Tech Staff Meeting Notes August 2, 2011

The top priority is always repair of down stations.
NM problem stations
ET problem stations

Duty Table


  • Repair down stations and routine maintenance
  • Contact all landowners for permission refresh
  • Site visits and Preventive Maintenance at all stations

  • News & Highlights

    ARRA upgrades are complete. Well done gentlemen!


    ISIS station review.

    Short Period & Broadbands

    EDIT, NNAR & CHNM: NNAR and CHNM repeat through EDIT and the received signal is very bad due to trees. NNAR and CHRM are very noisy and fade out quite a bit. EDIT is now located in the Chicksaw National Wildlife Preserve so cutting trees is not an option. There isn't a clear path to a repeater on the Edith forest tower either. New a new plan (maybe go directly to the node?).

    WALK: Chris and Manning were unable to reach WALK up in the KY bend. Mr Lynn indicated that the station was completely underwater but it is still up? (yes still up).

    Power is restored to mud island so we can reinstall HDBT at our leisure.

    The levee that formerly protected MORT is still breached and may not be repaired. It was privately contructed in the 50's or 60's. Its probable this station will flood yearly with currents. There was erosion damage this time which hopefully will only be repeated during 100 year floods. We'll rebuild MORT, harden it, and see what happens.

    CWPT now telemeters directly to the lnxt node. Unfortunately it and GOBM are even noisier now than they were before?

    Dynamic NMDown list


    TUMT.HNN -- Cramer reports that the gain on TUMT HN channel is significantly down for 2010 and 2011 events.
    ARPT - sporadic
    BRGM, CWPT, GLST, and WADM SC* -- lnxt sca channels appear hosed
    NNAR - sporadic - tree interference (also effects CHNM)
    PLAR - to be moved
    RDGT - sporadic
    JHAR- to be decommissioned
    STAM - sporadic ( also effects WADM)

    Unk. Problem
    POBM/PPLM - see image
    HENM - see image

    Isis Oxidation

    Muted Amplitude

    Gain Channel Problems

    NODE Tasks


    The tower at Edith is now vented so help avoid heat damage to the aironets.

    We're down to two spare aironets and our particular model is no longer manufactured. From a protocol perspective, we can replace pairs at a time without having to replace all the radios. The ones that can't be "easily" replaced are the ones with thin-wire ethernet (sftn, lnxt, and nmad). Those would require replacing the thin-wire down the tower with fiber. But we can replace the others (mkta, edit, luxo, star) with new pairs and gain spares to delay replacing the thin-wire. We need to select a model that minimizes the reengineering of existing infrastructure (power, space, heat, etc).


    AC unit in the penthouse isn't working. Probably just needs cleaned.

    DSL is installed and operational. YAY!

    Construction is finished at the mill. We can get the phone line permanently buried now.


    Chris got a quote for the service contract for the generator. It raised some questions and he'll get more detail on what it actually includes so we can decide whether to purchase it.


    Need alternate comm path. Telecom says dsl isn't available (though we once had ISDN). Cable internet is available but costs $108/month. Steve is checking on internet reset devices (better than the clunky adam6060) so that we can discontinue the pots and help defray the cost of the cable internet.

    G and D and the local EMA installed a 25kW generator to power that side of the building. If there's room power-wise would they let us power the rack from it too? We could share the maintenance of the generator. We'd also have to install a transfer switch.

    Lease renewal is in the UM bureaucracy.

    AZTN: Replaced XLAK clock. Still doesn't work. The new clock tested successfully in the shop. Bad antenna?


    Twisted pair from Richardson is extremely noisy causing problems with the analog backbone. Richardson is also on the UM 5-year capital improvement plan to be replaced. Mitch will contact the administration to see if we can get onto Wilder or someplace similar. Note we'd want to get the dbb and abb to that location, then move discriminators, mudworm, etc there (includes a 6' and a 2' uwave dishes, and two 3' 220MHz yagi's). What about the dbb? It would be nice to continue that all the way back to CERI in case we lose our connection to campus. Likely don't have line of site with Wilder (repeat through the Zack Curlin garage or engineering?).

    Steve wants to install an alternate internet service at CERI. A good idea but Mitch is too cheap right now and worried about escalating communications costs.


    Ownership, Operation, and Maintenance of the four Charleston, SC stations (C1SC, C2SC, ADSC, and TRSC) will be turned over the Univ. of SC at Columbia. Initial December 8-9 went well. John contacted site owner and IT people for firewall and permissions. He requested CERI access be continued for a tbd transition period. Mitch will work with Phillip to get data flow redirected to Columbia. Then those feeds will get added to the CO network export to CERI. The stations will keep the same name but the network code will change (from NM to CO).

    RDST, CBHT, and MCAR are coming in via gcf2ew on anssworm. CBHT occassionally loses its connection but is overall, ok. MCAR loses its connection about twice as much so while its mostly functional, it should be better. At RDST, a datapacket sneaks through a couple times per day. So, there must be hardware problems. RDST should be fixed or removed (though if there is a hardware problem, it can't be redeployed).

