Holes/Trenches on playa?

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Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:05 pm

How deep of a trench can be dug in the playa? I'm creating a large art project that needs to have many pieces connected with low voltage wiring, but am unsure of how deep I can go. Everything I've read just says "no deep holes". Any ideas of what's OK? We would, of course, fill the trenches when done.

Also, is this the place to ask questions about Arts Grants Submission form? The form itself doesn't say!
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby trilobyte » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:37 pm

Low voltage wiring would likely not be deep, and would likely be permitted (as they have been in the past several years). Make sure to include the info about the need to bury wiring in your proposal. Whether it's for an honorarium art grant or just a registered installation, I'm sure the folks at the ARTery will be able to offer guidance on depths and limits. Good luck!
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:33 am

Thanks, trilobyte!
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:13 pm

DPW trenches in a power grid. So they have power tools for that which are idle after a certain date. The Artery can connect you. They go deeper, but may have suggestions on laying a rope with the power to extract it at the end of BM and restore the landscape.
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby chiefdanfox » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:31 pm

DPW trenched for the Trojan Horse, and I think the trenches were about 8" - 12" deep.
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:56 am

Thanks, guys. We have 20 or so trenches, between 10 and 50 feet in length to dig, so a trencher would be of great help. Does anyone know how to contact ARTery? Or do I have to wait until registration is open?
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby trilobyte » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:57 am

Wait til registration's open.
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby Snow » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:30 pm

we've had trenches on almost every project I've ever done. Contact the ARTery for arrangements and scheduling. Be sure to compact them well so they aren't obvious/trip hazzards. Last year we compacted ours with a giant trojan horse :wink: Don't forget to bring a shovel and a landscape rake. Also a HUGE word of advice. Be ready to lay your cable/hose/pipe as soon as the trencher is done. Leaving them open the are sure to fill back in from the wind and foot traffic. We sometimes wrap overly sensitive hoses and data cable in plastic wrap to make a neat bundle.

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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:48 am

Thanks for the great tips, Snow! Did you ever use conduit to protect your cabling (maybe overkill for 12v) or lay rope with the wire for easier removal?
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby Bob » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:02 am

Solid conduit would be dumb, doesn't help with demob, and doesn't really protect anything buried less than a foot deep. Rope, wrapping, or flexible conduit might help with pulling out small gauge wire.

A garden mattock would help for clearing or extending trenches, along with a rake for leveling. Maybe a trenching shovel.

I believe DPW uses a ditch witch, or one of the tines on a forklift if that machine's busy.
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby Dustdevil » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:06 am

My camp uses a very extensive power grid. Often times we will share power with neighboring camps. Occasionally we run power cables, (5 conductors of 00 cable) across the street. We ALWAYS put a section of rope in the ground. This allows us to pull the dirt loose and remove the cables with almost no digging. Make certain a few people on your team have a strong back.
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:43 am

Thanks guys, that's very helpful. Dustdevil, do you attach the rope to the wire somehow or just lay them next to each other?
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby Dustdevil » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:31 am

After the trench is dug we lay in cables, leaving more slack than you need at each end. Next we lay the rope over the cables. We then fill the trench. The idea of the rope is to loosen the dirt, not pull the cables out.

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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:53 am

Ah, gotcha. Thanks again, Dustdevil!
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ygmir » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:02 am

and if you wrap them together, wrap cable around the straight rope, so the cable in the trench is longer than the rope, so when you pull, strain is all on the rope, and cable slack keeps it from straining it'self.
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Re: Holes/Trenches on playa?

Postby ucki ood » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:35 pm

Ah yes, excellent idea ygmir. Thanks!
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