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Also see Benign Neglect, Missing History of Restoration of SF-88

Nike SF-88 On-going Maintenance

This page started (Sept 2014), an on-going effort.
You may contact Greg Brown, a major writer and photographer of this page
at - starryflounder51 at gmail dot com

Our spares are at risk of being given away
Received April 3, 2016 from a group trying to restore a different Nike site -

" I do have a second request, if it isn’t too much trouble. Several months ago I was in touch with Audrey Clark of the US Army Donation Office. I last spoke with a gentleman from that office who informed me that SF-88 had requested to turn-in excess equipment to his office. He said that since we might be interested in receiving such equipment, it would be much simpler for you to transfer equipment to us directly rather than turn it in and have us Request it from his office. If that sounds like a good idea to you, would you be able to give me some idea of what equipment you’re going to turn in? If we can use any or all of it maybe we can make a deal to get it transferred to us and get it moved to our site. "

Unfortunately, Susan of the Golden Gate NPS doesn't talk with volunteers who restored SF-88 and are trying to maintain it. The left hand is unwilling to communicate with the right hand :-(( We are unable to get known spares that the original restorers gathered and saved. The NPS has locked up or taken these away.

For a specific example. With photo - "Battery Control van siren. Yes, bottom back side is gone, inside corroding. NPS has grabbed "our" spare, but paperwork delays ... One is on e-bay, but is not an artifact."

Now they may disappear further into limbo.

All these years the National Park Service has provided a ranger, porta-potties, telephone, mowing, ... of the area.

I think it amazing that such competent, caring, organized individuals were selected as site managers :-)) Definitely not the usually headquarters power grabbing chair fillers.

Enough of the serious stuff - need humor. On our Nike site in Chicago, C-41, the launcher guys called us IFC folks "pansies". Maybe the reason was because we didn't need 48 inch Stillson wrenches ;-)) We of course called the the Launcher guys rude crude names also.
This tool (volunteer owned !! ) was in the van in the SF-88 Launcher Area in 2016.

Table of Contents - Recent (Post 2013) History - most recent at top -
Quick Notes Equipment specific to SF-88 Log of work

Hydraulic leak fixed -March 27, 2024
I was at SF-88 today and it was a good day.
We expected rain but it did not really happen, except for a few drops of rain.

Alec has been trying to locate the hydraulic leak using the by guess and by golly method. with no luck. So today I brought in a small video camera. We taped it to a stick and stuck it into the access opening where the hydraulic lines are.
I operated the launcher cycling it while Alec held the stick.
The first few times we could not view anything.
On the 5th try we had the camera aimed at the right area and saw a stream of fluid coming out of an elbow coupling on one of the lines. You only had 3 seconds to notice it before the video went foggy with vaporized hydraulic fluid.
So now we know the culprit.

We had Sandia Lab
come out last Friday. This group was managers of the WIP program. Not many questions where asked.

They enjoyed the tour.

This Friday, My Daughter's employer will be coming out for a tour.
It is the 63rd USAR Division from Mountain View.
There should be 30 people on that tour, but my daughter will miss it because she is in a training class.

Here is a link to that unit,
Which is the Headquarters for every Army Reserve unit in California.

Funny thing, My Father was also a supply officer to the same USAR Division in Los Angeles at Ft, Mac Arthur.

Small World, He would have been happy to see his Grand Daughter working for the same unit if he was still around.

Also one of the officers requested to have a promotion ceremony for his promotion to Major.
I will send you pictures after the fact.

Rain is predicted on Friday so we hope that goes well.

That's all the news that is fit to print.......

Cheers !


Still hydraulic, also photos of previous displays - February 24, 2024
Poor Alec is struggling with a hydraulic leak in the launcher arm. so far, no success.
I {Gregory Brown} was at SF-88 yesterday helping him.

Many people came to see the missile that won't go up.

Below are pictures of the previous displays in the Assembly Building (before "Susan" took them away {somewhere} for "safe keeping".}

"small items, including a
12" hydrogen thyratron (lower right)

Launcher Control cabinets

Time potentiometer

More hydraulic, also administrative - January 29, 2024

They have given us "special permission to do the launcher repair" I had to give them a detailed report on how we would do the repair and the steps taken. This practice is the norm today, they call it a JHA, Job Hazard Analysis form.

Alec and I were out today to fix the hydraulic leak in the launcher arm. 2 line sections were changed with no success.

Visitors and Administration - January 19, 2024
Update From SF-88................Much happening.

We had a Air Force ICBM unit tour SF-88 on Friday, from Warren AFB Wyoming.
It was raining and they were late, but it turned out to be a good tour.
In the center of the picture is our new, leader, Ranger Vassar.

But before the visit, we had an inspection from several of the park management types.
This is an outcome of the earlier meeting that we had back on November 15.
Our message was the museum pieces were deteriorating, and we were not receiving funds to do preventative maintenance, or repairs. We also mentioned we weren't getting any younger and soon the maintenance department would be holding the bag. So a succession plan would be a good idea, to train the maintenance staff. I have been working on a SF-88 maintenance guide with our Army TM's and written instructions and pictures.

We were expecting the worst, but in talking to the new Volunteer Maintenance Coordinator, Amanda Williford, and the park Historic Architect,
They seemed sincere in giving us the help we need.
They do want B pit cleaned up.
I told them we want it cleaned up too, but we can't keep up with the equipment breakdowns.
Also we need a dumpster to get rid of unwanted items.

They also do not want us to do any work until we have had training.
Like mowing the grass. They will give us a training session and then we can mow the grass.
It is protection for them if someone gets hurt.
You can't say we weren't trained.

Alec and I have been working trying to repair a hydraulic leak in the launcher arm.
There are 4 (each) 1/4 inch lines in the arms. somewhere there is a leak, but under 2200 PSI the hydraulic fluid sprays out like a fog, making it hard to see where the leak is coming from.
The launcher will raise and lower. It just leaks fluid.


Launcher sprays hydraulic fluid - January 8, 2024
Alec and I were at the site yesterday, (Monday). as it was predicted to be sunny.

There is a new problem, the launcher is leaking hydraulic fluid, inside the lifting arm.
This is the second week we have been working on the problem.

There are 4 each, 1/4" inch lines. We replaced one line last week, but that did not fix the problem.

Because the fluid is under high pressure, it sprays a fog of fluid, so everything gets drenched.
Hard to tell where the leak is coming from.

Alec brought some wrenches that he cut short, so to access the inside of the launcher arm.
We found we needed some crows foot sockets that might work better in the tight access.

Enclosed are a few pictures and a movie which is 25 MB and may be viewed on google drive link. look at the fluid running out of the hole on the bottom of the launcher arm.

Movie, 17 seconds, 18.2 MBytes Launcher Sprays Hydraulic Fluid - January 8, 2024

Alec doing something -

Emergency Repair - December 27, 2023
Just thought I would tell you what little is going on in Nike Land. We seem to get rained out every Wednesday, and this week was no exception.

But last Thursday we were sidetracked for an “emergency repair“ . The launcher would not go up. It needed fluid. Which is a 2 person job and requires patience. You can only add a little fluid at a time and then need to open the vent valve to “burp the baby”. Fluid was added and the launcher would now go up.

Now that Covid is behind me. We are back to the sump pump. We had some wiring mysteries with the motor starter and found they had done a Micky mouse modification to the motor starter solenoid.

So we are trying to get the old Allen Bradley motor starter to work. If we strike out, we will have to put in a new motor starter.

Everything is working fine on the old submersible, which looks like the swamp thing when it is pulled out of the sump. (Full of Green Moss)

I had brought home several field telephones that were in storage in B pit. They were in bad shape, with much oxidation. Some had internal D cell batteries that had been in the units for years. The batteries swell up and leak acid. I had to screw a lag bolt into the battery to remove it, with much banging with a hammer.

They are now cleaned up. Most have frayed handset cords. I tried to get a pair to talk to each other. The hand crank ringers ring but only one could carry a conversation.

I did discover that there are spare parts for these on eBay. They are quite popular. Replacement Handset cords cost 25 bucks

Model TA 312/PT Field Telephone

So there you go. The little dehumidifier you bought the site is now in the B pit blast room keeping things dry. It works very well.
The reservoir cup was full last week when I emptied it.

So there you are……Plenty of excitement for senior citizens,
Happy New Year !

B-Pit Elevator Lubrication - November 29, 2023
We greased the Locking Bars in B Pit.

Here are a few pics


B-Pit Elevator Problems - November 22, 2023

Alec and I, along with Al Kellogg, have been up to our ears with B Pit Elevator problems.
I have been spending days with my head over the elevator prints, drawing out limit switches and relay circuits.

3 weeks of fighting with an elevator that would not respond to any command.

2 of the locking bars were retracted and 2 engaged.

On Wednesday, at the end of the day, I gave one last try in the control cabinet, and got lucky.

We got the elevator to lift, and come down on one bolt.

Alec suggested we get a ladder and climb up and spray the engaged bolt with liquid wrench.
I did just that and we tried again.

The bolt retracted and the elevator went down.

Bottom line is, these elevators need to be lubricated yearly. We lubricated the A pit a year ago, but who knows how many years have gone by since B pit doors got any grease?

So next Wednesday we will lubricate B pit.

It took us 4 working days to fix that failure.

And finally the Gods began to start smiling !


Meeting with National Park Service & B Pit Elevator - November 15, 2023
Today was the NPS meeting with Vassar and the new Supervising Ranger, James Grof.
The meeting went well.
Al Kellogg brought a report from 1996 of a high level meeting with Bud Halsey and the Park Service outlining what the park service would do to better maintain the site. It is all good stuff, but very little ever materialized.
I will scan and send to you.

B Pit elevator is still stuck in the upper position.
Today would have been our work day but it changed to meeting day.
We will try again on Saturday to fix.
I have spent much time studying the prints and know what limit switches to check and their wiring numbers.
Just need to be there to do it !



