Done Driving At Night

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Dr Helix
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Done Driving At Night

Post by Dr Helix » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:34 am

I had the little Semi truck ("Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson") out there this year and I think I won't be driving much at night any more. The number of bikes who almost crashed into me despite the MV being fully lit, coupled with LEO's lurking around every corner gave me pause. Early morning/day runs were so much more relaxing and we picked up a lot of Zombies who needed rides back to their camps.
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171/348
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by 171/348 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:48 am

Ferguson.jpg
Loved meeting you two out there!
SUCH a cool ride!!!!!

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Savannah
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:51 am

I don't blame you, Dr. Helix. I don't even like riding my bike at night, unless I'm in the middle of nowhere.

And giving tired people rides home in the morning sounds like a lot of fun., actually. :lol:
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Aurelia
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Aurelia » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:44 pm

Yes, Dear Dr. Helix
I totally agree

and this year even the middle of nowhere was dauntingly populated
yet worth it

you two are so fine !
xoA.

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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:27 pm

Wait, are you guys the same Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson who brought Penny the goose? Because I loved Penny!

Image
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When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
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Asquared
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Asquared » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:30 pm

my idea for my next burn involves a taxi service.
amazing tip. day rides only!
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Dr Helix
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Dr Helix » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:48 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:Wait, are you guys the same Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson who brought Penny the goose? Because I loved Penny!

Image

We were indeed. Thank you so very much for your appreciation of the art. It means a lot to both of us.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:52 pm

My "First Mate" Charlie LOVED your little truck! It was one of her favorites.
She'll be happy to know who's it was!
As for night driving, I don't think it's that bad.
I did find liberal use of the horn and big bright lights helped!
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Dr Helix
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Dr Helix » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:02 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:My "First Mate" Charlie LOVED your little truck! It was one of her favorites.
She'll be happy to know who's it was!
As for night driving, I don't think it's that bad.
I did find liberal use of the horn and big bright lights helped!
Thanks. Glad she enjoyed it. I had a horn and it did help (people were always giving me the "honk your horn" hand sign). I would agree that I've got to up the ante on lights. I have head and tail lights plus a lot of red and yellow led's but I still felt like I wasn't being seen. I will try more lights next year. The other problem I encountered was driving down streets. At times the crowds were so thick we had to just inch our way along. Nobody's fault but just another reason to lie low at night.
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Jackass
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Jackass » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:27 pm

Blow off some fire when approaching thick crowds, they usually jump and then hastily scamper out of your way.

Plus they dig it.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:08 pm

I had three 250-watt headlamps... I didn't need them to see, I just used them so that people knew something big was coming up behind them.
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Savannah
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:15 pm

Dr Helix wrote:
BoyScoutGirl wrote:Wait, are you guys the same Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson who brought Penny the goose? Because I loved Penny!

Image

We were indeed. Thank you so very much for your appreciation of the art. It means a lot to both of us.
Whaaat? You guys made that?! I loved that piece! :D

The pennies felt marvelous under one's fingertips, and it was just so bright and pretty.

I have a particular affinity for art that looks as though a little mania went into it . . . :wink: Many small parts, placed just so.
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Dr Helix
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Dr Helix » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:18 pm

That would be my wife, Kiki. Everyone penny was tails. Every one was placed with "Canada" on the bottom. Her "madness" as she was fond of calling it.
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Elliot
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Elliot » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:38 pm

One thing you don't want to have on an MV, specially at night, is a windshield. Dust and glare and reflections often make it almost impossible to see thru it.
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by tamarakay » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:40 pm

I won't drive at night anymore after Wednesday on front streets out to the temple. The car I was driving was so lit up it would blind you but still people try and dive in front of it.

