Sunday, April 27, 2008

Amazing Weekend of Making Stuff with Friends

Thanks friends! You guys were amazing this weekend! Dan's plans for the solar reflector stand came to fruition; Jess found an amazing way to etch the acrylic; Shay designed the most perfect display for the booth at the Maker Faire; and Jill gathered supplies, sawed some bolts, and browned some amazing brats.

On Saturday, Dan and I got together at our friend Alice's place in Berkeley. We got to cutting some wood, drilling some holes and putting the stand together. Here's Saturday's video (1:44):

Sunday was kinda crazy because a guy from Current TV (Al Gore's television station based on user-generated content) came over to see the progress. Something that was cool: we lit the camera guy's cigarette from the solar collector. Then while the Current guy was wrapping up, the photographer from the San Francisco Chronicle dropped by. I think she got some good shots. A few of us capped off the day with some cheesy brats, grilled corn on the cob, and s'mores. Yum! (Sunday's video is coming.)

There's still plenty to do before the fair. On the reflector and stand side, I still need to mount the mirror and affix the fiber to the dish. I have some ideas and parts for this, it's just a matter of doing. Also, Dan's put a ton of work into the stand. This week, I'm going to try to pick up where we left off on Sunday and install the bearing so the dish can tilt to the sky smoothly and in style. Also, after Jess finishes etching the acrylic, I'll need to try to connect it to the fiber. In early tests with the fiber from the ACCRC, it looks like I need to make sure that the ends are flush with the pane. That could be tricky--or at least take some time and precision.

Then there's the display at the fair. We have a PVC-based frame for box that I'll cover with black fabric. I need to buy the fabric and make the curtains. I also need to work a little on the posters. I'm going to have one explaining the math behind parabolas and the physics of optical fibers. Also, information on solar collectors in general. Cool stuff!

No comments: