Just a buncha' balloons..

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Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:18 am

Thinking about a placed art project for 2012 involving a stationary cluster of 6' heavy duty balloons and a few other key elements. My primary concern though is how these would hold up in a wind/dust storm. Does anyone have any experience with them?
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby Sham » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:33 am

The Department of Tethered Aviation has experience!
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:47 am

Shambala wrote:The Department of Tethered Aviation has experience!
Image



Yes but those are shuttled on and off the playa.. which.. is what I'm fearing I may have to do but really don't want to have to. I know they only bring them out when the weather is nice and when someone is obviously manning the project.

I mean.. think of those strings of balloons that you see at car dealerships. I've seen them stay there through some pretty crazy FL thunder/windstorms.. but.. whipping particulate in the playa dust storms may be another issue altogether and these would be stationary through thick and thin..
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby ygmir » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:15 am

junglesmacks wrote:Thinking about a placed art project for 2012 involving a stationary cluster of 6' heavy duty balloons and a few other key elements. My primary concern though is how these would hold up in a wind/dust storm. Does anyone have any experience with them?



well,
considering balloons are wind resistant, have no "sail effect", especially when ganged to one tether, stand very little chance of popping, or being popped, and would not ever be looked at as a target for shenanigans or vandalism.....
I say do it.......it'll be great!!!!
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby oneeyeddick » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:18 am

ygmir wrote:

well,
considering balloons would not ever be looked at as a target for shenanigans or vandalism.....



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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:57 am

ygmir wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Thinking about a placed art project for 2012 involving a stationary cluster of 6' heavy duty balloons and a few other key elements. My primary concern though is how these would hold up in a wind/dust storm. Does anyone have any experience with them?



well,
considering balloons are wind resistant, have no "sail effect", especially when ganged to one tether, stand very little chance of popping, or being popped, and would not ever be looked at as a target for shenanigans or vandalism.....
I say do it.......it'll be great!!!!


Lol..

- Extra heavy duty rubber latex balloons

- Anchored to an 80-100lb steel structure

- Base elevated 15-20' above ground level

- First balloon out of dartgun range.. unless you're damn good and/or trying real hard
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby ygmir » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:03 am

junglesmacks wrote:
ygmir wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Thinking about a placed art project for 2012 involving a stationary cluster of 6' heavy duty balloons and a few other key elements. My primary concern though is how these would hold up in a wind/dust storm. Does anyone have any experience with them?



well,
considering balloons are wind resistant, have no "sail effect", especially when ganged to one tether, stand very little chance of popping, or being popped, and would not ever be looked at as a target for shenanigans or vandalism.....
I say do it.......it'll be great!!!!


Lol..

- Extra heavy duty rubber latex balloons

- Anchored to an 80-100lb steel structure

- Base elevated 15-20' above ground level

- First balloon out of dartgun range.. unless you're damn good and/or trying real hard


I see you've got all contingencies covered.......as I said, it'll be perfect!!! go for it!!

50 lbs?.......60 mph wind gust, several large balloons?..........it'll be great!!!
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:20 am

80-100lb anchor.. but.. hm. Sail factor is going to be challenging, or it would have to be only taken out and installed on nice nights a la balloon chain. I could keep them caged/netted at camp during non use, but that's a PITA dragging the whole procession out each night and I enjoy my freedom from tasks.

Hmm.. there's a way to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish.

My goal here is to create art with light in the sky via 1w RGB LEDs that illuminate an orb.. ie white balloon. Individual orbs/balloons would be controlled via arduino at the base station. Various color changing patterns/schemes would loop through the night.

I feel like the next dimension for art on the playa is the sky and it's a canvas that I'm itching to paint on..
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby ygmir » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:22 am

It'll be beautiful, when you do it!!
I wonder, if you could get those little led's and put them inside said balloons,before inflation?
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:34 am

ygmir wrote:It'll be beautiful, when you do it!!
I wonder, if you could get those little led's and put them inside said balloons,before inflation?


Yes that's how I'd do it. The heavy duty balloons have larger than normal necks.. think punching balloon style. Stretch the neck out, and insert the 1w RGB LED bulb with wires attached. Fold neck over a few times and cinch shut. Maybe even squirt some silicone in the neck beforehand for an extra seal. I need to check the wire load rating charts to see how thin of AWG wire I could run. They would all come to the steel base station which would be a steel rod 10-15' up welded to a steel X that contains a lockbox with deep cycle battery and arduino board under lock and key..
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby trilobyte » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:43 am

I wish I knew the name of the guy who does the balloon chain every year, he could probably tell you plenty about how strong a line, balloon, etc you should use.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:44 am

junglesmacks wrote:80-100lb anchor.. but.. hm. Sail factor is going to be challenging, or it would have to be only taken out and installed on nice nights a la balloon chain. I could keep them caged/netted at camp during non use, but that's a PITA dragging the whole procession out each night and I enjoy my freedom from tasks.

Hmm.. there's a way to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish.

