1v dome questions from a virgin burner

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1v dome questions from a virgin burner

Postby Autumn_in_winter » Tue May 13, 2014 12:45 pm

Hey everyone. This will be my first burn and I would love to get the esteemed advice of seasoned burners. I am thinking of building a 1v dome out of 3/4" steel conduit with 6' strut lengths. I hoped to just use unreinforced struts for simplicity but am considering using 3' triangular reinforcement pieces for added strength. I don't intend on people climbing on the structure but I don't want my dome-home to collapse in the first big wind either. I was planning on using a stitched white tarp cover held into place with rope or bungies that would theoretically be dust proof and a 5 gallon swamp cooler for ventilation and cooling. Do you think that I will need the added reinforcement to hold the structure up? And would reflectix film be a sturdy enough replacement for the tarps? I've attached a concept photo to this that I hope will help. Thanks a ton for your advice!
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Re: 1v dome questions from a virgin burner

Postby andy » Tue May 13, 2014 1:28 pm

Hi and welcome to the playa!

I use 3/4" EMT conduit in some of my art pieces and the stuff is plenty strong to stand up on playa, your issue is securing it to the playa to prevent it becoming airborne. You will want to go down 18" at least at each corner using rebar or lag screws. Also, without secondary shade your structure will probably be very hot during most parts of the day, I don't know if a swap cooler will be enough. You might consider building a second shade structure over your dome.

As far as dustproof your dome will limit the amount of dust but don't kid yourself, it gets into everything.
Sorry, don't know anything about reflectix.
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Re: 1v dome questions from a virgin burner

Postby GreyCoyote » Tue May 13, 2014 3:56 pm

A few things for you:
1). The use of 3/4 inch struts 6 feet long in a 1V icosahedral dome is marginal on the playa. You might get away with it, but when the winds come you need to let the structure luff or you will lose it.

2). The form on the right is not a 1V, its a 2V. It is much stronger than a 1V and uses shorter struts in greater quantity for better triangulation. I would consider a 2V the minimum ante for playa use. If you want to do a 2V, i would use a real geodesic 2V. The pictured one is a 2V but not a true geodesic and this hurts the integrity considerably. A true geodesic uses the same strut count, so there really isnt a good reason to do the variant type.

3). The most critical part of the dome is the way the end flanges are formed. Dont use a hammer, vise, or other field-expedient method. Use a press instead and make clean, even crimps. Then use a jig to drill the holes so the center-to-center tolerances are tight. Understand that dome deformation first begins at the crimps, and once you lose one, the failure is a rapid cascade of failing ends. Having clean crimps and evenly matched lengths within each strut class goes a long way to resisting initial deformation.

4). The second most critical part of a dome is the cover. A form-fitted cover does a lot better at high wind speeds than a tarp or makeshift cover. Loose covers turn into a sail or spinnaker, and are the main cause of failure. Eliminate the sail effect, let the cover spill air gracefully, and let the structure dissipate loads evenly and dome failures will be rare.

5). Anchor the PHOOEY out of a 1V. Unlike a true dome, virtually all wind angles result in lift. This means they want to move around and fly away. One big stake per vertex is a requirement. I would also suggest putting a stake in the very middle (and covering it up carefully) to use as a cinch point for the top apex in high winds. That top apex needs restraint and lacking it will be a primary contributing factor to early failure.

If you need help on this, feel free to PM me. Lots of little things go into making a survivable dome that are better covered off-board unless there is a community interest. :mrgreen: And definitely try to go with a higher freq icosa than a 1V if you can manage it.
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Re: 1v dome questions from a virgin burner

Postby some seeing eye » Tue May 13, 2014 5:13 pm

Welcome to ePlaya and good for getting an early start!

Reflectix max width is about 60" I believe. That will not span the triangles of your 1v. The material needs to be backed with something, it cannot support itself from the edges. I have seen a larger dome draped in tarps, then skinned with fish scales of Reflectix tied to adjacent scales around the edges.

I have seen a home built cover for a small dome with glued seams in billboard vinyl or truck tarp and tucked under the floor. Stayed relatively dust free. Getting a heavy cover on and off is a challenge.
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Re: 1v dome questions from a virgin burner

Postby Autumn_in_winter » Thu May 15, 2014 2:14 pm

Thank you all for your responses, they've helped a lot. I'm currently redesigning the structure to add a false roof and side to which i can attach shade cloths. I really like the appearance of the current 2V non-standard dome. Although it won't be quite as strong as a geodesic 2V, I think that it'll hold up. However, I will stake the crap out of it and make a custom, form fitted cover to reduce windshear. I'll post the new pictures soon. :D
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