November 2, 2005
At a meeting of people doing strange things with electricity
I brought the Rave-O-Matic out for one last stationary showing at the November meeting of Dorkbot. The night started out with a bit of drama: a few seconds after flipping the switches on, I noticed smoke curling out from the battery compartment, rapidly growing thicker and more noxious. I hastily powered everything back down, and after the smoke had cleared, tried to figure out what had happened. It turned out that the power plug for one of the blacklights had been crushed sometime on the way back from the playa, and the resulting short circuit heated the wires up enough to melt their insulation. The rest of the system was undamaged, so I simply unplugged the blacklights, and the rest of the evening proceeded without incident.
Just like I saw on the playa, the Rave-O-Matic set the scene without itself being more than an incidental center of attention. People looked at it, nodded, and then stood around talking in its glow and noise.
It was a pretty low-key evening, but it was nice to be able to show my creation off to some of my friends in town. It was also a nice farewell; this is probably the end of the line for this contraption. The damaged circuit would be pretty easy to repair, but I'm ready to move on. I spent a year dreaming this thing up and building it; now it's time to put it away and dream up something new.