Magnetron Pictures - Sept 20, 2023
This is the Magnetron that was retrieved from Battery Alexander and will be on display at SF-88

I built a small wooden stand for the tube.

Enclosed is the Manufactures spec from Eimac.

Apparently they still make these ? Classic design and the magnets are strong !

I did not mention, but box 19 at the Archives had some very good manuals on the Missile and internal workings of the booster

I had given Amanda much to copy. So I did not ask for that one.

I did talk a picture of 2 items from box 19

One is the the display of the nose cone that we have. Identification of the individual circuit cards.

Another is an Arming Mechanism Ohmmeter.

I found one is a pile of rotted and mouse pooped items on the storage cabinet at Battery Wallace.

Now I know what it is !

The best find was this nike elevator manual. It was in a separate collection, donated by Catherine Hanson

Cheers !


Nike Fun and Frolic - Unabated ! - Sept 13, 2023 - from Greg Brown
Wednesday, the first thing we did was to test the repaired cable that I spliced in my garage.
Everything worked so we have a spare.

The next project was one that has been on hold for years, replacing the sump pump in A pit.
Thought it would be good to get it working before the rains come.
We brought the big metal frame up, wire brushed the old paint and scale off and painted it with black epoxy paint.
Next week we will install it with a brand new motor.

Then there is the Italian nike site thing - Sister Sites ?
That was a nice gesture from the mayor of Folgaria Italy.
Our leader is gone and retired. NPS people come and go.
The park service probably would not be interested, maybe yes, maybe no ?
But we can take interest at a Nike Vet level, because we are SF-88.

Tune in next week !


Enclosed is splicing and painting fun !

"More Fun and Frolic" - Sept 6, 2023
Not a spectacular day.
Our main mission was to fix the elevator doors.
They close in a special sequence. And the right door was faster than it should be.
The left door has the seal and should close first.

There is a valve in the hydraulic line that we closed a little, and it fixed the problem.
Then on to less technical work.

Finished up a job that Jerry started on Saturday.
Cleaning the elevator sump in A pit.
Nasty oily absorbant pads needed to be collected and put in plastic bags.
Then sweep and scrape oily dirt from the floor.
The original sump pump was removed for motor replacement.
That motor is in B pit.
So that is the next project, It has been pending for a long time.

On another note, we may have a new volunteer.
His name is Al.
He lives in Walnut Creek and was a 24U Launcher Tech.
I talked to him last Saturday.
He was at Ft. Bliss and Germany around the 1974 period.
He sent me an email and wants to start in October
Dave K has been talking to him too and they live close to each other.

On another note….


VMX1077A-MAGNETRON.pdf Trying to thread Replacement Launcher Cable - August 17, 2023
Just to keep you posted on recent events with the launcher cable repair.

Al Kellogg showed up yesterday. We went up to battery Townsley to give the cable that we found there a try.
The connector pinout seemed the same, even though the cable part number was different.
It was twice the length of the original cable.
Al Kellogg unspooled it while Alec and I pulled it out into the parking lot.
We took it back to the site and plugged it in, just laying it on the floor, with the missile still in the pit.
The connectors fit and everything worked.

Now to get the new cable in the conduit. We had not removed the old one from the conduit.
We tried pulling it by hand in the blast room but it did not budge.

Using a come along, we pulled it and moved freely. We were almost complete. Then it got stuck on the final 90 degree turn. I could see the strain relief on the cable connector form the sump pit conduit.

We ran out of time.

So next time we will try to free the stuck cable.

Lots of soapy water around the stuck connector.


Damaged Launcher Cables - August 2, 2023
Just to bring you up on what was happening at the site.

When we left off. The hydraulic motor pump was running when the LCI was turned off. I put a tone tracer from the pump relay coil wiring and did not find it anywhere in the LCI on/off switch ?

We know the Section Control Panel down in the pit has many control functions. We found that if we turn off the power on it. Nothing on the launcher works.

So today we looked at the Section control panel. We found the tone from the relay coil at several places in the panel. So we started to disconnect cables. On one of the cables I found tone on all pins coming from the launcher. That sounds like major trouble. So I told Alec, let's inspect the cabling.

We started with the elevator and the sump. And low and behold ! Major damage to the cable. It appears that on the desending of the elevator, the cable got pinched on the resting pylon. Alec said we had cables at Battery Townsend, so we went up to look for one with that number. We got lucky and found one. That is as far as we got today. Now to install the new cable in the conduit from the sump to the blast room. And to route the cable so it does not come near the pylon.

The fun never ends ..


4th of July Picnic - July 4, 2023
re - finding stuff in Battery Alexander

Found 4 tracking scope lens cans.
Brought one home. Had to clean the mouse poop off if it in hot soapy water.
Thought of trying to rig up a green led range gate using adafruit 120 mm RGB panels and an Arduino.
Just a pipe dream, I really don’t have the time.

The missile had a problem over the weekend not being able to raise.
I heard something in the electronics was getting hot.

Amanda took away our manuals, so not much we can do.
Besides go down with the ship.

Click any of the following to expand -


Teresa & Greg Brown
Presenter & Cook

Al Blank, host

One of three tables

Finding stuff in Battery Alexander - June 28, 2023
Words and pictures by Greg Brown
Was at the site today. Alec and I fixed a few things, ate lunch and decided to go up to battery Alexander to look for stuff.

Battery Alexander was taken over by the CPI or Concrete Preservation institute.
They cast concrete pieces for use at Alcatraz. The workers are mostly active military, on a jobs training program.

I have a good relationship with their supervisor.

They have taken over the battery and moved some of our stuff around.

It could be better organized but that is how it is.

We looked through everything. I took pictures.

We found your modified chassis with the CRT and circuit board.

Quite impressive. See how the damp conditions ruin the equipment.

Here are pics.

Saturday is the BBQ Picnic.

"Housekeeping" - June 14, 2023
from Greg Brown
Went to Nike on Wednesday, Alec and I just did mostly clean up work. Weeds and putting stuff away, Housekeeping if you will.

The B Pit air blower had a problem with the motor starter.
The motor starter is a 3 phase 480 volt contractor relay with a run switch (On/Off) and a remote local switch for external run. ( a remote switch on the wall).
The problem was the relay coil was not holding the contacts in strongly and the contacts were chattering. The coil was 460 volts.
I did not have a 460 volt coil to replace it with but did have a 120 volt coil.
Fortunately we had a small 120 volt to 460 volt control transformer.
So using the small control transformer to step down the voltage, I installed the 120 relay contractor coil and now the blower motor is running.

Duane has been welding in B pit so having a working blower motor is a good thing.

( Greg and Teresa Brown are on vacation in Ireland. )

Summary of a month - May 10, 2023
Words and pictures by Greg Brown
Was at SF-88 on Wednesday, with Alec.

Repairs were done to do the John Deere riding mower to make it operational by Alec and myself 2 weeks ago.
Alec mowed the grass on Saturday, but weeds are growing in the pavement all over and in front of the assembly building.

I talked with the Fire Marshall for NPS, Randy Mason, and gave him the information on the fire alarms in the Assembly, Generator and warhead building.
He was aware that of those systems, and the warhead building was not even powered.
And explained that they currently cannot find a company who will take the contract to service the fire alarms at GGNP.

The phone that Gordon kindly donated is now operational in the Assembly Bldg office.
The # is 415-331-2476

It is for emergency use when Alec and I are here working by ourselves and no NPS rangers with radios can relay emergencies. Cell phones do not work at SF-88, and if Alec or I needed medical, police or fire response, we would have to leave the site and drive to the top of the ridge.

NPS emergency numbers and site directions are posted near the phone.

The Acq antenna is making loud noises again and we have turned it off.

Alec and I, with the help of Scott Burghhart of CPI, retrieved 4 large cabinets of valuable parts that were removed from the Generator building and placed at Battery Alexander many years ago by Ranger Al Blank and NPS personnel.
We have been working to place those cabinets so we can access those parts in B Pit.
Mice have left their calling cards in the cabinet drawers and destroyed many valuable Nike items like the red safety lanyards that are placed on the missile before firing.
We removed the items, scrapped and scrubbed the drawers with soap and water to remove years of mouse droppings.

Some parts had to be discarded.

Greg Brown

Locking bar grease fitting replacement - April 5, 2023
Words and pictures by Greg Brown
Alec and I attacked the locking bar grease fitting replacement.
Here is the situation….the grease fittings were painted over years ago.
So the locking bars have not been lubricated in decades.

Alec had purchased the replacement fittings some time back, along with a special adapter for the grease gun to use on this style of grease fitting.

So we changed out 12 fittings, 3 on each locking bar.

Enclosed are pictures of that endeavor.

We also cajoled the supervisor of the Concrete Preservation Institute to bring down our 4 cabinets of parts that were stored in Battery Alexander since they cleared out the Generator Building. He had a Genie fork lift and helped us wrestle out the cabinets from storage.

One problem, most of our parts were pilfered. The plumbing and pipe fittings and resistors were cleaned out, and other items missing.

They also stole 2 alignment telescopes from their cases. This is just what we could identify

Most of the drawers were empty with dead mice remains inside.

The CPI supervisor informed us that his group will be moving into the building above the launcher area.

4 way solenoid valve repair - Mar 8, 2023 - actually past several weeks
Words and pictures by Greg Brown
This dual solenoid electric hydraulic valve operates the locking bars.
When it was “broke” the locking bars would not release, so the missile was stuck at launcher level.
It was that way for several weeks.

It is all better now. But we are ordering a brand new unit from the original manufacture.
They no longer make the original unit, but can custom make one that will work.

Was at SF-88 today with Alec.

Weather was good, I added a safety disconnect switch to the A pit elevator control cabinet.

Ron Parshall put one on the B pit control cabinet some years ago.