I drove the car one night down the back streets bar hopping, and then out around deep playa. It's nice back there and out there. The bars are really happy to see you and people have brains. I recommend this highly. I had a bunch of first timers on board and they loved it. none of them had any idea the bijou existed and we found that, found the bicycle beer bar and a few other deep playa pop ups. Was really magic.
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Savannah
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:43 pm

tamarakay wrote:I won't drive at night anymore after Wednesday on front streets out to the temple. The car I was driving was so lit up it would blind you but still people try and dive in front of it.
Whatever's been ailing the Route 447 jackrabbits for all these years seems to be contagious. :shock:
I drove the car one night down the back streets bar hopping, and then out around deep playa. It's nice back there and out there. The bars are really happy to see you and people have brains. I recommend this highly. I had a bunch of first timers on board and they loved it. none of them had any idea the bijou existed and we found that, found the bicycle beer bar and a few other deep playa pop ups. Was really magic.
What a fantastic idea! :o
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:09 pm

Hey Savannah, you can have a turn driving the Yacht if you like! You can still have the bullhorn.

The pointy-bow boat shape made for cutting through waves happens to work well with crowds too!

We'll get your inner outgoing Type-A aggressive self unleashed!
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Savannah
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:17 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Hey Savannah, you can have a turn driving the Yacht if you like! You can still have the bullhorn.
:shock: :o :D

Wowwwww.
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BBadger
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:11 pm

Though I believe a lot of night-time burners are just plain stupid (especially darktards), the real problem in my mind is that people are concentrating mostly on the ground-hazards 5-10ft in front of them that their headlamps light up (dunes, or darktards, or bikes that assholes have abandoned). The MV 30-100ft in front of them is more a peripheral vision object.

This is also compounded by the fact that a person's headlamp effectively destroys that person's night vision. An MV literally needs to be a "blob of light" out there to get noticed. A 5ft x 5ft mass of lights will show up in peripheral vision at decent distances. Lights that follow the edges of your vehicle, or point source lights, not so much.

I don't know how you lit up your truck. If it's the one in 171/348's post, where were you lighting up the vehicle? I suspect it was lit up with fire and with lights highlighting the borders. What could help (if you're willing to bother again), is having "panels" of light, or perhaps adding lights in hatches or stripes across the major paneling. That way you have full "panels" of light, rather than just thin borders. You could even animate them if you want.
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gyre
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by gyre » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:18 pm

Bouncing low level light over an entire vehicle registers better than bright point sources, according to faa research.

We are built to see three dimensional objects by reflected light.
You can test this yourself.


I also think conspicuity striping is the best thing you can add to anything.
If you aren't using it on a semi truck, you've missed an opportunity.
Works on bikes too, even on curved tubing.

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Nipple
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Nipple » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:24 pm

I prefer dazzle camouflage.

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Dr Helix
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Dr Helix » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:32 pm

BBadger wrote:Though I believe a lot of night-time burners are just plain stupid (especially darktards), the real problem in my mind is that people are concentrating mostly on the ground-hazards 5-10ft in front of them that their headlamps light up (dunes, or darktards, or bikes that assholes have abandoned). The MV 30-100ft in front of them is more a peripheral vision object.

This is also compounded by the fact that a person's headlamp effectively destroys that person's night vision. An MV literally needs to be a "blob of light" out there to get noticed. A 5ft x 5ft mass of lights will show up in peripheral vision at decent distances. Lights that follow the edges of your vehicle, or point source lights, not so much.

I don't know how you lit up your truck. If it's the one in 171/348's post, where were you lighting up the vehicle? I suspect it was lit up with fire and with lights highlighting the borders. What could help (if you're willing to bother again), is having "panels" of light, or perhaps adding lights in hatches or stripes across the major paneling. That way you have full "panels" of light, rather than just thin borders. You could even animate them if you want.
Excellent suggestions from both you BBadger and Gyre. I will definitely enhance my panels this way. Still not sure I'll venture out but I would want the ability to do so.
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gyre
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by gyre » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:53 pm

Love to see dazzle out there.

In case you aren't aware, you can get the solid colors in dot striping, if you prefer.
If you want to split some rolls, contact me offboard.
The striping stores forever, but the adhesive goes bad after awhile.
Suddenly I have a bunch of trailers with a total of four feet of striping on them.
Best deal I've found locally is Fleet, but only zebra and silver.
There is a wider range available.
I like the truck.

