Arlen Abraham

Tympani Lambada

Tympani Lambada is a Burning Man 2011 Honorarium project by the Flaming Lotus Girls. The sculpture is comprised of two major trussed arches, a third cantilevered arch, sound-reactive benches and a spiral shaped methanol fountain with drip and shooter effects. The two large arches feature RS-485 controlled propane flame effects with fan-shaped diffusers capable of creating massive sheets of fire or sequenced bursts. The inner, cantilevered arch features spherical RGB LED pixels providing ambient lighting. The inner arch also features sequenced, computer-controlled “hammers” that sound against the structural steel of the sculpture. Lastly, the sculpture includes a propane/forced air effect which uses six 14A independently speed-controlled motors, fuel controls, and chemical powder injectors to creates rapid percussive noises, extreme temperatures, and bursts of colored flame.

Rather than build a single-purpose breaker box, I designed a scalable power distribution system for this sculpture that would serve the Flaming Lotus girls for years to come. The distro is completely contained within a road case and takes 200A of 3-phase camlock power and safely powers: 6 30A ignitor circuits, 12 edison duplex circuits, 3 “spider boxes”, and also has camlok passthroughs. It is featured on the Wikipedia page for camlock. For Tympani, this box powered LEDs, acoustic hammers, hot surface ignitors, solenoids, forced air effect blowers, fountain solenoids, bench lighting.

Additionally, I designed and fabricated the LED light and acoustic hammer control boxes including, power supplies, RS-485 communication network, passive cooling, data and power connectors for multiple systems, and custom laser-cut face plates.