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Solar FREAKING Galaxies is a solar powered ART installation. A forest of colorful galaxies for Burning Man 2014.
26 backers pledged $850 to help bring this project to life.

About

$850

26

UPDATE: We've reached the funding goal!  The project will go forward with lots of galaxies!  Thank you from the participants of Burning Man!! 

REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASSES BY 75%?

What are they? They’re Solar FREAKING Galaxies!! What do they want from you? They’re Solar FREAKING Galaxies! What are they for? Ok, dig this: they’re technology that can be placed along side every roadway in America to generate FREE unlimited power for the whole nation! And they don’t have just dumb, boring solar panels. They have incredibly dumb, boring solar panels! But, they do have electronic circuits inside each one that makes millisecond decisions and each one can store FREE energy from the sun! The LED galaxies turn on at just the right time every night, and turn off again in the morning.

Please don't drive or park on these
Please don't drive or park on these

See? They’re just like Solar FREAKING Roadways… they have solar panels, they have LED lights, they have electronics, but you don’t drive, walk, or park on them. They stand many feet over your head to capture all of the sun’s energy!

Mesmerized enemy combatants
Mesmerized enemy combatants

MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Imagine hundreds of Solar FREAKING Galaxies parachuting down over enemy lines. Boring drills come out of the bottom and drive into the ground (or solid rock) while the parachute is quietly sucked back inside. The top opens up and lights up its LED galaxy lights up. The enemy is mesmerized and confused... must have a closer look. Are those real galaxies? Wham! A net flys out and captures them!  A sensor inside detects enemy capture and a built in rocket ignites taking the enemy combatants off to POW camps and gently drops them down where our troops can lock them up where they belong!

PIPE DREAMS

Reduce greenhouse gasses?  Power the nation?  Military applications?  Pipe dreams you say? Well, yes and no. I do need to buy some more pipes. 10 foot ones to be exact.  And all the rest?  One step at a time.  I brought this incredible technology to Burning Man 2013 as an Honorarium installation under the covert name “Star Stuff.” They were enjoyed by very many people. I heard a lot of "awesome" and "trippy" and "where are the bathrooms?"

Meet you at the galaxies!
Meet you at the galaxies!

SOLAR AND HUMAN POWER

Some of these galaxy poles also had solar and human powered devices.  One was a snowball with a solar powered video from the view of a train engineer driving through snow.  Just something to bring the hot desert heat down a degree. Another was a human powered jukebox, with a dynamo crank to generate the electricity to power the electronics, and several 3D viewers with cranks to power the back lights.

Solar and Human Powered Devices
Solar and Human Powered Devices

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

After brought my installation home I heeded the mantra, “reduce, reuse, recycle” and took all of my Galaxies apart. I recycled all of the big heavy ¾” ground stakes, the inner metal structural EMT pipes, and the outer PVC pipes, selling them at pennies on the dollar. I also recycled the brand new rotary hammer I used to drive the stakes into the ground and the tool to pull them back out. I still had the solar panels, lights, and frames left to recycle.

Lonely galaxy frames waiting to be recycled
Lonely galaxy frames waiting to be recycled

SOLAR FREAKING ROADWAYS!

Then I heard about Solar FREAKING Roadways and their the plan to replace every road, freeway, and parking lot surface in America with solar powered, LED enabled glass paving panels.  What an inspiration!  Was that just art I created for Burning Man 2013? Or was it the beginning of something more?

BRINGING THEM BACK

I want to bring my Solar FREAKING Galaxies back to Burning Man for 2014 and I need your help!  This is one step toward... toward... something.  Last year, Burning Man. This year, well... Burning Man again. But next year? The whole United States of America? The World? Who can say?  I'm not thinking of paving all roads and freeways with glass I do think displaying working solar systems to 70,000 people might inspire some to think of possibilities for reducing greenhouse gasses.

REBUILDING

I still have the tops frames, the solar panels, and LED lights. I just have to turn them back into galaxies again! That's the creative and fun part. I recycled the inner metal pipes, heavy ground stakes and stake puller to Lockewood Acres Organic Farms. But they have graciously decided to loan the ones they haven't used back to me for the 2014 event! Thanks, Ben!

I still need to buy new outer pipes and a tool to drive the stakes into the ground.  And, last year a tire blew out on my way to Black Rock City, so I need a new 2 new tires.  I’m also building a little seating area in the center of the galaxy forest.  I need pipes, paint, gas to transport the project there, hardware, and other miscellaneous stuff so I can get Solar FREAKING Galaxies back to Burning Man 2014… and maybe, beyond.

Next stop... ???
Next stop... ???

If I make my goal I will at least be able to get 25 galaxy poles built and transported.   Me and my helpers are gifting many hours building, transporting, setting up and taking down.  If I can stretch it to twice that much I should be able to get close to the 50 I had last year.

Risks and Challenges
Risks and Challenges

Risks and challenges

It's always a challenge to get an art project completed, loaded, and transported out to the Black Rock Desert. Last year I had many challenges to overcome, the last being a tire blowout 30 miles from Black Rock City late late at night. Hobbled into the only service station only to find others with flats and breakdowns. But we all made it. This will be my 11th burn.

Sadly, I've seen some large art installations make it all the way out there, but then one small item breaks and the entire thing is non functional. Each Solar FREAKING Galaxy is completely independent. If one stops working or is knocked out by a storm, the others will keep on going! Last year I was able to keep all 50 of them working from sunrise Sunday morning through the following Sunday night.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3 or more About US$ 3

    $3? What a cheapskate. You lose that much change in your sofa each week. But, for this generous donation, I will add your name to my Solar Freaking Galaxy home page.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    $5? Come on, you spend that every day on your mocha latte. For this generous donation, I will add your name to my Solar Freaking Galaxy home page, AND add a smiley face next to your name.

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    3 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    You spend $10 on your Neflix subscription every month. It’s nothing! For this generous donation, I will add your name to my Solar Freaking Galaxy home page, AND add an animated smiley face next to your name.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    $20 buck could get you an entree in a nice restaurant! But if you instead help my project, I promise I will not embarrass you by adding your name to my Solar Freaking Galaxy home page. Just kidding. You get a bunch of fancy animated stuff next to your name. Actually, if you have some more bucks to spare, go contribute to some of the other great art projects for BM 2014. There are some incredibly talented people who need your support.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Your name on one of the galaxy poles! You can include a non commercial web address or small logo or artwork. Visible at eye level: "This galaxy made possible by < your name here >. You will receive a photos of your pole and name.

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    My PLAYA STAKE POUNDER - an almost new Hitachi DH38MS rotary hammer with ground rod driver ($462 new) that you can use to drive your camp stakes into the ground THIS YEAR! You can pick it up from me anytime after I am done setting up my installation at the event.

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Funding period

- (15 days)