Your reward is ready!
You think you're getting an update, but really it's just a cute cat video.
I just wanted to send out one last burst of love to everybody who donated and worked on this project, and break down how it all turned out.
Platform -- well, we built it, and it stood up to a lot of insanity for 3 days, but Saturday evening a couple of bins popped off and it started to sink a little. Next time we'll definitely adopt the main platform's strategy of strapping the bins on with nylon webbing. We used 5/8" plywood rather than 3/4" since we had a rim of 2x4s around the edge, and the thinner plywood turned out to be plenty strong enough when combined with 2x4s (and saved a significant amount of weight). The platform was rock solid, and setup/teardown only took about an hour. (Special shout-outs to Taran for showing up with lots of tools and enthusiasm.)
Canopy -- the REI canopy was fantastic, but we weren't able to put the side walls on it due to unexpectedly high wind conditions. The side walls will have to wait for a less windy event. We had to pry the canopy's plastic feet off the platform with a hammer at the end of the event because the screws stripped, but it survived remarkably unscathed.
Lemonade -- unequivocal success. We served up about 20 gallons of cucumber lemonade (and later on, cucumber watermelon lemonade), which was delish.
Lasers -- came out amazing. Thanks to Hudson for building a fantastic housing that really elevated them from "pile of electronics" to "a cohesive thing". A couple of the glass plugins broke due to the crazy wind, so we added some duct tape loops on the rotating stand to keep them from blowing off the edge. We ended up bringing the lasers onto the boat after the first night, so here's a video of them in action on the boat:
A couple more quick notes:
- Backers waiting for buttons, we've designed them and just need to crank them out and get them in the mail. Soon!!
- In a previous update I mentioned the lasers overheating. This turned out to be because the blue laser was shorting out just a tiny bit, which I fixed with a piece of a drinking straw. Since then, heat has been a nonissue, and the lasers ran for 2 or 3 nights on one set of batteries. Good times.
Bon voyage until we meet again,
Lemonade and Lasers
After 4 or 5 failed design iterations for a DIY canopy, we gave up and bought a fairly nice 8'x8' canopy from REI. We made some side walls for it, to provide more projection surfaces for the lasers. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at our curtain construction process:
(If the video doesn't show up for some reason, check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX9o-O7Iyg8)
We also juiced some cucumbers and a watermelon in preparation for fancying up some lemonade. We'll be bringing the juice to Ephemerisle in a frozen format and adding it to the lemonade when it thaws. (For anyone who thinks we're crazy enough to bring a pile of fruit and a juicer to the event, sorry to disappoint.)
Signed and nautarized,
Lemonade and Lasers
Quick laser update: Lasers are now mounted, aim-able, and controlled by color-coded switches. I've never had heat dissipation problems in the past using the green and purple lasers, but now with the blue laser in there, things are getting pretty hot. Time to look at heat sinks....
We also played with PVC pipe and rip-stop nylon over the weekend. The canopy redesign is still a work in progress, but it definitely helps to play with the parts in full scale. Key findings: 3/4" PVC is a lot less flexible than I thought it was. Also, when a piece of PVC is under a lot of bending tension and a connector pops off, the connector flies really high in the air and scares the dog.
Keep it nautical,
With less than 24 hours to go, our delightful donors have pledged a remarkable $1369 to make Lemonade and Lasers happen. We're just 31 bucks away from our laser goal of $1400, so all we need is a little luck and a few more donors to push us over the top.
We're working on a canopy redesign featuring roll-up sides. This will let in the sunshine all day while the sides are up, while providing extra projection surfaces (and a bit of shelter from the dampness) at night. This project is a big fantastic adventure for us, and we're so glad you're all along for the ride.
Keep it smooth,
Lemonade & Lasers