The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Postby Elliot » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:13 am

:D
AntiM, do we have a Sticky on how to post pictures? I'd type it up if you want.
Anybody else feel this is a good idea?

Martiansky, check your PMs.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:24 am

Bob wrote:I feel sticky.

May I have sticky sticky thread?


seems you already have, sticky, sticky threads, Bob........
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Postby Elliot » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:35 am

:D
By the way, I have an old parachute to give away. PM or e-mail me.
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Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:55 am

Martiansky wrote:I put my dome up as my avatar for you to look at if you can see it in that little picture!
If I knew how to post pictures Id put a link to it on this thread.

Maybe someone could give me info how to link it to a picture I have on my computer? Thanks.


Well it looks good in miniature! Tough to see much detail though. Will PM you my email addy ;)
More ideas than time.
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Postby gaminwench » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:08 am

DOTA's dome, with tensile covering...

made of lycra blend fabric, suspended from inside the dome...
shady and breezy, just like we like it!http://flic.kr/p/5maxnV
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Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:43 am

gaminwench wrote:DOTA's dome, with tensile covering...

made of lycra blend fabric, suspended from inside the dome...
shady and breezy, just like we like it!http://flic.kr/p/5maxnV


That's a great looking dome. I do like the inner lining type shade covering, but I'd rather not have passers by climbing on my dome. That dome looks super beefy though; I doubt climbers would be much of a threat to those struts!
More ideas than time.
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Postby gaminwench » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:08 am

We love folks climbing the dome!
That's a trampoline up top - not for jumping- as a 'safety' under hoopers/windworshippers and also for lounging and viewing...
The DOTAdome is strong and beautiful... we rig for aerials, host live music and give various workshops/events throughout the week...
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Postby Martiansky » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:21 pm

Thanks to Elliot I think Ive got it!!!

http://s1184.photobucket.com/albums/z32 ... 10057.jpg#

1st picture: Inside of dome. I hung a couple tarps to seperate sitting/cooking area and sleeping area.
2nd picture:Sleeping area
3rd picture:Cooking area
4th picture:Behind dome showing small 4'x4' grey water evap pond
5th picture:Front right side of dome. There is a zippered entrance where the bike is sitting. (sorry, I didnt get a picture of it)
I let the neighboor tie off his shade tarp to the top of my dome. Thats why one edge of tarp piece is lifted up.
On the other side of my dome is Robotland's triple stacked Snowman Dome! He had a little ramp going up to the top dome and the view was great!

The cover is made from one 14'x48' billboard vinyl(its printed on one side with Ultimate Fight Challenge guys. Got it for free! At night I hang a light from the inside and it looks light art when the print shows a bit through the cover(as per Robotland making that observation the first night :D ). Cut and sewed to almost fit. It has 2 pieces.
One piece wraps all the way around the sides and zips, snaps and clamps onto frame where it meets itself. I used swim noodles(cut a couple inches thick) as spacers between frame and cover at bolt points to prevent vinyl from tearing. Also used them inside to cover bolt ends.
The top is like a big hat that is snapped and bungeed down to bottom of dome frame.
I made 2 small screened windows across from each other that zip open. They don't offer too much ventilation. I had a small battery operated fan to help move air around. It helped, a little.
It did get a bit warm inside during the day. Maybe a swamp cooler would help cool it down.
I used 2 silver tarps as a floor covering.

Overall it seems to have kept alot of dust out, but we didnt have any huge winds.
In hindsight I shouldve added about 6" to bottom edge of cover to help wrap under the edges a bit more.
I did put a few rebar stakes along the edge just in case.


Thanks again Elliot for your very helpful info on how to post pictures!!
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Postby Elliot » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:49 pm

:D
You have the first step. But we have to go to Photobucket to see the pictures.
Now copy the IMG Code for each picture and paste them into the text. With more than one picture, I find it easiest to assemble the whole thing in Word, then copy and paste the entire post into the reply box.
:D
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Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:54 pm

Thanks so much! That is very helpful. Photos are always worth a thousand words.
More ideas than time.
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Postby Martiansky » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:51 pm

Elliot wrote::D
You have the first step. But we have to go to Photobucket to see the pictures.
Now copy the IMG Code for each picture and paste them into the text. With more than one picture, I find it easiest to assemble the whole thing in Word, then copy and paste the entire post into the reply box.
:D



Oh I was SOOOOOO close!
Thanks Elliot!

Hope the pictures help with your dome ideas melodiousdirge.
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Postby robotland » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:56 am

Dammit! Now I want to reassemble The Snowman!
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Postby melodiousdirge » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:08 am

Hey robot do you have any mroe photos of that snowman structure hanging around? MartianSky's pics are the first I've seen that show it.

