back ok.


Chris will schedule a trip to ET for the week of April 28. Done, they installed LRVA which included clear cutting about 10,000 square feet of forest. They also went to Star Mountain to fix the reset. The hardware for the soft reset doesn't work quite right but the power reset does. The soft reset isn't really needed so we'll just disconnect it next time we're there and always power cycle when necessary.

To be installed:

LRVA - We have permission, can install any time. Installed and transmitting data. East/West channel has low amplitude and needs troubleshooting.

WSNC - (Winespring Bald, NC) - Have Special use permit from Forest Service. Need to determine details of exactly what goes precisely where. John will get some pics and discuss via phone with Jim and Chris.

Maryville - Mitch decided to bail on this site. John will look into the feasibility of putting the hardware in the Ft Payne area in northeast Alabama.


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

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. Jim suggests making sure the clock is configured correctly.

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. Mitch will call Wurth and get the lowdown.

NCCU - John has the sensor back and is ready to install. Turns out it had something to do with a weird DSP state it gets in if you tilt it while powered up. A power reset fixes it. Greg knows the details.

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?
Jim said we have no spare MSS100's except for the oldest type. But those seem to cause more problems and we don't have anymore of the newer ones. It appears everyone is moving to the Xport terminal servers (also from Lantronix). So we need some spares but aren't sure whether to get MSS100's or Xports. Mitch found that gcf2ew had a lot of resets connecting to the Xport causing bursty data. Seattle has no problems. Sent two to Wurth and We'll need to give Bob a week or two and then will find out if he was able to get them working well. Then we can purchase either more spare MSS100's or a few Xports.

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?

Greg's BAB (electrical balancer, or Balun, for long power and data runs) doesn't work as advertized. Chris will get the schematics off Greg's computer so John can verify that its assembled correctly.

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.

GX-1's in the attic are outside Deshone's office (formerly Greg's office). Steve submitted a work order to have them picked up. He'll get the tag numbers to Teresa or Sydney to fill out the property transfer paperwork.

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

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.

Mitch punted the Pink Palace hardware to Gary. James is interested in helping and will speak with Gary. It needs to go digital because the analog signal is about to be blocked by new construction at Central and Highland.

John needs a spectrum analyzer. On order.

Jim will switch the FCC licenses from Greg's name to Mitch.