It makes life easier, as I can de=energize the hazardous voltage to work on the system, without having to have someone stand by the main disconnect across the way from the control cabinet.
Or having to climb down the ladder and activate the disconnect switch myself.

Getting lazy in my old age.

Alec was working on installing a shelf in the Launcher trailer, to power a microwave and coffee pot.
previous work letter from Greg Brown to - Feb 15, 2023

Looking at the Q-08 replacement guide, .
I am not sure on how to interpret the actuator function symbolsdiagram.

I have included the Hydraulic print from the original Wayne Pump System and a blow up of the Locking Bar Four Way Valve diagram, with function symbols. This may help in finding a suitable replacement.

The process piping size is 3/4”

Control voltage 120 VAC

Normal operating pressure is +/- 350 PSI with a maximum rating of 1000 PSI

Hydraulic fluid is Shell Tellus S2 M 68 - Specific Gravity .886

Any questions, please let me know,

Thanks for your help,

Greg Brown
NPS-SF-88 Historic Nike Missile Site
Golden Gate National park

Missile stuck Topside - Feb 15, 2023
Words and music by Greg Brown
It has been an interesting week at SF-88. For me the most stressful.
Over a week ago I got a call from Alec, saying the missile was stuck on Topside, and would not go down.
I want out on Saturday Feb 4 in the rain along with Alec to fix it.
Hydraulic fluid was all over the place in A pit.

A Pit Pressure Switch Failure 2/4/23

It seemed one of the 68 year old pressure switches blew and sent hydraulic fluid through its connecting electrical conduit and into a junction box. On the bottom of the junction box 3 conduits dropped down to their connected Solenoid valves. They were full of hydraulic fluid.
We opened everything up and drained the fluid out of the devices.
Replaced the pressure switch.
But is still did not work.

We came back on Wednesday and Friday, still no luck.
Then this Wednesday when we got lucky.

There is a lot more to the story but it had a happy ending on Wednesday.
I know a lot more about that system now, than I did before.
They say you never learn a system until it breaks.

Missile & elevator won't go into magazine - Feb 1, 2023
Words and music by Greg Brown
Went to SF-88 today. Al Blank was there and the missile and elevator were up at ground level. Al said, glad you are here, we can’t get the missile to go down. We need it working they are filming a movie here tomorrow.

I did not bring my elevator book with all my notes, but had a schematic. Trying several things, I jumped power to the actuator on terminal 53 and the motor started running. LS 17 was the culprit. It is the highest one to the door and gets the most water during the rains. I later took it apart and lubricated it.

Alec Ranger Al and I had lunch in B pit. Rumor is they are working on making SF-88 an Historic site.

Gordon and Dave Kritzinger were there being interviewed for the movie that the park service is filming.

Generator on wheels at SF-88 lost it’s cover, Sandia tour - Jan 27, 2023
Words and music by Greg Brown
The generator on wheels at SF-88 lost it’s cover during the rains.
Alec seems to think it will start after sitting for 20 plus years.

All we need is 24 volts at many many amps to start.
And some fuel.

The Sandia tour last Friday went well. It was at 9 in the morning. Traffic was awful and pulled in just as they were starting. It took an hour and a half in early morning commute traffic.

Grass & rust - Dec 21, 2022
Words and music by Greg Brown
Wednesday Alec and Al Kellogg and I, were at the site.
Al Kellogg mowed the grass in the dog kennel area.
He had a new attachment for the grass trimmer that resembled a saw blade.
It takes out weeds instantly and edges the grass like a power edger.

Alec and I tried to move the missile down the launcher.
This was to see if all the grinding of rust on the launcher and painting of the rails, allowed us to move the missile down to the next launcher. In this way, we could have two missiles above ground.
The rails worked well after we put a quarter inch shim plate on the launcher rail to make the rails even.

The missile went to the next launcher but got jammed into the locking receiver.
Why ? It was full of rust mushrooms.
So we chipped and ground out the rust mushrooms.

We tried moving the missile again and everything went smoothly. The missile locked into the launcher.

We used the rust primer called corroseal to prime the exposed metal and ground down rust areas.
It seems like pretty good stuff.

We will paint over the Corroseal next week, with OD paint, weather permitting.

Happy Holiday !

Greg Brown
NPS Volunteer SF-88

Moving and welding Nike Ajax launching rail - Nov 5, 2022
Words by Ed Thelen, pictures of welding from Greg Brown
An NPS person wishes to take a Nike Ajax missile from overhead (not easily seen) in the Warhead building and place it into A "Pit" with some Nike Hercules missiles.

A problem with that plan is that the needed Nike Ajax launching rail has had all four support members cut off.
Duane Fey has taken that bull by the horns to weld the two support members back on the exposed side of the rail.
Of course, complexities get in the way. The other side of the launching rail is right next to another cut up rail :--((

So the next task is to rotate the launching rail to expose the remaining cut side.
The launching rails are too heavy to "man-handle" so a chain hoist was found to help with the rotation.

Red lines point to already
replaced support members.

Turning, turning

Lowering for welding this side

Duane (camouflage pants), Greg Brown (yellow rain coat) and Alex Gyorfi (yellow vest) at work rotating the Ajax launching rail.
Note: the third picture above shows the side of the launcher rail where the support members were cut off.
Duane welding the support members back on.

Phone line to warhead bldg for alarm - Oct 19, 2022
from Greg Brown
Just an update, went out to SF-88 yesterday (Wednesday). Met up with Alec for the first time since his toe amputation.

He is fine. We started on a project to fix the phone line to the warhead building, which involves erecting a pipe mast on and existing light standard. Alec moved the “full” Launcher port-a-potty next to the other port-a-potty’s to be emptied, using a fork lift. The CPI (concrete) group is working at B pit and uses that one a lot.

Last Saturday, I came out for the tours. I worked with Dick Huey at the launcher tour.
He does a fine job explaining the system.

That is all the news that is fit to print!

Launcher Door Pin worked out- Sept 24. 2022
from Greg Brown
1) Saturday started off with a bang. Jerry noticed that the hinge pin had worked out of the forward right side hinge of the A pit elevator door. Duane Fey was there so we all worked on the repair. 2) We used a small car floor jack to push in the pin. Which worked good to a point.
3) The pin being out had caused the door side to shift and mis- aligned the hinge. 4) Duane had the idea to put a 4 X 4 on the elevator platform and raise the elevator with wood to “Push Up” the door ever so much so the pin would go in completely. This worked and we were able to re-seat the pin.
Duane worked on metal fabrication of the Ajax launcher.
5) I worked on the display in the generator building, placing American Flag fabric underneath the display items, to give a more patriotic look. 6) A good time was had by all.

Greg Brown

Launcher rails clean, prime, ... - Sept 14, 2022
from Greg Brown
Just wanted to bring up on yesterday’s fun and frolic. Jerry and I ground off the rust on the back launcher, 4 sections. Worked like mad to finish in time.

Had a group from CPI (concrete preservation institute) most were active duty military, on TDY, to train for a vocation to civilian life. They took over our B pit area with concrete forms with concrete curing in them. Then they asked for a tour of the missiles in A pit. One of their group was in a stinger missile unit and trained at Mc Gregor and Fort Bliss. He knew the term Annual Service Practice. The group was impressed. Back to the launcher rails, we were really pinched for time, but we did the best with what we had. The launchers need much more work than we can give.

Launcher rails clean, prime, ... - Aug 31, 2022
from Greg Brown
I was at SF-88 today, with Jerry and Al Kellogg.
Ranger Al wanted the launcher rails cleaned up and painted, so they could get several missiles on the launcher.
Jerry and I ground off the rust, then applied red primer, and then OD spray.
We only had enough time to do the front section on the right of the elevator to the first launcher on the right.
Enclosed are pictures.

Views of B Pit area - Saturday July 23, 2022
from Greg Brown
It was a cold foggy day at SF-88 cI sent a few photos that may be of interest. Jerry cleaning the A pit sump
The sump pic says B pit but that is wrong.
Fish pic is B pit.
Had a lot of people that day.



Scandia visit, Contractor cleared trash from B Pit area - July 15, 2022
from Greg Brown
Big group {from Scandia WIP} this time. Ron Parshall, Clinton Crane, Karl and Al were there to host.
I did the vans.
And a patch of the Sandia WIP for 2022.
(Greg found the meaning of "WIP" here.)
The group enjoyed the tour. There were folks from Livermore, Kansas City and New Mexico.

I sent some pics of the cleanup before and after at B Pit.
Things are getting better.

Installed missing section of LOPAR antenna waveguide - June 22, 2022
from Greg Brown
Enclosed are pictures from yesterdays Acquisition Antenna waveguide work.
Alec and I installed a solid waveguide section that had been missing for years.
Sorry the date is wrong, it should be June 22.
While we were there, the construction crew was busy painting the generator building and guard shack.
They were also removing the debris at B pit.

This was good to see.

Things are getting better !

Greg Brown
SF-88 Volunteer

LOPAR antenna shroud complete (and rotating :--)) - June 21, 2022
from Greg Brown
Alec found replacement clasp latches and provided stainless steel 6/32 screws and nuts.
The cover is installed and the antenna is assembled.
The antenna rotates with the replacement motor and gearbox.
Tomorrow we will work on installing the waveguide. (The thing that connects to the black hose)
We do want to replace the other 2 tripod feet that are rusted, using replacement units that we will clean and paint, along with newly painted tripod support arms.

Troubles Re-attaching part of the LOPAR radome - June 1, 2022
... things did not go well. There were problems with the bottom shroud hardware so we could not attach it until we fix those problems.