I'm thinking (for the moment, anyway) for my dome I'll make a vinyl cover that covers most of the lower portion of the dome, leaving the top pentagon open, then build a slightly elevated deck over the pentagon so that rain can't fall in, but air can vent out the top beneath the deck. I'm hoping that as the wind blows through the space between the deck and the dome it will tend to suck the hot air out the top.
More ideas than time.
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Postby Martiansky » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:27 am

Thats a cool idea you have about the deck covering the top of the dome up, melodiousdirge. So would you have the deck have a waterbarrier on or under it just in case of inclement weather?

I recall someone else saying they built a deck on top of their dome also....
I think it was CapJBadger. I think thats the right user name.
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Postby Martiansky » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:39 am

[quote="capjbadger"]I recall thunderdome either being 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" dia.
The dia really depends on if you want to climb it or not. The vertices are VERY strong, while the middle of a strut is the weakest point.
What frequency dome are you thinking of building? Thunderdome is a 6v dome (just loooked at a pic to double check).
1" EMT will take just about anything you throw at it if you keep the load at the verticies.

My dome is just a 3/4" EMT 2v dome, but is strong enough that I built a second story dome/deck on top of it. ;)[quote="capjbadger"]

This was in the dome strength thread, Melodius.
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Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:31 pm

Martiansky wrote:Thats a cool idea you have about the deck covering the top of the dome up, melodiousdirge. So would you have the deck have a waterbarrier on or under it just in case of inclement weather?.


The deck would be water resistant yeah. Playing with all kinds of nifty ideas, but I have more in my head than will actually fit up there!

One thought I keep coming back to is a small VAWT on the roof driving a ceiling fan inside the dome, hanging off the underside of the deck. I thought about building a shower up there too, and have the waterproof deck actually be an evap pond as well, but it doesn't seem very practical. I think if anything, i'll stick to a VAWT and maybe a couple chairs with a small beer cooler for a classy place to hang out when it's not super hot.
More ideas than time.
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Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:57 pm

Found some info on shrink wrapping. Doesn't appear to be a perfect technique, but interesting!

http://www.sunrisedomes.com/info.html
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Postby Bob » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:59 am

Setting your dome on fire would make it a boffo first year.
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Postby melodiousdirge » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:19 am

I think I would endeavor to complete the shrinking BEFORE coming to the playa, but yeah, you have a point.
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Postby Elliot » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:39 am

My guess is you would not be able to get the skin off and on again after it has been shrunk in place. But it might work to shrink it partially, and seam the pleats, so you can get it off and on, then finish shrinking on Playa.
:D
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Postby melodiousdirge » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:47 am

My thought was to drape thick blankets over tyhe structure, wrap, shrink, remove the shrinkwrap and blankets, and then be left with a very slightly oversized, vorm fitted shrinkwrap cover.

Thermal stability of the shrinkwrap could be a problem though and would be my biggest worry - I'd hate for it to shrink and warp sitting in the back of a hot car or something.
More ideas than time.
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Postby melodiousdirge » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:52 am

Holy typo madness. Too much caffiene.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:08 pm

DArn. And "vorm fitted" sounded like such a wholesome, german process. I wanted to know more about it.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:45 pm

The only issue I can see with Shrink-wrapping your dome is Ventillation.

I know, you want to keep the dust out. But you have another bogieman to deal with, and that's HEAT.

0h yeah, I know, you think the big evil thing is that dust, and yah, it is a little bit of a PITA... but let me tell you, you get that nice, sealed, airproof dome out there, where, like a VW van on a hot day with rolled up windows, you're gonna cook. Bad. Wtih no way for that heat to escape, what you've built is a nice big oven.

I've used parachute before, and it has 2 issues which we've already discussed -

one, it's wind-resistant. Means, yeah, you're doing the same thing with something that, should the wind catch it right, will turn your Playa Hilton into a Flying Saucer. And while it MAY be the Playa, there are already enough flying saucer sightings out there to add yours to the mix.

Two - they're somewhat fragile, esp, bu the time they're old enough to become a surplus item. I *have* seen partially naked domes in real life from Parachutus Disintegratus... neither it nor yourgear will appreciate it.

However, saying that... there is a way I cam (and do) recommend them. Part one, when you set it up, put the little relief hole on the top. Seriously. The heat will somewhat chimney out of this, especially when combined with...

Part Two is make them so they roll up on the bottom, so you CAN get that airflow you're gonna so desperately want and need. Believe me, you're gonna say F*** the dust when temps outside are 95 and inside 30 degrees hotter. Actually, this is so important it should be number 1.

So, on to Part 3. Put a cover over the thing. I like winter or desert camo. Hell, we've done domes using winter camo as the cover. And you want that not laying on top of the 'chute, you want an air gap between the two... How? Couple ways.

