For 2005, here's a list of projects:
- Lightweight, low-hassle shading for tents so that people can sleep in longer; some options are: floppy parachute and PVC quonset.
- Organized kitchen with sink, storage, and cooking areas. This fancy GSI Gourmet Camp Kitchen looks nice, and though it's $150 at REI, it's cheaper elsewhere.
- Wind turbine to supplement our solar system. Last year, our sound system and el-wire lights were on the verge of draining the battery. We can either get a bigger battery (means more weight and bulk), or supplement it at night with a simple turbine. As you know, there's no lack of wind on the playa. [Bill is working on this one.]
- Night detector circuit for triggering the nights. I already got the kit from Jameco - just have to solder it up. [2005/08/07: Done - using last night's Saag Chicken take-out container.]
- Brighter lights than the el-wire from last year. The el-wires were beautiful and funky, but they weren't bright enough to cook by at night. I bought some "cold cathode" tubes (blue, green UV, white) and will be testing them out. On the other hand, perhaps we can just cook by headlights?
- Make the power controller box a little safer. There are way too many exposed wires on the charge controller/battery box. I need to convert the open terminals into a bunch of molex connectors so that they are ready for plugging. Probably should change all the automobile cigarette lighter sockets to molex, too.
- Build bunch of extension cords with molex connectors to wire up the shade structure. 10 and 20 footers will probably be the most usable. 14 gauge color coded wires will be great.
- Build inline flasher LEDs to plug our warning lights in. The lights will keep us from running into guide lines and stubbing our toes on tent pegs. The flashers will save power and make the lights more obvious.