Re-attaching part of the LOPAR radome - May 25, 2022
Greg Brown and I carpooled to
- Greg's normal Wednesday work day
- Docent about ten AirForce (ICBM) visitors who had been visiting Vandenberg AFS

Work at SF-88 - typically "big heavy stuff" in "awkward situations"

"big heavy stuff"
That big green thing is one of the hydraulic cylinders in the launcher to erect the missile -
The shiny cylinder is its piston, complete with rings.
"awkward situations"
Here is Greg trying to remove some rusted-to-failure clips which used to hold on a lower corner of the LOPAR antenna. He has already purchased some stainless steel screws from a hardware store and knows where to find some less rusted clips.
If you are used to doing "household repairs" with hand tools in your your garage in a few hours -
the added scale here moves the few hours to multiple days :--((

Acq antenna now "reliable", New dehumidifier for the RC van - May 18, 2022 - Greg Brown
I had luck in troubleshooting one of the motor generator regulator boards.
Using my inexpensive amazon capacitor checker, I found a defective 100 mf. Electrolytic capacitor. I replaced it and we tested it today. It worked ! We now have a working spare. I have one other board to fix.

Today we ran the Acquisition Antenna for over 2 hours, with no problems.

We are putting the last pieces of the antenna together. The missing fiberglass radome cover is in need of latching hardware. We took some parts from the spare antenna along the fence. We have to get some small 4-40 screws to put the new latches on to secure the shroud.

As you saw on the previous email, the bigger de-humidifier was installed today. I like it because it is on wheels and has a relative humidity indicator. When we plugged it in it was reading 58% At 3 PM It was reading 37%

e-mail from Greg Brown to Ron Parshall
Note: in the humid winters, the paint on the intrior of the vans actually gets moldy.

"Thank you for the check for $341.43 for the (two) de humidifiers.

"Alec and I waited 15 months for NPS to get us a unit.
With numerous emails to ... and ... . (of the National Park Service)

"Thanks to the
Nike Historical Society.

"Respectfully yours,

"Greg Brown"

Alec and I got the Acq antenna to spin - April 14, 2022 - Greg Brown
Alec and I got the Acq antenna to spin late yesterday afternoon.

I had a 30 sec video of the antenna spinning, that I chopped down to 3 seconds to lower the file size. Play the .mpg, 686 KBytes

Alec would like to replace the bottom tub with a better one in storage.

Alec was successful in getting a spare regulator board on Saturday, so the motor generator [ in the generator building ] is working.

I have the bad one [ regulator board ] here along with another spare that has a badly corroded chassis. I will try to clean it up.

Here is a collection of pictures, a few from April 2nd

Three Guys

Acquisition Antenna Motor

Acq underside

Acq Top Tub Board

Acq Top Tub Cover

Acq Rotation Contactors

Acq Motor Gearbox

Acq Ant Toasted Motor Windings

Acq Ant Alec

Duane Fey

Acquisition Antenna Gearbox

from Duane Fey to Greg Brown

Thanks for the great pictures. I’m glad somebody was taking them. 20 years ago when we were doing a lot of work, there were no digital cameras. We had to wait for developing to find that most were crap.

Kato 400 Hz motor generator - frequency converter
Received April 5, 2022 from Greg Brown

"I scanned the 15 page manual, for the Kato regulator board.
Just so I have my own copy.
We have proved the problem is in the board.
Not much circuitry, after a minute or 2 the voltage starts to wander.
I would say either bad capacitor or cold solder joint on the board."

detail view

Kato Instruction Manual
Page 1,

Kato - 60 cycle power input side

Kato - 400 cycle power output side

Kato Regulator Card
Received May 21 2022 from Greg Brown

FYI, enclosed is a picture of the motor generator regulator. The circuit board is called a pre-amp. The chassis contains multiple transformers and 2 large current transformers (CT)

Acquisition Antenna Rotational Motor Removed - April 2, 2022 - Greg Brown
(A little background from Ed Thelen. Today (the first Saturday of the month) was a normal SF-88 Open House. Docents and others usually show up well before the 12:30 opening time (say 10 AM) to chat, do light maintenance, and eat. The work below was performed before opening time.)

When I pulled up, Alec (Gyorfi), Jerry (Feicht) and Duane (Fey) were busy removing the bad gearbox from the Acquisition antenna.

Not a fun position!
Acq Motor behind Duane's head.

Heavy heavy hangs
over his head

(L>R) Alec, Duane, Jerry

Looks like a socket on extender.

Duane is very motivated to get things done. That energy is greatly appreciated, and progress was made.

The replacement gearbox was installed and the refurbished motor was tested.

So we are that much closer to seeing the antenna turn again, provided we get a regulator board from Battery Alexander to get the 400 cycle motor generator running again.

Still missing key to Battery Alexander. Talked with Al Blank about it on Saturday.

I did both vans (Battery & Radar Control Vans) for the public. Don (Echeverria) was unable to come because the busses were not running.

Acquisition Antenna "Tub" Removal - March 31, 2022 - Greg Brown
This has been a major, extended effort. See:
- LOPAR Acquisition Antenna gear box - December 08, 2021 - from Greg Brown
- LOPAR antenna doesn't rotate & search for manuals - Sept 2021, mostly Greg Brown
- Sick Acquisition Radar -01-11-2020

Enclosed are a few pictures of our Acquisition Antenna tear down job yesterday.

Note fork lift

Alec used a fork lift to remove the lower and middle tub.

Then we dropped the bottom pan from the upper tub to access the motor and gearbox.
We removed the motor.
It appears as if there are some broken teeth on one of the gears in the gearbox.
We have to test the motor as it was red hot on the day of the failure.

Acquisition Antenna Leg Replacement - March 3, 2022 - from Greg Brown
For "Before" pictures, click on "Peg leg" for Low Power Radar - Jan 26, 2022
Enclosed are the pictures of the Acq antenna leg replacement.

The date is wrong….I transposed the month and day

The following is an e-mail with photo that Greg sent to some NPS administrators

Alec told me there was a problem with the Grainger order that we placed back in October? We really need dehumidifiers, For the RC Van, Warhead Building, Assembly Building, and A Pit. The rust you see in the picture has occurred since the dehumidifier failed in the RC van, If we can’t get them through Grainger, could we try another vendor?
Please advise,
Respectfully yours,
Greg Brown
NPS SF-88 Volunteer

Repaired Roll Up Door - Feb 23, 2022 - from Greg Brown
Was at SF-88 today with Alec.

The first thing we did is repair a newly installed roll up door that a park service member broke. They tried to force the locked door open by brute force with the chain. The locking pins on the sides bent.

This door was cheaply made and broke easily. We had to cut off the bent locking pins so it would work again.

If it was one of the original doors, it would have been harder to break.

A Magazine Elevator works again - Feb 4, 2022 - from Greg Brown
[ A Magazine is where visitors go to view the underground part of the Nike site - U.S cities only -
The magazines were used to store missiles, and its elevator has a launcher for bring missiles up and down.
We currently use the B Magazine as work room and storage.
"So the pressure was on to get it working for the Saturday open house." ]

We had a successful day today, and the elevator in now working properly.
It can go down, before it would not.
Studied the manual and found the fix P26 - Sect IV. Enclosed is that page from the manual.
Check continuity between wire 51 and wire 64. (the 4 limit switches in series)

One thing leads to another, rusted rotting access plates adjacent to the elevator doors at ground level, leak water on to the limit switch. The mechanism gets dry and sticky and the water enters and corrodes the switch contacts and internal switching mechanism.
Door Locking Bar Limit Switch
I have been refurbishing the spare limit switches at home, so just clean up the switching mechanism, lubricate, and pop in a cleaned up unit.
Refurbished Limit Switch
Then there is the dehumidifier issue, or lack there of.

Alec and I lined up 9 broken units that have been in the junk pile for years. There were also broken units in A pit and the warhead building. Hopefully Al has ordered them?


"Peg leg" for Low Power Radar - Jan 26, 2022 - from Greg Brown
We removed the rusted leg section and put wood blocks underneath for support.
The problem is all the legs are rusted and must be fixed. See the broken off leg on the first picture. Alec jacked up the leg support with a handyman jack. The leg just came apart. The challenge will be fabricating these as we have not found replacements

Caulking holes in the 16 access plates around the elevator doors - Jan 13, 2022 - from Greg Brown
We are currently caulking holes in the 16 access plates
around the elevator doors.
This plate was so rusted that
we had to cut the old one in half
to remove the rotted part.
We had another plate that we cut and fitted in.

The [Magazine A] elevator mysteriously started working - Jan 5, 2022 - from Greg Brown
Alec and I

The [Magazine A] elevator mysteriously started working.

So we did repairs on the diamond plates around the elevator doors that are rusted and leaking
Adding longer bolts with nuts underneath and sealing the sides with black silicone caulk to keep the rain water out.
You can see how rusted the access plates are.

Greg Brown

Greg Brown

Rusted access plate

Alec Gyorfi


Bad Day - December 31, 2021 - from Greg Brown
Went to SF-88 yesterday, bad day.
We had planned to fix one of the diamond plates that on the outside of the elevator doors that was pulled up on A pit.
So we raised the elevator on the top but then it would not go down.
Problem…. one of the Door open / closed limit switches not working. System thinks the door is closed.

So had to apply voltage to the Door Close relay CR-6 with a jumper to bring down the missile.
We jury rigged a push button to do that function on the side of the hydraulic unit.

To access the door limits are a bear. Here is a picture of the [orange] ladder to get near the switch.
But it is unsafe and you still cannot even see what you are working on. We had to move 2 missiles to get the ladder in.
There is much water coming down in the area where the ladder is, and I think that is where the problem is.
Problem is you have 4 door switches in series. only one can stop the show.

I believe the rain has caused things to swell, and the limit switch needs adjustment.
When things dry out, it may work again, or maybe not. either way we need to fix it now.

Happy New Year !
Wednesday, [Jan 5, 2022] Alec and I will try to get the elevator working again.

SF-88 has received $300 K in funding this fiscal year ... - December 13, 2021 - from Greg Brown
SF-88 has received $300 K in funding this fiscal year to upgrade buildings and facilities facilities Yerba Buena Engineering and Construction received a contract to install the launcher rails that have been fabricated some years back.

