The Contraption 2010

Postby gyre » Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:01 pm

A lumen story?
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Postby The CO » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:04 pm

Le Chat, it was bloody awesome to see you and your ever-stylish ride this year. I wish I had been able to hang with you more than I did, but I cherish every moment I did get.

I must schedule a ride with y'all next year, as we had talked about at the meet-n-greet. I want to take my young-uns out for a ride on the coolest art car in BRC. Fortunately, we have a bit of time to plan...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:32 pm

oscillator wrote:Dang it, sorry I missed you guys in TC. Even went wandering the back alleys of 9:00 to do some lumen comparing.

2011 perhaps?

cheers!

\osc


I know... dang it. I really wanted to meet up too. I had good bourbon to share.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:38 pm

The CO wrote:Le Chat, it was bloody awesome to see you and your ever-stylish ride this year. I wish I had been able to hang with you more than I did, but I cherish every moment I did get.

I must schedule a ride with y'all next year, as we had talked about at the meet-n-greet. I want to take my young-uns out for a ride on the coolest art car in BRC. Fortunately, we have a bit of time to plan...


It was good to see you too... but it is never long enough. We need to really just sit down and enjoy life for a bit. And yes, quickly as it goes, we still have some time to plan.



And as you may have heard, we had a few obstacles in our path back to Kentucky, but despite the odds we made it back in one piece. With so much to tell, I figured I'd post a post-burn post fitting of the tagline.


This year was perhaps the most trying one yet. It was physically exhausting, as all years are, but mentally it was the most challenging I‘ve had. And yet it was a good enough year that it could not be squelched, even by the next-door neighbors who sat in their RV while running a blaringly loud generator for 9+ hours every day, hardly straying from their Cruise America fortified St. Augustine-style courtyard and then dumping two bags of drippy garbage in our camp during the wee hours on the morning of their departure…

…even with that, it was still my bestest, specialist-est, most favorite year since my first.



Great People

I met some wonderful people, had some exceptional experiences and the Contraption performed more than admirably the entire week. We gave rides to a good number and many others seemed to enjoy examining the details, both day and night. She went to the trash fence and back three times, and I’m estimating that we covered 15 miles or more during the week and burned under 4 gallons of diesel doing it. Man, that’s mileage almost as good as a Hummer! Of the many folks we picked up, one was a new friend named Horns who told me he’d been coming to Burning Man for ten years and that this was his first Art Car ride ever. I felt pretty honored actually and was happy when he crossed paths with us over and over during the week after that.

We also stopped at one point because I recognized ygmir’s MV and because of that pause to chat with him, I also got to meet Token, who pulled up as well. Two good and decent fellows, these two, despite what they might have you believe. And Rodiponer walked up on the open playa, introducing himself and his wonderful family. On another evening, Tiahaar rode up out of the night on his super cool trike and even let me take it for a spin. And so many more people, both old friends from years past and new friends at the meet and greet… so many I don’t even know where to begin with that list.



Great Experiences

From pulling up to a small dance party at the deepest point of the playa to parking by Ein Hammer and seeing Jellyfish do his thing… there were lots of good, good experiences to look back on. But the one that best summed up the giving, void filling nature of the playa involved the one Contraption-related mechanical failure of the week.

Thursday, on the way to the Eplaya M&G, we shredded the alternator belt. And this was the one belt out of the seven it takes to run the thing that I, of course, did not bring a duplicate of. The drive pulley had shifted a bit and caused the belt to run in an S shape, thus leading to it’s stinky overheated end. And with our camp batteries needing to be recharged, without the belt we had no lights. I had a couple of two-piece collars for the pulley’s shaft, so it was a snap to get it lined back up, tightened down, and then locked securely in place. Finding a replacement belt seemed to be another issue… or so I thought. The next day brought a trip to the Black Rock City Hardware along with a rope pattern to gauge the proper length. They looked doubtful, but went looking anyway and FIRST thing out of the cluttered up, overflowing “Big Box of Parts and Hopeâ€
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:43 pm

These pics are courtesy of our campmate, Chabba.

Night time!!! My favorite part of Burning Man

Image



A bit of detail on the engine side:

Image



In the driver's seat:

Image



The gang's all here!

Image



The reverse gear and it's red lighting:

Image



And a close up of the super fun green LED's inside the flywheel cover:

Image
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:45 pm

*sniff*
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:55 pm

Fishy...

I missed you this year. Karine and I checked in at the booby Bar during the week in case you showed up.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:57 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Fishy...

I missed you this year. Karine and I checked in at the booby Bar during the week in case you showed up.

I missed the two of you, the three including the contraption.

Just wasn't meant to be.

Although, the parts for my door might have been handmade. So, maybe my van has a little Contraption running through her veins.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:01 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Just wasn't meant to be.


Besides... next year was better.
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Postby The CO » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:32 pm

I stand by three statements, and I always will:

1-The Contraption is bar none the coolest vehicle I have ever seen or had the honor of riding. Not just in BRC, anywhere. It has unmatched style.

