Equipment light system installation in Slovenia

It was the third visit to Slovenia of the project participants.

During our first trip in July 2006 we got acquainted with the territory and Slovenian speleologists, demonstrated the LED lighting potentialities in the show cave “Dimnice Jama” and studied potentialities for our project development not only in Slovenia but also in the republics of former Yugoslavia, Italy and Austria.

The second trip in January 2007 was fully dedicated to the “Sveta Jama” project. The main objective of that trip was to determine the structure of required equipment and objects of lighting as well as agreement the main requirements to the lighting system with the customer.

In March 2007 the Koper speleologist club "Jamarsko drustvo Dimnice Koper" placed an order for development, manufacture and delivery of a complete set of lighting system for the “Sveta Jama” cave project. The local speleologist club enlisted support of the local authorities who allocated a part of budgetary funds for equipment purchase. The rest was allocated from the club fund. Especially we’d like to mention the striving of the club members for development and preservation of their “supported” caves and giving them a special art and sightseeing value.

Sveta JamaOne should say that the "Sveta Jama" cave has been a religious place in Slovenia for the last 400 years. It is the only active underground church in Slovenia. Church masses are held in the cave at least once a week, besides, there is a continuous flow of pilgrims and tourists to the cave. Till May 2007 the cave lighting during services and excursions was performed by speleoclub members only with the help of carbide lamps and head lights.

After co-ordination of requirements for equipment the main complete set of equipment was developed and produced in a 2 month period. The customer’s main characteristic and requirement is system mobility and independence. All the equipment should be easy to bring in, to place, to adjust and then to disassemble and take out after a service or excursion. Our presentation test complete set "Travel Kit" has been developed and is applied on the same principle.

On 23d May everything that could be done and prepared was ready and we started on a trip. The same evening we arrived in the city Ankaran, where we were cordially welcomed by Fransi Malechkar, a member of the local speleoclub.

The next three days were fully dedicated to preparation, tuning up, adjustment and installation of the equipment directly in the cave. We had to use a perforator, a soldering iron, a generator and other no less useful instruments and in real earnest to engage ourselves in lantern installation, wire laying, beam adjusting etc.

Unfortunately, the local speleologists had no ready concept of cave lighting, so ways and principles of lantern placing and a luminous picture were created on site and in the process of working.
In the evening 26th May all the work was finished, the equipment was finally installed, the software was configured in compliance with the customer’s requirements. On the same day we performed a test of the equipment during a children excursion followed by a half-hour mass.

On 27th May Holy Servulus Day was celebrated in the cave. At 17:00 a gala switching on of our lighting was performed followed by one-and-a-half hour festive service. More than a hundred persons were present at that celebration including representatives of local authorities, Ministry of culture and show caves. The service was performed by the bishop Iztok Mozetis from Koper, who switched on the lighting with the help of a remote console and blessed all the project members.

The gala service was ended with “the Flood”. Immediately after the end of the service a hard thunderstorm started. The streams of water came down the stairs into the cave. Cables and controllers were inundated but did not stop operating. This served as a clear test of our equipment for survivability under the cave conditions.

Implementation of the project has taught us a lot, it has dotted many i’s and showed that we are moving in the right direction, that the principles and approaches laid in the very beginning of work are basically true. We hope that “Sveta Jama” lighting will illuminate our route to further achievements.