Covers for a 32ft dome?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
Post Reply
veleda
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:36 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Covers for a 32ft dome?

Post by veleda » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:29 pm

Hi everyone;

I have a 32ft dome that i am trying to cover and a parachute seems like a good and cheap idea however the only ones that i see are 28ft. Are there 32 foot versions and I just can't find them.

What have people done for domes that size?

User avatar
MikeVDS
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:10 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Tiki Fuckos
Location: Tiki Fuckos, Upland CA
Contact:

Post by MikeVDS » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:09 pm

First and foremost, every parachute I've used was a circle, not a dome shape. So taking a 32 foot circle and dropping it on a 32 foot dome, it will fall very short of completely covering. You will need a 50.24 foot parachute that is circular shape to cover a 32 foot dome.

Circle
Circumference = Pi * Diameter
C= 3.14 * 32'
C = 100.48'

But the cross section of a dome is only half a circle so 0.5 * C = 50.24'

This is an estimate because I'm assuming circular shape, when geodesic domes are not truly circular, but considering you're trying to find a parachute for your dome, the estimate should be close enough.

It's easier to buy a parachute, measure it, then size the dome to fit it, but it's too late for that. Try local army surplus stores and e-bay.

User avatar
MikeVDS
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:10 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Tiki Fuckos
Location: Tiki Fuckos, Upland CA
Contact:

Post by MikeVDS » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:11 pm

We found a 66' parachute and are making a 41' dome for it. For sizes you're looking for they will be cargo parachutes.

kukulcan
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:35 am
Contact:

Post by kukulcan » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:05 am

we bought a parachute to cover our dome for an outdoor music festival this year and found that it let in WAY too much solar radiation. when the clouds lifted on a sunny day, we could immediately feel the sun on our skin; it wasn't nearly as bad as being exposed, but it was not very fun either. i anticipate this could be a problem for you, especially in the early morning when it's too hot to sleep, yet too early to wake up. i would get something that offers closer to 100% shade.

perhaps someone with more parachute experience should address this? i don't want you to go through the hell that i did with a parachute!
the fiber of the thread of the same fabric.

User avatar
StevenGoodman
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Top Secret - be eaten after entering

Post by StevenGoodman » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:20 am

Solutions from history!

1) Billboard vinyl cut and fitted together to fit. Billboard vinyl is tough, heavy, and will block almost all the sun.

2) White Swiss Snow Camo. Enough pieces tied together to cover the dome. It is white, so it reflects, has holes so the wind comes through. It is also cheap and weak, it will likely be mostly trashed after one Burning Man.

3) Parachutes. They are used often. You can use two if you want better sun block. However, they often don't let the wind through, and therefore can act "like a parachute", and in 70 MPH winds this can be bad. (You can add vents to help with this).

4) Shade cloth or "the metallic reflect stuff" cut to fit. Nice stuff. Reflects or blocks well, lets the wind through. But it could be very expensive for a dome that size.

Anymore ideas, these are the ones I think of off the top of my head.
Playawaste Raiders and Megaton Bar and Grill

kukulcan
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:35 am
Contact:

Post by kukulcan » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:36 am

billboard vinyl is awesome! i think we miiiiight revert back to using our vinyl cover this year.

+ heavy (structural stability) - negligible haul weight though
+ extreme durability
+ easy to clean, just hose off
+ 100% shade

just make sure that you cut some vent holes at intervals (especialy at the top) to allow for cross-breezes and venting of hot air; but be sure to take rain possibility into account. also in case of rain you might want to bring some heavy duty foil tape or wide duct tape to make sure you can tape the seams together so rain doesn't drip through where the edges meet.

and for fastening your nuts down, one of these will make quick work of it:

Image
the fiber of the thread of the same fabric.

jackd
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:14 pm

64ft diameter parachute

Post by jackd » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:18 pm

You can get a 64-ft diameter parachute for $80 + shipping here:
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=288309

User avatar
MikeVDS
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:10 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Tiki Fuckos
Location: Tiki Fuckos, Upland CA
Contact:

Post by MikeVDS » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:15 pm

You can get a 64-ft diameter parachute for $80 + shipping here:
We purchased that one. We have not put it on our dome yet but will probably do it within a week. When we measured it, we got about 66' but it's also hard to lay out perfectly. I'll let you know how it fits on a v4 41' geodesic.

Smudge
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2003 4:49 pm
Contact:

parachutes BAD

Post by Smudge » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:04 am

They let in too much sun, catch too much wind, are noisy and when/if it ever rains again on the playa, do nearly nothing to keep you dry.
If you can't acquire billboard vinyl and vynyl cement, use silvered tarps.
If you insist on using a parachute for simplicity reasons (was my first idea) investing in some aluminet shadecloth to drape over the peak of the dome will be a nice sun deterrent. Yes, the aluminet is more expensive.

the info you didn't ask for:
http://www.skymind.com/~ocrow/dome/
http://www.byexample.com/projects/current/dome_cover/
the info you sorta asked for:
http://www.fiea.ucf.edu/~mgourlay/dome/f2c1-15ft/

User avatar
meyouseek
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:36 pm
Location: Hell-A

Post by meyouseek » Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:57 pm

We built a PVC dome in 2002 and used a parachute that was too small to come all the way down to the ground. It ended up being the best mistake we could have made! The parachute didn't catch as much wind since it was more like a yarmulke on the dome. The wind was also free to pass through the space and kept the shady areas really nice and pleasant.

User avatar
Burp!
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 5:27 pm

Post by Burp! » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:37 pm

We've been doming it since 1999 and have tried many covers, from parachutes to Hot Air Balloon tops. We used a remnant fabric from a company called Bo-Tox, sorta like tennis court nets. I prefer the see throughness of the mesh type fabrics for the reason that you can see out to where the action is and not be so isolated. Some of my camp mates and I disagree on this somewhat. Would be nice to have an alternating design of mesh and solid fabric.

Anyway, what made me respond to this is concerns with parachute covers. They are great, but also dangerous. If anyone remembers 2000, they will remember all the caved in domes with parachute tops. With the winds that can happen, parachute covers can be your worse enemy. If using something like that, make sure to cut airflow holes. We cut half moon shapes to let the air through, that seem to work pretty well. Also be prepared to cut the cover off if you have to. It's amazing the power of wind. If not for the rebar holding our dome, I am sure it would have rolled away, killing someone in 2000.

Also, look into the balloon top option. we got ours free one year from a balloon inspection company in Oakland. If a balloon is considered not air worthy, they are destroyed or at least made to not be used again. The inspection shop we went to had tons of tops with different colors available.

balloon top with Bo-Text siding
Image

Example of how the see thoroughness helps to allow you to still see out while providing uv protection
Image

Current Cover
Image

Hope this helps

T.

User avatar
MikeVDS
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:10 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Tiki Fuckos
Location: Tiki Fuckos, Upland CA
Contact:

Post by MikeVDS » Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:19 pm

I'll let you know how it fits on a v4 41' geodesic.
That 64' parachute might be a smidge too small for our 41' V4 dome. If you use one and want it to hit the ground nicely, you may want to go a little smaller.

Post Reply

Return to “Building Camps & Villages”