Sunday, November 23, 2014

Artificial lagoon!

So, I've been thinking about how to expand beyond the aquarium. Not much will fit in there, and some people (rightfully imo) question what the point is of putting a habitat into an aquarium not much larger than it is.

What I really need is a body of water under my control. Very close by, so I can supply grid power and wifi for a webcam. But also with ideal visibility. The ponds near me are all muddy as hell. Then the solution hit me like a ton of ballast. Inflatable pool!

This is the biggest (on a budget) one I can find. It's 18 feet across by 48 inches/4 feet deep.

This is the next biggest. 15 feet across by 42 inches deep.

There's a big price difference between the two. The second biggest is $175. The biggest is just over $300. I'm not sure that jump in cost is worth it for 3 more feet of diameter and 6 more inches of depth. But if I can talk one or more of you crazy bastards into paying for it, I'd prefer the biggest one. Why bother unless you're gonna give it 110%, right?

This completely solves the problem of where to put the increasingly large (and soon modular) habitats. The depth is respectable but does not require anything beyond a snorkel and mask to work in. There will be a distance of nearly three feet between the top of Hambase Delta and the water's surface, and the curved blue outer wall should help create the illusion that the habitats are in open water. Maybe some fake coral here and there? And LED illumination at night.

Whereas livestreaming the existing habitat in the aquarium involves pointing a laptop camera at it from outside (in air), livestreaming the modular habitat complex I could finally establish in a pool like this would involve a webcam on a long USB cord, housed in a watertight weighted container. I could periodically move it around to view the growing colony from different angles.

Because all of this would be right outside, there would be no need for complex, failure prone solutions to power (like solar panels and lead acid batteries) or connectivity (like mifi or tethering, as if I can afford the data plan that would require anyway.) This is in all ways (I think) the ideal solution for how to continue building bigger, more ambitious habitats than will fit in the aquarium and still being able to stream video to my supporters.

But as usual I don't have the resources to make this happen on my own. I'll need some funding. We can call it "art" if that helps you justify donating this kind of dosh to such a project without feeling weird. }:3 I never enjoy soliciting money so brazenly but this is something I need your help for. It represents a revolutionary step beyond the restrictive confines of the aquarium, a much cooler environment to put habitats in (and film/stream them) and a testbed for eventual Summertime lake deployments. More than any other addition, this one in particular will drastically improve your experience as a spectator and make possible all kinds of future developments there's simply not space for right now.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't have much to spare so I sent you 3 bucks, hope you can acquire a proper body of water to continue expanding. Maybe you could get a wireless webcam rather than one "on a long USB cord". Best of luck, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.