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BBadger
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:38 pm

Gyre's suggestion of bouncing low-level light might be the easiest and cost-effective way. For example, fixing something like this above or below the sides of your vehicle, with the bar lights pointing towards the flat sides of your vehicle, would light it up nicely. Someone in our camp brought one and strung it up in the roof chamber of our Costco carport and the whole table and area below glowed in different colors. Each one is about $150; so you'll have to decide if it's worth that price to you. It would look pretty cool if the borders of the MV accented the fill-lighting. Powering it might be a pain though, depending on your setup. It's 18W, but uses AC power.

You could also check out some cold cathodes, and set them up like this for protection. Then you put them in a reflector to aim the light and get the most out of your lights. They're very bright and work with 12V. Not too expensive either and you can choose a variety of colors. To make them light up more area, you can put some mirror reflectors on one side to direct the beam towards its target. The sites that seem to have the best DIY reflector tutorials are those marijuana growing websites. I'd link you directly, but the link would probably get pulled, so search on google for "fluorescent light reflector diy" and look at the various links.

I actually like the appearance of those MVs with full-panel lighting. They look like solid objects out there. One of my favorites is that "chattering teeth" MV with those fully lit teeth and red gums that are very easy to make out. It's not extremely bright, but it stands out in a crowd.
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Rice » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:40 pm

I sometimes drive the bus that takes the Gate & Perimeter volunteers to & from their shifts. It does not seem to matter if it is day or night... As I get closer to the center of the city, people try to walk and ride their bikes into the side of the bus when I am turning. They just do not seem to notice it! :shock:
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Krokodyle » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:30 am

gyre wrote:Bouncing low level light over an entire vehicle registers better than bright point sources, according to faa research.
I'd totally agree with this. I'm much more apt to see something, especially in the corner of my eye, when the object is lit itself, not sending out light. Especially when there are so many other points of light competing for space in my eyeballs. That said, I'm hyper vigilant when I'm riding my bike at night and would give MVs as wide a berth as I could, even when we were riding in a group. Just slowing down a bit helped the drivers know we were aware of their presence. But that's just me. I'm sure there are some stupid/altered consciousness people out there who would make MV drivers' lives hard.

The cold cathodes are great! I used two on my bike, and strapped them to the underside of the frame. They made nice pools of light that covered the ground under and slightly in front of the bike, and didn't blind people.
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BBadger
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by BBadger » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:11 pm

Krokodyle wrote:The cold cathodes are great! I used two on my bike, and strapped them to the underside of the frame. They made nice pools of light that covered the ground under and slightly in front of the bike, and didn't blind people.
Yeah, they're just a bit fragile. So you have to encase them in something like plastic. Pretty cheap too, and have a relatively convenient voltage for lead-acid battery arrangements.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:32 pm

I don't remember your cool little truck being very brightly lit, the suggestions about upping the brilliance are probably a good idea.

You could go with regular fluorescent tube lights... they're very bright, you have flat surfaces to work with for mounting them, they don't use that much power, and best of all - they're common and cheap! Only catch is I've found you need a GOOD inverter, a real "pure sine wave" unit, not a cheap-ass "modified sine wave" set in order to get fluorescents to work right.

Here's a photo of how well they light up:Image

OK just kidding - but this is my MV with fluorescent lights underneath making tons of glow:Image
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by gyre » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:53 pm

Plenty of 12 volt ballasts too.
Note that different fluorescents have wide ranges of efficacy.

For undercarriage lighting, colored metal halide bulbs are very efficient and cheap.
Standard metal halide ballasts or fixtures are used.
If you can use non-directional amber lighting, low pressure sodium is the most efficient of all.
The light is a pure spike of amber on the spectrum.

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Dr Helix
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Re: Done Driving At Night

Post by Dr Helix » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:59 pm

Really appreciate all of this. I will incorporate these things in the 2014 version. Very kind of you all for the help.
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