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   Inside the box.  I have just one string of rope light as I found when I went back that they are out of blue.  :(  This is my first time using LED rope light, and it is actually pretty good stuff.  Nice and bright, and runs cool.  The rope light I have had in the past runs very hot--even left a mark on the walls of Park Place. 

September 14, 2009

Box construction 3

   Here is the mostly finished exterior.  This box employs a hinged door at the front.  A sliding door would have worked better, but requires a high part count.  This system wasn't suppose to.  I used some 2x6" boards to create a lip around the edge of the door.  Remember that light's path doesn't bend in it's travel (well, unless you have a whole lot of gravity—and I'm not that big), so the only way it can turn a corner is by being reflected.  The more it needs to be reflected, the more loss of light there is—especially if the surface it's very reflective (like a chunk of wood).  So making a lip reduces the total light coming in.
   What turns out to be the big problem with this door design is getting a good close.  The wood is slightly bowed and there isn't much I can do about that.  It does bend, but so far, my attempts at making a latch have failed.  I have a new plan, but it requires more hardware.  For now, light can and does leak in pretty bad.
   For ventilation I tried a small centrifugal fan.  That failed to move any noticeable quantity of air.  So I resorted back to my original centrifugal fan, which is much more powerful then I need but does the job of moving air very well.  Visible is the air outlet on the front door.  It is actually a roof vent and does a fairly good job of blocking out light.  I plan to add a second angle on the inside of the box for the light to have to travel that should really take care of light leaking in from the vent.  But the light let in by the door is a much bigger issue for now.
   Some people question why I sleep in a box, and my usually response is that I'm sensitive to light while trying to sleep.  Well the reality is that sleeping in complete darkness is actually recommended by medical professionals.  Some even claim it reduces the risk of cancer.  I just like having a good solid nights sleep.

September 12, 2009

Box construction

   So I need a sleeping quarter—this light thing makes for bad sleep.  Since I have a weekend in Cedar Rapids, I decided to work on my box.  The thing is huge because I didn't want to do a lot of cutting.  The dimensions are 4x4x8 feet and all of the lumber needed comes in 8 foot pieces.
   At first, I tried covering the skeleton with thick black plastic to keep the light out.  However, that didn't really do a good enough job.  I had a similar setup when I lived in Cedar Rapids before, but I wasn't going to settle this time.  In this picture, I've started to remove the plastic and prepare to put on actual sides.
Satanic Pylon?

Satanic Pylon?

   I pass these every time I drive to and from Iowa.  Yes, it's an electricity pylon (or electric power transmission tower).  A long time ago, someone told me this particular tower was designed by a genius member of the satanic church.  I doubt that is true, but once someone says something like this, you begin to look at the design with that in mind.  I have to imagine whoever came up with this story was influenced by the two guide wire sub-structures that look like horns.
   Alright, you can't see it in this small version of the picture.  But if you look at the full size version, you will notice a simi truck and a huge wind turbine blade.  I saw this on my drive to Wisconsin a couple weeks back at the Iowa 80 truck stop.  There were several trucks, all carrying wind turbine blades.  They gigantic and you can't really appreciate the size until you get close to them.  I'm not sure where they are headed, but somewhere a new wind farm is going in and some people are going to get very clean power.

1 comment has been made.

From Steve

JanesHell, WI

September 18, 2009 at 1:05 AM

Before Melissa and I split, we'd occasionally go down to her Aunt and Uncle's campsite down near Amboy, Illinois. Not far from the campsite there's a rather decent sized wind farm. And yes, you're right, those things are fucking huge. They are indeed a decent source of power. Too bad no one is willing to allocate land to build them because everyone bitches that building wind farms in a certain area decreases land value, increases local taxes to support said wind farm, is an eyesore, blah, blah, blah.....