Thursday, May 19, 2016

Epic success!

Full scale test of the sheathed production unit, huge fucking success:

I tested every piece of this pretty well, so I'm not surprised it worked.  But still, really fucking exciting.  This is basically the production version of what I want to use.  Build 7 more of these, and we'll have a pyramid.  11 more, and an octahedron.  29 more, and an icosahedron.

Here's a view without the cladding, so you can see the mechanism.

A few notes on additional features/improvements:

  • Need to make a small holding strip across the middle of both segments, to hold the hose tracker below the opening.  I don't want that coming up (as it does in this video) and ruining the effect.  Alternatively, I might just put some aluminum screen door mesh across the top.  I was considering taking a 2" strip and drilling some 1/4" holes in it, placing it about 1/2 above the opening, and seeing what that did for the flame aesthetic.  But, I don't think it will make a difference.  And I like what we've got here.
  • I think I'm going to test swapping out the pilot lights for an electric ignitor.  First, the pilot lights aren't great for the plastic hose carrier, and probably not great for the hose either.  Second, they're not as blowout proof as I was hoping.  And third, I think an electronic ignitor will actually be more cost effective and simpler.  It just requires a single wire run up through the hose carrier (the pipe itself is ground) and the ignitor itself I think cost me $5 or something.
  • Need to install limit switches at the ends of the rails, so the controller knows when they've hit the end.  I may want to have some sort of positional feedback, to ensure that these track at the same rate, but we can look into that after building a few to see how big a deal that is.  Maybe just a simple IR detector, through a hole in the end, can give us a rough idea of how close it is, since it's going to be hot as hell.
  • And, of course, we'll need some end covers eventually.  But those are easy to make from the steel sheet.
Working on the limit switches and ignitor next.

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