Tree Radio Test at YSP July

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Tree Radio Magz Hall

My first week at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been fruitful. I made a test transmitter on part of a tree to get a handle on the size and what it would look like and I really love how the transmitter looks on the tree, it’s so simple and clean cut and really wish I could leave it like that,  however moisture and rain will be an issue as it will easily flood the circuit, a week of unseasonal summer rain has highlighted how wet the trees get they soak a lot up water so one of my main issues is to think about how I can keep the wood to the back of the circuit dry. I’ve sourced some plastic, nails from a local Leeds manufacturer which can be used instead then I only have to think about keeping the front dry. The park suffers from meddlers I’m told (who can pull thinks apart even push over sculptures ) a reason I did consider putting a shield casing onto the outside to protect if from over zealous visitors and the elements. However I want to keep the water protection fitting to the eco nature to the project so have  now opted to paint on resin instead as I want it to be simple and effective.

The other issue has been sourcing the solar power, it looks like I could daisy chain several solar lights together to get the correct voltage I need as 9 volts is less than the  standard 12 volts solar power for sale at maplin et al. It’s been really surprising how little variety is available on the market for small solar panels which can also recharge this voltage. I am going to test out some options whilst at the Supernormal festival next weekend as I’m co running a Radio Arts transmitter workshop with Jim and Genetic Moo, who I’m roping into help. It seems all the great sculptures at the park are the result of huge team efforts so this is no different.

The very present tree moisture will be good for the sensors Anthony Elliot has made for the project, one picks up the resistance from the tree via moisture in it the other reacts to the light from the tree. We tested them last week and they sounding great already so looking forward to hearing what they sound like on the tree. I’ve found a fantastic site to for tree radio in a  small wood of pine trees however once the sun finally came out I am concerned if there will be enough light for the solar panels,  so lots to sort out in the next few weeks before I return. YSP are fantastic hosts its been great to get a behind the scenes understanding of the park and how it functions from all perspectives. Simon, James and Nathalie have been super supportive, so looking forward to getting this up and running later in the month.

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