Ruth suggested I put up our recent correspondence on the wiki:

RUTH writes >> ps: i got car alternators, the cobber wire seems thick to me. but it´s gdr stuff, maybe western countries produced thinner wire…??

DON replies: The thinner the better, Ruth. Standard antennae wire will do it — especially for the _first_ rigged tree. That said, I’m keen on recycling and repurposing as much found materiel as possible. The east bloc stuff should be useful for the _second tree_ (best I check it all out when I get to Ausland). I expect to unravel the altenator wire (below) and wind it again around one of the trees… 


——– Original-Nachricht ——–

Betreff: Re: material Don Hill
Datum: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 16:31:43 +0200Hi Don, questions and answers!


DON WROTE >You’ll see the tree branches are rooted in a base of recycled wood (compressed particle board material), which was used to transport hardware (exactly what I am not >certain because I retrieved the base from beside a dumpster at the university).  don’t necessarily have to have a base, as the tree stumps will work as well (as I’ve indicated). 

RUTH replies: We could also build feet out of wood, in case the tree stumps are not sufficient-In your old material list you mention sand bags, they were for the same purpose, right?

DON replies: Yes. I’m also thinking of shaping the branches, twigs and so forth into an unusual antennae array — a kind of sculptured arrangement — to complement a site-specific aesthetic. At the very least, I will mirror the rudimentary surround of deadfall depicted in the ‘test’ photo in my backyard. 
I think we have a pile of wood to build it here and find a solution. Sand is also around the corner.

DON WROTE >The branches — as you’ll see tower no more than half-a-meter over my head. The shortest branch is at my waist. Ideally, you would have 16 branches for me to work with, >please.

RUTH replies: ausland is 5 m high – wouldn´t it be ice to have som real high ones? We anyways want to use the space in the heighth as well.

DON replies:  Good idea. The more branches the better. Lengths are no obstacle. However, widths should be manageable that we’re not requiring lumberjacks to muster the deadwood  8-]

DON WROTE >> I intend to wrap fine antennae wire around the tree branches, like a cobweb of spider-like intent. It is possible (and probably ideal) to use wire from an old car alternator (which I will unravel in a prescribed length for the tree antennae, which need to be slightly different from one another). You should be able to find a useless car alternator for practically nothing (perhaps ‘free’?). It’s the copper wire I’m most interested in (as you’ll see from the VLF – very low frequency – antennae that I use as depicted in the photograph).

RUTH replies:  Great! Car alternator should not be a problem, i was just at the junk yard and found this (see picture at the head of the posting)
But pieces would be tp short anyways. A car alternator is great. 

DON WROTE >> I will need two XLR-audio connectors (as you’ll see in the photo). 

RUTH replies:
this one?
DON replies:  The links shows a FEMALE connector (but the Neutrik brand works fine;  Switchcraft works too)  the MALE connector (which is like you would find at the base of a microphone; for instance, a Shure Beta58A). Two MALE XLR connectors, please (which will couple like a microphone does). Trust this makes sense…

RUTH WROTE >> And ancillary connectors to the wire (again in the photo).

DON replies: Yes, thanks.
DON WROTE >> What isn’t shown is the cabling from the XLR into the Ausland studio space (standard audio gear, which I imagine you might already have on hand?). 
RUTH replies: That should be fine.

There is a few remains form your old techlist: 

– Recycled lengths of thin wire — various colours. The longer the better.

DON replies:  Sure. But don’t make yourself crazy looking for this stuff (the telcos, such as Deutsch Telekom, typically throw kilometers of wire away when offices are remodeled or old buildings and homes get rennovated). My overall intent is to add colour and sculpt the trees — make them look spikey and ‘reaching out’ to the sky.

RUTH writes: – Sandbags (or equivalent — filled with aggregate or snow?) to mask and anchor trees

DON replies: Yes, any kind of achnoring materiel — recycled stuff, such ‘found’ stones in the neighbourhood or where-ever… Remains of the GDR wire and so forth… 

RUTH writes: – Cans of fluorescent spray marking paint — turquoise, yellow, lime green, orange, red (think of the xmas season)

DON replies: Yes. As luminescent as possible. Glow in the dark, eyecatching stuff…

RUTH writes: – PCM microphones…

DON replies:  Pressure mics are no longer necessary (I had been thinking of creating a mic out of modified meat-thermometers, pound it into a tree, but sadly since the trees are ‘dead’ I suspect there won’t be much insect movement inside that can be monitored — a story which I will tell during the ‘talk’)

RUTH writes: what about these? And what about a preamp?

DON replies: Yes to the preamps (two). However, I’m reticent to leaving anything outdoors — the idea being the lineout from the XLR connector would conveniently couple with a preamp _inside_ Ausland (however, since I can’t completely recall how one enters and exits the building, your counsel would be appreciated!) On my VLF antennae (the picture I sent), I simply outputed to a SONY MINIDISC recorder (with a modified XLR to Tip&Sleeve jack), and then outputed from the headphone jack. So — that might do the trick, too. Cheap and repurposed is my motto!