OFJ Field Journal from Greg LaBorde - 12/8/9511:48AM PST
Regarding the "Probe Status Message", the Relay Radio Receivers (RRHs) put the received Probe data into "frames" which are then sent out and stored on the tape recorder. These "frames" include status information about the receivers that is not available as direct telemetry measurements. The "status message" was a direct memory readout of the RRH's "frame buffer" to snatch one of these frames "in situ." This gave not only the indication that both receivers were locked onto the Probes transmitters, but also a tiny snippet of the Probe's data. However, the Probe's data is heavily encoded, so you need a lot of it to be able to decode it. Thus that snippet does not really tell us anything.
It really is a team effort. The people who built it, tested it, analyzed it to death, launched it, and have flown it. You even have to go back to those who originally conceived of the idea to send an orbiter and a probe to Jupiter and would not let it die, despite the setbacks.