16 July 2008 LOIRP Status

Dennis Wingo: Ok, we have been sandbagging everyone just a little. We have been fixing and cleaning, and testing with power some of the subassemblies for the drive. We have also started reassembling the drive and for the first time since 1992 we have powered the drive up!!
Pictures to follow. However, everything is not all wonderful. We have started ordering parts and for some of them the lead time is weeks. This is going to slow down progress a lot soon. Also, there is a possibility that the drive that we have been working on may not be the one that we eventually return to working order.
The problem is that the documentation that we have is for the two older drives, not the much newer one that is in much better physical condition. This will cause a lot of problems in troubleshooting the newer drive if we can’t find the documents for the newer drive.
The drives originally came from Eglin AFB and we may try and see if they still have any documents or materials down there. We tried to call the contact person that we had from Eglin but he died last year. Ken Zin also called one of his contacts, who is in a nursing home and unable to help. We have called Ampex and tomorrow we will talk to the folks at the Stanford Ampex Museum.
There is a very large collection there and we may have to go dig in a warehouse to find the docs but it is a good possibility so all is not lost. This is how these projects go, part detective and part scrounging.
We are to the point where we can test some subsystems and will be doing more to do that over the next week or so.