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  • Saturday the 29th--Update

  • Short update--continuing pressing

  • CEB Micro-controller Repair

  • Micro-controller repair of accidentally-broken solenoid on the CEB press
  • Solenoid repair


  • CEB Workflow

  • Short update on the brick laying process

  • Pressing Grates

  • Short update on the work site
  • realization that a grate modification is needed


  • Brick Pressing in Production

  • Shims

  • Brianna documents the importance of using 'shims' while welding

  • Remote Technical Documentation

  • Video documentation from Rebecca regarding her and Brianna's build
  • Brianna working on written documentation
  • Help with CAD documentation needed for clarification with computer modeling

  • Power Cube Power and Return

  • Power lines from Power Cubes explanation

  • Case Drain Returns on Tractor

  • Case drain return, a low fluid line connecting the 4 motors

  • Pressure Relief Instructional

  • Rebecca and Marcin show how to properly set the pressure relief PSI settings

  • Properly Installed Drawers

  • Brianna shows what the finished project should look like
  • Tips on how to fix any misalignment mistakes

  • How-To Install Drawers

  • Brianna's step-by-step how-to on the drawer installation
  • Tips on mounting to the rollers correctly, a rather tricky process

  • Progress on CEB Press

  • Bobcat to Lifetrac Conversion Video Instructions


  • Oct 20, 2011 UPDATE*

  • Have rollers for earth brick press
  • Rented a Bobcat for 1 month--will attach a conversion plate between Lifetrac and Bobcat to run sol pulzeriver, Power Cube and CEB Press
  • Need solution for couplers snapping under pressure

Bobcat meets Conversion Plate meets Pulverizer

  • Soil Pulverizer on Bobcat

  • Bobcat meets Pulverizer


  • Oct 18th Update

  • Update for True Fan supporters
  • 6K for Kickstarter campaign with 30 days to go
  • Main focus currently is mounting the pulverizer onto the tractor--plan B should the 3 tractors not hold up is to rent bobcats and create conversion plate
  • New equipment protocols coming online, including cement mixer and sawmill


  • Shuttleworth Fellowship Brief

  • Marcin describes the ideology, current and on-going projects of GVCS and the future goals and plans for the Shuttelworth Fellowship committee.


  • Power Cube Tabs Connecting to Tractor

  • Tab-mounting instructions for mounting Power Cube to the frame of Lifeterac

  • Lifeterac Motor Coupler Failure

  • Power Cube Wiring 2

  • Instructions on connecting wiring

  • Oct 15 Update

  • Tractor issues: snapped couplers on wheel motors by forgetting to adjust pressure on main hydraulic line
  • Reducing from 3,000 PSI to half that, for safety

  • Pouring Concrete Foundations

  • A panorama view of the concrete pouring


  • Moving Rebar to HabLab Site

  • Using OSE Tractor to move rebar to site

  • Foundation Pouring Series
  • Ready to pour HabLab foundations


  • HabLab rebar and embodied energy

  • 10-man team pulls all-nighter to finish outside forms (average 6 people for 18 hours = 108 manhours)
  • view of completed layout with forms
  • retaining wall and forms completed and rebar layed
  • ready to pour concrete


  • Preparing the for HabLab Wall Foundations.


  • Construction Planning Meeting



  • Soil Pulverizer Prototype 3

  • Cost: 1215 in labor, 25h at 50 dollars/h + 750 in materials.
  • Pulverizes and loads the soil in 1 step!
  • This device replaces a stationary pulverizer plus a conveyor (both about 20000 dollars).

  • Documentation evolving
    • Upload immediately to youtube from an iPhone
    • People can access it and make instructionals, Ian Midgley will share how to do it.
    • The more material we have, the more material people can choose.
    • We write down the procedure in the Wiki
    • Howard Agnew writes the actual scripts remotely.