    Year3 upgrades
    stationyr3 hardwareroutermss100firmwareplugcomment
    RDSTYYN??Al has determined that other RDST IP's are trying to access our router, and Steve will look at routers external connection and security settings
    MCARYYY??upgrade not documented
    CUETYYY?Nupgrade not documented
    CBHTYNY??Steve torequest our 192 IP be put on a private VLAN
    NAITNNN??still not on internet

    Replace foam rubber plugs at all year 1 stations (need to notch it to accomodate the GPS pods): ASAR, CBHT, CUET, CVTN, HDBT, LNXT, MCAR, NAIT, SFTN & TUMT.

    NAIT: Couldn't get the NWS cable modem to cooperate at NAIT (firewall?). Dean was going to ask Comcast about it and maybe get a new modem. Steve will follow up.

    CVVA once again appears stalled. John will send his final plea email.

    We need a single document (access database excel spreadsheet) to document information on all freefield strongmotion stations to include contact(s), current IP's(eternal/external), what ports are allowed in from what IP's here at CERI, telnet yes or no, trigger levels etc. etc.


    Granites are on order.


    Bad CMG5 E/W.

    Not getting broadband feed.

    On hold for Boswell comm.


    Replace two bad mss100's.

    Bad 100' accelerometer.

    On hold for Boswell comm.


    Dynamic ETDown list

    Most of the "down" are BRBC node and most likely a result of the ham operator's interference. John will meet with him the week of 7/18 to resolve the issue.


    Unk problem
    WSNC.EHE - see image bad L4
    CSTN - still gappy
    CCNC - interference
    RBNC - interference
    SMNC- interference

    strong motion down

    Remaing upgrade stations are DYTN, and CCRT. See map.
    CCRT is next on the list.
    DYTN was deeded to the State Forest service with a conservation easement. There is a committee that oversees these easements that meets only once per year. John thinks it meets in the fall and is finding out for sure. He'll also look for an alternative site as a plan B.

    STAR Node

    Install vents in the cab on the tower.

    BHT move. Latest update from John:

    1. We had planned on moving BHT from it's present location because access has gotten so bad.
    2. I have been working on getting a permission to move it about 3 miles to the E NE to Black Mtn. There is some issue with the permission, but my contact with the Cumberland Trail State Park says he believes we can work it out.
    3. If this station is ever upgraded to a RefTek, it is doubtful we would be able to make the 45 mile radio shot from Black Mtn. to Starr Mtn. so we would have to find a new place to transmit to. It will not repeat through any other station, because it is either blocked by mountains or too long a shot.
    4. Previously, we had discussed trying to find another site to relocate BHT to in order to center it between WMTN and DYTN.
    5. I found a site in the Catoosa Wildlife Area called Pilot Knob Mtn, (36 deg. 322'N, 84 deg. 45'W). It is about 18 miles NE of BHT. It is at an old fire tower site and apparently there is still a good road up to it.
    6. I have also found a couple of potential sites to transmit to where we could get internet.

    So, before I proceed any further, we need to decide if a replacement station for BHT should get a RefTek and if so, do we want to put the station at Black Mtn. or at another site.

    BRBC Node

    Power upgrades: RBNC, and TRYN.

    TRYN: Hardware is removed from the tower and will be reinstalled when the new one is complete.

    The radio operator moved his antenna but we're still being interfered with. According to the rules, he's not supposed to be bleeding into other bands like that so he needs to fix it. John has a request in for him to do this (or stop transmitting).
    The backstory:
    There seems to be a strange, repeating signal on many of the stations, most notably on WSNC/RBNC. It repeats about every 14 minutes and lasts about 1 sec. Example data are in /gaia/home/mwithers/public_html/STAFF/Analog/2010/20100910_051500_MAN. Click this picture of it on CCNC. John listened for them on the spectrum analyzer at the BRBC node and reports:

    Every 13 min. 53 sec. there is a noise burst that raises the noise floor and knocks out our stuff. I'm wondering if it could be a sideband from something. I listened and I couldn't hear anything but white noise when it happens. I'm wondering if cavity filters and pre-amps will help.
    John identified the source of the interference as an amateur radio operator who has a repeater at 224.540 MHz which has a side band right about 217.5 MHz. He'll be meeting with him at the tower in two weeks to determine how best to resolve it. He's transmitting 2W and we're pointed right at his omni, so either the ham radio needs tuned or a filter, or we need to move our antenna.

    MTTN Node

    Greentop is getting a new tower. When?


    STLE landowner has asked that we move eq. cabinet and protect antenna monument with steel barricade.
    The VLF power supplies were installed CJTR and PIGT. Still needed at NMKM and RLAP.
    These stations still need to be steinerized: CVMS, MACC, HCES, MAIR, NWCC.

    MAIR is now connected directly to the Water District internet. We can recover the wireless hardware.

    James's May departure may be delayed til July.

    AG Network



    NSMP Station List.

    Due to remodeling, we pulled K2 1738 from Firestation #2 in Dyersburg, TN in February 2009. It is in the shop with accessories.


    The netquakes at Olivers house will be redeployed at CERI so we can learn how to install and operate them.

    The seisnet group on umdrive is at You will need your uuid and password.

    The pink palace display now includes a heli connection for MPHB. Need to retrieve any remaining hardare (e.g. antenna and reciever on roof).