The camp takes place on an area which does not provide a sufficient amount of electricity to cover our needs. Deciding whether to set up our own separate transformer or augmenting the power supply through generators was a tough one. Because of financial (and time) constraints, we settled for the latter. As a consequence, there will not be an unlimited amount of power available through a central line. Instead, it will be generated on site by a bunch of generators running on fossil fuel which will make us smell every Watt-hour. While we will try our best to meet all requirements, we cannot make any guarantees. Still, most of your needs should be fulfillable if you look out for one another. For example, the power distribution units provide a limited number of outlets. So plan ahead and talk to your neighbours on how to best divvy (and cable) them up.
What to bring
Please note: Whatever you do, you must not cross any roads, paths or borders between camping grounds with your cables. Stay within the area of your designated distribution box or you may create a major fuckup like a short circuit between different generators!
If your village requested a three-phase connection, we expect you to bring cables and distribution boxes along yourselves. Remember though that your own equipment has to comply to the electrical safety regulations in Germany.
Everybody else also should bring their own extension cords, since there will not be any available on site. Extra extension cords as a backup are a good idea.
What not to bring
As electricity is a rather rare and expensive good please watch your consumption and especially don't bring power hungry stuff like
- deep fryers
- electrical heaters
and similar devices.
Because it has been requested multiple times now:
Unfortunately we can't allow photovoltaic systems with a connection to our grid because we can't check if the devices comply to all safety regulations. Those include powering off the photovoltaics when our electricity grid (or the generators) go down, fire brigade emergency switches, and a general possibility of "too much power" in the grid. We however encourage you to bring your off-grid photovoltaics to draw less power from our generators. Less power is less fuel consumption.
- Spot checks of your power equipment will be carried out throughout the campsite to ensure their proper functioning. Should any of your equipment not comply to the regulations, its usage will not be permitted.
- Remember you are outside, so please use only outdoor approved extension cords and put all connectors where they cannot get wet and above ground.
- If you use cable reels unreel them completly, so they can't overheat. Lay your cable in a way that no one can get caught in it.
- All outlets are protected with RCDs. In case of a ground fault they will trip and a lot people will loose their power. Please remove your faulty equipment from the outlet immediately.
- If any problem persists, something may be broken. Do not tamper with any electrical equipment or try to fix it yourself, better call the power team, Number: powr (7697) for help.
One issue concerning hardware in tent environments is morning dew. However this affects not only desktop hardware, but any kind of electric contact or conductor exposed to humid air. Since desktop hardware is generally not very tightly enclosed, it is relatively sensitive to dew. Especially when it is not running for a while and therefore cold, it attracts dew like any other unheated object. To prevent your hardware from damage, you might want to bring some plastic bags to put your power plugs, desktop switches, or even computers inside and tie them up carefully.
A few tips for placing your equipment:
- don't place it in a poorly ventilated tent during a sunny day (too much heat - danger of fire)
- don't place your PC on the ground, even a beer/mate crate keeps ground water out
- Your most problematic equipment will be power connectors. Make sure you ALWAYS place them above ground and out of the rain.
If any electrical equipment gets wet, DO NOT TOUCH IT AND KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE UNTIL POWER IS TURNED OFF AT THE CENTRAL FEED YOU GET YOUR POWER FROM!
If you are using your equipment when it gets wet, it may survive if you unplug it immediately. Most of the time electronics can get wet without a problem if there is no current flowing through it. It will probably work fine if you let it dry out entirely before powering it up again. (The same isn't necessarily true for mechanics, such as motors in an optical drive). You should also pull the battery (on desktop PCs, also pull the CMOS battery if possible).
Anyway, your biggest problem will be the really sunny days when it doesn't rain. 40+ Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) means that you have to make sure that your equipment gets good ventilation and check if your air filters and fans got clogged with dust. Bring spares... Besides, when it's that hot, you might want to shut down your computer and find a friendly neighbouring village with a pool.
Your power distribution
Important: For photovoltaics and DC cables we won't give you recommendations here, you will need to work that out on your own.
Use outdoor rated rubber extension cables marked
- H07 BQ-F
- H07 RN-F
- H05 BQ-F
- H05 RN-F
ideally with socket caps (IP44 or better).
Usage of H05RR-F, H05VV-F or similar extension cables is disencouraged, as they are not suitable for outdoor applications.
Make sure to use cables with adequate wire cross section:
- Use at least 1.5 mm² for 16 Amp singlephase (Schuko connector)
- Use at least 2.5 mm² for 16 Amp triphase (CEE 16A connector)
- Use at least 4 mm², better 6 mm² for 32 Amp triphase (CEE 32A connector)
Always use CEE connectors for triphase cables.
- Remember that longer cables need to be even thicker for the same electrical current to achieve the same voltage. Undervoltage can cause malfuntion and/or damage in electrical equipment.
- Think about getting a <= 30mA Residual Current Device (Fehlerstrom-Schutzschalter, 10 or 30mA) and place that to the beginning of your long main extension cord to the tent.
- If you wish, get inline surge protectors (no 120V US Version, they will trip our RCDs. Check voltage rating for 230V), also for your ethernet cable. Place those to where cables enter (or leave) your tent.
- If you need a power plug adapter, use only versions with ground connector. Avoid the multiple country versions, the best solution is using a European power cord.
- If you come from the US, check the voltage rating of your equipment, not all is rated for 230V and will be dead immediately. You need a power converter or better look for a new European power supply.
If you have questions, just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org . We will do our best to sort out any issues. Should you have problems at the camp, we are using the DECT number POWR (7697).
- To refuel the generators they have to be switched off
- We cannot predict how long a full tank of fuel will last.
- We will monitor the consumption in order to make an educated guess so as to predict the next expected downtime and post on a sign on the generator
- Refueling should take place at most once every 24 hours, and will hopefully not take longer than 30 Minutes.
Availability of electricity will begin on August 19th!
Should you have problems during the event, there will be a QR code attached to every distribution box. If you scan one of those you will get on a website where you can report your problem. If that doesn't work the URL and distribution box number is noted there separately. You can also reach us on DECT powr (7697), if this note work, please note us the box number.
The plan of the distribution Boxes could change till the beginning of the camp. We will try to update it quickly here.
See List of available sockets in the List of Distributionboxes, which also has a link to a map of the distribution.