The Electromagnetic Fountain

Posts Tagged ‘ROM3

Electromagnetic Fountain @ Porsgrunn

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Research Days
Telemark University College, Porsgrunn, Norway
18 – 27  September 2009

The Electromagnetic Fountain will stand in Porsgrunn, Norway, for a period of nine days during the annual national research days.


Success! 6 jets working!

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On the last day of the second session and main EM Fountain work time in Skien, the 6 jets finally came into action. It took a long time to find out how to wire the dmx relay box to the relay box that serves the electronic valves with electricity ……

Relay box 1 Relay box 2

Fiddle 6 Fiddle 5

Fiddle 3 Fiddle 2

Producer Observing data

Smiles 6 jets!

What became clear when we saw the fountain in action was that it was most lively without a cell phone installed by the antnenna.  The antnenna picked up ambient disturbances in the electromagnetic environment and the fountain responded with a rich variety of chorepgraphic patterns, jet heights and light blinky-blinks. Then, when you come close-ish to the antenna with a cell phone, the feedback is instantaneously perceptible, with a uniform choreography and all jets on full height. It is beautiful and sense making. But it is hard to say if the fountain will react likewise when it is moved to a new location …..

I now have a break for a week (going to show the Emotion Organ at the ACM Annual conference and exhibition at Science World/Vancouver). After that I have another 3 full days in Skien where all the remaining things need to be done to get the EMF ready for meeting the public – not in the least is to see if it will run on its own steam for 24 hours and more. The first preview will be in Porgrunn town square on 8th November, where it will stand for 24 hours before travelling to Article 08, Stavanger.

RGB lights arrive, but no relay box

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The 2 remaining RGB lights finally arrived today, but the relay box for the solenoid valves, expected at 13.00, still hasn’t made it through the post. It’s frustrating because I really want to see the whole thing up and running, and to make sure the pump that serves the solenoid valves is strong enough, and that the switch box/relay box system works too.

Last night brought with it some minor glitches, such as a potential risk of water spill flowing in to the electronics chamber from one of the bars supporting the fountain bowl, and a defunked blue colour on one of the RGB lights on a pentagon water jet. It takes 3 weeks to get hold of a new one – and we really don’t have time to hang around for it. I’m going to move the funky light out of the pentagon format and put it in the group of 3 that surrounds the central jet. I’ll try and aim this light at the top of the jet – it will always have a red/yellowish colour though. Another option is to get a white light from my studio in Oslo, and replace it with that.

So all that happened today was that Marius hooked up the 2 new lights and placed the funky one in the centre.

Under the fountain Cable work Light work

And just in case you are thinking that Marius is the only one getting dirty lying under the fountain – you are wrong! I do it too – but I’m the only one taking photos.

It’s extemely cold in the warehouse. And even colder when you’re wet. So once everything is up and running I’m planning to fill the bowl with warmish water and get my bikini on to focus the lights. I can’t reach the central ones without getting in the bowl, and I can’t focus them without the jets being at their full height.

Written by ajsteggell

October 22, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Houston, we have a problem

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Inspection_02 Houston, we have a problem
L-R: Atle (ROM3), Svein Kjetil, Øystein and Geir (NLI Engineering)

Had a meeting today with the project group from NLI Engineering AS to go over the water pressure and leakage troubles, as well as the electronic valve issue. Contrary to the idea of getting a 3rd pump to help/feed the two existing ones was the suggestion to address the “visible” faults – the angles and bends in the tubes running from the nozzles to the pumps and valves. The electronic valve issue should be solved with a relay box that supplies the valves with electricity, and is triggered by signals from the existing switch box. If this works, it won’t be too costly, and could be completed by Wednesday. Perhaps I will see the water jets working by the time I have to leave on Sunday.

The software still keeps running!

I am feeling positive :-)

(PS: Just got a call from my flat in Oslo – the water pipes in the bathroom are leaking – and water it running down into the flat below. This cannot be happening!)

Written by ajsteggell

October 20, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Day 4 at Frank’s place

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Fantastic sunny day again. I arrived at the workshop to find the fountain on a fork lift truck, with Marius working on electric cables:

Fork lift truck Checking it out

The water jet nozzles and lights are now in place and almost wired up. Some deatials:

Detail 2 Detail 3

L: The top hole is for water control (it rains a lot in Stavanger where the EMF will be standing in November) so any water over this level runs out of the bowl. Simple, but effective.
R: The rgb light fixtures allow them to be adjusted by height, angle and rotation. Lovely!

