GK 3.0 – The Remodel

Mission Accomplished
February 19, 2011, 7:27 pm
Filed under: updates

Well, mostly anyway!

We expect to have our kitchen running by the end of the weekend and there’s still quite a bit of audio and video system work left to do, but the arcade is up and running and the bar is slinging beverages and we’re back to normal operating hours!

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Prepare to enter the grid!
February 14, 2011, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

With only a couple of days left before the grand re-opening, we’re all hustling to get everything ready. One of the final lighting touches addresses the arches that curve over most of our space.

The architecture is similar to Flynn’s Arcade in the original TRON.

Chasing incandescent lights were the height of arcade fashion in the ’80s but, today, they’re prohibitively expensive and inefficient.

How do we bring GK’s architecture into the 21st century? By taking a page from the makers of TRON:Legacy, of course!

The sequel updated TRON’s original design with a palette of cool blue glowing lines:

We can replicate this look fairly easily with some fiber-optic cable and LEDs. In 2011, technology has advanced to the point where a single LED can illuminate an entire 100′ strand of fiber-optic cable:

A little light goes a long way.

This will look pretty good on the arches, don’t you think? No reveal here, though. You’ll have to come to the grand re-opening party on Thursday to see the result!

Heavy metal shop
February 9, 2011, 10:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The local furniture companies didn’t have anything that really fit our budget or the look we wanted, so it was off to the steel yard to buy more material and “DIY”.

Nothing some 1'' x 1/2'' steel bars can't handle.

The tables are “complicated”. The design was fully modeled in SolidWorks and structural analysis performed to make sure things would be sturdy enough. Finite Element Analysis, anyone? *shudder* They are not, in any likelyhood, going to accidentally come apart any time soon.

Not taking any chances with the welds on these.

Our first try at welding sheet metal was educational. Let’s just say that sheet metal will curl up in a ball faster than Sonic the Hedgehog if the temperatures are uneven and too hot in one spot. After a little more thought (and a lot of Google) we came up with a technique that worked and is really, really strong. The table tops are now off for powder coating!

Since it seems like we’re making everything else, why not do the bar stools too?

This is our stool sample. Huh. Huh-huh-huh...

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Grand Re-Opening Party! – Thursday February 17
February 8, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, updates

WHAT: Grand Re-Opening Party

WHEN: Thursday, February 17th, 2011. Doors at 5pm.

WHERE: Ground Kontrol “3.0″, 511 NW Couch St.

OTHER INFO: TBA. This will be a 21+ event.

For to-the-minute info on this party, check http://www.groundkontrol.com!

LED There Be Light!
February 6, 2011, 11:48 am
Filed under: updates

Now that we have an interior that’s a little less– *ahem*– blue, we can have some more interesting interior lighting effects. Off-the-shelf solutions were either too expensive or not quite what we wanted. (We’re creating an arcade ‘mood’, not the inside of a Vegas casino!) What to do? Break out the soldering irons, Dremel tools, and liquid urethane plastics, of course!

Custom made LED lamp modules

These may look like a new version of everyone’s favorite light saber training aid, but they’re actually custom-made LED ‘light bulbs’ for use in some snazzy new lighting fixtures we’ll reveal when we’re finished remodeling.

GK LED Light Engine, AKA Destroyer Of Planets

Another custom LED-based light. I like it because it looks like a freaking DEATH RAY in the photo. There’s going to be ~20 of these little devils doing their thing!

Seoul P7 LED's on custom heat sinks.

…and here are some Seoul Semiconductor P7 LEDs mounted on custom heat sinks. For you electronics nerds, the P7 LEDs can run at 2.8 AMPS constant current. (For you non-electronic nerds, a ‘normal’ LED usually runs at less than 0.020 Amps. These are “very bright”. They power the death ray shown above.)

Primed, sealed, delivered, it’s floors!
February 3, 2011, 4:41 pm
Filed under: updates

After much more sanding, floating, skimming, priming, and sealing it’s finally time for the main floor to get its new covering! Fifty foot rolls of recycled rubber flooring were unloaded today and are ready for installation over the next few days.

Floors are spotless and ready for flooring installation!

The floor will be completely liquid-proof, so it will be considerably more resistant to spilled drinks than our old carpet. It should also help keep dust to a minimum since it won’t get trapped in carpet fibers and a Swiffer should make pretty short work of daily cleaning.

Ready to 'roll'!

The floor is made from recycled tire rubber and is around 4mm thick, so it has some ‘spring’ to it which makes standing relatively comfortable for longer periods of time. We hope you all like it! If nothing else, it’ll be an order of magnitude better than our old carpet! :-)

Behind The Plastic
February 3, 2011, 9:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized, updates

Ground Kontrol Under Quarantine?

What’s behind the plastic? A sick and dying E.T.? Infectious zombie virus outbreak? Dustin Hoffman in a Hazmat suit?

Actually, it’s not what’s behind the plastic that’s important – it’s what’s beneath your feet! This is a shot of the floor being prepped for our new super-comfortable, non-carpet flooring. To protect the rest of the space against the dust and dirt kicked up from grinding down the floor coating to an even surface, the flooring team had to painstakingly seal the bar and second level with plastic sheets and lots of painter’s tape.

Stay tuned for a look at the finished product!

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Everything Old Is New Again…
February 1, 2011, 10:36 am
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Including the bar:

The backbar columns after scraping the old varnish off, staining, and refinishing.

After repainting the walls and clearing the floor, the bar and stairs were looking a little worn. (One side effect of renovating is that every area you improve makes the others looks worse!) We quickly stained and sealed them when we first moved in, but didn’t have time to do a  thorough job. Now that we’re fully remodeling, we finally have a chance to restore our classic bar’s woodwork.

First, we removed every piece of hardware, leaving only the bare wood surface. Then, we scraped away as much of the old finish as possible, and re-stained to obtain a consistent color. Finally, we’ll seal it with a fresh coat of polyurethane.

Riddle: What sounds like a jet engine…
January 27, 2011, 11:53 pm
Filed under: updates

…and drys your hands off in 12 seconds?

Bonus: it looks like a giant robot claw from the side. :-)

Why, it’s the Dyson Airblade of course! For those of you unfamiliar– you place your wet hands (pointed down) in the top opening. The Airblade senses this and turns on a 400MPH (seriously) ‘blade’ of air from a 9″ wide, but only 0.3mm tall opening on either side. You draw your hands slowly up and out and the water is blasted off leaving you dry in about the time it took you to read this paragraph. :-)

This helps keep the restrooms clean and tidy and greatly reduces waste* (no need for tons of paper towels or spending way too long trying to rub your hands waiting for a traditional hand blow-dryer to heat up).

* (There is reason to suspect, however, that the real reason we added them was that Clay is infatuated with it but can’t justify putting one in his house.)

Pixel This…
January 15, 2011, 3:31 pm
Filed under: updates

So long, dingy brownish-orange bathrooms! We’ve smoothed the floors, put up new walls, and we’re ready to cover them with new tile…a LOT of new tile:

96,450 new tiles, to be exact.

Considering we previously replaced the front doorstep’s 70s-tastic brown look with a mosaic featuring iconic videogame characters, you may be able to guess what we have in store.

All those high school classes spent drawing videogame icons on graph paper instead of listening to the teacher are about to pay off.