I finally got the parts together for an alpha tent. It's just a poncho/tarp and two poles, so it's a small project. Unfortunately, the tarp I picked might be losing it's waterproof coating, so I'll probably have to start all over.
The lesson: Don't buy US military surplus tarps. The PU coating will degrade in a way you probably can't fix. Just get a sil-nylon tarp (or nylon fabric and waterproof it yourself).