Bottom view Detail

L: The bottom view of the fountain showing the water tubes running from the pumps/solenoid valve chamber, through the mid hexagon chamber and up through holes to the jet fixtures.
R: I haven’t noticed the parabola logo before.

Fork lifting Nozzles and lights

The fountain is moved back inside Frank’s workshop so that Marius can continue wiring.

Working outside Working outside

I set up a table in the sun to test the sniffers. Though I don’t manage to get through all combinations of detectors and antenna, I do manage the following:

VLF box with large coil antenna: no response!
VLF box with small sensitive coil antenna: lovely, rich sounds, from very deep tones, to textural rushes and wooshes and clear tones when close up to wireless devices.

8318 box – 2-11 GHZ with small board antenna:
clear pulsing signals, high tones
8318 box – 2-11 GHZ with large board antenna: clear signals, beats and pulses, lower tones

8318 box – 900 – 300mhz with small board antenna: very loud signals, melodious at times, lots of variation in sounds when the antenna is moved around
8318 box – 900 – 300mhz with medium board antenna: as above, but very raw and tough, heavy rockish and black metalish sounds. Fab sounds when a guy used a mobile phone about 6m away.

Question: How to protect the antennas from the elements and how to make them robust enough to stand outside, in public space for 2 weeks?

So, the wiring is not quite finished, and we’re still waiting for the relay box. Frank still needs to put the doors on the base chambers – and all this really has to be done before we can do a test.

From the sniffer tests I did today, I really have to insist on spending time to decide how to fix the antennas on the fountain. I really need to be able to adjust them, rather than them being fixed in a static position. I am going to push forward to try and get them installed in steel goose neck tubes (or an alternative), so that the public can move them too.

Had hoped to set the LAN box channels today, but it was just not possible. Tommorrow’s another day!

Written by ajsteggell

October 9, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Day 2 at Frank’s place

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This post is more of a memory aid for me to remember what goes where in the fountain base as the bottom plates will shortly be put on. It is also the last chance to take a look at the open base and its design on the inside, and from above. We are still waiting for the sniffers to arrive from Berlin, and the dmx switch box to arrive from England.

Here’s 2 photos of the fountain base at the start of day 2:

Inspection 2 pumps
The 2 pumps have been bolted in place in their chamber on the top of the base (which is still upside down).

Wiring Bars in place
L: Marius threads the electric cables through holes from chamber to chamber.
R: Frank has soldered the metal bars on the bottom of the base in place.

Top view Water Power

L: The last view of the base construction before the bottom panels are put in place.
R: In the break Frank demonstrates how to get power out of electromagnetically charged water.

Central water tube hole Water tube holes

L: Hole for the central pump/jet water tube.
R: 5 holes for the 5 solenoid valve/jet water tubes

Power in Light holes

L: The hole for the electric power supply to the central jet pump.
R: 8 holes for the electric cables that lead from the rgb control boxes to the 8 underwater led lights.

Pump cables 01 Valve cable holes

L: Pump cables.
R: Solenoid valve cable holes.

Tubes in Tube fixture Tube fitting detail

L: Frank installs the water tubes that will carry water from the pumps to the 5 solenoid valves and central nozzle.
C: Water tube/pump fixture.
R: Water tube fitting.

Panel Atle, Frank and solenoid valves

L & R: The first base bottom panel is in place on the bottom of the fountain base, covering the computer/dimmer/rgb controller/ sound interface chamber. Atle Barcley (on the left) writing down the things he has to buy for tomorrow.

Chamber Pump and valves

L. The chamber for the electrical components with base and lid. The parts are being screwed in place, and electric cabling drawn threw holes from chamber to chamber.
R: The water tubes run from the solenoid valves the central hexagon chamber. They will be drawn out of corresponding holes on the bottom of the fountain bowl and feed the 5 pentagon nozzles.

Dismantled LAN box Father and Son

L: I am a bit distraught when I see Marius has dismantled my LAN box, but I’m sure he has a good reason.
R: At the end of the day Frank’s son, David, arrives to check out his dad’s work.

I think that we will be running a bit behind our schedule. The aim was to get the fountain construction finished by Thursday and transport it to an old warehouse at Klosterøya to test it with water in it. However, the fact that the dmx switch box is still sitting in the care of the customs officers in Oslo has put a damper on things ……. I’m a bit concerned about time running down the drain, but have decided not to panic and to keep relaed and confident about it all ….. hmmmm.

EMF the news!

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Here’s a link to an article in “Varden” about the Electromagnetic Fountain, and the partnership with NLI Engineering Industry AS. (Norwegian only)

Written by ajsteggell

July 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm