Progress Update 5/13/14

OK folks, here is an update for all of you who have been inquiring as to the status of the Cosmic Praise project. First off, thanks for you interest and patience, having the project located in the 6-o’clock keyhole has presented some challenges that have needed to be addressed and this has taken some time.

The biggest thing is that the smallest inner diameter of the tower, which was sufficient for one ladder up, is insufficient for 2 ladders up. We feel that the more highly-trafficed location, will come with more people attempting to climb up and down the tower. To make this easier, we have decided to put 2 ladders in, one for climbing up and the other for climbing down. This necessitated making the narrowest portion of the tower wider and led to a complete structural re-design, which has taken some time, but is now complete. We are generating the tower BOM and cut list even as I type this.  Thanks for the able CADding goes to Nick L. We have bought enough steel to prototype parts and determine fabrication methods and have cut some parts out on the CNC plasma cutter, thanks here go to Dewb.

High-Voltage electronics are pretty much designed, both the tube-based circuits and the solid-state analog backups. Most components have been sourced/purchased and a space has been cleared for to begin wiring up and testing at Artisan’s Asylum. The scintillator type and photomultipliers with matching photo-cathode spectral response have been selected and bought as well. We are gearing up to test the spark chamber as a simple 2-3 plate affair in a small bell jar in an Argon atmosphere. This has been mostly accomplished by Dan S, Bob R, Drew V, Olin S & Carl G. We also are engaging the advice of a new partner, a man who has been designing and building high-voltage and plasma discharge art for more than 30 years.

Lower tower wrap/Deco. We have tested samples of fabric for wrapping the lower half of the tower and the materials chosen will work for us. Liz M has been sketching up designs for the patterns and now that we have the new tower dimensions available, the cutting, sewing and painting will be started soon.

The first, formal all-hands lighting team meeting has happened. There has been a lot of behind the scenes work and a lot of the components/strategy has been nailed down. Basic lighting components, scheme and procedures are in place and are being developed on a test bed. Thanks Dewb.

Web development/social media work has been taken on by Emil and Riv and Sharon and they are putting the final touches on our WordPress website which should be coming on line this week. A LOT of thought and effort have gone into this and it should prove useful to anyone interested in the project. Check it out at Add some testimonials, or let us know what you would like to see.

Threadable was chosen as our mailing list source and so far it seems to be working fine. Although there were a few bumps at the start. We have 10 different groups at the moment and more will come on line as the project progresses. We are in the midst of getting our GrabCAD account setup and all of our CAD files put up there for easy access by the team.

Our fundraising efforts will center around a Kickstarter campaign spearheaded by Madelaine R. with video support from Ronny P. All of this is being finished up with an expected launch set for next week. Our crack graphics team has been busy coming up with interesting and beautiful designs that we intend to use for ‘branding’ or making the project recognizable. We are putting the finishing touches on some pretty cool rewards for folks who contribute to the project. We will have the usual, stickers, pint glasses, t-shirts, and some cool medallions all with designs made up by Riv, ehawk & Andrea H. In addition, there will be some larger things such as a table that is a version of the tower base and some lighting based on parts of the wooden tower top, as well as some surprises.

The wooden tower top/viewing platform has been expanded a bit in size to make it easier to climb up into and move around once up there. We have simplified the framing and will begin butchering wood in two weeks.

I look forward to sending you some more exciting updates in the coming weeks, along with opportunities for you all to help out. Things are starting to flow, just like the spice!

Cheers & Anticipation,