That work is almost completed. Also under that same contract, removal of trash and surplus equipment from the B pit area.

Another company received contracts to replace the roofs on the Warhead and the Assembly Building.

Our Gratitude to NPS Management for Historical Restoration of SF-88

LOPAR Acquisition Antenna gear box - December 08, 2021 - from Greg Brown
Much happened yesterday at SF-88
Alec moved the missile storage tubes that were near the warhead bldg. I asked him what was inside of them.
He said most have missiles, some of which were taken from a ship that sank. I would like to know the rest of that story. He said other tubes were filled with “stuff” Not nike stuff, but electrical stuff that was part of the give away from various places.
I would think at some point, an inventory should be done.

We started to work on the Acquisition Antenna. It was a miserable day, cold and wet fog.
Alec is making a gasket for the gearbox in the picture. We went out to the antenna and opened the side cover. Looking at the sight glass on the gearbox, the oil went dry. Everything is rusted so bad.
Then Alec noted that one of the outrigger supports was so rusted it had broken in half, Taking the antenna out of level. Now we have to find a replacement outrigger arm. Alec says there was one at Battery Wallace.
We need access to Battery Wallace to find the spare LOPAR antenna, if the antenna is to be repaired.

Ed Thelen here - Requests for access to "our" material in Battery Wallace have been made for several reasons over the past five years. The result is always "wait". I'm getting more paranoid - has the Nike material in Battery Wallace been removed, and no one wishes to admit it ???

Drawings of the Nike LOPAR gear box
Greg suggests:
Pages 110 & 114 in TM-9-1430-244-34 (not on line yet)
Page 110, Page 114,

Painting (rusting out) Launcher Rails - December 01, 20212 - Greg Brown
I was at SF-88 today. The contractors working on the launcher rails needed their work tested. Alec and I raised a missile and moved it over on the rails.

Al Blank wants to be able to have 4 missiles on the launchers. Not going to happen until we grind off the rust and paint the launcher rails So he asked us if we would do just that. We agreed

That will be one big job. - Sounds like a major work party :--))

MotorGenerator - October 31, 2021 - from Greg Brown
Alec and I were at SF-88 on Thursday, and had success with the motor generator.
Reading the manual helps.

Kato Regulator

Kato Regulator Adjustment

I found in the manual that the voltage adjustment needs to be set with a voltmeter on terminals E1 & E3 Prior to that, it was being tweaked at random, out of the range of the regulator. By guess and by golly.
Next we will try to get the ACQ antenna working.
I am going next Thursday.
The Manuals that Amanda scanned are a treasure trove.
I have gone through them. There is a ton of information.
I have been trying to “lift” some of the graphics.
For me it is a multi-step process

Acquisition Screen
For a list of some of the manuals Amanda scanned, click here.

Alec and I have another project.
The Missile safety board that has been in hiding in the B Pit.
We want to put it out on display. But where to put it?

In A Pit in the Blast room? Or Somewhere in the A pit magazine for the public to see? Terry has made up 12 red streamer flags on her sewing machine to hang on the board.

I am thinking the A Pit Magazine Personnel room is probably the best place, but the public is rarely taken back there.
Please refresh my memory….. The Safety streamers were placed on,
  1. The booster shorting plug. (Squib )
  2. Barometric Probe?
  3. Other mechanical part on the launcher ?
  4. Maybe you or someone else knows
[ If you know, please advise Greg Brown at gregorio_cafe @ comcast . net ]

Painting of IFC buildings on Wolf Ridge
The IFC buildings and radar towers on Wolf Ridge looked like this in 1999.

They have been painted by contractors to the National Park Service, and "tagged" by others.
Photos and text by Greg Brown.

Launcher area, Magazines - Section B
This panorama is of one corner of the Section B area. It is intended to stress cabling. A Nike site has lots and lots of cables - more than you are likely to imagine. There is quite a shortage of cables for this restoration. Enough for one launcher in A section. (Bud Halsey tried to get some launcher cables from Taiwan, but international ocean travel is complicated and expensive.)
This is a 360 degree panorama of the Section B area. It shows some of the equipment stored above ground.

You might ask what drives the missile elevator up and down, and when raising the elevator performs the sequence of raising the elevator a little too high, activating the locking bars, and gently lowering the elevator onto the locking bars - and related sequences.
Hydraulic Pump Unit and Control Boxes Elevator electric motor and hydraulic pump
Alec Gyorfi goes where angels (you and me) fear to tread ;-)) To look at the elevator control boxes and Circuit Breakers
and the Elevator Relays and the Elevator Time Delay Relays
for proper sequencing

We need a smile - the above is serious business.
How about overhauling the carburetor for the 5 ton truck so that it doesn't cough and sputter so much ?? Here is Frank, enjoying a day off, with smelly chemicals, grimy glop, tiny parts to lose, "rebuilding" that carburetor. Do you get the idea that restorers are a bit deranged ??
Look at that big smile. The fumes must have gotten to him. a close up of the grimy solvent - And here is Frank, trying to keep his hands clean with those awful gloves, using an air blast to clean the cleaner out of the carburetor. The nearby box is the carburetor re-build kit with new gaskets, metering jets, etc.

Launcher hydraulics and power
This is the hydraulic pump assembly to power the launcher hydraulic cylinder (above) This is a stripped launcher which shows the mounted hydraulic cylinder better. The force from the cylinder raises the launcher arm to near vertical.
This unit converts 60 Hz commercial power to 400 Hertz for the launchers. It and several other unit came (free) from Pacific Bell. The converter is in this van near the launcher. The 400 Hertz unit must be close to the launchers, or the cable resistance will cause low voltage, motor stalling and protective breakers to chatter.
The insides of launcher cylinders can get pitted over time.
Alec Gyorfi by the home made cylinder honing machine. The honing "stones" and connected by a long shaft to an electric drill. The electric drill is moved up-and-down by another motor. It looks crude, but it works just fine :-)) This "O Ring" helps confine high pressure hydraulic fluid.
The front unit is the piston (with its own "O Ring" and the cylinder rod which also must have a high polish to help the "O Ring" in the cylinder head have a long life. This "O Ring" helps confine high pressure hydraulic fluid.

  • Launcher area, Buildings
    Assembly Building
    Mid-September 2014 the volunteers were invited to help repaint the main room of the assembly building, Sept 16, first coat, Sept 17, second coat.

    Happily, for us volunteers, all the cleaning and prepping the building interior had been accomplish Monday Sept 15 by
    Museum Management Branch employees (Nicole Hayduk, Justin Cleveland, Lulu Chye, and Josh Willis) :-))
    As you know all too well, half (or more) of a paint job is "Prep Work"
    - If you don't know, ignorance is bliss !!      ;-))

    All we volunteers had to do was spread white paint on the desired surfaces :-)) excluding wires and pipes not already painted.
    The painting crew was:
    - Al Blank, site manager (Wednesday)
    - Nicole Hayduk, NPS Museum Management Branch employee (2 days)
    - Justin Cleveland, NPS contractor on the Nike Site Preservation Project (2 days)
    - Greg Brown, volunteer (Tuesday) brought extra ladders and equipment
    - Sarah Koenen, NPS (Wednesday)
    - Gordon Lunn, volunteer (2 days)
    - Ed Thelen, volunteer (Tuesday)
    - Mary ???, Interpretation Division Intern (Wednesday)
    with a cameo appearance by
    - Susan Ewing Haley, curator, who brought brownies :-))

    The following pictures were contributed by Nicole Hayduk and Greg Brown

    Ready?? Paint !!

    Ed, "Me? Work?"
    Others Nicole, Justin

    Greg "getting hi"

    Justin & Mary
    Beams don't roll well

    Gordon & Al
    Al, after getting formal

    Nicole, carefully

    Sarah, "rolling"

    Done! Beautiful!
    The bad news
    The rest of the site
    is corroding away.
    The west side
    of this building.

    West side Assy Bldg

    West side Assy Bldg

    Alert Siren - for the IFC BC van.
    One of the fun features of the SF-88 Nike Site is the Alert Siren. Raising the US flag and a hoot on the siren signal the start of visiting hours ;-))

    Unfortunately, in the summer of 2014, the old reliable IFC BC van siren quit.
    Oddly, the trouble shooting was confusing. A collection of probes, volt meters, ohmmeters to no avail :-(( - lets blame van schematics we couldn't find, and operating atop a ladder - not shaky trouble shooting skills ??

    Then one day, in late August 2014, the siren would howl again. Some one (who?) found a loose/corroded wire in the rusted out back of the siren and "fixed" it.

    Note the newly taped up power cord and fresh ground connection.

    But clearly the lower back of the siren body is in serious corrosion trouble. Popular rumor indicates that Golden Gate NPS should have two of these sirens, spares obtained from China Lake in 1996 - somewhere - but the likely foot dragging and paperwork ...
    Possession is power, I got 'em, I got the power.
    Dare we tape a protective clear plastic bag over the whole assembly until ... ??

    Greg Brown found several RED sirens on e-bay for $300, which claimed to be 24 volt - just the voltage we need.
    Maybe sandblasting the red plastic would enable white paint to adhere adequately ?
    Unfortunately, Federal Signal says that model is 120 volts. A question to be resolved.

