Lighting

Playa Windpower

So, over the last few months I’ve done quite a bit of research on getting us some additional power for the playa. I’ve come to the conclusion that our options are either a) too expensive or b) don’t provide enough power to make the project worthwhile. I’ve found two types of DIY wind turbine projects: build your own alternator or buy an alternator (typically a permanent magnet DC motor). Permanent magnet motors that meet our needs as a wind turbine (i.e. high power output at low RPMs) are difficult to find. And when it comes to building your own alternator, the devil is in the details. You have to coil your own copper, set it in resin, build your magnet disk, etc. It seems the project is DOA. But I decided to provide you with the best sources of information I could find and solicit some comments. So what do you think?

[1]: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-1000-watt-wind-turbine/

[2]: http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/index.html

[3]: http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_wind.html

[4]: http://gotwind.org/Projects.htm

Updated ’08 Improvements List

  • Bar doors to close.
    • Mindy has suggested making curtains to close the bar.
  • Much more organization with regard to food.
    • A daily menu needs to be worked out with emphasis on large batch single dish meals.
  • “Art Car” golf cart for carrying ice.
    • If we can get one for cheap.
  • Carts for bikes
    • One person should have one. Ryan can bend electrical conduit to make one.
  • Baskets for bikes
    • Feel free to make your own.
  • Permanent lighting (No more glow sticks!)
    • Battery Powered glowsticks, body EL
  • Better/permanent lighting for bikes
  • Everyone has bikes.
  • More supplies for BloodyMaryland
    • Tomato Juice
    • Old Bay
      • How much is more? A complete manifest is needed. Celery is a hit with the customers.
  • A few more chairs than people
    • If they’ll fit.
  • Michal
    • Yes
  • Lots more H2O
    • I’d agree, but water is very heavy and it comes from Walmart. Any suggestions are welcome.
  • System for showers(plus backup)
    • How?
  • Prelabel gallon jugs for the week
    • Yes
  • Supplies for 2-3 showers.
    • Maybe Fitz can build us a Dymaxion shower?
  • More caffeine products.
    • Generic Red Bull and pep pills
  • Better camp lighting.
    • Cold cathodes, programmed
    • Pre wired wire harness for lighted system.
  • 2nd Garage tent.
    • Carpet for garage tent
  • Full shade structure between two RVs
    • What’s it going to be? Tensile structure or just a big ass tarp between two RVs.
  • More planned costumes.
    • Plan your own, in advance. Mindy will help you.
  • Perhaps a different bar area design.
    • Personally I’d like the same bar as 04 but 8 feet wide.
  • Better sound system.(Better than the Weave?)
    • How about an el cheapereno system.
  • Better hat(better than the Kangol?)
  • Better leaving time.(either Tuesday or Monday@4am)
    • Leaving on Tuesday will still get us back to MD by Saturday. Why not?
  • Gifts: matchbooks
    • Lip balm
    • A few special
    • Hand stuff
    • Necklaces
  • Get a haircut beforehand.
  • More pre-made meals.
    • yes

  • More meals less snacks.
  • Solar panels and accessories.
    • Panel and charge controller need to be added to Plan A.
  • Poop is a funny word.
    • Sure is.
  • Better grill(I would propose charcoal but this would be a moop issues)
    • At least 30,000 BTU/hr
  • Spatula for grill
    • Yes
  • Bike rack so we have storage on the roof.
    • How about on the trailer.
  • Green laser.
    • Feel free.
  • Some kind of wind blocking system.
    • Stack extra junk under southern RV.
  • Midnight snacks.
    • More Chorizo!
  • Space blankets for RV
    • Silvered tarp for the roof and Eastern side of RV.
  • Better system for trash and recycling.
    • Where to drop off recycling?
  • Bring champagne to the burn.
    • Yes! Several Bottles
  • Expand costume area.
    • Or reduce tents in costume area

Possible Improvements for ’08

Ryan Stanley’s list made on the trip home from ’06. Feel free to edt in some comments.

