1st Mega Tree - Need design Validation

Russell7337

New elf
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
14
I am designing my first mega tree. On paper it is 360 degrees, 48 strings X 50 pixels each (2400 total pixels). I am using 5v WS2811 smart RBG pixels with a Falcon F16v3 controller. The falcon has 16 output ports but I plan on using only 8 ports for the tree. My plan is to Connect 6 sets (6 strings of 50 pixel lights strings) of lights end to end resulting in a String of 300 pixels to Each of the 8 ports. I will attach each of the 300 pixel strings to the tree in a zig zag layout (50 up 50 down...). I also will power inject at the beginning of every 50 pixel strand. In my view this will work however, I would like to hear the thoughts of this approach from others. Thanks!
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
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Feb 9, 2020
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Location
West Central Ohio
A 360 degree mega tree structure is a bit unusal as most are viewed from the sides or front and not from the rear. So 270 degrees or less is more common. Not knowing a few other specifics (height, base diameter, etc.), 48 strings may not produce the display resolution you like especially at 360 degrees.
 

Russell7337

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May 14, 2020
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Thanks for the input. With three inch pixel spacing the tree will stand about 12.5 feet and the base will be about 8 feet in diameter. I have seen other trees with the same dimensions and light spacing so i think i will be fine with the display resolution. In fact the center pole is adjustable so I can tighten everything up a bit if I increase the height and thus decrease. The diameter. beyond that i can always decide to decrese the pixel spacing to 2 inches but that will be a year two modification at this point if I think necessary. That said I will consider only doing 270 degrees as maybe there is no point to 360 degrees as you point out (no one can see it except me from my living room window). I was really hoping to hear a bit more about the technical aspects of daisy chaining the strings and the power injection strategy I plan to use.
 

TerryK

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Feb 9, 2020
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Location
West Central Ohio
Others will chime in with their thoughts I'm sure. The string zig-zag is fairly common as software will handle the up/down pixel positioning so as to make the display correct. Power injection every 50 pixels is more than adequate I think. I would probably power inject every 100 keeping the cables at the bottom. I do not have the 'rule of thumb' data close to say how many pixels before power injecting.

More individuals are moving to 12 volt pixels but 5 versus 12 is itself a debate. There also exists 12 regulated or resistor pixels. Each has advantages and/or disadvantages. I think most individuals (myself included) have a mixed voltage display.

I do not see anything you mentioned that will be a problem. The Falcon will handle up to 1024 pixels per port but few individuals load it up that much. Up to 680 pixels (I think) can be ran at 40fps, from there it drops to 20fps. So, having a 300 pixel daisy chained string per port should work without problems. I prefer a skinnier tree but that's just me. Cheers.
 

bpratt

Full time elf
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Mar 31, 2019
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204
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Jimboomba, Queensland
75mm spacing? ... how far from the street is that going to be, quite fair way for that spacing.

I'm guessing the 360 degree tree is because you're on a corner block, and the tree can be seen all the way around.

My tree is around 20m from the road, with 50mm spacing between pixels.

I run 400 pixels per f16v3 port, and that's 100 pixels x 4 lengths, as the tree is more than 6m tall. The base is around 2.7m in diameter, but I'm thinking at times I should add an extra 2 lengths of 100 pixels to compact the bottom part of the tree for more defined images on the tree.

I run 12v, and power inject between pixel 100 and 101, and then between 300 and 301, although according to things I've seen I could have just power injected between pixel 200 and 201, but was easier to do it the way I did.

Go for whichever voltage (12 or 5 volts) that you want to do, not what you think someone else wants you to have. :)
 

Russell7337

New elf
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May 14, 2020
Messages
14
Thanks. This is all helpful input. I realize I do not need a 360 degree tree. I will rethink that and consider something less maybe 270 or 180 (although doing a 360 still does not bother me much as i can see it from the house window). Also based on the above comments I have decided to remain with the 12.5 feet height and about 8 foot base but decrease the pixel spacing from 3 inches to 2 inches (50mm) which will increase the pixel count per string from 50 to 75. Based on this i need to rethink the power injection interval. It is easiest in my mind to power inject between strings (i.e between 75 and 75; 150 and 151; and so on) but with the 5v pixels I wonder if the is not enough. I plan to run at somewhere between 20% and 30% power levels so seems this should be enough. Guess i will just have to try it and see. Still welcome feedback. THANKS!
 

bpratt

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Jimboomba, Queensland
I'm thinking, and someone else can please correct me if I'm off track, but if you do your power inject like I did my mega tree, power inject between 150 and 151 and 225 and 226 on that one port.
 

LeighH

New elf
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
12
On one end of the string I use a 2 & a 3 pin female plug. The other end is the same but male, This allows you to jump power at top & bottom.
Data and power is passed in a zigzag and power injection is every otherTREE.png
 

Danielr

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Jul 13, 2019
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I'm looking at a 16x75 tree at 1.5 inch (38.1mm) spacing running off 8 ports of a F16v3 (with two power supplies). I will run the tree at 30%, do you think that will be ok without power injecting?
 

LeighH

New elf
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Apr 22, 2018
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My 5volt 16x50 is fine at 75% with 1 power supply. I jump the power to each string top and bottom using 4 ports on the f16
 

Danielr

New elf
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Jul 13, 2019
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Thanks Leigh. What are you using for the the pole and topper? I was looking at a Boscoyo big mega tree kit but their topper is for 1 and 3/8 poles and I'm not sure we get that size here (need to do more research)? Bunnings have 50mm pipe so I may need to consider a different topper. Bunnings are 2.4m in length so I may also need to make it 16 x 75 at 1 inch spacing plus the star on top.
 

Barnabybear

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Mar 30, 2012
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UK
Hi, to give you an idea of what the setup in the first post might look like I’ve linked a video.

The tree is from 2013 so no great effects.

32 strings x 42 square pixels (1,344 total pixels) 360 degrees.

3 ½” spacing along the string, about 12’ between the first and last pixel on the string.

1” spacing on the header, 3 ½” spacing at the midpoint of the string and 6” spacing at the base which was about 5’ diameter.
 

Danielr

New elf
Joined
Jul 13, 2019
Messages
12
Hi, to give you an idea of what the setup in the first post might look like I’ve linked a video.

The tree is from 2013 so no great effects.

32 strings x 42 square pixels (1,344 total pixels) 360 degrees.

3 ½” spacing along the string, about 12’ between the first and last pixel on the string.

1” spacing on the header, 3 ½” spacing at the midpoint of the string and 6” spacing at the base which was about 5’ diameter.
Thankyou
 
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