2-Engine or no, I will pump or push that beautiful rig anywhere it needs to go, anytime.

3-You sir, are one of the finest gentlemen I know, and I consider every moment spent with you and your fine lady, no matter how brief, to be time very well spent.

<removes whatever hat I'm wearing, in honor of the apparent passing of The Contraption thread>
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Postby Tiahaar » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:58 pm

Hey LeChatNoir, truly an epic rendezvous on the playa this year, very good to meet up with you and the gang and check out the hardware too. You've got an eye for lighting along with mechanical genius!

Shucks you were just getting that truck broken in at 11 years, but then like you say maybe the climate was just more agreeable out west...and you obligingly granted the wish. That's what a good friend would do. Heh, and maybe the truck was due for a whole slew of fixits that you really wouldn't want. Sounds like a smart trade. Glad you're home safe and sound!

My '74 Trailduster is holding on but has a squealing throwout bearing; I have a new clutch kit on the shelf waiting to be put in however the transfer case is also worn out. Soooo I hunt for a good used NP 203, and keep my lumber yard runs to a minimum. Got to love good old trucks!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:31 am

The CO wrote:<removes whatever hat I'm wearing, in honor of the apparent passing of The Contraption thread>


Hm. *wonders if there needs to be a Contraption Appreciation Thread in art & performance 2011*
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Postby jella » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:30 am

Count me amoung it's many admirers, it has always has been one of my favorites.
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Postby Bin Noddin » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:34 pm

All of the above and much more, PLUS
"barfs light out onto my path"
you, sir, are a poet-cat.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:12 pm

Heh Heh

Light and rainbows.

Bin, we never got a picture of the flag you made with The Contraption. We've still got to get the old rust bucket settled into the barn, though. Right now it's just tarped in the back yard. Maybe there's still a chance for a photo op!
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:14 pm

LCN, Did you get to 8:30 and J aka The Coffee Camp to see Tom Willsons great quadricycles??

That guy builds some great stuff
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Postby Elorrum » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:55 pm

Bin Noddin wrote:All of the above and much more, PLUS
"barfs light out onto my path"
you, sir, are a poet-cat.


that plus white pointy tusken-toofers

I'm so happy you like it.
playa time is so short. I seem to have enough time to relax on my own, but when I think of the people I would have like to chat with and ride on super amazing art cars a teeny time ;) with... it goes by so fast.

I vote for contraption 2010 thread to remain a while longer for afterglow.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:02 pm

I dont' like it...

I LOVE it!!!

I mean "him". He's super cool and makes me smile really big. And when I show him to others and play up the "now I can go out in the dark" thing, it gets a good laugh and spreads the fun around. So you see? The force multiplier of gifting. You are making the world more fun, Elorrum.

Oh, unjon... yes we did see the quadricycles. Pretty wonderful. I love the stuff that comes together out in that place, that dusty, creative place.

The week out there goes by so fast. I made a conscious effort to slow it down this year and it seemed to work a bit while I was there. Sort of. But now that it has passed, it all blurs together and seems to have gone so quickly.


So I guess I could mention some ideas I've had for next year. I mean, as long as we're basking in the afterglow and all that.

Small air compressor and tank and a steam whistle. I've already got the whistle valve and could easily enough machine out a large whistle for a deeper tone.

If it will run on compressed air, then... well... it would likely run on other compressed gases, right? Like, say propane?
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Postby ygmir » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:11 pm

It was a pleasure to meet you, LCN, after all this time.......I've admired your Contraption, always.
I just wish we'd a had more time to palaver.

it was so cool......driving along, and, looking over, to see you........and, I knew it was you, even from afar.......we vectored over, and sure enough......yeehaw, ...........

good times......more to come *raises a glass for a toast*
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:10 am

How about a brass and copper spot light..

The first cars had a single light on a post and bail.. I have also seen in movies on old hook and ladder fire trucks..

Got my ornate post from a floor lamp..

While wachting an old WW1 movie I noticed a different search light.

The bulb came out of the front bottom of the reflector.. It pointed at a angle to the back of the reflector.. This may be a useful idea when using LED bulbs
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Postby Lassen Forge » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:54 am

Generally ran off acetylene, either from a tank or from a carbide generator. The location of the flame was at the focal point for the mirror in back which caused it to ehtier be a flood or spot light. They threw a surprising amount of light. (They also didn't have the nasty habit of having filaments that would break, killing the light).

I have an old rushmore spotlight, about a 12" or so, ran a 3/4 foot burner (as I remember - it's bigger than a 1/2 or 5/8) which is (also as I remember) how many cubic feet of gas per hour it burned. Worked well, and if you have a source of acetylene OR a carbide generator and a source for Calcium Carbide works without electricity.

Is planned for headlighting on MV1. LOVE gas and/or K-1 lighting.