    Sample sound ;-))

    Launcher Hydraulic Cylinder Bearings Jan 2015
    Greg Brown and I (Ed Thelen) showed up early for the open house - and found Jerry Freight and Alec Gyorfi in the Launcher area, near B pit (magazine) with large wrenches hard at work. (Pictures of Ed Thelen standing about "stupervising" have been deleted ;-))
    Greg and I came upon this scene of honest men doing honest work. Close threads, long shaft, lotsa tiny turns :-((
    Almost at the end of the 1 foot threaded shaft Now, all "we" have to do is get that center shaft out. This whole exercise is to get some Hydraulic Cylinder Bearings that are no longer stocked by Ordnance :-((

    Magazine Elevator & Door Sequence and Timing Relays -from Greg Brown - Feb 2015
    Very Preliminary, pictures to be added and verification sought
    Background: by Ed Thelen
    As originally planned, Nike was to be all above ground. Apparently before the first sites were installed, existing Army rules of explosives above ground in civilian areas were discovered. To satisfy the distance requirements in suburban areas would have required procurement of several hundred acres of expensive property for each launcher area. (Or totally impractical on various waterfronts in Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, New York etc.)

    I imagine, without "proof", that this major upset caused quite a stir - the solution was to dig "magazines" into the earth, and use elevators (40 ft. long) to lift the missiles, with their on-board explosives, from the underground magazines to the above ground launchers and racks.

    Common experience with building elevators indicates that there are "rules" build in concerning
    - opening and closing doors
    - interlocked with the vertical movement of the elevator
    under automatic control so people don't hurt themselves or equipment.
    The automatic control in that century was by relays.

    Greg Brown is helping maintain and/or change out door and elevator control relays in the magazines. He purchased some "time delay" relays then went up Sat Feb 21, 2015 to help Alec Gyorfi.
    Here is Greg, checking things out. (Candid Camera ;-) That black conical thing is a lamp to illuminate the dark corners.

    Relays wear and age. Time delay relays especially are sensitive to age related timing errors. Here a page of a Granger catalog Greg Brown uses. Some of the relay types used in the original Nike Magazine installation are still available, but now EXPENSIVE.
    Note that the doors swing down slightly so that the Locking Lugs can lock the elevator. Clearly, with so many interacting components, automatic sequence control is required for save operation with possibly sleepy, hurried, just being trained recruits.
    Part of the hydraulic system which powers the elevator up and down, and powers the Locking Lugs.
    • Small motor opens the doors
    • Starts the elevator lift for 1.5 sec.
    • Then the big motor takes over during the lift sequence.
    • When the elevator gets near the top, a limit switch trips and the small motor finishes the sequence and sets the locking pins.

    Greg Brown's Feb 21, 2015 report

    • The relay change out went well, but I only got one changed in B pit.
    • They have two motors, one small, which starts and slows near the top.
    • The big one kicks in 1.5 sec after the small one starts.
    • Spent more time researching and testing the old one to figure out the switching and times with a AC cheater cord.
    • So the small motor, # 1 is new and works.
    • 3 more to go in B pit.
    • The next ones should go quicker.
    Alec really knows the sequence of events, I can tell you what I think it is, but I could be wrong. Trusting to memory isn’t the best.
    • Small motor opens the doors
    • Starts the elevator lift for 1.5 sec.
    • Then the big motor takes over during the lift sequence.
    • When the elevator gets near the top, a limit switch trips and the small motor finishes the sequence and sets the locking pins.
    Old pneumatic time delay relay, units being replaced. New Relay
    Old relay New time delay relay in Motor cabinet 2 (big motor) see huge contactor, 480 volt 3 phase.

    March 14, 2015
    Time delay relays for the magazine elevators have deteriorated. Need replacing.
    Alec Gyorfi and Greg Brown went after "B Pit". Here are Greg's pictures.
    Elevator control buttons on elevator. View from the bottom of B pit. This is the workshop and storage area for site SF-88
    Picture of elevator hydraulic pump motors, foremost motor is the small motor # 1 Motor to the back is motor # 2, which does most of the lifting. Three electrical control cabinets, Left is Motor # 2, Middle is Motor # 1, Right is Control relay cabinet.
    Motor control cabinet #2, white device on left is the new time delay relay. Control relay cabinet. red relays are the new time delay relays.
    This type of relay is replacing the weary pneumatic type When all of the above, and more, work correctly, we get to see the missile on the surface.

    Merge into above section
    SF-88 Launcher Elevator Time Delay Relay Replacement.

    Several years back, Historic Nike Missile Site SF-88 volunteer Alec Gyorfi Told me they had problems with the old pneumatic time delay relays in the elevator control cabinets. They were failing, or could not maintain a consistent delay time. Direct replacement relays were hard to get and expensive. The elevator controls are dated 1954, which makes them 61 years of age.

    Greg Brown and Alec had looked at some solid-state replacement units. An initial test in B-Pit with some solid-state units purchased on EBAY. They worked well. We submitted an order to SF-88 Ranger Al Blank for replacement units to retrofit both A and B Pit elevator controls. They were received in record time for government work, (one week). They were installed on May 16, 2015

    New Relay - Auxiliary Elevator Control Cabinet
    Elevator control buttons

    Elevator Control Cabinets
    Elevator front view

    Elevator A Pit
    Internal Pneumatic Controls

    Nike inside the magazine
    Nike at above ground

    New Relay - full cabinet view
    New Solid State Relays

    Elevator doors open
    Old Time Delay Relays

    Elevator data plate
    Pump Motors

    Pump Rear Pneumatic Controls - side view . .

    Magazine Relay Logic
    Line Diagram 151022-D3
    "Connections for AAA Magazine Hydraulic Elevator & Door Controller Relay Panel"

    Magazine Relay Tester - July 2015
    from Greg Brown
    The Timer Relay Kludge
    Left Photo is relay in idle state.
    Right is relay in energized state, after delay.
    I love making Kludges…

    August 1, 2015, Greg and Ed Thelen arrive "early", but Alec Gyorfi and Jerry Freight were already working - on our only working launcher.
    Pictures by Greg Brown, text by Ed Thelen (knows the IFC, not the Launcher area)

    Nike, Tip It Up
    A launcher's basic task is to tip the missile, with its 1,000 pound war-head, hydraulic system for the fins, guidance package, sustainer motor, and booster, and launching rail - to almost vertical, in a timely and reliable manner
    Nike - Being Tipped Up
    Jerry Freight (red cap) and Alec Gyorfi are chasing a groaning sound, which indicates a problem. Asked about the wheel/box pointed to by the white arrow, Alec said that is the "Inching Wheel" to exactly position the launching rail on the launcher.

    Tools For That Big Thing?
    These dental size tools do not seem appropriate for that monster missile and launcher.
    Alec, Typical Worship?
    Here is Alec, in a typical pose. Hard to get votes this way ?? But he keeps the launcher area functioning. By the way, there are four mighty hydraulic cylinders to hoist the missile, one is off picture to the right.

    Alec Still Praying??
    Apparently it takes a lot of prayer to keep this 60 year old launcher painted, maintained, and functional !!
    I wonder if Alec has tried fasting as well ??

    Whats That Noise?
    Ah, a view port is now open - things getting serious ??

    Don't Ask
    Don't Ask, I didn't!
    I did ask why not use electric motors and a screw hoist? The official answer is "too slow", but the hydraulic is powered by an electric motor -

    Elevator Alarm Bell
    Greg Brown, who does Launcher Area electrical things, would like to get the launcher elevator alarm bell (warning, about to go up/down) going again. I don't think I ever heard one go off.

    More Siren - Dec 2015
    I mentioned "somewhere" that Greg and I had tried to get the siren working. The problem was voltage into the switch, (the siren works fine when the switch gets proper power supply voltage).

    "Michael Keller" < MiKe_Os @ web . de > responded
    Hello Ed,

    i just read about your trouble with the siren in the BCT of SF-88.

    First i want to thank you for scanning all the pages. I did this tabloid format once by myself with a normal scanner...

    I looked over the schematics and tried to trace the wires of the siren. Maybe you have found it out by yourself, but i made a rough sketch about the connections.

    Hope it helps, as a certified electrician i would give my left arm for digging in the BCT...

    happy holidays,

    Greg Brown < gregorio_cafe @ comcast . net > responded that this is a GREAT help :-))
    We were having serious trouble finding the correct schematics with the correct updates :-((
    The intercontinental help is wonderful :-))

    And More Siren - Jan 2016
    With words and music (text and pictures) by Greg Brown < gregorio_cafe @ comcast . net >

    BC VAN Power Distribution Panel. Siren Power origination from Sig Sys fuse position 24 VDC Back-Side of BC VAN Power Distribution Panel. Siren wire to Sig Sys fuse BC VAN Power Distribution. High Voltage supplies and 24 & 27 Volt DC supplies
    Siren Button in BC Van Siren Button Siren Switch - Red wire is the new 24 VDC supply feed
    Inside Vert Plotting Board Siren Switch BC Console
    BC Van Siren - Rusted out and needs replacement Battery Commander Ed Thelen
    Greg is teasing me !!
    BC VAN Power Distribution Panel

    Generator Building Conversion Mar 2016
    Ranger Al Blank says "The conversion will be for a Welcome Center and a small museum. A place to meet!"

    A little background:

    1. The Nike systems were usually powered from commercial power when available. But during alerts, power was generated locally in case of interruption of commercial power.
    2. This building originally contained several large petroleum powered engine/generator sets to power the launcher area, including the 60 Hz missile elevator motors.
    3. There are currently several 60Hz to 400Hz converters to power the Battery Control van, Radar Control van, and radar which were normally in the IFC area at the top of Wolf Ridge almost a mile away.
      (These particular converters were secured by the ever vigilant Alec Gyorfi from AT&T San Ramon during some change over.)

    Ranger Al Blank sent the following e-mail - to the more active volunteers Mar 18, 2016
    The Generator Building conversion is under way. We have been asked to clear the place out by mid-May. Not that far off. I'm hoping to get a group of corporate volunteers to help with this project. Also, I am hoping that we can arrange a date for us to inspect the contents of the building and figure out what to do with it all. Perhaps some of the stuff will go to "B" Pit, others to Battery Alexander, some to the dumpster and some back to you all.
    I will keep you posted and hopefully we can arrange something.

