Burningman 1999
[burning man 1998] [BM99a] [BM99b] [BM99c] [BM99d] [BM99e]

The first 100 or so lights of the 1100 that will be needed.

The clipboard holds the handwritten, backwards letters for a 46 lights tall by 36 lights wide.

I first had to surf the net for a while to find a good quality image of mona. Since I'm using a lot of 1/2" 'hardware cloth' and by now the monolith had standard sized modules-slightly less than 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall-I had about 44 pixels tall by as many pixels wide as I'd need; about 36.

On my computer screen, are 2 images of the mona lis blown up large. One has been flipped horizontally because I'm going to be adding lights from the back. I made a palette of colors that were close to the colors found in the xmas tree lights I had, and used that as a palette to dither the mona lisa image to. (web geek talk.), transferred the colors on-screen to written letters on a piece of paper. (Then again when I realized I needed to have it backwards since I'll be working from the back.) Turns out I have a surplus of blue lights. None were needed in the final image.

Starting with the original...

...cropped and dithered to the colors available in Xmas tree lights This is how it will look from a distance...

...and this a bit closer up.
The power for this structure when at BM99 (during testing, I'm using a power supply that plugs into the wall) will be some batteries from a golf cart. Using two 6V batteries I can have 6V and 12V systems, but 12V will be the standard. Since I'm going to be adding misc. surplus, battery powered devices to detect motion, modulate laser beams and other cool stuff, some other voltages will be needed in different locations.

During a recent trip to Epcot center/Disney World, I had a chance to take a close look at some of the floats in the electric light parade. They are 12V powered and use sort sections of Xmas tree lights with 4 to 7 bulbs in them. That is what I'm doing as well-starting with 50 bulb per string lights, I spent many nights cutting the wires into 5 light sections, switching around the lights so each strand has the same color lights in it, stripping the wire ends, etc to be used in the monolith. Mona herself will take about 1100 lights-220 individual 12V sections.

The wiring is realitively simple. one side of the battery will be connected to the front piece of hardware cloth, and all of the strings of lights have one end soldiered to that metal grid. Behind the hardware cloth is a wood "X" shape that I'm using to support 10 loops of copper wire that will be attched to the switches in the hand mold. Three of the loops will light up green bulbs, 2 red, 2 pink, 2 yellow, 1 white, or something like that.