Tech Staff Meeting Notes June 9, 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 Bellmont, IL earthquake resulted in an ANSS directive to increase the streamed channel sample rate to 100sps for the CMT5 stations. Recall this was reduced to 50sps around 2003 or 2004 to improve the reliability of the connection. The theory was that tcp/ip stack in the mss100 was getting garbled on noisy networks and the reduced sample rate gave it time to recover. Of course the rs232/422 conversion hardware only reliably runs at 19200. Mitch needs a budget pronto to fix things so we can run at 100sps. Half the meeting was spent in a discussion with Bob Wurth. The conclusion was Steve sill call him later in the day to hammer out a fix so Mitch can submit the budget.


Station Maintenance, NMSZ

Station maintenance is the top priority.

Holly's list on 6/9/2008
Isis Oxidation problem

Down or unuseable

Jim noted that it isn't clear what's going on with all the single component failures. Some problems may be telemetry related. It was speculated whether or not there was a design flaw in the gain-range upgrade.

TIPT replacement. We received the agreement from the DOC legal office and Mitch submitted it and the paperwork to UoM Legal. UoM legal agreed to sign and requested 3 orignals from DOC to process. That's where it stood as of May 22.

Have a permission for the GRAT replacement to the south of the current GRAT. Done. GRAT was replaced with CTCT. There are some strange, ephemeral electronic/telemetry signals.


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.

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.

Routine Maintenance Kudzu, battery check, etc, etc.

Second Tier Priorities

Dual mux assembly is ready for testing.
MKTA spare air conditioner is repaired. Needs to be returned to the doghouse.
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.
Need to finish the tower work at NMAD.
Need to swap out the old node computers at NHIN, and AZTN.


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.


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.

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?

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.

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.

Fort Payne - John found a good spot with decent odds of a permission at Desoto state park in Alabama. It will have to repeat through a Georgia fire tower and John is investigating the permit there.

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

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.

Mud Island vertical array is operational. Not really, functional is a better word until we can get it online to qc/vet data.

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.

FDL. This is the FDL Policy. .
Four firewire terminals need to be refurbished and sealed.
Need to make ready for deployment all CMG6TD's and K2's.

As Time Permits

CPCT - Re-work lighting and pest chaser.

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.

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. Al and Sid got this fixed.
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.