    I (Ed Thelen) took this panorama of the inside of the generator building May 7, 2016. The game plan is to enclose a single frequency converter (and the electric wall fixtures) behind a (new) west interior wall. The tools, equipment, spares, ... in rest of the material need to be moved - ?to the "B" pit?

    Wednesday May 11th, we are just starting an inventory and toss junk party, with Ranger Al Blank supervising. Most of the material in the east part of the building was moved/examined. About 7 NPS rain suits, one piped air ?fire fighting? suit, 2 cu. ft. incandescent light bulbs, ... were found. One pick-up truck of "junk" was removed. The pervasive smell of mouse poo and pee was surprisingly unpleasant.

    Greg Brown sent these pictures of the current electrical business of the Launcher Generator Building

    Loud Fan Bearing in BC Van May 2016
    If February, Donald Echeverria who likes to docent in the BC Van, noted that suddenly a rather loud noise started in the BC van and he had to talk over it to inform visitors of the functions and stories of the van. Techies figured this sounded like a fan whose bearings failed -

    It turned out that Open House days were too busy to localize and fix the problem. May 11 turned out to be an ideal time after getting nauseated by mouse poop and urine in the Generator Building (see above).

    After removing the already disconnected PPI scopes, Greg Brown and Ed Thelen localized the loud noise to one of four fans. (Another fan motor was very hot, and not rotating.) It turns out that there are fan assemblies mounted on the back wall of the BC Van display console blowing air into the PPI Scopes. As these scopes are disconnected, and likely never will be reconnected we might as well disconnect the fans (including the very noisy one) to solve the audio problem.
    Greg (our ace electrician :-) disconnected the 120 volt power wires, tagged and insulated the copper.
    He also disconnected the two fans for the other PPI scope, which contributed a low noise to the BC Van. Now Don will not have to shout to get his message out :-))

    and of course there is grass to mow and trim - June 2016
    "the administration" cooperated in getting some replacement batteries, so Alec and Jerry got gasoline and activated three mowers (two shown here)
    Jerry Freight practicing with the John Deere. He then mowed for half an hour 'till lunch time. I (Ed Thelen) mowed tight corners with this for 15 minutes, 'till the cutter plastic "string" was used up
    Gordon Lunn likes to keep the little "IFC Area" neat and trim. He brings this edger from home. Goats had been brought in earlier this spring to eat their fill. Goats may be best on steep hillsides and the steep berm around the warhead building.

    Elevator Down Alarm Aug 2016
    Greg Brown has been replacing the A Pit Elevator Down Alarm Bell which rusted into failure.
    This is the new "electronic" bell, (it has a speaker, not a bell). The real one rusted into oblivion :-(( The bell was used to warn people when the elevator was about to go down. Greg Brown is wiring power for the new bell.

    B-Pit Elevator stuck in up position Oct - Nov 2016, mostly fixed Feb 16, 2017 :-))
    There has been a long battle with the B Pit (Magazine) elevator which is currently stuck in the "up" position - the elevator will not come "down".

    Although B Pit is not shown to visitors, it is very useful as a work room, equipment storage shed ( example, lawn mowers ) and long term storage of equipment too heavy for Susan to steal.

    Alec, Greg, Jerry and Al (Parshall) have been coming to the site for at least 5 successive Saturdays (as of Nov 16) measuring, examining, testing, ... trying to find the problem.

    Here is a "trip report" from Greg, dated Nov 16, 2016
    Ron, I’m good for next Saturday.

    I sent you a picture of the bad terminal connection for the power input 3L1
    There were 2 solid conductor wires on top of the 2 factory wires with terminals.
    The solid wires did not have terminals, and the top one had insulation on the screw connection.
    This is why the relays pulled in when I put my meter lead on the connection.

    The bad connection on the SA2 solenoid that Alec found may be the reason why Jerry would hit the housing with a hammer and things would work?

    It seems that bad connections are a problem.

    I think the 3L1 connection was the root cause, and it stopped the locking bars before completely engaging.

    Now we are pumping against a closed solenoid, if we can open it and get pressure to the doors and elevator from pump 1,
    I think we will be in business, If we are lucky…..

    Greg Brown

    Bad Connection

    partial electrical diagram

    "Trip report" from Greg, dated Nov 20, 2016
    The good news,

    Greg rewired the 3 pressure switches and CR9, lo and behold, elevator moved.
    Now we can raise and lower, with the pushbuttons, in the normal fashion. The elevator doors continue to work in normal fashion.

    The bad news,

    The elevator doesn’t lower completely, stopping about 1 foot before reaching bottom, the leveling solenoid S3 does not activate.
    Two limit switches come into play, that’s where we are at now.
    I can apply power ahead of the limit switch and the elevator will gently drop to floor level.

    So the elevator is down and the doors are closed.

    Just gotta fix the leveling problem.

    Dec 3, 2016
    The problem remains - much try this and scratching of heads.
    Me, (Ed Thelen) being way behind the curve, contributed by going to the surface and cutting weeds growing up between cracks in the asphalt in the B Pit area -

    Feb 17, 2017
    From Greg Brown, Feb 17, 2017

    I went out yesterday and replaced the pressure switch. Everything was working. There is an intermittent problem with one of the locking bars but that is a different issue.

    Launcher Hydraulic Leak - Feb 2017
    Mar 4, 2017 - Before the regular monthly Open House, Alec showed us this pair of meters and asked which seemed to indicate a leak. Oddly, we all guessed correctly ;-)) The meter face to the left is mostly flooded with hydraulic fluid. There had been a hydraulic leak and this was the culprit. About 4 gallons of fluid were used to refill the tank. Alec points to the replacement meter, cannibalized from another launcher hydraulic pump. Alec raise and lowered the missile, and the meter read about 3,000 psi - except when the missile was lowered and settled. Then wild excursions seemed to peg the meter in both directions. Alec figured these excursions broke the previous meter.

    Missile Magazine, Sump Pump - March 2017
    We in California FINALLY got average rainfall - 170% average, to break a near record drought.
    The reservoirs are full to overflowing :-))
    That was the good news :-))

    The bad news is that too much water is not necessarily a good thing.

    Rain in A pit
    Tough sealing 40' folding doors

    Sump Pump Removed

    Sump Pump-Frozen Bearing
    Popped the circuit breaker.

    Sump Pump-New Installed

    OK, Circuit breaker ON !!
    Alec is the main pulse
    keeping the launcher area going.

    Leak in RC van
    Unattended for three year

    Results in corrosion
    weakening the vans.
    The Park Service paints buildings,
    but won't paint the vans :-((
    I bet a little paint on the
    outside would do wonders !!
    But "they" don't trust volunteers -
    "You get what you pay for"
    Volunteers paid nothing, are worth ?

    Mouse House in Computer - April 13, 2018
    Greg Brown invited me to a SF-88 "Grass Mowing Party" for Saturday. Alec has recovered from ??? and will be there. Greg also supplied this picture of a mouse house in the computer in the BC van. (He says it smells like old mouse urine and has mouse feces.)
    Apparently ? there is a hole (under the computer?) in the van large enough to let mice in?
    Unfortunately I have an ear infection and thought it best to stay home.

    Later, Greg sent this picture
    "Ed, it was actually fun. There is so much that needs to be done."

    Erratic Launcher - August 2018 - images by Greg && Ed
    We have all heard the expression "A woman's work is never done."
         - She just finishes moping the last floor, then little Johnnie drags in a dead skunk.
    The same with an ancient, worn, salt corroded, Nike system.
         - Everything finally works :-) , then the only restored launcher intermittently won't erect.

    Unfortunately, we don't have any videos of the launcher "burping" before failing to erect (maybe 50% of the time).
    These are photos of looking around - without schematics of the launcher wiring to understand the relay ladders of events (such as checking for sequences of contacts being open or closed) necessary for a successful launcher erection.

    The estimated ?half ton? of system schematics and descriptions have been moved to somewhere in the NPS warehouses for safekeeping.
    Greg and Alex ask if "anyone out there" has:
        - FM 9-1400-250-15/3
        - TM 9-1440-250-10/1
        - TM 9-1440-250-20/1
    which were in the above lot which the NPS has.

    Current Suspect

    more detail

    MORE detail
    Greg thinks probably
    "Wedge Lock cam limits
    are not engaging.
    ref: MMS 151, 3-P8
    (Launcher up cycle)"

    Erratic Launcher - October 13, 2018 - text and images by Greg Brown
    [Or, is it words and music by Greg Brown ;-)]
    Just a note to bring you up to speed on the attempt to repair the launcher up problem last Friday. [Oct 12, 2018]
    I was worried about the traffic so I left at 5:30 AM. No traffic, got there in 55 minutes.

    Using the prints from the Launcher Repair Kit Manual, We focused on the Up relays K2BB and K2H We found that the main terminals E103 series of terminals at the rear of the LCI were difficult to get to. So we opened the 3 panels on the launcher arm to check the terminal strips inside. We buzzed out the limit switches and they were good.

    We found the cable conductors for the limit switches had deteriorated to the point of appearing burned. The insulation was shot. The cable is much like power tool cord, What we call SJ cord, rubber insulation with hemp looking outer jacket and then the rubber jacket. We taped the exposed conductors for the limits, but that was not the problem. It seems that when the launcher up cycle works, the K2H relay would energize. In the failed attempts, no relay click.

    I removed all the relay connections and re-soldered, still no good. We could see voltage on the coil, 25 volts, but not enough to make it engage. I touched my meter lead to one side of the coil and it worked. So we tested the relay using a variable power supply. It picked up at 18 VDC, and the contacts were all switching. So what the heck, we changed out the relay with a spare that we tested. It picked up at 12 VDC. Everything in and it worked 3 times in a row. (But the relay drawer was out)

    Moved the relay drawer in and it failed.

