Stargate Command Croydon

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Starglider
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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2018-11-26 03:55pm

Progress has been slow due to the usual labour issues. Inevitably after 10-12 weeks, they start to joke about working on an 'evil lair' for a 'Bond villain' and I have to preemptively arrange their liquidation and hire a fresh set of minions. A few iterations of this and the local hiring pool is starting to get a little shallow, but no matter, structural work is approaching completion.

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Exterior brickwork features the very finest in 1980s leisure centre styling, and a brick-clad R/C archway over the fire escape hatch, with a ten tonne load rating and a big stainless steel winch point for bringing in heavy machinery and SAM reloads as needed.

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Unfortunately there was something of a setback. I've been using the brickwork as formwork for the upper level which involves propping it against the ground. A pour was scheduled for Friday to raise the wall to roof level; weather at the time was dry.

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Due to inadvertant death ray activation an electrical fault the concrete delivery truck caught fire on my driveway and the pumping operation had to be aborted. It was rescheduled for Monday using an alternate truck but over the weekend heavy rains turned the site to mud, which resulted in the props sinking into the ground and the wall exploding from the force of ~10 tonnes of concrete

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Which just goes to show, always make a ground beam if you're using outrigger props on an R/C wall. Or at least arrange for the suspicious minions to be standing under the wall at the time to avoid the need to make up a separate excuse for their mysterious disappearance. The damage has since been repaired but it set back the schedule by another two weeks.

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The interior partitions are up as well, concrete block of course as studwork is no good for stopping MP5 fire from invading SEAL teams or containing genetic mutants trying to claw their way out.

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The roof should be completed by Christmas at which point outfitting of the interior will begin.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-27 04:23am

I’ve just read through most of this thread, and the only thing I’m wondering is who gets this in the divorce.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2018-11-27 04:57am

FireNexus wrote:
2018-11-27 04:23am
I’ve just read through most of this thread, and the only thing I’m wondering is who gets this in the divorce.
If that's your experience of marriage, you married the wrong person. :)

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-27 09:00pm

Holy shit. Ive had meter high panel formwork fail and that was worrying.

Really fucking glad the minions avoided that one.
Ties from whalers through the brick to the rebar might have done it. I assume evil contracting inc has insurance?
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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2018-11-28 05:02pm

If by 'insurance' you mean 'loved ones of workers kept in protective custody at an undisclosed location' then sure.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2019-01-27 02:42am

Final structural concrete pour for the roof was completed before Christmas.

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There are five slab-integrated concrete beams per level, I inverted the front two on the top level to provide additional headroom for the main door to retract into. The rear part of the roof has a section raised 300mm to allow more headroom for the car maintenance lift.

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The project used a total of 150 steel props: in a grudging concession to safety standards, both levels were propped for the roof pour (the structure is overengineered enough that it wasn't strictly necessary).

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The next major operation was flow sceeding the lower floor flat: it had a total variance of almost 100mm due to lack of level reference and equipment issues doing the foundation pour. Fortunately the flow screed delivery pipe is more flexible than the concrete delivery pipe.

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I specified bonded screed, but the installers were complaining about wrong primer and possible chemical reactions so we just went with membrane. The suspended floor over the crawlspace is overengineered as well of course, 10mm hardened steel plate infill on 120mmx8mm equal angles (I had lots of 10mm steel plate left over from another project).

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The floor build-up for the lower level will be this 20mm-100mm liquid screed levelling layer, 90mm foil-faced underfloor insulation, 20mm dry screed layer with embedded underfloor heating pipes, 50mm dry screed with embedded 50mmx50mm steel channels containing RGBW LED strips, 6mm frosted perspex, 3mm slate-effect textured rubber tiles.

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70 KW isolation transformer on concrete pillar mounts; will need a metal enclosure before being commissioned.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2019-02-11 06:35pm

Interior construction underway including the ATOMIC DOOMSDAY CLOCK

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Technically it is a hardline NTP synchronised clock with countdown mode configured via web interface / API, as radio sync clocks do not work through the Enrichment Centre's double nested Faraday cages, but the NTP server has a caesium clock which I think qualifies it as an ATOMIC DOOMSDAY CLOCK. There is another one in the Relaxation Vault but I haven't wired it up yet. Note that all internal construction is steel stud and fibreglass-reinforced cement board; no flammable rottable wood, no non-waterproof plasterboard.