My goal here is to create art with light in the sky via 1w RGB LEDs that illuminate an orb.. ie white balloon. Individual orbs/balloons would be controlled via arduino at the base station. Various color changing patterns/schemes would loop through the night.

I feel like the next dimension for art on the playa is the sky and it's a canvas that I'm itching to paint on..

HOLY SHIT!!!
I've been thinking about this too!
I love those strings of purple ballons, that look like a laser from far away. The first time I saw one in 2010 I was like "how the hell do they make that laser stop at a certain length?"...... Turns out they are a ton of ballons with lights in them.

Here's my thoughts....
GF's dad has a heavy duty winch that slides into your 2" hitch receptacle. Its 12 VDC driven, with a little push button retract. It would take a while to wind them back in. And I'm not sure what the length of the steel cable is. Also, currently there is 1/4"-3/8" steel cable on it. If we reduced that to a 1/8" steel cable, we would get a lot more on the winch.
As for 80-100 lb base..... RV, duh. Just kidding. But really we could just slide the winch into the hitch at the back of the RV.
I think you're looking for something that is out in deep playa, but what if we did it at camp? At camp there would always be people around to deal with it, if something starts going wrong. And it gives us a great Land Mark.

Now the question is..... Do we go with just 1 balloon with a bunch of light in it? or do we try to get a string of ballons going. Like every 4', with a light in it?

I'd say for our first adventure we go with 1 of the ballons you see at car dealerships and apartment complexes.
Which leads to next thought, GF's friend works at an apartment and might have some insight as to how the ballons work.

WOW, that just all spilled out really fast.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:48 am

trilobyte wrote:I wish I knew the name of the guy who does the balloon chain every year, he could probably tell you plenty about how strong a line, balloon, etc you should use.


True. He's using standard party balloons though but I'm curious what he's using for tethering line. I almost betcha it's HD fishing line of some sort. Actually.. that would be perfect.. like the newer style spectra weave based fishing line. You can get 100lb test that's as thin as old kite string.

The balloon chain is totally what inspired me. That's hands down one of my favorite projects. I'm a huge fan of pretty lights at night.. :wink:
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:51 am

Ooooooooo Illy we could fully do it at camp and that way it could be retracted and deployed at will. Instead of a cluster.. we could do a huge long chain of them going up into the air.. like.. 12-15 of them spaced 5' apart..

That's a metric shit ton of wire though. Do the math.. lol
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:16 am

junglesmacks wrote:Ooooooooo Illy we could fully do it at camp and that way it could be retracted and deployed at will. Instead of a cluster.. we could do a huge long chain of them going up into the air.. like.. 12-15 of them spaced 5' apart..

That's a metric shit ton of wire though. Do the math.. lol

If we're spacing them 5 FEET apart, wouldn't it be an Imperial Shit ton?

How do you figure we would detach the balloons quickly if weather got bad? What would the connector to the cable be. I sorta imagine carabiners, that would clip onto the cable in some fashion. But, what ever it clips onto, has to be able to wrap up on the winch?
If we use 1/8" or 1/16" steel cable, we could put some loops in the cable, like you would do at the end of a piece of aircraft cable.
Image
Except that instead of at the end, we could loop the cable around like
Image
(but not with audio cable and XLRs lol)
Then put the crimp connector where the cable loops on it self. It would be a small connection that would be sturdy and not move, but would allow the able to wrap in the winch. And we could just slid small carabiners through the loop. They would have to be some of those cheap aluminum carabiners for key chains and shit.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby Bounce530 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:57 am

When this topic first started, I was thinking about something like in this commercial, only with balloons, instead of ping pong balls and compressed air.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby Nipple » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:06 pm

junglesmacks wrote:My goal here is to create art with light in the sky via 1w RGB LEDs that illuminate an orb.. ie white balloon. Individual orbs/balloons would be controlled via arduino at the base station. Various color changing patterns/schemes would loop through the night.

I feel like the next dimension for art on the playa is the sky and it's a canvas that I'm itching to paint on..


I wonder if there'd be a way to get a small projector inside a balloon!
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:00 pm

Nipple wrote:I wonder if there'd be a way to get a small projector inside a balloon!

That would be ridiculous! Especially if you found a way to partition each projector into just 1 square of a whole picture. Then had a bunch of balloons that make the whole picture over all!


OMG!!!
If you got enough small white balloons, you could put an RGB LED in each one, then make a grid matrix out of the balloons. And have really cool patterns!

Junglesmacks, wink wink, hint hint, nudge nudge.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby Nipple » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:08 pm

illy dilly wrote:
Nipple wrote:I wonder if there'd be a way to get a small projector inside a balloon!

That would be ridiculous! Especially if you found a way to partition each projector into just 1 square of a whole picture. Then had a bunch of balloons that make the whole picture over all!


OMG!!!
If you got enough small white balloons, you could put an RGB LED in each one, then make a grid matrix out of the balloons. And have really cool patterns!

Junglesmacks, wink wink, hint hint, nudge nudge.


OH SO RAD.

You could make a webbing that holds each balloon in place.

You know what this means...

