Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I often get asked, by those who've never been, "is there a contest or award you're hoping to win?" Meaning, am I doing all this work for some sort of prize or recognition. I have always answered 'no' in the past. But it seems that individuals have begun taking it upon themselves to create awards. And this year we got these two.

The first one is quite large, probably 11x17 and came with an embroidered patch and an led lighted pin that looks like a spaceship.(click to read it all)

 The second one was given to us by a second year burner who wanted to bring something this year.

Final shots

 From inside the man.
Near the man.
 Watching the East Bay Core burn.
By definition.

Working the dance parties.

 First stop for the night was a small group out in the deep playa. Here we were the big fish.
Then we headed to a large, multi-camp dance get together. Here all the sound buses were playing the same music thanks to transmitters. We are the small fish here.

Out and about at night

 First night out, going to get our night license.

First light!


Installing the lights

Going to get our day license

Wings sections going on.

Mothership construction begins

After we set up camp we turned our attention towards the Mothership.
 Our new camp mate/friend Ben bolting on the first leg.
 Eran doing the final tightening on the last leg.
 Pulling the ship upright with the truck.
 Bob and Heather bolting on the wheel sections.
 Natalie and Eran bringing the car around to be attached to the structure.
Bolting the car to the Mothership base. (Note the rear wheels on the car. These are removed as soon as it is properly bolted to the legs.)

Almost there!

Black Rock City is being born out there in the light sandy patch on the right of the picture.

Time is short! Loading up

Like all projects under time constraints, the photos of the construction become pretty few and far between. We don't have time for those niceties right now. We've got to get all this stuff to the Playa!
 Natalie posing with all the clean gear.
Bob and Heather heading out with the first load. Including camp gear, the main cabin of the Mothership and a small wing section.
My truck loaded with the legs, front wheels, our camp stuff, and the two large wing sections looking like mohawks on the lumber rack.
The trailer holds the car part of the Mothership plus a load of other car and camp related stuff. Thanks for helping us load up George!
The last wing section is loaded on top of the 4Runner. Here we are all loaded up getting gas at 4am.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wings getting attached

It's kind of hard to see what's going on in these pictures, because of the trees. But it's two of the four finished wings attached and getting their final adjustments to clear the legs. You might also notice that the legs are in the process of being painted black, along with everything else.

Generator and storage boxes

This is one of the two boxes mounted on the front wheels of the vehicle. These were made from off the shelf trailer tongue boxes. Because of the height requirements of the generator they had to be sliced in half horizontally, then inserts were welded in to make them taller. This one, with the open mesh, if for the generator. One the other side is another, without the open mesh, for storing random stuff. They can also be used as seats by passengers.

Night welding

 Dan working on the lighting frame under the passenger cabin. Go Dan!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Working late

Dan showed up this evening after work to put in some quality work time. He's setting up the frame work for the lights under the center section.

Skinning begins

My sister Kristen stepped in to help with skinning the saucer. Lots of shiny Lycra. Silver on top and pearl white below.

It's standing!

All the legs have been bolted on and the wood structure removed. Standing on it's own for the first time. I'm all teary. 11 days to go.

Electronics wiring

The electronics are moving in. Touch screen monitor mounted on the dash will control the lights. Stereo under the seat will provide the music when we're cruising the Playa solo.

Welding the leg tops

 My good friend Joel helped me out by welding all the new parts and angles at the top of each leg. These are the critical connection points for the structure.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Just a cool shot

Cutting the top off of one of the mount pods with a grinder. I took the shot with one hand and held the grinder with the other. A selfie.

Latest crazy video test by Bobsicle

Car mount progress

It took me a long time to figure out this design and implement it. I needed three mounting points on the car for the rear leg. But I also wanted to be able to get at the engine if it needed maintenance. AND I didn't want the hood to look like Swiss cheese. The solution is that the triangle has three round mounting plates that bolt to the three round pods that are bolted to the car.