  • Ergonomic analysis of excavation - 500 sqm with foundation pads
    • For excavation 4000 dollars for 4 days of labor.
      • Day 1 - 4h bulldozing with CAT D7, 4h trackhoe.
      • Day 2 - 9,5h excavator (all 10 hours of labor), 3h skid loader
      • Day 3 - 11h excavator, 3h bulldozing, 6h skid steering with Bobcat
      • Day 4 - 1h excavator, 3h skid steer
      • Fuel: bulldozing 10gal/hour, excavator 4gal/hour, Bobcat 3gal/h
  • Baling and House construction ergonomics
    • Baling ergonomics: 3h for 100-200 bales. Issues with the length of bales.
    • House construction ergonomics - 3h to pour 40 pads, 7 cubic yards of concrete, 6 people working. 6x3 = 18 human hours.
    • Ergonomics of preparing the forms - 0.5h per pad, 40 pads = 20 hours. Leveling them off. So about 1h for each pad = 40h for all pads. Work: lay the form out, do the rebar, put the rebar in, dig out a little bit, put some gravel and leveling.
  • Cement truck arrives and pours cement in the Foundation pads.
    • Side comment: For the foundation pad construction: 20 minutes per pad, to put it in form and put in the metal. With 1-2 people.
  • Muffler design
    • Parts: steel pipe and insert with about 40 holes, 7 inches long, 6 inches on the inside, 1 inch from the base. With modular pipe fittings.

  • Baling day 1 summary
    • 3 bales/minute, 180/hour, about 1500/day. 1 bale is sold for 3 dollars = about 5000 dollars per day.


  • OSE Certification
    • Power Cube Producer - Tom Griffin from Texas, 1st replication, aiming for OSE Certification.
      • OSE provides Marketing assistance, publicize in our networks
      • He is contributing back to the community.
    • OSE License relates to the OSE Specifications, features the OSE products embody.
    • Certified people will comment and describe how their product meets each point of the OSE Specification. It will be transparent for the user if he gets a product from somebody else or us, so he know exactly what he is getting, particularly on a life-time design and modularity aspects of our equipment. The world benefits by knowing what they are getting into, and the certified producer benefits by the having access to our marketing channels.
    • OSE License is for building a distributing economics. It is not for us building an empire, but for us distributing as much productive power to everybody out there as possible.
      • To support the open sourcing of civilization, the producers would contribute a reasonable amount back to the OSE project, like 3%, we will have to decide on that, we don't want to overtax them, but a little kickback to the project to continue further open source development.
      • We will custom design these agreements, it will on a case by case basis.
    • With this OSE distributive economics license we focus on the fact that whoever is a producer is documenting the work completely, meaning the bills of materials and designs and they will pass our mark only when they are truly bringing about distributive economics for the whole world to benefit with. And that's a beautiful package that nobody can disagree with, that can get a lot of public support on many fronts.
    • That's about the OSE License, we will keep developing it, as people get on line to produce it we hope to have people actually funding the project through donations back to the commons in terms of developing further open source goods.

  • Message to Jason Fields from the Urban Farming Guys
    • Ian produced 7 minutes video for the entire procedure to build the frame of the LifeTrac.
    • Start writing the script and preparing your Kickstarter materials asap.
    • Create a simple jig and I am hoping that even you guys will complete the whole tractor frame within hours.

  • Dear True Fans and Supporters - Update
    • about 42 days of construction. Foundation will be poured tomorrow. Excavation is done. Right now we are doing haying for the hay bales.
    • Next week we will be full-time producing and laying CEB Bricks. SHonda is getting the CEB up. We go now to Sweiger to work on the Sawmill, hay cutter and pulverizers.
    • Kauffman Foundation may would have 103,000 dollars for us, but I would like to see this money across the table, there are a lot of technical difficulties there.
    • If we can show the straw bales and cut lumber from our own tree, that would be beautiful. We are finishing the Sawmill, we didn't get the blade till tonight, we will try to secure that.
    • By the end of this week we aim to have 3 Tractors with 6 Power Cubes so we can start construction.
    • Yoonseo Kang is coming this Thursday. And Ted Mosher anytime this week.
    • Revenue streams from non-profit, real production, investors, loans.


  • Hay conditioner 101 - International 1086 Tractor - about 130HP, Hesston hay conditioner (a rotary cutter), 1 steel and 1 rubber roll. In Action.



  • Column foundation forms - a laser level would be useful that sense out an array of lines across the whole field so that we don't have to mess with the water level.


Excavation started
Gravel trucks and spreading

  • $60k construction grant is in