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So far I've done all the wiring but alas I'll need to get a 'certified person' to install the primary three-phase distribution panel and meter tails.

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The magnetoplanar audio array is installed with 4 x Magnepan MMGi ceiling speakers and 4 x Magenpan 1.7i wall speakers. Electrostatic speaker array will have to wait until later. Trance music is pretty trippy as most of the surfaces are still hard concrete-backed-steel producing a lot of reverb.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by muse » 2019-02-12 06:28pm

Where are the lasers?
For the techno trance party that is.
ø¤ º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2019-03-18 02:13pm

Where are the lasers?
Lasers are not mounted yet but there are 25 x 1 tonne rated ceiling mount brackets and 9 x 2400W ceiling power outlets.

Underfloor heating pipes are laid, pressurised to 6 bar and undergoing 48 hour leak test.

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The underfloor heating system uses approx. 420 meters of 16mm PEX-AL-PEX pipe laid to 150mm centres (nominal), in 6 loops and 3 zones.

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The galvanised steel grid embedded in the floor is for more LED lights. I've only mounted a handful of strips so far for work lighting. The final design will have lighting in the ceiling, floor, walls and doors.

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I actually miscalculated the power requirements a bit due to measuring the current on the test strips fed from one end only. Mounted there was a noticeable brightness drop over 5m, so I fed them from both ends and the max current jumped from 3A to 5A, which puts the total installed capacity at 7.1 kW instead of 4.8 kW, which requires another dozen PSUs and RGBW amps. In practice you would not normally power all the RBG channels and the W channel at the same time, and practically I would expect to be dimmed down to <1 kW most of the time, but the wiring has to be able to take the worst case. Speaking of which

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72 kW primary power distribution, a bit of a mess due to the Hager boards not actually being able to take four pole or 100A devices without a lot of messing around. This is only for the stuff upstream of the isolation transformer.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Jub » 2019-03-18 04:29pm

I'm not seeing any of your images Starglider just broken image icons. That hasn't been an issue until today so it's unlikely to be something on my end, you might want to check your host.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-18 04:35pm

Jub wrote:
2019-03-18 04:29pm
I'm not seeing any of your images Starglider just broken image icons. That hasn't been an issue until today so it's unlikely to be something on my end, you might want to check your host.
They work fine for me. Clear your cookies or reload the page.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-03-19 05:15am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-03-18 04:35pm
Jub wrote:
2019-03-18 04:29pm
I'm not seeing any of your images Starglider just broken image icons. That hasn't been an issue until today so it's unlikely to be something on my end, you might want to check your host.
They work fine for me. Clear your cookies or reload the page.
broken for me.
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Re: Stargate Command Croydon

Post by Starglider » 2019-09-03 06:55pm

Recently this project has lead me to a sad realisation. I came to London some years ago eager to find an endless pool of disposable minions, ready to play their tiny but collectively vital parts in whatever thrilling scheme of world domination one might wish to embark upon. And so it went for the first dozen or so crews that were liquidated in unfortunate accidents once they began asking too many questions. Eventually however it did become harder to find fresh bodies to press-gang into service. I had to reduce the turnover rate, and the workforce has taken this as a sign of weakness and started asking for such things as living wages and break periods. One can only hope the project completes before they ask for... (shudder) ...benefits. And for this reason I am opposed to Brexit: clearly it is shallowing the disposable minion pool. On the plus side, they still show absolutely no interest in basic health and safety, so no impact on budget or schedule from that direction.

Anyway, I digress, the external structure is broadly complete with the railings and planter on the patio level and the strip of roof at the front.

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The original plan had insubstantial wooden railings, I replaced that with 16 stainless steel pipes, embedded in thick brick-clad R/C piers, fully plumbed to the bottom level for use as water cooling radiators. This is sufficient in total for about 16 servers, to run the full cluster this way I'd need to build a pergola of similar construction.

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My younger son has also been attempting to help with construction.

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Drainage in the planter, it is now filled with soil and a hedge at the front, need to install the smoked glass screen down the middle (posts anchor into the blockwork piers) before the last few plants can go in.

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Image from last month in the final stages of tiling: the front face is now complete except for the channel drain across the threshold. The interior has also been progressing but with one significant setback:

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I spent a week building the secondary rear projection mirror starting with the support frame.

