Author Topic: Archiving a Skylab Telemetry Tape  (Read 632 times)

Offline daschmid

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Archiving a Skylab Telemetry Tape
« on: 04/17/2024 09:09 pm »
I've acquired what appears to be a Skylab telemetry tape. Check out the photos below.


Is there anyone with the capability of reading and archiving this tape? 


Based on the labeling it was recorded using a CEC VR-3600 recorder (see: https://archive.org/details/TNM_VR-3600_magnetic_tape_recorder-reproducer_-_C_20180309_0668).  It's 1 inch, 14 track analog instrumentation recorder. Recording speed is noted as "30", which implies it's FM encoded.  Detailed specs are available in the archive.org doc.


The label on the can says it's a "CONF TAPE", which suggests the data might be synthetic and/or test data, but even if it is I'd say it's worth archiving.



I know there have been people working on and off to archive old tape, and I'd love to talk to them.  I welcome any other suggestions you might have!


Here's a transcription of what's on the labels


Exterior, taped to front of can:


 ??? Code: SKYLAB
Station: NT + TF
Date: 26(?) OCT 72
Recorder: VR-3600
Speed: 30
Not Rewound: X
Vehicle(s): SKYLAB-CONF TAPE


Pass No, Rev No, Start GMT, End GMT: (No entries)
Tracks:
1: 36 BIT BCD
2: CSM-1
3: CSM-2     Links: HBR
4: AM 1
5: S1B-2
6: S1C-1
7: S4b-2
8: ???
9: IU
10: ???
11: ATM


Inner label. taped to reel:
Station: NT+TF
Mission Code: Skylab
Date: 13 OCT 72 (note: different than exterior label)
Vehicle(s): SKYLAB
Speed: 30
1: 36 BIT BCD
2: CSM-1 HBR
3: CSM-2 LBR
4: AM 1
5: S1B-2
6: S1C-1
7: S4B-2
8: S2-1
9: IU-2
10: IU-1
11: ATM




« Last Edit: 04/17/2024 09:10 pm by daschmid »

Online AnalogMan

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Re: Archiving a Skylab Telemetry Tape
« Reply #1 on: 04/17/2024 10:14 pm »
This older thread (100+ posts) started by member apollo16uvc may be of interest and help you find contacts.  Apollo16uvc has been active on this site up to a few weeks ago.

Digitized NASA data tapes
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46255.0

Offline leovinus

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Re: Archiving a Skylab Telemetry Tape
« Reply #2 on: 04/18/2024 12:04 pm »
I've acquired what appears to be a Skylab telemetry tape. Check out the photos below.


Is there anyone with the capability of reading and archiving this tape? 
Old data tapes are fun :) While I am not sure right away how to read that tape, the various other threads here on "digital tapes" will provide pointers. In addition, I would hunt for old NASA data archives on the web. There were some archives onlines and the tape you have might already have been archived. In general, if you could identify the experiment at Skylab that the tape belongs to then that would unlock more literature and pointers.

At Skylab the type of tapes and recording are mentioned for a few instruments, e.g.,
Quote
Note: The S-191 and S-192 experiments were operated from May 1973 to Feb. 1974. Both systems provided useful data. The data return was limited by the amount of magnetic tape that could be transported in resupply flights.
On NTRS, you can find out more about the experiments, e.g., for S-191 which will have details on equipment and Skylab S191, S192 program descriptions which will discuss tapes as well. Also Magnetic Tape Recording for the Eighties or Magnetic Tape Recording might have some more hints.

Finally, more for fun, the Lost tapes saga might have links to old data archives which may or may not include yours.

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