Dragon Heights: Yurt and Movies

ÇHello everyone! Maly of Dragon Heights here, saying THANK YOU to everyone who made our first CFT such an amazing experience!

I wanted to start this thread to get feedback on our setup, so we can be even better next year. Here are what we’re already looking to do differently next time around:

-Early setup, so when other campers arrive they will know exactly where the movies/screen will be. This should help with noise and accessibility issues for other camps.

-Sound system will be setup directly under the screen pointed towards the movie audience instead of positioned behind them. This should direct our noise away from the general camp area, and won’t compete with the DJ/dance setup as much.
related: next year if our noise is an issue, please don’t be afraid to come find one of us and talk to us about it! We want to play nice with everyone and want your camping experience to be as fun as it can

-We want to do both VJ/visualizers and live art projection, accompanied by music. None of us do any of that stuff, but we would like to invite other campers to come participate and make something great. Let’s have a dance under the big screen!

-Jondi is working on his camp popcorn making skills. Hopefully by next year he will have it locked down, because what are movies without popcorn?

-Better lighting in the yurt for drawing and art hangouts. There might even be a better yurt next year, depending on how ambitious we are between now and then!

-Midnight munchies: Jondi wants to do some kind of late night snack situation, because he’s an awesome camp cook and late night food is so good

-Drive In Movies? Polybun was talking about trying to bring a mini FM transmitter so we can broadcast our movies to people’s car stereos. I think this is a super cool idea!

I can’t think of anything else to add for the moment, but I will be coming back and adding to this as I remember things.

We look forward to any feedback you all have, please help us make Dragon Heights at CFT 2017 even better!

Thank you con staff, and again, a huge thanks to all of you for such a great weekend!

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The timing of this post works out well to see if there’s anything my foxx and I could contribute to, and make sure we aren’t stepping on toes with our own plans.

SteveFoxx and I were tentatively planning on bringing our projector next year to set up just to the right of our camp which would allow some of green camp to see the screen, as well as pretty much all of red camp to see it, and also do the surround experience should we have any content where it applies, though most of the audio will be pointed back at red so it shouldn’t bother green too much. And also doing the drive-in movie-style as we were offered the use of a 7W FM transmitter for next year.

300" is pretty much the max our projector can handle. Some testing will go on through the year as we no doubt return to the location to plan.

The goal is crowd-voted movies/shows/shorts to watch (I’m hoping some of you kids like Goosebumps and/or Tales from the Crypt. :stuck_out_tongue: ) and any music that is played will also be crowd-voted with a playlist made over the year. Wanna have half an hour of dedicated DJ time? Bring your iPod over and have at it, type thing.

I hate to be “that guy” (I really do), but it’s probably not legal to use a 7W FM transmitter in the US without a license. :slight_smile:

Generally, for unlicensed FM you’re limited to a field strength of < 250µV/m. That’s a bit confusing, but it’s safe to assume < 100mW of power (depends greatly on the antenna, could be more or less).

I’ve been told CFT has a legal FM transmitter that’s been mothballed, since it doesn’t reach all of camp. Maybe you could borrow that instead?

Personally, I thought your audio setup was pretty good. I loved that anyone could just walk up and start watching. But I was camped pretty far away, so maybe others noticed something I didn’t.

(On a related note, I’d really love to see us get the camp’s radio station back somehow. Licensing and power levels have been the big problems in the past.)

We do have a legal transmitter that broadcasts from 1w 500mw. It’s ungrounded, so needs a clean, well grounded signal going into it, otherwise it will have an awful hum. If we settled on a band and had someone make an antenna optimized to that frequency and set it on a nice high post, it should be adequate to cover all of camp. I could never drum up the interest to start up a CFT FM radio station, so we let it go. We still have it! I recall that using it as-is sitting on a table, the audio quality gets choppy at around 250 meters. Uses a simple 3.5mm jack input and output, and can plug into any computer or smart phone output no problem. The current antenna is the same type as a wifi router.

Oh, and since I didn’t say it above… thank you for all the hard work you put into all of this! Red camp was really awesome and full of energy this year, and I loved the movie screen. It was a really approachable and relaxing space to sit and chill during the night.

Not to mention it was particularly cool seeing such a large setup in camp, and made the overall space feel much more impressive.

(Out of curiosity, who/what is Zuul? X3)

The sound setup was fantastic. I pretty much couldn’t hear the movie unless I was pretty close to it, so you pretty much HAD to be in Red Camp to hear it. I think the farthest away I could hear it was the bathroom near the Safety tent.

I loved being able to just walk up and watch for however long you wanted. The fact that people were respectful of those sitting and watching was awesome.

I think the FM setup would be great, especially if in Green Camp, we had another projector setup and the movies started at the same time. One sound system, but more camps can watch. I dunno how complicated that would be but just a thought. That way there wouldn’t have to be two sound systems in two different camps for movies.

I also would like to know what Zuul is lol

totally not legal.

The technical solution is a complicated one but A workable one. You could, in theory, do a wifi mesh network and stream out to other linked hot spots. Use those to stream to multiple transmitters. Off the top of my head, with an antenna with a reasonable take off angle, say like 5/8ths wave or so, you could cover the area with 3 micro transmitters.

Option two puts you in a bit of a grey area as the power density in some spots would be on the illegal side. A single 1 watt unit with a stacked colinear array antenna about 100ft off the ground. That folds the EM field into a torus shape and should provide enough gain to cover the entire camp. Power levels at the feed point would be illegal, but the, the feed point is 100ft off the ground and would probably pass for legal if measured from ground level.

However if you are only looking to cover red camp, 500mw into a 5/8ths wave antenna hauled up a tree would probably work.

The antenna itself would just be a tuned length of wire, sling shot some fishing line over a tree branch and then haul the antenna up it. We use this method for field day at the PARC site and we get large curtain type and large loop antennas hundreds of feet off the ground this way. A verticle radiator would be childs play.

Just to correct my earlier post, my unit is a 500mw unit, not a 1w unit. I believe the manufacturer makes a 1/4 Wave tunable ground plane antenna that’s compatible.

The WiFi mesh idea had definitely crossed my mind. :slight_smile:

Logistically, it’d require a lot more work (gotta rig up a bunch of APs, power, deal with latency, etc.), but at the same time it’d be an interesting project.

Something to think about, I guess!

(Maybe this is a good excuse for me to finally learn how to use antenna modeling software…)

eh, modeling software ends up being a waste of time. It really does. You still end up needing to fine tune by hand.

I had an amazing time with the yurt and movies. You guys created a very welcoming atmosphere along with a comfy oasis in the dry high desert. Good movie selection too, although I didn’t take the time to finish watching any. I think the changes you’ve got planned out are just the ticket to make next year’s Dragon Heights better than ever.

If your taking suggestions for movies then I suggest Monster Squad and Goonies.
I think Monster Squad counts as furry. It does have Wolfman.