Wires on the playa...

A place to discuss all things involving power and lighting. Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self and more.

Wires on the playa...

Postby teardropper » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:42 am

I didn't have my electrical stuff as thoroughly thought out last year as I expected. A minor thing was the electrical cords all over the playa. I've got two or three places to run cords this year from the battery box/solar panel, most likely across areas people will be walking. I'd like to keep the cords safe and not have anyone tripping over them. Gaffers taping them to the floor is out. And, since trenching them is out, too (it is, isn't it?) what is the best way to cover them? Simple, but elegant. They will be seen and walked on.
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Postby Elderberry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:50 am

JK
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Postby [SpaceBoy] » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:12 am

ive seen a lot of the bigger camps trench their wires, i assume this is ok, but, havent seen anything on it, so i cant say for sure
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:31 am

[url=http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/protecting_the_environment.html#moop]Digging Holes

Do not excavate holes in the playa. Small holes (6 inches or less in diameter & less than 2 feet deep) used for structural support are the sole exception. When digging such a hole it is best to use an auger or a posthole digger, NOT a shovel. Bag the dirt you are removing so that it does not blow away in the wind. Refill the hole by carefully tamping the soil back into place. Repeat this process every few inches while dampening the soil. An inverted sledgehammer works well for this. Experience has shown that the larger holes easily erode within a year's time, even when carefully backfilled. They leave a visible mark and create a serious safety hazard to drivers throughout the rest of the year.[/url]
Not sure it that helps or not.
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Postby phil » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:15 pm

I've seen wires trenched enough to cover them with dirt so that you couldn't trip over them, but I don't know the legality. Fishie gave you the official word; trench, but put all the dirt back in and pack it. Remove wires and repack the dirt.

The ramp in the link jkisha gave you would work without trenching, but it's expensive.

You don't give any details. So I ask for details. It may be that instead of a commercial product, you could lay a tarp over the wiring and stake the tarp down. It might be you could run the wires up high in the air. You might be able to run the wires through a tube you lay on the ground. There are lots of ways to do it, but we're all whistling in the dark since we don't have the picture of what you need to do.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:18 pm

There's always cheap carpet (indoor/outdoor perhaps) and twelve inch nails.
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Postby teardropper » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:10 pm

Well, OK. I have a 64 watt solar panel and two 6v golf cart batteries @ 225ah in a battery box. I put these a little off the tent so I get full sun. If I was deep cycling down to 60% every day that would not be enough panel. But I think I can top up, or close to it, every day, plus I have these batteries just for the playa. I will run them way down if I have to. I am running 12v rope LED light and LED holiday lights on and in the North Pole shade. I may run a small background music box, like my iPod and powered speakers, too. I also run a small inverter for devices. So the wires will run to the shade and the bowling alley. I wanted to just drag a tent peg in the playa and bury the wire in it. But Fishy's carpet idea may be just right.
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Postby Bob » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:54 pm

Ditto re: details, and this is something you should iron out with your theme camp or art department org contact.

That said, trenching is no big deal if you call 1-800-227-2600 before you dig.
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Postby Dustdevil » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:32 pm

We trench wires and propane lines for all the large art projects with flame effects. You can do this yourself. If this is a funded art project, you can get art support to dig the trenches for you. You must fill in the trench as was stated above.

Here is the kicker. Taking the wires out. When we trench across streets within the city, the dirt gets packed in and the cables are difficult to remove. We lay 1/4" nylon rope in with the cables. You can then pull on the nylon without damaging the wires or hoses you are attempting to remove. If you are running large hoses or cables, use a larger rope.

We use a huge rope for our power lines as they are five strands of #00 wire.
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Postby teardropper » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:42 pm

Dustdevil wrote: We lay 1/4" nylon rope in with the cables. You can then pull on the nylon without damaging the wires or hoses you are attempting to remove.


Yeah, like that.
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:00 am

*perk*
Bowling Alley? :D
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Postby teardropper » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:33 pm

\Image

Regulation width, half length, reg ball and pins, playa surface, not pinsetter or ball return, all manual.

What did you expect. Brunswick?
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:46 pm

LIKE!
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:43 pm

teardropper wrote:Regulation width, half length, reg ball and pins, playa surface, not pinsetter or ball return, all manual.


That neatly ordered rectangle, in that place, is crazyawesomecool enough already, so, sending a ball down that lane in a tutu & boots would be...

8)

wow.
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Postby rodiponer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:19 pm

I am contemplating a playa art piece that would need eight 20' long trenches to bury ethernet cables.

How deep should a trench be for small wires like this? I want to minimize digging effort and playa damage while making it unlikely the cables would be uncovered by foot traffic.

What is the most efficient way to dig short trenches at this depth?
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:25 pm

To bad that I am not bringing the little garden tractor this year.. It has a square reciever (for trailer hitches) in the draw bar.. You could put a tooth on a square bar and scribe a deep line.. Guess you could do it with your SUV tow reciver.. I realy like the idea of a small rope in the wire dich for easy removal..


How about air pressure to blow out the ditch as you lay to wire?
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Postby Bob » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Mattock.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby teardropper » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:37 pm

You mean Matlock? He's a lawyer...
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Postby teardropper » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:56 pm

Image

Oh,MATTOCK...
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Postby Bob » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:08 pm

Or take your pick.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:58 am

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Does anyone bury conduit?

Postby bud buddah » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:59 am

DustDevil,
Does anyone use actual conduit for underground power lines on the playa? I am running wiring for a regional effigy and I was wondering how crazy to get with the power. I originally thought I'd bury 1 inch PVC to run AC from the edge of our burn circle into the effigy. But it sounds like no one gets that worried about building to code :-)
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Postby Dustdevil » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:35 am

The cables won't be down there long enough to require protection from a conduit. Also, removing the conduit would be a lot more work. You won't be able to just pull it out, it would require digging it out.

The Flaming Lotus Girls install extensive wiring and fuel pipes on their large installations. They have never had an issue with wiring of piping.

The current plan is to burn the CORE projects on Thursday evening. You will need to remove your gear late that night or Friday morning. I would make it as simple and easy to remove and de moop as possible.
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Postby mdmf007 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:25 am

unjonharley wrote:To bad that I am not bringing the little garden tractor this year.. It has a square reciever (for trailer hitches) in the draw bar.. You could put a tooth on a square bar and scribe a deep line.. Guess you could do it with your SUV tow reciver.. I realy like the idea of a small rope in the wire dich for easy removal..


How about air pressure to blow out the ditch as you lay to wire?


Ill shoot a pic of the receiver mounted device we use that cuts a one inch wide track and lays the cable in it at the same time. The cutter looks like a curved tooth that comes forward - a simple chunk of flat steel cut out to the right shape, with a smaller pipe that guides the wire down in the trench that curves backwards slightly to keep dirt from filling it.

it slides up and down through a round fitting so it will track wherever the truck turns. Buried 4-6 inches deep cat 1 cable pulls out without breaking easily.
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