  • Bar doors to close.
  • Much more organization with regard to food.
  • “Art Car” golf cart for carrying ice.
  • Carts for bikes
  • Baskets for bikes
  • Permanent lighting (No more glow sticks!)
    • Battery Powered glowsticks, body EL
  • Better/permanent lighting for bikes
  • Everyone has bikes.
  • More supplies for BloodyMaryland
    • Tomato Juice
    • Old Bay
  • A few more chairs than people
  • Michal
  • Lots more H2O
  • System for showers(plus backup)
  • Prelabel gallon jugs for the week
  • Supplies for 2-3 showers.
  • More caffeine products.
  • Better camp lighting.
    • Cold cathodes, programmed
  • 2nd Garage tent.
  • Full shade structure between two RVs
  • More planned costumes.
  • Perhaps a different bar area design.
  • Better sound system. (Better than the Weave?)
  • Better hat (Better than the Kangol?)
  • Better leaving time.(either Tuesday or Monday at 4am)
  • Gifts: matchbooks
    • Lip balm
    • A few special handmade items
    • Necklaces
  • Get a haircut beforehand.
  • More pre-made meals.
  • More meals less snacks.
  • Solar panels and accessories.
  • Poop is a funny word.
  • Better grill(I would propose charcoal but this would be a moop issue)
  • Spatula for grill
  • Bike rack so we have storage on the roof.
  • Green laser.
  • Some kind of wind blocking system.
  • Midnight snacks.
  • Space blankets for RV
  • Better system for trash and recycling.
    • Where to drop off recycling.
  • Bring champagne to the burn.
  • Expand costume area.

Crafty Idea Books

Make: Special Edition Halloween 2007Mindy and Eric will be pleased to learn that I have acquired the 2007 Halloween Special Edition of Make Magazine. Now, the magazine has fewer glow-in-the dark ideas than we were hoping for, but it did have some interesting articles that with a bit of creativity could be reused on the playa. (If recreating a haunted house on the playa was our thing, we could use the whole issue, but that’s neither here nor there).

The “Headless Marie Antoinette Costume” article has instructions on how to create lightweight foam shapes from plaster molds for use in costumes. Key ingredient I didn’t know about previously: FlexFoam-iT X liquid foam, which apparently dries into a nerf-like substance after it has been poured into a mold. Sounds not too different from the minimally-expanding foam you get at home-improvement stores, but probably easier to work with.

There is also a super-easy craft “Diabolical Horns.” Basically, you use air-dry craft clay, shape the horns, put toothpicks in them to make holes for an elastic string that will hold them onto your head, let them dry, then decorate. The article calls for glue and red glitter, but paint should work too. Mold the clay a different way, and you’ll get a different headpiece. I’m sure there are all kinds of air-dry clays, but here are two I came up with quickly with a search at Michael’s craft store website: Crayola Model Magic Fusion and Paperclay.

For light-up magic, there is a Cylon jack-o’-lantern project that incorporates LEDs into the eyepiece of the (old-school) cylon. The people that made this pumpkin have a fairly cool website of their own: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/
(pause while Alison gets distracted by looking at multiple LED projects)

There was one final project in the issue that caught my eye, though it will be too bulky for us to bring. The “Ultimate Fog Chiller” creates cool fog by taking a fog machine and passing the output through a trashcan filled with ice via an aluminum dryer hose. DIY air-conditioning! How cool would it be to get a blast of cool air on a hot desert day? Anyhow…

Generation T In the spirit of the 2007 Green Man, I was compelled to purchase this book, “Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt,” which outlines how to deconstruct an old T-shirt and modify it into something new. If you’re like me, you have a collection of old, too-big, too small, or dorky corporate t-shirts that are just sitting around and taking up space in your wardrobe. Why not recycle them into a playa-fabulous outfit? It’s cheap, and some of these costume ideas do not even require sewing. Sweet.