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Old 23rd October 2018, 06:17 AM   #1
apollo16uvc
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Digizing NASA computer tapes 70's

I am in contact with someone who will help me read NASA data tapes from the 60s to 70s. Lots of different people have come forward to help with the project in various ways. Chuck is reading the tapes for us.

Some quick looks at the tapes show they are from Apollo, Skylab and Pioneer 11.

They will be uploaded to archive.org as public domain. Here is a link to the archive: https://archive.org/details/SpaceData

Just for starters, we will explain what we know about the Skylab and Apollo 'switch action table' tapes.

SAT tape 1179 in our main drive:


Source: Chuck


Hans and Daschmid have been doing some great work on deciphering the Switch Action tapes. Here is some information we found recently.

What is in itallic comes from the tapes.

Here are some more educated guesses about the format:

Example of header:

R/L 40M67790-6 E/O 2T-0038 REV AS D/I 11/10/72 ECP 10-3205 E

- The headers at the top of each file imply this is controlled
engineering data. The strings starting with '40M' look like NASA
part numbers, and the E/O (Engineering Order), REV (Revision) and
ECP (Engineering Change Proposal) fields are familiar from other
NASA documents.

Example of other lines:
S 04 11 M DI 0083 SIB THRUST FAILURE IND L DO 0083 ON C H

- Columns 7-12: incrementing ID?

- Columns 13-22: appear to describe the primary hardware operation
associated with the measurement. There are a few different
formats, but I think:

{L,M} DI #### = Get Digital Input ####
{L,M} DO #### = Set Digital Ouput ####
D EE #### = Discrete Event Evaluator ####

The 'L'- and' M'-tags stand for the 'Launch Control Computer Complex' and 'Mobile Launcher'.

- The three character field starting at column 24 is the systems
area/responsible position for the measurement/command:

SIC - Saturn V 1st Stage
SIB - Saturn IB
SII - Saturn V 2nd Stage
IVB - Saturn V 3rd Stage
IU - Saturn Instrumentation Unit
INT - Integration
EDS - Emergency Detection System
LSE - Launch Support Equipment
NAV - Navigation
PL - Propellant Loading
PWR - Power
OAT - Overall Acceptance Test?
EDV - ?

- Colums 28-52: Measurement Nomenclature

- Colums 54-67: (sometimes) hardware operation to execute command
e.g, if "SIC TERM COUNTDOWN SEQ RESET L DO 0131 ON"
writing "ON" to Digital Output #131 would execute
"TERM COUNTDOWN SEQ RESET"

I think this is a reasonable guess at the formatting.

Lets look at some tapes from Apollo 16 and Skylab 2:

Looking at the headers from each:

Tape 2909, Block 3:
R/L 40M17360-11 E/O 8S-0405 REV D D/I 06/15/71 ECP 10-3148 E 511 BASELINE

Tape 1179, Block 12:
R/L 40M17360-11 E/O 8S-0413 REV M D/I 10/28/71 ECP 10-3206 E 511 FRT-1

'511' is AS-511, the launch vehicle for Apollo 16. 'FRT' is 'Flight Readiness Test'.

Detailed info on AS-511: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9730025090.pdf

There's a table of prelaunch milestones on page 3-2 (46). AS-511 had its Flight Readiness Test on 3/7/1972 and was launched 4/16/1972. Considering the long lead times for checkout and configuring hardware (AS-511's S-IVB arrived at the Cape in July 1970), the dates on the tape seem reasonable. Note also that Tape 2909 has headers for revisions 'A'-'D' and 1179 has revisions 'E'-'M'

Tape 2090, Block 0:
R/L 40M67790-6 E/O 2T-000000 REV D/I ECP 10-
Block 2 ends with:
40M67790-6 206 BASELINE

Tape 1820, Block 54:
R/L 40M67790-6 E/O 2T-0038 REV AS D/I 11/10/72 ECP 10-3205 E
Block 56 ends with:
40M67790-6 206 BASELINE

Here '206' is SA-206, the launch vehicle for Skylab 2.

