23 July 2008 LOIRP Status

Dennis Wingo: It has been a very busy several days, especially the last two days with several visits by many people small and great. We have still managed to get some work done and we have a working head (not the good one but a least one that works, and we have been able to read RF off of the heads. The servos on the machine are having a hard time syncing up properly, which we knew was going to happen due to their advanced age. We are evaluating whether or not the servos from the drive next to the working one are the same configuration and if so (we think that they are), we will take them apart and refurbish them first. This allows us to use the working machine to continue to debug the electronics, speeding the overall effort.
In the next day or so we will be ordering several thousand dollars worth of detail parts that we have been cataloging from the electronics bays. Today we received enough large electrolytic capacitors that we were able to replace the filter caps in all of the card racks and then reinstall them, allowing us to bring the entire system back together. Basically this allowed us today to test the entire system’s power supplies (six big power supplies). We now have at least a full compliment of working power supplies and two known good spare power supplies. Last week we were able to replace almost all of the relays in the system so little by little, things are coming back together.
We have been able to run tape and with a set of heads that we found (worn but still serviceable) we have been running a test tape to begin the process of debugging the signal system.
Our team is now together with Keith leading the effort to properly catalog and sort the tapes for our initial inventory. We are peeling off one of our students to help him and some more students volunteered to help with the work today (at least four)
In another coup today, one of the U.S.G.S. scientists from Flagstaff came by today (Dr. Lisa Gaddis), and came away a believer. Lisa has been working with the film and they have been doing a great job and they have offered help us with the selenographic details of properly registering the images. Couple this with the help from JPL to metatag the data for the Planetary Data System and we have the critical elements that we need to properly integrate the images into the mainstream of NASA image databases.
On top of all of this Charlie Byrne, the scientist from Bellcom that wrote the original justification for NASA to use analog tape drives to preserve a higher quality dataset for Lunar Orbiter came by today. We have his original memo where he laid out the justification for the tapes and we printed this and got him to sign it. It will be preserved and presented to the right people a the right time as a gift. Charlie also signed the drive today! That was an amazing thing and we put his photo on our facebook page today.
Additionally, the Google Moon folks came by yesterday and are seriously considering at least some level of support. Eric Anderson and Peter Diamandis were also by today.