29 July 2008 LOIRP Status

Dennis Wingo: I am doing another one today because a lot of things happened. First of all the students and Lynn Harper’s kids came in today and got 90% of all of the tapes out of the boxes and properly categorized. This is a major milestone that Keith enabled. Some of the students have volunteered to come in on Thursday to finish the job. After Pizza everyone was happy that they helped today.
We also received a lot of capacitors today and replaced a lot of parts in the machines. Every part that we replace and update like this makes the machine more stable in operations and function. Following will be pictures of the 90 volt Capstan power supply before and after the new caps. The newer ones are a pretty blue color.
Third, Ken Zin reached another technical milestone tonight by fixing a connector problem that we had that shorted out several signals. After one broken pin that was routed around with coax, the machine powered up and the servos are now locking into synchronization with their control signals, a major milestone to get a real tape to play. A picture of the monitor and the scope displaying the multiburst signal off of the test tape is shown tonight.
We expect a lot more parts tomorrow and Thursday that will be installed in power supplies and starting to replace them on some of the circuit cards. We have a long way to go, but we have also come a very long way. The students will be active tomorrow replacing parts in the machine as well as with a set of spares for the machine. Having known good working spare parts is critical to keeping downtime to a minimum once tape operations are underway on a daily basis. The machines are designed for rapid servicing and all of the students are learning the ins and outs of the machine.
We lament that we will be losing James as he, along with Austin and Kenneth, are doing a great job. I also want them to refurbish the spare vacuum pump and other key parts that will be used as spares and for possible components for the possible second machine. Ken is pretty confident that if the funding is made available that we can get a second drive up and running which could almost cut in half the time for doing the digitization of the images.
We have been hard at it for almost a month now. Ken is taking two days to go to Yosemite and I will be going home for one week next week. I will be back on the evening of the 11th.