My LED fur coat

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My LED fur coat

Postby Zhust » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:33 am

After stopping work on plans to arrive by custom-built, pedal-powered, trike, I had some free time and was able to finish the wiring and a big chunk of programming for the LED's in a purple fur coat I picked up for that purpose.

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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:39 am

VERY COOL, Jay! Love the RGB effect. I'm definitely going that route next year.

Did you make a custom controller for that? I'm assuming so after reading some of your other posts that made my little electronics loving head spin with tech talk..

You've also reminded me that I need to make a decent YouTube video of everything before I go and possibly hash it all up in the playa..
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby star.supernova » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:55 pm

awesome work! 8)

... i may be doing a star myth laser constellation show on the playa. maybe you could hang out and be one of the characters in the star myths!

-altair
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby Turnip » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:26 pm

Sexy.
God Please, don't make me make myself look like a moron...
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby Eric » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:37 pm

Damn. Just damn.

I wish I had some electronics skill. Give me a blowtorch & I rock, give me itty bitty soldering irons & I suck. :cry:
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby lucky.bastard » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:38 pm

very cool.
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The Little Burning Man that Couldn't

Postby Zhust » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:21 pm

Here's the entirety of my blog post about how I didn't make it:

Thursday night I got to the Amtrak station in Rochester about an hour early for my pilgrimage to Burning Man. Earlier in the day, I had to use a Zipcar to get my CSA farm share from Mud Creek Farm, and to take my friend Ali to pick up her car from getting brake repairs. Little did I know this was a mere warning shot of things to come.

I had packed into two Rubbermaid totes, a large suitcase, a smaller bag, and a backpack. I made a custom cart to carry the totes along with the additional luggage tied on: the totes contained my to-be-filled water bottles, and the cart was to make it easier to navigate around Burning Man, particularly to get to a place to get a ride when I left. I was quite impressed as I ordinarily required the bulk of a car to carry everything I needed.

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Anyway, I figured I could check the large suitcase and two totes, and carry the backpack and smaller bag onto the train. I was told I couldn't check totes (a.k.a. harbinger number two) so I did some quick thinking and swapped the contents of the smaller bag with the equivalent volume from one of the totes. I checked the smaller bag and the large suitcase instead. (In the future I'll make canvas boxes for the totes with zippers and hide them inside, giving the illusion of "real" luggage.)

While waiting for the train (which was an hour and a half late from Albany no less — that's three) I met a guy who was trying to get to Cleveland. He didn't have much (if any) money but he was going to try and sweet-talk his way onto the train. I was quite sure it wouldn't work, at least not on such a busy route — if it had been quieter, he would have been able to board without a ticket beforehand then at least made it to Buffalo before being kicked off. I looked into just paying for his ticket but it was too expensive so I just gave him a few bucks to see if he could make it to Buffalo or beyond. He went to the ticket counter then disappeared. Then when I was boarding, he reappeared and tried to be my "porter". Alas, he was indeed denied entry to the train.

I finally boarded the westbound Amtrak Lakeshore Limited at 12:30 a.m. By 9 a.m. we were partway through Ohio.

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We arrived in Chicago a little late around 11:30 a.m. when I was confronted with this:

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My jaw dropped and my heart sank as I read — as if a personal message to me about my whole trip — "Cancelled. No alternative transportation". That was when I really surrendered. Momentum allowed me to continue to the long line at the ticket counter as there was a possibility of leaving a day later — perhaps an engine had failed and needed to be moved. Alas the worst: the eastbound California Zephyr struck a piece of construction equipment and derailed, injuring 22 people. Service was not expected to resume for several days at the earliest.

I was to meet some friends for a ride on Sunday to arrive on Monday when Burning Man started, so although I might have been able to figure out how to wait 24 hours, several days was out of the question (service was still disrupted as I write this, so at the earliest, I'd have left Sunday, arrived in Reno on Wednesday, then have to beg for a ride). Not to mention I couldn't afford to stay at a Chicago hotel for that amount of time, and it would disrupt my whole experience significantly. Cost prevented me from getting a rental car as well, and flying was not an option because of the amount of stuff I had with me. The mandatory American experience of taking a bus across the country will have to wait [for another lifetime].

