Bragging rights..

So, last weekend me and Kayti built a 2100′ extension cord.

my gallery has pictures, for those of you who doubt. The setup is thus: There’s a annual party in a certain abandoned train tunnel that will not have it’s location mentioned here (although, I suspect the people over at Molecular might know where it is). In prior years, we’ve just run generators in the tunnel, because a convenient 20mph wind has been blowing through. This year, due to a collapse at the end of the tunnel that we *don’t* enter at, we were forced to reconsider the location of the generator. The party is traditionally held after the first of three air baffles in the tunnel, for accoustic reasons. This unfortunately is 1950′ in.

For those of you who weren’t aware, you can’t just plug 1950′ of 12-gauge extension cords into each other and plug them into a 110V outlet at the mouth. 12 gauge wire has a drop of 0.00187 ohms a foot – or 3.74 ohms for 2000 feet. That’s *per leg*. At the end of the line, a 20 amp load would cause, let’s see.. hang on. I don’t believe the value I keep getting here…

Okay. You all get the point. We needed 5kW at the other end of the tunnel. So, I bought a couple of matching transformers on E-bay.. (where else can you buy 480V-> 220V CT transformers for less than the cost of a good dinner? The shipping and handling costs were kind of brutal, though).. and me and Rich (of Manzanita Micro) spent some time building spider boxen, breaker panels, cable-tying all the wire together.. and then we went and installed it all in the tunnel..

it was like being on the fscking *grid* in there. The lights didn’t dim on the bass beats – the transformers barely got warm.. I was seriously worried that all of these things that I knew worked in theory wouldn’t actually work in the real world – but, no, it came off mostly without a hitch. (well, aside from a neutral wire that pulled out while the stuff was being dragged into the tunnel and got put back int he wrong place.. luckily they caught that before anything big got plugged in, but I understand they set fire to a powerstrip or two)

Anyway, I figured that building a 2100′ extension cable earned us some bragging rights. They say that’s how the (insert your favorite college, ethnic group, religion, or whatever you like to diss) are building their electric car.. unlimited range, but *man* you need a long extension cord.4

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