SA-206 flight manual: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9740021163.pdf

SA-206 postlaunch evaluation:
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9730025087.pdf

Again the dates line up(With our tapes)

In the SA-206 postlaunch evaluation there's some discussion of an anomaly at launch, where the ground Digital Events Evaluator (DEE-6), recorded a momentary "thrust failure indication and cutoff start indication". These two discretes are present on the tape, although unfortunately the evaluation doesn't say which discretes they were:

D D EE 0083 SIB THRUST FAILURE IND
D D EE 0085 SIB CUTOFF START IND


I doubt now that this file was associated with the LVOS. Based on IBM's paper describing the system, it appears that it was first used on ASTP and wouldn't have been in use at the time the tapes were created:

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9750051202.pdf

Very detailed information about the RCA-110A's and their interfacing equipment: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9690001882.pdf

Example:
S 04 11 M DI 0083 SIB THRUST FAILURE IND L DO 0083 ON C H

Defines Switch Action #0411:
Mobile Launcher Digital Input #0083
name=SIB THRUST FAILURE IND
on receipt: SET LCC Digital Output #0083 to ON

There's a matching entry for L DO 0083 on our tape:

S 04 11 L DO 0083 SIB THRUST FAILURE IND NONE C H

Which would correspond to a light or other indicator on a Firing Room Console.

There's also a DEE entry, which I'm guessing tells the Digital Event Evaluator to log changes associated with that Digital Out:

D D EE 0083 SIB THRUST FAILURE IND



Check out these two extremely detailed docs:

Saturn Launch Computer Complex Programmer's Manual:
http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/Docume...nce_Manual.pdf

AS-503 Verification Test Programs, 73V1201: http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/Docume...Procedures.pdf

You won't find a definition of the the actual Switch Action Table tape format, but the tape is clearly describing the configuration information for the SLCC system.

On page 3-9/3-10 (56 in the PDF) of the programmer's manual, it mentions the "Discrete Executive":
"The Discrete Executive initiates logging at both computers. There are a number of different types of discrete tables each containing specific data. These tables are:
* LDO and MDO Profile table
* LCCC and MLC Discrete Status tables for IODC's 5 and 7
* General Discrete Log table (LDI, LDO, and MDI Changes)
* MDO Issue table"

Section 4.1.1 on 4-3 (p.66) describes "Launch Vehicle Input/Output, Discrete Input/Output" and give details on LDI/LDO's and MDI's/MDO's, which as suspected are LCCC/MLP Digital Input/Outputs.

73V1201 contains the test procedures for verifying the LCC computer software and interface to the launch vehicle are operating correctly. There's a lot of interesting details here, but first check out "Discrete Initialization and Modification (NT98/NT99)" (p.24). Section 5.2.2 (p.27) says:

"5.2.2 Place cards in the card reader to perform the following action table modification:
MDI 0010 0N - LDO 1200 issued ON
MDI 1200 0N - LDO 0010 issued 0N
LDI 0033 0N - MDO 0619 issued 0N
LDI 0619 0N - MDO 0033 issued ON"

That sounds an awful lot like our tapes. My guess is they're the input data for the NT98 Discrete Initialization Program, which unfortunately isn't described in detail. If anyone can locate the following documents, I bet we'd find what we need there:

Specification for the Operating System for the Saturn V Launch Computer Complex, Volume 1, Revision 1.
MSFC No. III-4-440-4

Operator Reference Manual for SLCC Progranrning System,
MSFC No. lII-4-440-5, IBM No. 68-F11-0003, dated 15 June 1968.

User Instructions for Saturn V Launch Computer Complex Operating System and Test Programs
MSFC No. III-4-462-1


There are numerous references to specific LDI/LDO/MDI/MDO numbers in the test procedures and while all of them don't match up with the data in the file, many do. On page 39 while testing the $DMON display monitor program, LDI0346 and MDI0459 are associated with the "ground camera arm switch" on the vehicle camera networks panel. Sure enough we can find this on the tape:

S 15 10 L DI 0346 INT GND CAMERAS ARM COMD M DO 0346 ON C B
S 15 10 M DO 0346 INT GND CAMERAS ARM COMD NONE C B
S 20 03 M DI 0459 INT GND CAMERA ARMED L DO 0459 ON C B


Another interesting example is the Launch Vehicle Data Adapter communication interfaces. See the "LVDA STATUS CODE CONVERSION CHART" on p.146. The LVDA sends back binary words on MDI0733-MDI0738, which we can find on the tapes:

