Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Building, building; a slow, careful assembly of the life-support equipment that will allow me to explore the stratosphere!

Now, about that exclamation mark: lately I wrote a piece, about exploring the Vatnajokull ice cap years ago, and it was laden with exclamation marks; one reviewer told me: "Honestly, Cam, lay off these punctuations,"...and to a degree, I agree, most of the time I don't need them. But sometimes I don't want to move so carefully and slowly, sometimes life isn't that way, and sometimes exclamations, well, I mean them to leap out off the page, even if that's a little embarrasing, just as though I were sitting there with the reader, getting so animated and excited by my recollections that yes--it's a little embarrassing how thrilled I become and how it animates me. Can't worry about that (though I will dial back on the !'s).

Regarding assembly of my flying machines; good progress recently; first, a sketch of my breakdown of a SCUBA breathing regulator, first simply to understand it, and then to identify whether or not I can convert it for use in very low, high-altitude pressures (near-vacuum):

Conclusion: the demand regulator, while containing some delicate elements, is essentially simple, and I can convert it for my uses. Doing this will be straightforward, but of course I'll want to test the unit before going up. To do that, I need to build a small vacuum chamber, large enough to hold the regulator and the overpressure / exhaust valve that also needs to be installed. That starts with another drawing:

...followed by assembling the chamber, seen here near completion, though the vacuum pump is malfunctioning and needs looking into:

Finally, a schematic sketch of the pressure garment, with miscellaneous notes to self, and specific model numbers for various parts; each manufacturer and model number has been selected over months of research...Now the fun part: buying and building!


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Anonymous said...

Stay excited ;)


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