Progress Update: June 19th

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.

Our contract with Burning Man has been signed, sealed and delivered so we are even more officially ON than before. We, and all of the other Honorarium projects, and there are a bunch of amazing things there, are ll up on the BMan website :

 Our early crew, all 18 of them, has been approved and we have an excellent team in place.

The tower was completely re-designed in SolidWorks by Nick L, whose CAD-Fu is significantly more advanced an sophisticated than mine. Jigs have been designed and made for cutting the angles in the tower support struts and cutting has been successful on samples. Requests for quote for the bulk of the steel went out today.. The metal shop that was going to roll the angle for us into hoops cannot do it, so we have the steel and have started cutting it so that we can weld them into 12-sided polygons instead. . Tom W. of Limerick Machine in Maine has generously offered to make a bunch of the flat plate tower components and we have sent them drawings and they are being made as you read this. All 280 or so parts will be delivered early next week and we shall begin the marathon welding sessions. Blake Hooch C. has redone the structural analysis to reflect the wider tower and we are still I good shape to elevate 10 or so hippies safely up into the sky.

High-Voltage electronics are pretty much finished, both the tube-based circuits and the solid-state analog backups. Prototype boards have been spun and tested and we are onto production versions. 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 (PMTs) with matching photo-cathode spectral response have been selected and ordered. The PMTs have been tested and now that we have characterizes their output, we know how to tweak the pre-amplifier. 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.

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. Our source for the cloth did not materialize, no pun intended, so we will be picking up the cloth from a new source next week. Liz M has designed the patterns. The new tower dimensions have been nailed down, so the pattern for cutting, sewing and painting has been developed. As soon as we have the cloth we will begin sewing.

The first, few formal all-hands lighting team meetings have 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, Carl, Ben, Jacob, Adam, etc. The order for the mass quantity of lights, connectors, cables and power supplies goes out this week. We finalized the design for the clips to attach the LED strips to the steel structure of the tower.

The website is now on-line. Check it out at Add some testimonials, or let us know what you would like to see.

Threadable has proven useful as a way to keep the volunteer crew informed about what is goingon and the teams in communication with each other. We have 10 different groups at the moment and more will come on line as the project progresses.

Our fundraising efforts are centered on a Kickstarter campaign spearheaded by Madelaine R. with support from Riv, Sharon K, Melinda G, Emile D, Jessica S, et al. with video by Ronny P. The launch has so far been successful and we are 62% of the way to our funding goal.. 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 and 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, and 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 on. The attachment method to the tower has been finalized. A cut list and material order will be finalized over this coming weekend. The design for the ladder to climb up into the top platform is also nearing completion. All of the components that will be cut out on the CNC router have had their designs finalized and they have been toolpathed and are ready to cut.

After talks with Burning Man’s Art Support Services and other projects such as Bryan Tedrick’s Minaret, we are currently reviewing our base and method of attachment to the Playa and expect to have that design finished by July 1.