S 31 13 M DI 0733 IU MODE CODE 1 IND L DO 0733 ON C G
S 31 14 M DI 0734 IU MODE CODE 2 IND L DO 0734 ON C G
S 31 15 M DI 0735 IU MODE CODE 3 IND L DO 0735 ON C G
S 31 16 M DI 0736 IU MODE CODE 4 IND L DO 0736 ON C G
S 31 17 M DI 0737 IU MODE CODE 5 IND L DO 0737 ON C G
S 31 18 M DI 0738 IU MODE CODE 6 IND L DO 0738 ON C G


For example, if MDI0736 and MDI0734 are ON that indicates "PREPARE TO LAUNCH WITH A PLATFORM"

My current thinking is that the tapes are describing the discrete I/O configuration of the two RCA-110A computers used to interface between the Launch Control Center and the Mobile Launcher. Switches and indicators on consoles in the Firing Room were wired into an RCA-110A computer (The "Saturn Launch Control Computer Complex"), and from there commands could be sent across a serial link to another RCA-110A in the Mobile Launcher. The Mobile Launcher computer communicated with relay racks and other equipment on the pad and LV, including the Saturn LVDC.

Last edited by apollo16uvc; 23rd October 2018 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 27th October 2018, 01:01 AM   #2
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Thanks for doing the work of properly archiving this.

We lose so much data from many different areas of media every single day. Tons of film and television are gone for ever. Never to be seen again. Music. Video games. The same. Losing NASA telemetry would probably not be as depressing to most people, but it is still depressing nonetheless.
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Old 28th October 2018, 07:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
Thanks for doing the work of properly archiving this.

We lose so much data from many different areas of media every single day. Tons of film and television are gone for ever. Never to be seen again. Music. Video games. The same. Losing NASA telemetry would probably not be as depressing to most people, but it is still depressing nonetheless.
Yep and in a completely lame example my poor MBA thesis is in my desk on an Apple 5 1/4 disk made with Claris works in an Apple II GS - now I'm sure somewhere I could find equipment that could run that but then it would be a major pain. One of my ancestors will have the thrill of opening a box expecting valuable antiques only to find that black thingy instead and it having (with a paper clip that is slightly rusty holding a 3 x5 card explaining what it is) I do hope they will be mystified.

Oh and many thanks to the guy above who is saving that historically important data from Apollo.
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Old 28th October 2018, 07:24 PM   #4
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Though I am not even remotely qualified to read the OP, I do wholeheartedly support the preservation of knowledge.
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Old 29th October 2018, 01:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Though I am not even remotely qualified to read the OP, I do wholeheartedly support the preservation of knowledge.
Agreed.

Just starting to read that is giving me flashbacks of some line and card based programming from my late teens and early twenties. Totally unrelated technology, but the truncated words and space delineated lines of data, ugh.
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Old 29th October 2018, 03:29 PM   #6
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I have a lot of really good etchings on some really old hard drives
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Old 30th October 2018, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Agreed.

Just starting to read that is giving me flashbacks of some line and card based programming from my late teens and early twenties. Totally unrelated technology, but the truncated words and space delineated lines of data, ugh.
Same here, except I look on it with a sort of nostalgia. Many kudos to the OP for deep-diving this important bit of technology history.
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Old 30th October 2018, 08:41 AM   #8
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Will you also be digitizing the footage of the moon landing that was shot on a sound stage in area 51?


Seriously though, interesting project and I'm glad you're doing it.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 01:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Yep and in a completely lame example my poor MBA thesis is in my desk on an Apple 5 1/4 disk made with Claris works in an Apple II GS - now I'm sure somewhere I could find equipment that could run that but then it would be a major pain. One of my ancestors will have the thrill of opening a box expecting valuable antiques only to find that black thingy instead and it having (with a paper clip that is slightly rusty holding a 3 x5 card explaining what it is) I do hope they will be mystified.

Oh and many thanks to the guy above who is saving that historically important data from Apollo.
That is how information is going to be lost in the future. People will look at CDs and not know how to read them. Then look at .jpg and .doc files and not know how to read them. Even now how many people could read a floppy disc?
If this does not happen then people in 200 years time would be able to watch movies and listen to music made anytime in the 21st century and the quality would be just as good then as it is now.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 01:44 AM   #10
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Keeping with the Nasa theme and old information, this YouTube video "cracks" and retrieves the data from the two records on the Voyager missions. Quite fascinating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRuovINxpPc&t=7s
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Old 2nd November 2018, 05:41 AM   #11
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Digital archaeology.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 09:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
That is how information is going to be lost in the future. People will look at CDs and not know how to read them. Then look at .jpg and .doc files and not know how to read them. Even now how many people could read a floppy disc?
If this does not happen then people in 200 years time would be able to watch movies and listen to music made anytime in the 21st century and the quality would be just as good then as it is now.
There will probably be in 200 years a part of history education that will reverse to the 'black pit' a period of time (1960 (earlier_ to 20??) where much of the information from that period will be lost due to this issue.