So I exchanged my existing tickets and bought one to return to Rochester at 9:30 p.m. I also ran into two burners in the station (which I deduced from their fire-enhanced hula-hoops and fur-covered bikes). I didn't get their names, but asked what they were going to do. They opted to take the train to Portland, San Fransisco, and east to Reno, arriving a day and a half later. I probably could have done that, but like I said, I was getting a lot of signs to quit. I gave them my Burning Man ticket, and hopefully they could get it to someone who could use it (it might even help them get a ride).

I got a little into Chicago but had to tote the cart of totes around so I didn't get far. I went to Beggar's Pizza which was excellent. The Chicago style was so good that if it wasn't textbook-perfect, they should rewrite the textbook.

For the remainder of the evening I hung around the station. I met a woman who came from Indiana to go to her brother's childhood friend's funeral in Iowa but she had to turn back too. And on "commiseration corner" of the fountain we also met a guy who went to boot camp for the Navy only to be rejected on a medical discharge and had to absorb the bittersweet experience of watching his campmates graduate in full dress uniform.

And even on the way home, things got complicated: Amtrak stopped service at Albany because of Hurricane Irene. Thankfully this didn't affect me because I only needed to get as far east as Rochester. As things had gone, I fully expected them to suddenly stop service at Buffalo, though.

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Obviously I'm really bummed. This was apparently the year of too-little, too-late. Earlier I had failed to get the Tadpole Trike finished on time. Then I hustled to get everything done to go by alternate means, but bigger and bigger roadblocks kept appearing. In both cases, I refer to a phenomenon I call "tractor-pull mode". In a modern tractor pull, a sled is used with weights over wheels that are slid forward causing the front to drag, so as Wikipedia puts it, "as the tractor travels the course, the weights are pushed forward of the sled's axles, pushing the front of the sled into the ground, synthetically creating a gain in weight until the tractor is no longer able to overcome the force of friction." Hence, the further I got, the more resistance I experienced.

At least I can look forward to the things I would have missed in Rochester. And I can look forward to FrostBurn and put some effort behind it. In any case, next year I will be much more committed. Or else I'll need to be committed.
May your deeds return to you tenfold,
---Zhust, Curiosityist
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mercury in retrograde.

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:33 pm

Dear Jason, you are one of the best burner/people i know.

i am so sorry, i wish i would have checked this sooner, eddie and aydin are in chicago now as i type, taking the 80 by car.

shit.

in all seriousness, your gift of the ticket to the other burners, and your blog was quite moving, i have been tractored before, it's like that scene from the beethoven movie with gary oldham, where he finally realizes that the broken carriage wheel cannot be fixed, and his appointment with his would be fiance totally ruined.

and it was the impetus for one of his masterpieces.

good luck my friend,
im out of the roc on tuesday, if you have something you want me to bring to the temple or a gift to give to anyone i would be glad to do it for you. gimme a holla on the fuckbook.
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Re: mercury in retrograde.

Postby Zhust » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:51 am

Simon of the Playa wrote:im out of the roc on tuesday, if you have something you want me to bring to the temple or a gift to give to anyone i would be glad to do it for you. gimme a holla on the fuckbook.


I have heard rumor of your loyalty and compassion but until now had not experienced it. Thank you for your kind words and assistance. You have been holla'd on fuckbook for a couple little things.
May your deeds return to you tenfold,
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby Zhust » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:20 am

Bumping this and updating ... I did get it to Burning Man this year and it held up great. I had some issues with the cheap battery holder not maintaining contact (so with a bump, it would reset the computer back to the first pattern.)

Inside, the way it's wired is with 10 boards that control 5 LEDs each. The short wires from each board to its LED gave me trouble — specifically the ones that were too taut. I figured that since the coat was not stretchy I could get away with it, but 3 or 4 yanked free.
May your deeds return to you tenfold,
---Zhust, Curiosityist
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby trilobyte » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:50 am

I'm moving this over to the clothing & playawear board. Glad to hear it held up well - have any pics or videos to share, by chance?
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Re: My LED fur coat

Postby BBadger » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:49 pm

Re: the battery holder:

A decent battery holder that can withstand the elements is a flashlight. Some are even waterproof.
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