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Which was a 5m x 2.4m plane inclined at a tricky angle over a concrete pit (which holds the primary mirror and the subwoofers). Getting the acrylic mirror to stick to it required trying three separate adhesives.

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Unfortunately testing revealed this to be infeasible. The geometry worked correctly, and the main problem that web forums had warned me about; getting the flexible arcylic material perfectly flat; wasn't a big issue. The real problem with that first surface arcylic mirror seems to have non-uniform reflectivity, not enough to be visible to the naked eye when looking at it as a mirror, but enough to give mirrored projections a pronounced cloudy texture. Presumably this is due to variance in the thickness of the aluminium layer; I tested a couple of samples from other suppliers after the issue became apparent, and they had the same problem. Obviously I should have tested this before building the mirror system, as it was I wrote off 900 GBP in materials and a week of work (fortunately the structural materials are reusable elsewhere).

The obvious option to fix this was to switch to glass, but this would cost about 10K GBP for reputable optical glass, assuming I didn't break any mounting it, and would require a lot more segments. Segmentation isn't a dealbreaker because the mirror plane is out of focus, so the unavoidable slight cracks don't show up as black lines so much as slightly darker strips, but going to 20 segments on the secondary mirror instead of 5 plus having to segment the primary mirror was asking for trouble.

Fortunately, advances in projector technology and the extended project timeline have bailed me out. When I designed the building the only 4K HDR solid state projectors available were the Sony VW5000-ES at ~50K GBP (5000 lumen) and the JVC DLA-Z1 at ~30K GBP (3000 lumen). With a DLA-Z1 I'd need to zoom to fill the full 8:3 screen or use a couple of cheap 1080p aux projectors in data mode. By the time I had to replace my old home theatre projector early last year, the Optoma UHZ65 was out at a far more reasonable 4K GBP for 3000 lumens. It doesn't have power zoom but at that pricing it was feasible to pair two of them, edge blend across the middle and create a 6K ultra-widescreen display. However the UHZ achieved that price by using a (laser-pumped) colour wheel, instead of 3 separate laser sources on the high-end projectors.

Since then the Optoma UHL55 has been released and impressively managed to deliver 4K HDR and a surprisingly good gamut from a genuinely solid state light source: LED. Unit price is only 1300 GBP, so it's completely feasible to use six of them in a 3 x 2 array to create a 12K display. The UHL55 is fixed throw, no zoom at all but that is actually preferred for rear project video wall application, as it eliminates a source of discrepancy between tiles and image drift. The 1.2x throw and tiling does unfortunately bring back the issue I was hoping to avoid with the very long light path in the original design; brightness variation (hotspot) due to incidence angle changes, but looking at the geometry I think it's managable. If I'd designed for this unit from the start I could've actually managed direct project, as it is with 2m usable depth I will have to use mirror bounce, but six small glass mirrors co-located on the projector mounts is far cheaper and easier to build than a 12m2 perfectly flat optical glass secondary mirror. As such I've ebayed he UHZ65, picked up six UHL55s and tested them in the living room: individual picture quality is a little below the UHZ65 due to the smaller chip and cheaper lens, but combined quality in 12K configuration is substantially higher. Plus combined brightness 12000 lumens, well above even a blended dual VW5000-ES config (7500 effective at 8:3). Setup will be a bit tedious since I'm not blending and the pixel size is now 0.4mm, but should be much easier than trying to do this with a long throw front projection array or bulky dual mirror bounce RP rig.

The only remaining issue is driving 6 4K60 HDR HDMI2 displays as a single screen. For the initial test I just used two graphics cards and some DP to HDMI dongles, which works ok for Windows desktop but not gaming. AMD Eyefinity can present a 6 screen matrix as a single display of any chosen resolution, but they all have to be driven from the same card (even with Crossfire on). Which means dual-stream Displayport splitter/hubs, the vast majority of which are only DP 1.2 i.e. only support 4K30. I've tracked down some DP1.4->HDMI2 splitters which should do the job, when they arrive from the US...

In the mean time at least the audio configuration is working well. The full-planar Atmos array of 4 x electrostatic + 8 x magnetoplanar probably doesn't image as accurately as the equivalent spend in conventional cone speakers, but the ambience is unique and frankly pretty amazing (as in, visitors are consistently amazed by it). The quad 15" subs are not up to AVS forum hardcore standards of output level, but they are all servo-controlled and thus give more than enough bass & subsonics for me while not suffering from any noticeable distortion.

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