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 Post subject: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:05 am 
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Posts: 6
Hi - I just joined on behalf of my theater company, Upright Egg.

Our fall show is a play called Venus , which is a play about energy and community. We are looking to find a person in the DIY community to work with us on constructing some creative energy solutions. We have submitted a grant to obtain some LED stage lighting, which we'd like to try to power off the grid, and ideally through human power (pedal power and/or cranks) - Our first thought was something similar to this: http://www.econvergence.net/electro.htm a bicycle powered generator.

We'd like to do it locally, though, and we'd like to explore more options with someone knowledgeable in generating energy and building things that might be similar. (We're hoping to avoid burning down any buildings or electrocuting our audience or cast) We aren't skilled in building or designing anything like this, so our hope is that someone in the TC Maker community would be interested in playing with us on this experiment in green energy.

We'll pay for all parts used, and we can talk about compensation for your time as well.

More about VENUS : http://www.superheroclubhouse.org

More about Upright Egg Theatre Co. : http://www.uprightegg.com
We're also on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

If you are interested, please send me an e-mail: [email protected]


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:28 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
UprightEgg wrote:
Hi - I just joined on behalf of my theater company, Upright Egg...
Hi Brian, glad you found our organization. It seems that green energy power for stage lighting is important for your production (maybe a big surprise "reveal" at the end of the play?), but are you also open to using some other props or working devices that demonstrate green energy concepts?

We have people in our group who are experienced at prop making, electrical/electronics construction, and building in the wood and metal arts.

Has much of the play script been written? If so, can you suggest some other (small or big) items that might fit into the written play? Or would you be open to loaned items if one of our members has already built a green energy device?

As far as compensation, our Development Coordinator Michael F. (metis on the bulletin board) would be the person to talk to, and he'll likely get in touch with you. Michael has experience in construction for stage theater too.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:48 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks for the reply - yes, we are interested in possibly adding some working small hand props, like crank powered lights, but the show is very heavily movement-based and the stage will be pretty much empty.

The script has been written and performed last year at the NYC international Fringe Festival, but the version we will perform this fall will be revised - right now the script doesn't call for a lot of props. We might be interested in taking some things on loan for the show, but they would probably used more as a pre-show lobby display than integrated into the story of the play.

The use of energy and how it is produced is a central theme of the show, so the bike(s) will probably be right on stage, or just off stage. We're going to be performing in a small space (stage is about 20' by 20'), and the hope is that either one or two bikes can make a considerable dent in our power supply needs. If that means we are charging a battery in advance with the bikes and the pedaling during the show is more for showing the audience how it works, we're ok with that. Ideally, we'll be doing as much of the energy production with the cast pedaling bikes as possible. If it is unrealistic to do it that way, then we'll find a compromise.

The company as a whole is excited to work with the TC Maker community and we'll at the very least make any promotional or informational materials available at our shows, and a mention on our website and other social media. I've also recieved one e-mail from a member that suggested we donate directly to TC Maker rather than a stipend for the work, and I think that makes a lot of sense!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:39 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thanks for the quick response, Brian!

I've made this thread as a global announcement to more effectively spread notice to those visiting our bulletin board. We're spreading the word among members and will keep in touch.

What would you like to state as a deadline date for having stuff ready?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Hey!

How about growing your own theater? :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay8OMOsf6AQ

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:19 am 
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wammie wrote:
What would you like to state as a deadline date for having stuff ready?


Thanks for promoting the post to a global announcement!

As for a deadline, things are a bit fluid at the moments as we are working on multiple fronts for additional funding and marketing for the show. The absolute deadline would be the week we start technical rehearsals in the performance space, which would be Monday, September 13th.

Myself and probably one or two other company members will be around to assist and learn a bit more about the process of creating this kind of device (as well as to provide the materials needed to build it) - I'm already talking to one TC Maker member about getting together and discussing the project.

July is an ideal time (for me, anyway) to get the ball rolling and start getting things together to make a prototype, but the actual timeframe is very negotiable. September is a ways off , but I imagine the planning and design will take more time than construction.

Thanks again for the welcome and the interest!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:23 pm
Posts: 249
Brian

Just some questions.
How permanent do you want the end system to be? Will you want it for future productions (park shows for example)?
How much audience participation do you want to include?
How many types of energy production and storage do you want to explore? Frank Herbert for example was very high on compressed air.
How divorced from the grid do you want to be? Would uploading to the grid to replace what is used qualify?

You should drop by an open Weds.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:48 pm
Posts: 6
Hello - thanks for the questions - I just saw this now!

It would be cool if the final product was permanent, or rather - could be used more than just for this show. It should definitely be sturdy! The show is currently scheduled to have three weekends of performances and a week of technical rehearsals where the bike(s) would be used extensively.

The audience may be asked to ride the bike(s), at some point, but probably not. If we go the route of using a system that has a regular bike (as opposed to a stationary bike) we may have the incentive of "ride your bike to show and have it be the star" or something like that.

We're mostly interested in this bike idea, and really the theme of energy powered by kinetic energy from Humans - so, hand cranks, bikes, etc. are the main focus.

Uploading unused energy to the grid would be sweet - we're renting the performance space from another group, though, so I don't know the logistics of that.

I actually am meeting today with one of the TC Makers at the space at 6:30 or so - I have to run to another meeting at 8pm across town, or I'd try to meet more folks. I will definitely be back again soon!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:23 am 
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Posts: 6
Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to thank the three of you (Mike, Brendon and Jude) that met me yesteday at the Hack Factory!

The discussion was great, and I'm looking forward to our next step! Upright Egg will be attending an event this Saturday night - short notice, I know - to try to get some funds for this project! It's a dinner/event called FEAST, and here's the website:

http://www.feastmpls.org/

Basically, we're one of four finalists for the grand prize of all proceeds from the evening. The proposals are all for community building, environmentally responsible and socially conscious arts projects. We're the only theater company there this time around. Our hope is to be selected here and that will allow us to fund all of the equipment costs, plus make a nice donation to TC Maker for all your support so far. If the event is something you'd be interested in attending, please do! We'll be bringing along an excercise bike as a "Before" picture of our project, along with a few other visual aids. We'll be talking with everyone in the room about how we plan to use their donation, and of course that will include mentioning the partnership with TC Maker and idea of making this design open source and open hardware for the whole world to benefit from.

Thanks again for all the information and support so far, this will be a great project!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an Electrical Expert - Summer Experiment
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:14 pm
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Today I met Brian and a friend at the Hack Factory. They brought over a stationery bike for conversion to an electrical generator prop for their play. It's near the entry door against the wall.

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