A minor point I use Google Play to read and do research in 19th century books and in almost all cases they don't record fold out maps and charts - because they are too big. Those parts of those specific books will be lost to time.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 09:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
Digital archaeology.
I see some fellow trying to run 'virtual' machines of kinds to collect data - of course how long will data last on such things as tape, 51/4 or 3.5 disk. I have a stack of IBM punched cards too and I forget the term but a yellow tape with punch holes in it - something important I wrote but I now don't remember what it was!
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Old 8th November 2018, 09:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Yep and in a completely lame example my poor MBA thesis is in my desk on an Apple 5 1/4 disk made with Claris works in an Apple II GS - now I'm sure somewhere I could find equipment that could run that but then it would be a major pain. One of my ancestors will have the thrill of opening a box expecting valuable antiques only to find that black thingy instead and it having (with a paper clip that is slightly rusty holding a 3 x5 card explaining what it is) I do hope they will be mystified.

Oh and many thanks to the guy above who is saving that historically important data from Apollo.
Quite a few years ago, my Mom handed me some 360K 5 1/4 floppies produced on a Wang Word Processor and asked if there was any way I could retrieve documents from them. At the time, I still had one PC with a 5 1/4 drive on it. I was able to view a bit of raw data (garbage characters) on a Linux box by catting the device, but I had no luck in finding out what sort of file system or date encoding was used by the Wang boxes, so I was never able to retrieve anything useful from the disks. I had thought that I might at least be able to find some text emedded in the gibberish, but no luck. They were probably something like 20 years old at that time, so I'm not even sure if the media was still good enough to read if I had known how to read it.

Last edited by CORed; 8th November 2018 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 8th November 2018, 10:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
I see some fellow trying to run 'virtual' machines of kinds to collect data - of course how long will data last on such things as tape, 51/4 or 3.5 disk. I have a stack of IBM punched cards too and I forget the term but a yellow tape with punch holes in it - something important I wrote but I now don't remember what it was!
usually what was punched in the card has been written on top.

if it was not, I got a program that can process the data with a picture.

I need high resolution photos of each card, taken directly from above with even light. It is crucial that the card is straight in the photo, and there is no skew.

Put a bright white background under the card, so there is a strong contrast between the card paper and the holes. For example, put it on a lighttable, or on a piece of white paper.
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Old 21st February 2019, 12:26 PM   #16
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Hello forum members,

Pretty much in the last two years I have taken up a new 'hobby', which consists of acquiring space flight audio,
video and data tapes and digitizing them.


With the help of others around the world I've digitized audio, video and data ranging from Apollo,
Skylab missions to the Pioneer 10/11 and original satellite telemetry tapes from the 50's and 60's.

This reply will focus on the Pioneer tapes. First, a heads up:


Last year I bought 4 Pioneer computer tapes from Ebay. These tapes were at one point used at the state uni of Arizona.

Because of the writing on the tapes, and the origin, I suspected these tapes may contain imagery data from the Pioneer probes.
As the label mentions "Pioneer 11 EDR UA/IPP data" and the state uni of Arizona worked on the Pioneer imagery devices.

Some photos of the tapes below:






I have send these tapes to Chuck, who owns a data recovery company in America.
Chuck has experience with NASA tapes and has highly specializes equipment to be able to digitize all sorts of formats and data densities.
He saves the data from the tapes in the SIMH format, which is kind of like the ISO format, as it does not only contain the binary data but also tape markers,
and separates the data frames into blocks as it would be on a real tape. because of this, you have a 100% copy of the data and tape formatting.


So far, two tapes (QK7992H and Pione-4138N), has been digitized.
One other is troublesome to read, and one appears to be wiped.
Chuck is currently occupied with more important matters but will give the tapes an other pass when he has the time.


Tape QK7992H
This tape contains 6 MB of data, and 12 files.

Each file contains EBCDIC metadata.