(1) Build stand offs onto the outside of your dome. Kind of a slow PITA hassle, but you can then adjust your "shade and wind gap". AND you haven't eaten the inside of your space. But I kinda like better, this idea...

(2) Put the camo cover on the dome, and SUSPEND THE CHUTE FROM INSIDE THE FRAME. Same concept - you need the dual layer shade... but you get 2 (actually 3) advantages... One, you can put an additional shade layer on top of the camo net (which is better, (2) you get the "pumping" action of the chute when the wind comes up WITHOUT the chute wanting to do a Mary Poppins, as your frame will retain your chute (which helps it longevity-wise as well), and (3), instead of looking like a fucking dome, it takes on the appearance of an arabian tent-esque interior. Or at least mine did.

Now... you wanna be SUPERcool?

Build a second dome which is 1' diameter larger than your original dome... and cover it with the most renowned shade cloth and dust-trapping material inveted - aluminet Shade Cloth. I personally LOVE that stuff, it has this glimmery silverishness abouut it that screams cool, and it really DOES a good job blocking ol' Mr. Sun, but it comes with a warning - it is THE biggest dust magnet known to Burnerdom. Doubt me? Help take down an aluminet covered anything... without goggles and a mask. Oh he,, WITH goggles and a mask. But it works. (BTW - My old friend, Uncle Camonet, either in Snow or Desert colors, works almost sorta just as well.)

Just IF you do this, make sure they're the same "phase" say, a pair of 2v's, not a 2v and a 5/8 3v.... otherwise you may have geometric hell to pay!!. I kinda like the above combo, BTW, you cann make a cool dome with a nice insulation space between them, but you MUST have your measurements dead on, otherwise you won't fit one inside the other, which is awfully embarassing. (Oh yeah, if you do this.. make SURE you color-code your poles and parts (you should do this anyway on anything more than a 1v) because you don't want your parts all mixed up, and spend 4 days wondering why your double dome delight not only isn't working, but you have a clusterfracking mess as well...)

You can also default to #83b - get a costco tent garage and put your dome inside that. OK, it's kinda sorta cheating, but there's a reason you see so many of these things out there.

Happy camping,
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Re: The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:54 am

Just in case y'all forgot about this discussion.

Image

I wound up using billboard tarp, seamed with solvent cement, with a grommet at each vertex. Through each vertex-grommet I pushed a loop of 3/8" shock cord that hooks to the vertex on the frame. As shown in the picture, the shock cord loops are a little too long, so the dome cover looks a lil saggy. I have plans to remedy this before it hits the playa.

Oh and I have zippers to add doors and crap. Can't forget that.
More ideas than time.
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Re: The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Postby Bob » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:51 pm

Have you had it up on a hot day? Do you get those up there?
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Re: The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:26 pm

Hot day here is 80F.

I realise there are no ventilation flaps yet ;) those are coming. I didn't set out to build an oven :p
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Re: The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Postby emayess » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:47 am

Melodiousdirge - great looking dome and cover. Thank you for sharing your progress and best practices.

I'm making a similar dome, and am also using billboard vinyl for my cover. I'm using PVC cement to bond the seams, but am concerned about it pulling appart. It seams no matter what I to, edges continue to peel up a little and I'm concerned this may be enough for the wind to grab and seperate the cover pannels.

I'm thinking that using tape to cover the seams (from both inside and outside) would be a good idea. I know that a lot of tape doesn't hold up well on the Playa, but I found some "Extreme Weather" tape that sounds like it would hold up. It's 3-inch wide foil tape with acrylic adhesive and the manufacturer's info says that it holds from -35F to 260F. ([url]http://www.findtape.com/product512/Nashua-330X-Extreme-Weather-Foil-Tape.aspx?idx=6&tid=2&info=nashua[/url])

Does anyone in the thread have any thoughts, suggestions, advice, feedback, etc.? I'm really hoping the tape isn't necessary, but it will provide more piece of mind.

I hope to complete construciton this weekend. I'll post pictures of the completed project once I can!
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Re: The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:05 am

After a lot of research, this is the best I found.

http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/HH-66-Vinyl-Cement.html

When I use this, the vinyl will fail anywhere BUT the seams. 8)
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Re: The Old Parachute Dome Discussion

Postby emayess » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:27 am

Wish I had found that before I sealed my seams. I'll pick that stuff up if/when I need to do any repairs. Thanks for the advice.

Right now, things are holding well with the glue I used, it's just that the edges curl up a little in spots and I don't want it to get snagged in travel or by the wind and pull the seam apart. Maybe this isn't something to even concern myself over and I don't need to bother with taping?
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