    By then it was time to go so we left it for another day.
    There are a series of Bendix plugs on the rear of the relay drawer (P103/J103) that we need to check, reseat the connectors and spray with contact cleaner. And trace out the coil circuit. Connections and grounding checks are the next. At some point we will have to replace the limit switch cables. but access is a bitch, you have to snake the cable through the launcher arm. For me it was a good learning experience. I think we are very close to solving the problem, maybe one more day. It was good not to have any distractions while we were working. Which does not happen on a Saturday.


    Erratic Launcher - October 21, 2018
    - words and music by Greg Brown
    Ed & Ron,
    A fun sunday was had at SF-88. we opened up the LCI. the first test was to monitor 
       coil voltage on K2BB and K2H. (H is Hydraulic) 
    K2BB relay coil voltage is 25 volts very time
    K2H is 25 volts when it works and 5 volts in the failed condition. 

    So we removed the coil wires of K2H and applied external 24 volts from a power supply. It worked every time. Now to trace the coil circuit. we traced it through the test operate switch and out to the launcher up-down limit switched. We also tightened all the terminal connections on the terminal strips. Traced the limit switch wiring to the end of the cable where it goes into the power distribution box - all good.

    So It has to be the limit switch? Took the covers off the limit switches and sprayed the switch contacts with contact cleaner. Put everything back together and it worked. May need to do adjustment on the limit switch mechanism.

    I suggested to Alec we remove on of the sockets for P84A on the junker launcher, and we can make a test fixture, using meter or lights to check the states of the limit switches in the future. It would plug into the cable that I am holding in the picture P84.

    Time will tell. Sunday is a great day to get things done. There is no one around. Greg

    Sick Acquisition Radar -01-11-2020
    words and photo by Greg Brown
    It was a great day, not a whole lot of people, but I was cleaning and organizing in B pit. At first I was met with some resistance but then Alec and Jerry joined in and a lot was accomplished by noon, and I continued on until 3:30. I figure it will take 4 more days to get everything in order.

    No place to throw the trash as Al needs to order a dumpster. Alec says if he gets a day off during the week he will call me and we can continue with the clean up. 20+ years of crap piles stored on rolling carts and scope carts. Crap needs to be thrown out and parts need to be organized.

    The ranger gal said the antenna was not turning, and indeed, the motor was smoking, Alec touched it and got burned. I got a movie of smoke coming out of the vent. So the ACC antenna no longer revolves. Alec says he has a spare motor, but it could be a gearbox problem. More fix it projects for Alec.

    Alec having
    a look.

    They say "a woman's work is never done", same with maintenance - Jan 24, 2020
    words and photo by Greg Brown
    No power to the vans for the de-humidifiers, I bought a GFI outlet to replace the bad one. Today Alec and I went to fix it. That blown outlet is a circuit made to supply 60 HZ power to the vans from the Generator Bldg. Those outlets are really not meant for outdoor use. No outlet is, unless their is some form of drip protection. There is a hole blown in the outlet, probably from rain and moisture. We were able to reset the breaker and get power back, but then the de-humidifier in the RC van went up in smoke, so we unplugged it. We removed the defective unit.
    Things are breaking down faster than we can fix them, but we do our best.

    replacing 2 rusted hydraulic pipe lines in B pit. - March 4, 2020
    Words and pictures from Greg Brown
    "I was at SF-88 today to help Alec replace 2 rusted hydraulic pipe lines in B pit. The yellow pipes in the last picture are the new ones. Rigid pipe, 8 feet long, threaded on both ends. Al Kellog was there, Power washing the vans."

    Inspection After One Year of Covid - March 22, 2021
    from Greg Brown

    SF-88 Re-opening inspection

    Ed, Gordon & Don,
    Ed [Thelen], Gordon [Lunn], we share talking in the RC van.
    Don [Echeverria], talks in the BC van.

    I hope all of you are doing well after a year of Covid 19 hibernation.

    Al Blank [SF-88 site ranger, good guy] asked Alec [Gyorfi], Al Kellogg and myself to come out last Friday and look at things at the site.

    Mainly to see what work needs to be done. It was a quick look and see.

    The launchers and elevators were working fine.
    Both pits looked good.

    I was concerned about the vans as we had a rodent problem in the BC van computer prior to Covid.

    The BC van did not look bad, there was some water leakage and stains on the floor.
    Everything needed to be wiped down with a moist rag to clean the dust.

    The RC van had a large rodent nest next to the tracking console, on the floor.
    Mice were scattering when we opened the door.

    I removed the nest, but the poop stains on the floor needs to be cleaned up.
    The smell of mouse will be in the van for a long time.

    One of the first things that need to be done is to seal the openings where the mice are getting in.
    Then put out rodent bait and traps.

    Both Vans had water leakage from the roof. Al Kellogg said he would fix with Bondo and mobile home roof epoxy paint

    We will all be working on that in the future.

    Greg Brown

    Mouse Cleanup after inspection - March 25, 2021 from Greg Brown

    SF-88 Van Clean up

    Ed, Gordon & Don,
    Ed [Thelen], Gordon [Lunn], we share talking in the RC van.
    Don [Echeverria], talks in the BC van.

    Just to let you all know, Alec and I came out today and cleaned up the mouse nests and droppings in the vans.
    We discovered that the mice were tearing out the stuffing from the chairs for their nests.
    We will need to put in wood to cover the bottoms of the chairs.

    Floors were swept and mopped, traps were set, and bait put out.
    Everything is clean….for now.

    Al Blank has received this email

    Hope all is well,

    Greg Brown

    Alec and Greg lubricating elevator doors - June 2021 from Greg Brown
    Here are some pics of me and Alec lubricating the elevator doors and lift.
    It has taken 2 days, with one more working day to go to finish. Almost done, then on to B Pit.
    I have been trying to clean the cables, which is taking the most time.
    There is a lot of hardened grease gunk in the strands.
    The rest is easy, just hit the pulleys with a grease gun
    In the first picture, I am painting the rails with grease.
    The hardest part is trying to slip underneath the elevator sump.
    The opening is tiny, and you are on your knees.
    I did not have my phone when I was under there to take a pic.
    I will next time.

    Power to the 2 IFC Vans - July 14, 2021 - text, pictures (and music?) by Greg Brown
    Background, by Ed Thelen
    When SF-88 opened to the general public on the first Saturday of July, it was noticed that no 400 Hz power was getting from the 60 Hz to 400 Hz converters, in the old generator building, to the BC and RC vans in the IFC display area. Not even the little ceiling lights would power up.

    The accompanying pictures by Greg show the physical realities of getting power to equipment in the "Good Olde Dayze".

    Alec, Al Kellogg and I were at the site today.
    Al Kellogg mowed the grass while Alec and I chased the electrical problem.
    It appears that the problem is in, or very near to the motor generator and not the vans.

    We disconnected the cables at the power distribution box and it did not go away
    The green building wall is the outside of the old generator building

    Motor Generator

    Power Distribution
    Box Complete

    Power Distribution

    Box Inside

    Nike Power Plug

    To be continued…..

    We grabbed the Grainger stuff from the office, and installed the de-humidifier in the BC van.

    Alec will return to the VA hospital next Wednesday for another heart procedure.
    Unknown if another stint is needed.

    LOPAR antenna doesn't rotate & search for manuals Sept 2021, mostly Greg Brown
    Around ?August? 2021, the LOPAR antenna would not rotate !!
    Alec reported that the motor was hot enough to burn your hand.
    As the LOPAR antenna rotating is the only sign of life in the IFC display area, this is a significant docent problem.

    The base of the LOPAR is a set of 3 stacked cylinders topped by the large (20 foot) antenna, (the motor being in the top cylinder) trying to fix the problem is a major physical problem.
    And we have no diagrams of this physical assembly.
    With so much weight hanging over our heads, we better know what we are doing !!

    from Greg Brown, Sept. 6, 2021
    The environment of the NPS Archives Center at the Presidio, in San Francisco

    Ed at Archives Center door

    at Xerox

    View from front of Archives Center

    Some artifacts


    Wolf Ridge Nike, about 1970

    Wolf Ridge MTR, from below

    Nike Volunteers,

    I just wanted to relay to you all some good information.
    Ed and I went to the NPS Archives center last Thursday (Sept 2, 2021) to look at their collection of Nike Manuals.

    We made an appointment with Amanda Williford,
    Curator and Reference Archivist.
    Presidio of San Francisco Bldg 667 McDowell Ave. San Francisco
    415-561-2808 Collections

    They have some 18 boxes of manuals, neatly organized. During the afternoon, we were able to go through their picture files of Site SF-88 and SF-87.
    Many good Black and White pictures. One picture showed the SF-88 Launcher magazine being constructed in 1954.
    We requested some manuals on the LOPAR, because we are looking for a good mechanical drawing of the antenna motor and gearbox.
    We found one, along with 4 other manuals that we found beneficial.
    Amanda made us copies of the LOPAR mechanism pages and offered to scan the complete manuals for us.
    We found that taking a box at a time, and going through each manual was the best way to discover the good information, as the titles can be deceiving.
    We asked that she scan 5 manuals. One was the complete tracking radar checks, daily, weekly, and monthly.
    Amanda was very helpful and gave us an area to work in.
    I had her scan 2 LOPAR manuals before our trip, but they turned out to contain the electronics, not the mechanical.
    ( Yes, the manual names can be deceiving. )
    Her scans are better than Ed or I could do.

    Ed will put the scanned manuals on his website as soon as we receive them.
    The LOPAR electronic manual is on his website, along with the Nike Commanders Manual, that I found on Google books.

    The NPS Nike Manual collection can be viewed on this site.
    or here, local.

    Alec and I have been doing a Thursday - maintenance day visit to SF-88.
    However several weeks ago, Alec tested positive for civid, because he recently had the infection.
    He is not allowed to return to SF-88 until he gets 2 consecutive negative tests.
    Alec has the keys so the maintenance work has temporally come to a pause.
    Our next project is to repair the ACQ antenna.

    Stay Safe...
    Greg Brown