We have confirmed 6 of the 12 files are image files, and have processed them to how we think it works. 3 are B/W images and 3 are colour.

See the following 3 B/W images:



And a colour image:




This archive file contains the data we have processed of QK7992H so far:

We don't know what to do with the remaining 6 files, they have metadata like the image files.


Tape Pione-4138N
We are not sure what to do with this tape. The labels claim it contains EDR UA/IPP data.

So this tape might have raw imagery data from the Pioneer IPP (Imaging PhotoPolarimeter).

Tape 7937
This tape is proving troublesome to read, lots of parity errors.
The EBCDIC metadata at the beginning of the tape is similar to QK7992H, so likely it also contains image files.


In order to further process the data, we are looking for the following document that will hopefully tell us how to work the data:

PN F/G OFFLINE DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM DESCRIPTION" "NASA/ARC PC-262


Master archive:

Documentation, photos, raw data and processed data can be found on the link above.



If you want to help, or have a go at the files, do not be afraid to ask and submit any thoughts.

Best regards,

Niels



Last edited by apollo16uvc; 21st February 2019 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 1st March 2019, 05:04 AM   #17
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I have got great news on the new ESA tapes!

I have tested out three of the five tapes with a magnetic viewing solution, and all three clearly showed 7 tracks like the NASA tapes. This means they have not been degaused or overwritten with an audio recorder. The tracks look like raw telemetry, not computer tapes. One tape has a label that clearly says it came from a tracking station. I think we should be able to digitize these too eventually.

The tapes I have tested are:
TD-1 (Tape ID: 1117-09-08-B)
ESRO 1A (Tape ID: 800 645 08 10B)
HEOS A2 (Tape ID: 1115 06 11B)

I have made two videos on it in dutch.
First, a tutorial on how to make your town magnetic viewing solution.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_kA0cnkBLI


And finally, a video where I visualize the magnetic tracks on 3 tapes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAjU2AHIksA

I have attached some photos of the tracks to this message.

I am interested to know if it is possible to determine the frequency of a signal by the macro photos, any ideas?


Macro photos of tracks (Large!)
https://imgur.com/a/rnlJH9P

I have finally finished v1.0 of the archive for the NASA satellite tapes. I will work on a comprehensive archive on the ESA tapes eventually.

Sat-53123114313-Version1.0 (Object photos, text file.)

Sat-GFORKS-314N003-Version1.0 (Object photos, documentation, Akai RTR sample, visualized tracks)

Sat-GFORKS-314N079-Version1.0 (Object photos, documentation, Akai RTR sample)

Sat-GFORKS-330N100-Version1.0 (Object photos, documentation, Akai RTR sample)

Sat-SNTAGO-120J827-Version1.0 (Object photos, documentation, visualized tracks)

Sat-SNTAGO-314J019-Version1.0 (Object photos, documentation)

Sat-WINKFIELD-330P001-Version1.0 (Object photos)

Best regards,
Niels.

Last edited by apollo16uvc; 1st March 2019 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 4th March 2019, 05:12 AM   #18
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If you need help with old IBM kit, IBM Hursley has a computing museum with a lot of old kit in the basement. In my day IBM also used to have a special division that worked with NASA.
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Old 8th March 2019, 03:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
If you need help with old IBM kit, IBM Hursley has a computing museum with a lot of old kit in the basement. In my day IBM also used to have a special division that worked with NASA.
Hello Wudang,

Thanks for recommending the place to me. I am currently dealing with analog audio tapes mostly, as Chuck has my NASA computer tapes. I don't have the equipment to read computer tapes. But audio is no problem, and the recorders are not as scarce.

I will contact them if I need anything special.
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Old 8th March 2019, 03:42 PM   #20
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Some interesting new finds, did we play telemetry?

Last week I took the time to play some ESA tapes (1/2 inch 7-track) on my Akai X201D (1/4 inch 4-track)

The tapes played:
1.
SAT: ESRO 1A
TAPE ID: 680841-292-230
ESOC/Section TLM: 13496
DATE: 24 JULY 70

2.
SAT: 720,141
TAPE ID: 1135 05 10A
ESOC/Section TLM: 21554
DATE:

3.
SAT: TD-1
TAPE ID: 1117 09 08 B
ESOC/Section TLM: 16837
DATE: "Day 089"

4.
SAT: TD-1A
TAPE ID: 1118 07 09 A
ESOC/Section TLM: 16672
DATE:


To give you an idea of ​​how satellites sounded in the 60's and 70's check out this website with recordings.


