We spent yesterday evening out around town with our projector and new power inverter, testing sight-lines and potential backup locations for the Cross-Border Communication project.
We’re getting close to knowing exactly how and when we’ll get to do this project, and you can see our research and field tests after the jump.
We’ve been anxious to pick up this piece of equipment and everything finally came through yesterday to allow us to do just that.
Thanks to the generosity of the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Leadership Chair, we were able to get an 1800W inverter to power our projector and laptop without being tethered to an outlet.
Taking the inverter out of the box and pressing the ON button.
We have lights and a good charge right out of the box.
The moment of truth, plugging in the projector.
We have power!!!
The system works exactly as we had hoped.
And the first test at BCL HQ. We were also meeting with Lee Rodney to talk about an upcoming collaboration with her Border Bookmobile project. So Lee came out with us on our outdoor projection + battery test adventures.
We wanted to check the visibility at a distance, a further distance than we’ve tested in the past, so we headed to the University of Windsor campus.
From the parking lot across from the new medical building, we set up our projector, laptop and new power inverter. Michelle and Josh set up, Rosina holding the projector.
Cristina sets up to take some photos with Lee before heading north on Sunset to check the visibility of the projection from a distance. We were trying to project onto the side of Lambton Tower, but so much light was passing through the windows, it wasn’t working very well. Unfortunately ,this is likely indicative of what will happen on the side of the CIBC building.
The projection was a bit weak given the distance we were from the building. The edge of the parking lot has to be around 150′ from the building we were projecting onto and that distance along with the height of the building and overall brightness of the night with the full moon didn’t provide ideal conditions for projecting.
The view from a little further down on Sunset Ave. We also had the help of University of Windsor’s president, Dr. Alan Wildeman, who offered to drive down to Riverside Drive and back to tell us where the projection was most visible. He reported that there wasn’t a very ideal sight-line given the number of trees on Sunset, but as you can see the projection itself just wasn’t bright enough.
Projecting onto a much closer building worked a lot better.
This is the new medical building, for those of you who have seen the Lebel building, you can understand our envy.
After testing on campus, we decided to go downtown. We wanted to find some other potential surfaces, given our conclusions about the difficulties of projecting onto windows.
The side of the Art Gallery of Windsor provides a good, bright surface.
This is the view from the riverfront.
And another view with a longer exposure.
This view is a bit misleading for the visibility of the projection, as the riverfront park is at a lower grade than the view from Detroit would present.
After testing on the AGW, we moved further east.
We thought that all of the closed curtains on the Hilton would provide a brighter surface, and it might, but our projector just isn’t powerful enough.
The Broken City Lab crew.
While we were there, we also tested on the Radisson, which would probably be another good potential surface with a more powerful projector.
Next we headed to the riverfront to try a quick test on the river itself, something we’ve been meaning to do.
Then we went down to the Daimler Chrysler building for the final tests of the night.
This is another really good surface, but the height makes us unsure of how well you could see it from Detroit.
Rosina being a trooper and holding the projector again.
Josh, Lee, and Michelle check out the projection.
The view from just east of where we were projecting from.
The view at the foot of Ouellette and the Detroit River.
The size of the test of close to what we need. But again, the height makes us unsure.
Some more views.
Here you can see the projection next to the CIBC building that we had originally planned to project onto. You can see there might be a number of issues with the building, which we had considered before, but are more fully realizing after our tests tonight. The windows probably wouldn’t reflect enough light, letting too much of it into the office space.
From the edge of the cul-de-sac at the edge of the river.
This is from a photo taken earlier this year, this is the size and view of the building we were projecting onto.
So, this size of projection is potentially workable, though in some ways, having two projectors would be great and give us a lot more length. For now, it was a successful test, and we’re becoming more familiar with the limitations of our 2800 lumens projector.
The view from the parking lot.
We miss you!!!
We’ll have to connect with some folks we know in Detroit to test the visibility from one of these alternate downtown locations. In the meantime, we’re still hoping to get our hands our a higher-powered projector, because no matter what we project onto, having more light can only help.
3 Replies to “Projection & Battery Tests Around Downtown”
How long does that battery last?
Have you tried a solid all yellow background and black text? Or other variations of having the background in the colour and the text black.
On the right surface, that might work very well.
Mike, I’m not totally sure how long the battery will last, I need to do some calculations … it gives some approximate times for basic things you might plug in to it, but I’m not sure what the draw of the projector is yet.
We should try some different colours, Lee had suggested that as well. The way we had thought about it so far though is that the projector’s maximum brightness would probably be with the colour white, but next time, yes we’ll try some variations on text colour and background colour. Good call.
Grab one of those cheap Kill-A-Watt units. I have a couple, they are simple and easy way to measure power usage in a few different ways.
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