Speaking of... As I remember, LCN, didn't you use a hit n miss on the Contraption (wish I'd seen it) one year? What were the issues you had with it which made you switch to the current power system? I was thinking along the same lines for MV1, IF I can find a suitable one to power the beast with.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:52 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:Generally ran off acetylene, either from a tank or from a carbide generator. The location of the flame was at the focal point for the mirror in back which caused it to ehtier be a flood or spot light. They threw a surprising amount of light. (They also didn't have the nasty habit of having filaments that would break, killing the light).

I have an old rushmore spotlight, about a 12" or so, ran a 3/4 foot burner (as I remember - it's bigger than a 1/2 or 5/8) which is (also as I remember) how many cubic feet of gas per hour it burned. Worked well, and if you have a source of acetylene OR a carbide generator and a source for Calcium Carbide works without electricity.

Is planned for headlighting on MV1. LOVE gas and/or K-1 lighting.

Speaking of... As I remember, LCN, didn't you use a hit n miss on the Contraption (wish I'd seen it) one year? What were the issues you had with it which made you switch to the current power system? I was thinking along the same lines for MV1, IF I can find a suitable one to power the beast with.


I have a small propane single mantal light. (Stanport I think). Now to get a small section of tube from tube sky light.. Alreadyy have a chrome bowl in mind.. Those flat glass lens are a bit spendy. MMMM!
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Postby gyre » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:56 am

LeChat, dixie gun works up your direction has a museum with some whistles, if you want to try some out first.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:06 pm

Wow, you mean I could test drive different whistles and see what sounds best? I must check into this, yes definitely.



Sue,

The engine that powered The Contraption in 2008 was a 1928 Hercules XK 1-3/4Hp throttle governed engine. Here at 700 feet elevation it started easily, but at the higher altitude of the playa it had trouble starting and was noticeably weaker (Though, I have to admit that some good stories came about via this troublesome aspect… remind me sometime). It did power the vehicle, but barely. In some of those deep dunes that year we had to help it along by hand pumping. Honestly, it was only 1-¾ Hp when it was new in ‘28. I’d be surprised if it was putting out much over 1 Hp on playa and without the torque of a diesel.

If you are planning on using a hit-n-miss or similar, I’d suggest using the largest one that space and load bearing capacity will allow. For a point of reference, the new engine this year was a 12 hp diesel and it had no problem pulling the load. We had eleven people riding at one point and I was way more worried about the frame failing than I was the engine. It was flexing a good bit and I don’t think we should do that again.

What I’m trying to say is that the Hercules really strained to pull an estimated gross vehicle weight of (5 people and the MV) 3900 lbs. The 12 Hp diesel pulled an estimated gross vehicle weigh of 5000 lb (11 people and the MV) at +/-5mph without any issue. With the right gearing I feel certain it could have done the same at 15 mph. So, I’d think, with only a very vague knowledge of your MV plans, something of the 3 Hp range would be suitable.

FYI…

The 1-¾ Hp Hercules weighs in around 190 lbs.

The 12 Hp diesel weighs in around 230 lbs.

3 Hp probably around 600 lbs engine weight, maybe? Guessing.



Here's a side-by-side from earlier in the thread that shows the old Hercules with the new diesel (way before antiquing of course)

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Postby Lassen Forge » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:27 am

I'll have to wait until I'm off the work servers to see the pix, but thank you for that! >>>smooch<<<

Long ways to go, but I think it may work. But yeah, I wanna hear the stories!!! (Perhaps over a chilled absinthe, maybe??) Kinda was thinking in the range of a 4 1/2 to 6HP motor would be enough to haul myself and whoever else piled on... or rigged right (maybe a second set of drive pulleys and belt off the other side of the motor) geeared way down to pull a stranded MV back to town... Kinda have the idea of a mad max-esque semisteampunk tow rig. Still flitting ideas arouund, tho, and a lot of it will depend on what I find out here on the left coast - slim pickings compared to elsewhere.
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Postby unjonharley » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:41 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:I'll have to wait until I'm off the work servers to see the pix, but thank you for that! >>>smooch<<<

Long ways to go, but I think it may work. But yeah, I wanna hear the stories!!! (Perhaps over a chilled absinthe, maybe??) Kinda was thinking in the range of a 4 1/2 to 6HP motor would be enough to haul myself and whoever else piled on... or rigged right (maybe a second set of drive pulleys and belt off the other side of the motor) geeared way down to pull a stranded MV back to town... Kinda have the idea of a mad max-esque semisteampunk tow rig. Still flitting ideas arouund, tho, and a lot of it will depend on what I find out here on the left coast - slim pickings compared to elsewhere.


Sue,

We have a Power Land that has 100s of hit and miss and a big show everyyear.. The owners tell me the engines were hidden during WW2 so they would be taken for scrap..
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Re: The Contraption 2010

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:11 pm

The Contraptions Russian Cousin:
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