The issue with 'artcars'....

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Rat Bastard
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Post by Rat Bastard » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:50 pm

Yay, my boss doesn't feel like working this week. So I get the whole week to work. On the truck!

Itwased makes a good point. $$ This year is going to cost me around $6k. Aside from the art car I'm also starting a new camp and paying for my wife to fly out and enter! Damn that's an ugly number. And it doesn't even include the truck I'm mutating which I should have sold instead. Na, I'm having too much fun and I can't wait cruise around and listen to spectators go ooh, ahh and what the fuck is that.

Don't know what an x pipe is. I'm assuming a knife edge coupler is a straight tube with a ridge in the middle. Don't know, I'm not a mechanic. I do know I'm not messing with all that. If y'all are lucky, it will be a furnace vent pipe clamped on the tail pipe.

Here's a question... I've been shopping generators and I was looking for one that had a 12v output so I can turn off the V8, run lights and sound and charge batteries. I was reading up on RV.net and read that it's better to use a 3 stage battery charger instead of a 110v to 12v inverter. It didn't say anything about the 12v output on gens charging batteries. Most I looked at had a 10 amp 12v circuit.


Any knowledge or experience on this?
Can I charge while running the V8?

My plan is to have everything run of the truck's 12v system and use the generator to add extra power to assist the alternator. Using inverters for 110v stuff. Or be able to switch 110v stuff over to the gen and run 12v stuff off a second battery with a battery A/B switch.

Fuck me I got a lot of work to do in two months. I'd like to hear from some other art car builders how they tricked out their power.

(I know, it's a little off topic)

RB

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:04 am

If you are running the V8 anyway, you can generate all your power from that, to a point.
There are powerful, efficient generators used on ambulances and trucks providing 130-160 amps at idle or more.
There are sophisticated charging systems, but it's a decision as to what you need.
Do you need 120 ac?
That's the main reason most people run generators on a car.
I won't even try to explain the triple electrical system on one art car.

An X pipe has two groups of cylinders intersect in a crisscross joint that is open in the middle.
This reduces noise and increases flow.
The shape is crucial but even a bad one probably helps.
They need to be as close to the header collector as possible.

I can't find a really good picture of these.
When two or more tubes join, the angle and edge is important.
Knife edging refers to the edge of these joints.
All elements of the joint are crucial.
Most people buy these fittings from someone like spd.
It works in both directions.
They carry flex joints too.
I think an art car being quiet is a definite plus for effect.
For high performance, I've always felt that my car should always be quieter than the car I just outran.

The unusual system I mentioned fires two branches of the exhaust directly into each other.
It has the advantage of being removable.
It is very effective and whooshes.

The device I mentioned is slightly wider than the pipe and has ridges spaced down the inside with a straight opening in the middle.
This is used ahead of the muffler(s).
They are usually cast but they could be made easily.

http://www.spdexhaust.com/collector.html

http://www.x-pipe.com/harley.html

http://www.drgas.com/store/home.php?cat=6

http://www.steeda.com/products/magnaflo ... _xpipe.php

Dynomax has a variety of mufflers. The superturbo is the quietest.
http://www.dynomax.com/products/stp.asp

You might want to make sure your valvetrain is as quiet as possible too as far as clatter with the hydraulics.
Mounting sound absorption materials in the engine bay and as much enclosure as possible helps too.
Much more is possible with an art car than a normal vehicle.
You have a very limited range of operation to deal with unless you are driving it to the playa.
That means fewer problems to solve.

You may want to consider the odd system I mentioned.
It is very inexpensive to do.
At 5 mph it is possible to get a V8 very quiet.

dragonfly Jafe
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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:59 am

...for electrics it all comes down to power. What are you going to run? Lights, stereo, etc. How many watts? Add everything up, and then tack on at least 20% extra (50% is better). That is your power use.

Now figure out how to power it. A car's alternator will put out 12v at a max amp rating at normal speed (say 35mph). At slower speeds (say 5mph) the alternator is spinning much slower so is putting out much less power. Even if you add an ambulance alternator, you wont get any where near 160 amps. And this is at 12v remember; amps x volts = watts (so even that ambulance is only putting out 12x160 = 1920 watts max at speed). You will get maybe 500-1000 watts out of you typical alternator, max. That assumes you fiddle with the belts to get the idle speed of the alternator up. If you draw more than this, your vehicle's battery will slowly drain as you run it until the lights quit and you cannot start it again (very common sight later in the week). If you plan on doing this, I recommend getting a deep cycle battery installed with a charge isolator between the two batteries and the alternator - this allows you to put your accessories on the deep cycle alone and keep the regular battery for the engine alone.

If your truck has a PTO, you can add a silent generator head to that.

This is why almost all big art vehicles have a generator. They need more power for the sound system alone, let alone the lighting and blenders. Another approach is to cut back on power. Use a smaller car stereo with efficient speakers, a hand cranked blender, and glow-in-the-dark paint with UV LEDs here and there, and a standard alternator would probably do just fine. And there would be less fumes and noise.

Whatever you do, don't cut corners on wiring/cords. Keep all cords, connectors, power strips, etc, within their rated load. Fuses are good too (bring spares). A lot of electrical fires out there...
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:23 am

Many car alternators are rated at as many as three rpm levels.
I may have been misled about the high output ratings.
Ambulances have a fast idle switch to raise output.