I made a video where I play the tapes and show it on an oscilliscope:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SnRvu9bfFk

Some remarkable details:
ESRO 1A has a lot of activity at the beginning, it looks like a reference signal that is being adjusted. There pitch changes and there are periods of noise. Eventually we receive a stable signal which is certainly more complex than a simple sine wave.

ESRO 1A:
Oscilliscope:


Spectrogram: seems to show a kind of square wave, would this be satellite data?


Signal played at 20% original speed, sounds like morse code.


The space between the signals is similar to track 6 of the ESRO 1A tape:


TD-1
Oscilliscope : The wave of this signal swells up and comes down again.



Spectrogram : And here you can see that too.


TD-1A
Oscilliscope:
This signal has two harmonic waves:


And when we zoom out, it has a kind of block pattern:


But when it is very interesting to delay the signal, it sounds like a morse code again.
Spectrogram:


Signal played at 15% original speed, sounds like morse code again.

A lot of new information that will take some time to process.

It seems to me quite possible that this is the received data. If we find documents from the relevant satellite with information about telemetry, should it be possible to create a program or circuit that processes the signal?
A program could convert it to a spreadsheet. How much volts the battery outputs every second for example.

I do not know anything about it, but the ESA recordings do not seem to be FM-modulated, since such a wave looks very different.
The NASA recordings are usually not, so apparently AM and FM modulation was not common in recordings from this time.
The NASA documentation usually also has "Direct" recordings and not "FM"

I am looking for people who may be able to help with the relevant satellites, and who are more acquainted with this kind of work.

Niels
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Old 8th March 2019, 07:49 PM   #21
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If you put data onto a spreadsheet I would love to look at it. I love playing with spreadsheets. Can at least summarise the data.

But I do not have knowledge of satellites.
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Old 9th March 2019, 06:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by apollo16uvc View Post
I have made two videos on it in dutch.
First, a tutorial on how to make your town magnetic viewing solution.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_kA0cnkBLI


And finally, a video where I visualize the magnetic tracks on 3 tapes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAjU2AHIksA

I have attached some photos of the tracks to this message.

I am interested to know if it is possible to determine the frequency of a signal by the macro photos, any ideas?


Macro photos of tracks (Large!)
https://imgur.com/a/rnlJH9P
Nicely done, Niels!

I like your DIY magnetic viewer I worked with mag stripes for phone cards back in the '90's, and I remember we used magnetic viewers bought from some bunch in the UK, essentially a small plastic disk filled with magnetic material that was horribly expensive (at the time).

Regarding the frequency of the signal: looking at your pics, it seems to me that one on the tracks is a mark-space track, ie. a clock track. I would expect something like this on any digital tape format - it would essentially make the data independent of the playback mechanism speed.

If this is the case, then I don't think the frequency of the signal per sť is really relevant.

My guess is that you are going to have to play around a bit (like you seem to be doing) to find the correct speed.

I did find this on cursory searching (not sure if you've cited it yet). Section 3 is quite detailed.
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Old 9th March 2019, 07:19 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by apollo16uvc View Post
Some interesting new finds, did we play telemetry?


It seems to me quite possible that this is the received data. If we find documents from the relevant satellite with information about telemetry, should it be possible to create a program or circuit that processes the signal?
A program could convert it to a spreadsheet. How much volts the battery outputs every second for example.

I do not know anything about it, but the ESA recordings do not seem to be FM-modulated, since such a wave looks very different.
The NASA recordings are usually not, so apparently AM and FM modulation was not common in recordings from this time.
The NASA documentation usually also has "Direct" recordings and not "FM"

I am looking for people who may be able to help with the relevant satellites, and who are more acquainted with this kind of work.

Niels
You're looking at the telemetry data, I believe. You're not going to see any FM/AM modulation in any spectrogram of this data. Bear in mind that the modulation technique is just to get the data from point A to point B - there would be no reason to actually record the full RF signal, just the data that is transmitted.

So, now you're just going to have to decode those 1's and 0's
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Old 10th March 2019, 04:20 AM   #24
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If you're on facebook, I just chatted with JJ* and he'd be happy to offer advice.



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Old 11th March 2019, 12:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
If you're on facebook, I just chatted with JJ* and he'd be happy to offer advice.



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Good call. James is a legend
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