Unidentified Flying Pornography
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:17 pm

I/8" cable might be a bit heavy. You can get aircraft cable as small as 1/32 (185 pound break strength) for about 7 cents a foot. http://www.mcmaster.com/#aircraft-cable-products/=eshm5j

Edit: even smaller in stainless steel, but lower break strength.

illy dilly wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Ooooooooo Illy we could fully do it at camp and that way it could be retracted and deployed at will. Instead of a cluster.. we could do a huge long chain of them going up into the air.. like.. 12-15 of them spaced 5' apart..

That's a metric shit ton of wire though. Do the math.. lol

If we're spacing them 5 FEET apart, wouldn't it be an Imperial Shit ton?

How do you figure we would detach the balloons quickly if weather got bad? What would the connector to the cable be. I sorta imagine carabiners, that would clip onto the cable in some fashion. But, what ever it clips onto, has to be able to wrap up on the winch?
If we use 1/8" or 1/16" steel cable, we could put some loops in the cable, like you would do at the end of a piece of aircraft cable.
Image
Except that instead of at the end, we could loop the cable around like
Image
(but not with audio cable and XLRs lol)
Then put the crimp connector where the cable loops on it self. It would be a small connection that would be sturdy and not move, but would allow the able to wrap in the winch. And we could just slid small carabiners through the loop. They would have to be some of those cheap aluminum carabiners for key chains and shit.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:21 pm

Yeah I'm on my phone so can't fully type, but I would use like 100lb test spectra fishing line instead of any cable.. and that's even overkill..
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby tamarakay » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:26 pm

OH MY GOD! My shambalalalalala is quoting me in his signature!
Gosh. *blush*

Edited to add: sorry, don't know anything about balloons or fishing line, but I'll gladly volunteer to stand there and point while saying "holy shit look at that!"
Or, I do have an airstream you could use as your anchor.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:42 pm

tamarakay wrote: I'll gladly volunteer to stand there and point while saying "holy shit look at that!"

Great, you are currently at the top of the proposed gawkers list!
But-
Before we can hire you, we'll need a few credentials, proof of experience, and references.
Please provide at least three references?


:wink:

That would be awesome. Especially since you'll be soooo close all the time, it might even help you find your way home. O that would be awesome! If we built something that our neighbors could use a way finding point. Sorta like the big red heart!
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:44 pm

Wonders how many balloons it would take to lift an airstream into the umm air stream.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:26 pm

Drawingablank wrote:Wonders how many balloons it would take to lift an airstream into the umm air stream.

LOL!!!

OK, I'm going to find a mini AirStream. Either a 1/100 scale model, or at least a hot wheels.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:27 pm

So, ok..

For the main line connecting all the balloons, I would use Power Pro 100lb test spectra braid fishing line. You are NOT going to break that stuff, and it weighs next to nothing while being as thin as old school 30lb test line.

Simple make an overhand loop knot every 4'-5' like this: Image

For the balloons, we could actually go 3w RGB LED.. found a lot of 20 of them for $26! Image

I would sum up the ground (cathode) side, and just have a trigger for each positive (anode) side.. so that's 4 wires per LED balloon. Have those terminate into a simple 4 pin male/female snap harness.

To attach the balloons to the loops, I would loop the neck of the balloon when tying/cinching it through a plastic snap hook like this: Image

Since each 3W LED is only drawing 350mA per R, G or B.. I could get away with pretty thin wire. Trying to find the right table/calculations for this. BBadg.. where are you when we need you? Lol.. 100' max run, 350mA @ 3VDC requires what minimum gauge of wire?
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:39 pm

Ding Ding DING!!!!!
We have a winner!

Only, thought though, will the fishing line be able to hold up in the heat? Can it withstand the UV?
Fishing line isn't really meant to just be sitting in the sun, constantly under tension.

Which brings up the questions... Do we only put the balloons up during the night, or day and night, and hopefully put them up on Sunday and take them down next Sunday with hopefully no up/down in between.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:45 pm

illy dilly wrote:Only, thought though, will the fishing line be able to hold up in the heat? Can it withstand the UV?
Fishing line isn't really meant to just be sitting in the sun, constantly under tension.


Lol.. the hell it's not! What do you think fishing line does all day? It sits in the sun and salt under tension! The new line that I'm talking about isn't that old school clear plastic stuff.. it's micro-braided fabric type stuff made of spectra. It's crazy strong for it's diameter. Put it this way.. 50lb test line is now about as thick as common upholstery thread. The same stuff that I sewed my pants up with. I've had the same line on my one reel for 5 years now and it's still plenty strong. A week on the playa flying some balloons is nothing..
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:48 pm

Shambala wrote:Image


I still want some of THOSE balloons in a giant cluster.. deep playa.. going crazy with the varying patterns a la The Tree from this last year..

Imagine that in the distance. Sick.
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Re: Just a buncha' balloons..

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:06 pm

Also.. if we wanted to simplify things, we could just get a bunch of 5mm slow color change RGB LEDs and just cluster like 3-4 inside each balloon.. you could just daisy chain them together. That would be super simple and cheap..
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