If you click on the power curve you can see how fast the amperage rises on these.
They are mostly designed for low rpm diesels.
http://www.ceniehoff.com/products/altDi ... _name=C703

http://www.ceniehoff.com/
They are claiming 70% efficiency.

There are some designed for multiple mounting and regulating output with more than one unit.
http://www.prestolite.com/index.php

If you can find a core you can get one fairly reasonably.
A rebuilt unit is far cheaper than new.
They start at $300 locally.
Ambulances and other heavy vehicles have lots of goodies if you find one to get parts from including inverters.
I think I spotted 120 amps at 1500 rpm at 28 volts on one unit.

If you can change the engine bay, your options are wide open.
Some vehicles run dual standard alternators.

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Ugly Dougly
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:52 am

First, let me say that live steam makes my pulse pound. Who can explain it?

I notice a disconnect between worrying about the smoke coming out of art cars, while waiting for a burn to start, which would surely dwarf the emissions of any vehicle on the playa.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:59 am

It's not a question of emissions, but of annoyance to the crowd.
I could do without the garble of multiple art car sound systems playing at the same time in these spaces too.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Rat Bastard
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Post by Rat Bastard » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:27 am

With two alternators how are they hooked up? All in paralell? I do have room to add another one. I could put it where the AC compressor is. Shit, I've thought of getting the 10000w gen head from Harbor Freight and tossing it on. But that's out of the budget.

Remember folks, this is being done on zero budget. Most everything is found items.

Running two car stereo head units and two amps, total about 300 watts. Planned on 12v rope lighting for exterior and a couple 110v inteligent lights (with learning disabilities), strobes and video projector. Haven't added all the watts up yet. I'll do that soon.

My main concern is starting the truck. Second, ease of use between truck power and gen power.

I may just have to run the gen all the time. If so, oh well.

1000 watts at 12v is how many at 110v? 1000w? I forgot. I know Ohm's law but forget the conversion like this. Of course add in -10-20% for inverter loss.

I'm not doing all that muffler stuff but thanks for the suggestions. I can't in good concience do anything to this truck that's more expensive then the truck was worth to begin with!

RB
Read my posts with a grain of salt.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:21 am

Voltage times amperage is wattage.
1000 watts is power.
At 12 volts, it takes more amperage to have the same power.

For dual alternators, do you mean mechanically or electrically?
If possible, I would go with one big one rather than two small ones.
I'm not sure of the protocol for dual plants electrically.
You could have them on separate circuits in your case.
A diode system is used with dual batteries.
I would keep everything possible 12 volts and make your speakers as efficient as possible.
Bass will be the power hungry area.

The super turbo and even the glass packs are quite inexpensive.
Do what makes you happy with the car.
Often that last little touch that makes you happy does cost money.

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Ugly Dougly
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:07 pm

gyre wrote:It's not a question of emissions, but of annoyance to the crowd.
I could do without the garble of multiple art car sound systems playing at the same time in these spaces too.
Gotcha.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:44 pm

Rat Bastard wrote:With two alternators how are they hooked up? All in paralell? I do have room to add another one. I could put it where the AC compressor is. Shit, I've thought of getting the 10000w gen head from Harbor Freight and tossing it on.
Those generator heads are designed to be turned at 3600 rpm, and the problem with using one on your car is that your engine isn't running at a constant speed. (I looked into that idea since I HAD a 10k genny head lying around, ended up using a Honda generator insted.)

If you do dual alternators, keep them separated. We did this on an art car, the original keeps the starting battery in shape and the second one feeds a second battery and runs the extras. This is a great system for low-$$ because you can always scrape up an alternator and a battery somewhere.

If you can handle a little fab work, set up a larger pulley to spin your second alternator faster so it will put out more at the mostly idle speed your engine will see on the playa. Maybe even leave the belt off for the road trip out there, since it'll spin the hell outta the alternator at highway speed, and just put it on when you get there.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Windowlicker
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Post by Windowlicker » Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:59 pm

Good thing my art car this year will run on my own sense of personal saisfaction! Still burns a little dirty though :)
Love, Dance, Trance

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playa_surfer
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cleaner art cars

Post by playa_surfer » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:21 am

my honda EU1000 will take 2 10A automatic car chargers which feed 2 12V batteries for my 24V art car.

I usually run it when i've been running for hours and know voltage has dropped. Drink breaks, mud wrestling, royal canadian beaver eating contest...

same setup for my old electric surf board.

the EU's also output a straight 12V directly but charging is much slower than using an auto charger and also has RPM related output. the chargers don't have that problem.

the EUs are very environmentally friendly. but yo probably already knew that.

i posted to the wanted section on craigslist for months and scored 2 almost brand new ones for half the retail. even came with the linking cable to use them together for 2000 watts.

See my BM 2007 "Tribrid" hybrid art car here.
grubbenterprises.com/burningman link
It's gas, electric, AND PEDAL powered. =)

Peace,
Roger

Link
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Post by Link » Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:38 am

I like your exhaust stack idea.

Did you try and get them to turn off their idling vehicles? If the idea was proposed in the proper way they probably would have done it. Not many people like to decline a reasonable request.

This year you should be much happier with the types of vehicles that you see. I am looking forward to it.

-LINK

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