2012 Project - leaping RGB Arches with Clear Conduit.

Discussion in 'Leaping Arches, Driveway Arches & RGB Arches' started by AussiePhil, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    2012 Project - leaping RGB Arches with Clear Conduit.

    I've wanted to do this for a number of years but was put off early in 2010 when a supplier of the Clear Conduit told me if went cloudy white when left in the sun, but a forum post somewhere from a person in Adelaide that had bought some left in the sun and it was still clear change my mind.
    Goal:
    Have leaping arches that use Intelligent RGB strips so we can do really fancy effects.

    Layout Requirements:
    Eight to Ten arches depending on final layout in the yard.

    Hardware Required to build arches:
    8 - 10 Four Metre lengths of clear conduit.
    The clear conduit is available in 4M lengths from your local electrical wholesaler in Australia, just be prepared for Sticker Shock... it is NOT cheap.
    8 x 5M lengths of 2801 controlled RGB flexible strip.
    This is 32Leds/M and this amount will do 10 arches
    COST:
    I'll update this bit as I go.
    Estimates are as follows
    20mm Clear Conduit $60 / length
    5M RGB 2801 strip $95 per reel landed on my door
    Total for 10 Arches - $1360
    Yet to be factored in - Controllers to run these.
    -------------
    I did a proof of concept during the 2011 display that involved one length of clear conduit and some spare 5050 based 2801 pixels i had lying around, this worked quite well when the pixels all worked. the short story is the conduit was one size too small to easily get the pixel string down and I keep breaking pixels when pulling through the conduit. The nearly working one can be seen in the 2011 videos i have yet to post
    Cheers
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    I priced 25mm clear conduit the other day. Was quoted $55 a length, but dropped to $44 a length when I told them it was too expensive. Most places would have to order it in for you.
     
  3. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    I need some 90mm cloudy/opaque white pvc tube any suggestions?
     
  4. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    I bought some from a recycling shop. Cost me $2.40 for a 1200mm length. It's the pipe that window tinting film comes on.
     
  5. wjohn

    wjohn Apprentice Elf

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    Phil,


    I did leaping Arches in 2010 and 2011, using standard 2801 RGB pixels, and grey Conduit. The PIXELs were cable tied to the Conduit, and stood up like 'Soldiers' across the top of the Conduit.


    I'll see if I can do some videos. The great thing about them is they are easy to store, and quick to set up..
     
  6. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Some pics/vid of grey versus clear would be nice. I had 10 arches planned for 2011 but ran out of time and ended up with none. At the moment I'm thinking of going more like John describes but I'm easily led :)
     
  7. Slite

    Slite Full Time Elf

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    I think the point of having clear conduit is that you can have the strip INSIDE the conduit to protect it from the elements a bit more. Also since strip is a bit "fragile" not having to striptie it to a conduit probably makes it less prone to failure.

    At least I assume that is how Phil is thinking :)

    /Stefan
     
  8. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    I agree, sounds like Phil is doing the same thing I am looking to do. I want to change my two 5m arches into four 2.5m arches this year that are inside a tube. Not willing to settle for clear. Trying to find a way to make the tubes opaque to better defuse the light. Also if my plan works the RGB strip will not be curved sideways but will lay flat along the top of the arch. So far I have ordered a sample piece of food service tubing that is clear but has white strands. Also looking at clear/white pool vacuum hose. Also looking at clear tubes that cover florescent lights and lining the inside with defusing material from a lighting company. Looking for items that are made in 50mm for larger light defusing.
    Will keep you posted on results.
     
  9. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    I dont know if this helps, but u could use the clear silicon like based plastic tubes used in plumbing. Sorry cant think of exact name of them. Might be a bit too flexible though.
    Luke
     
  10. OP
    OP
    AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    John: thought about doing the vertical solder thing with normal pixels, but for my display it would be an open invitation for people to touch and move them.


    Stefan: protection from the elements is less of a concern that protection from people in this case, also in my mind is simple storage, the arches are fully contained on the conduit.


    Bird: i haven't tried this yet but a stretch white nylon lycra sewn in a tube will provide a simple slip over cover that will provide an effective diffuser for the light whilst being weatherproof. Not tried as the household does not own a sewing machine.


    Luke, the flexible tubing wont hold the shape of the arch without additional support.


    David_AVD: good tip on the 90mm tube, need to ring some window tinters now.


    Cheers
    Phil
     
  11. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    with the clear conduit how does this stand up to uv?? just wondering how many seasons you would get out of it.
     
  12. Henedce

    Henedce Apprentice Elf

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    My 2011 arches were made this way without the pixels though. Planning to change them to pixels this year.

    Video of my 2011 color test here

    and in action here

    How I made them here

    2 things I did learn in 2011 are 1 don't drill holes in the conduit, seemed like a great idea to allow wiring out but it weakened the structure and 2 you need to store them either in the right shape or dead flat on something hard and flat, it is very hard to get the kinks out .
    I plan on using pixel strip this year also now that Im upgrading to DMX from my Renard boards.
     
  13. OP
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    AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Henedce


    Why do I suspect it was yourself that made me go back and look at the Clear Conduit idea again. They look nice.


    Good tip on storage, haven't taken the prototype down yet and suspect I will need to store in current shape after it's been that way for a few weeks


    I did drill small 4mm holes just to attach tension wire to hold the arch in shape about 1" from the ends, this seems to be fine.


    Question for you. Which strip where you planning to use?


    I've currently got some silicon tube covered strip coming in but suspect I will prefer to use the molded silicon strip as I certainly prefer it with normal 5050 strip.


    Phil
     
  14. OP
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    AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Unknown, I've had people tell me it goes cloudy real fast but the one i have seems good so far... guess time will tell


    Phil
     
  15. Henedce

    Henedce Apprentice Elf

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    Not sure yet . It's not high on my 2012 agenda, I figure I have working arches so my pixel mega trees will come 1st.

    Mine is slightly cloudy on my mini arches, it is actually a benefit for them as the cloudier they get the more they diffuse the light. My only concern is they may get brittle. No sign of that yet though after their first season.
    Take into consideration my conduit spent an unknown time out in the weather at one of the local electrical wholesalers. So I'd say it will hold up for quite a long time if only out for 1 - 2 months a year.
     

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