8/13/2016 – Service data loggers

Permit #:  1608-1
Trip date:  13 August 2016
Project manager:  Bill Gee
Trip purpose:  Service data loggers
Areas of Cave visited:  Convention Hall
Trip participants:  Bill Gee, Jack Peters, Jarrett Ellis, Charles Smith, Tom Clark, Angie Clark, Karsyn Clark, Ben Perkins
Entry Time:  9:50am
Exit Time:  3:40pm
The trip report:  I don’t normally schedule a data logger service trip in the middle of the year.  The usual time is early January.  This year I missed a chance to download the loggers because of a canceled trip on Memorial Day.  The loggers can run for about eight or nine months before they start to overwrite data.  Getting a trip in August was required to avoid losing data.

Jack and I drove down early Saturday morning.  We arrived at the silo about 8:15am.  We rigged the rope, then I went to download the rain gauge logger.  The download failed, probably because the data shuttle has a piece of tape near where the communication LEDs shine through.  I tried to clear it with a knife, but no luck.

Everyone else arrived shortly before 9:00am.  We all gear up, with Jack going down the shaft first.  As Jack rappelled he cut loose the old rope light.  We hauled out out of the shaft and piled it in the silo for later disposal.  Everyone was in the cave by 10:20am.

I downloaded the barometric pressure logger and the Tunder River logger, both near the ladder.  While in the stream we turned over a few rocks and found one isopod.  That gave an opportunity to show the four first-timers what they look like.

From there we all went down Carroll Passage to the Rimstone Room.  Jack downloaded the data logger in Carroll River.  I showed Jack several carbide dumps in the Rimstone Room that need to be cleaned up.  A task for one of his restoration trips.

Everyone went over to the Water Barrier to see what it looks like.  We spent a few minutes there, then returned to the ladder.  On the way back we took the shortcut over to Thunder Falls.  Everyone got a good look.  I scouted the pool below the falls looking for a suitable place for another data logger.  There are several outcroppings of bedrock that should be able to anchor a stilling well.

We returned to the ladder and had lunch.  After lunch we proceed upstream in Thunder River and on into UL2.  I downloaded the data logger in UL2, then we went on to Convention Hall for some sight-seeing.  We saw several fish in UL2 and one larval salamander.

On the way back everyone climbed up the slope to admire the formations just outside the UL2 entrance.  We were all back at the ladder shortly after 3:00pm.

Our last task for the day was to hang a new rope light in the shaft.  Rick Hines provided the rope light.  When I got to the top, I unrolled the new light out into the field.  We plugged it in while unrolling.  I noticed at least one short segment that was out.

Ben Perkins was the last person to climb.  I handed the end of the new light to Ben who rappelled slowly back down the shaft threading the light behind the ladder as he went.  Once it was all strung, Ben climbed once more tying the new light in place.  We tied the light to the inside of the support brackets behind the ladder.  This should provide better protection than tying it to the ladder.

Ben wound up climbing the ladder three times!  He was most of the way to the top when he dropped his multi-tool.  He rappeled back down to get it.

We were done hanging the new light by 3:40.  Everyone changed and packed up.  We headed down the hill around 4:20.  Jack, me and the Clarks had dinner at El Espolon in Camdenton.  Ben was to have been there too, but we did not communicate clearly which restaurant we were going to.

Back home I cleaned the tape from inside the data shuttle.  Testing with a spare ran gauge logger proved that it now works.  I will download the rain gauge in late October when we do the bat census trip.

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