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3D Pixel Star Megatree Topper

Discussion in 'The Development Lab' started by Ɠαяєтн, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    I have just started engineering a 3D pixel star for the top of my megatree. I've got a few ideas but would really appreciate the collective knowledge and input of ACL! Has anybody done one of these?
    My idea so far; Based on a 6m pixel tree, have the star about 1.1m diameter. It would have a central sphere hub and project 25 spikes in a 3D manor. Each spike would be approx 500mm in length. I am thinking of a wooden central hub and 3mm round aluminium bar for the spikes. I am about to run some tests to see if RGB pixel nodes or pixel strips would look better. I am also thinking, should I use 60pix/m or 30pix/m strips, perhaps even going double sided for the strips to allow for 360° viewing.

    The megatree scaffolding pole is strong enough to take the weight. Ican’t decide if to put the P12S on the top or run from the bottom of the tree. If I went with the 60 pix/m strips then we have 30 pixels per spike. Is it ok to split the data and run into 2 strips, one either side of the spike? Based on this I will need 5 universes, 150 pixels per universe. Multipoint injection of power wouldn’t be a problem as most connections would be at the hub.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers,
    Gareth
     
  2. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    I'd keep the controller on the ground. Trouble shooting at 6m in the air isnt what I call a fun afternoon. Rather then use a strip either side of your rod perhaps play around with using some coroflute. It gives a nice light diffusion.

    By my calcs your centre sphere would be 100mm. I don't know if possible but if you could use 1m long rod and push it thru the wooden hub and have equal lengths hanging our either side for stability

    Just thoughts.

    I have a 6m mega tree as well and I want to find a large diameter acrylic sphere to attach pixels too but no luck finding one big enough.
     
  3. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Something else to investigate could be frosted acrylic tube, and insert strip lighting in the middle of it. You'd probably still need to look at double-sided to ensure the best viewing angle.

    I've been told that you can split the data line in order to do your double-sided approach (without doubling your pixel count), although I haven't done it myself. (I thought that it could introduce interference, but apparently not)

    Assuming you're the Gareth who I met at my place last season, the three spinners above my garage use the 60led/metre - and even though the 30 led/metre would have looked fine, I think the extra resolution is pretty good.

    It'd be interesting to see how you'd sequence it!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    Michael, I agree about the trouble shooting but not keen on running all those cables up the pole. I have a winch system to pull the top ring up, so it makes the tree easy to assemble. I suppose I could run the cables inside the pole. It would normally be pixel failure rather than the controller, but either way having the controller low down would be easier. I could mount it in the same enclosure as I use for the megatree. I could use PPRs and a P12D board for the P12S.

    I to was looking for an acrylic ball, but had no luck, that is why I came up with this idea. I also have had no luck finding a wooden ball big enough, so decided to make my own. Will have to investigate the coroflute.



    Kane, Hi. Yes it was I and what a fantastic display. It was partly your garage stars that sparked the idea of a 3D version. Quite like the idea of frosted acrylic, any idea where I can source from? I did look a few weeks ago but drew a blank.

    I am looking at sequencing with an upgrade of my Madrix v2 to v3, if not I’ll use LOR. Either way it’s not going to be easy! I have an idea of the effects I want to create and perhaps using other software might be better. I really don’t want to change software as I would like to stop with what I know.
     
  5. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Aha, always good to provide inspiration - hopefully you can pull this one off, as it'd be great to see.

    For acrylic tube - might be worth speaking to a couple local perspex/acrylic fabricators to see if they can supply frosted tube. Otherwise you could try chatting to some of the suppliers on aliexpress to see if they'd do small orders - for example, these guys
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/clear-acrylic-pipe-plastic-pipe-12x1x1000mm-clear-tube/748937720.html
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Acrylic-Tube-Clear-OD20x2x1000mm-Plastic-Water-Tube-Acrylic-Aquarium-Plexiglass-LED-Pipe-Perspex-Furniture-Free-Cutting/725629825.html

    That's right, you have Madrix, so that might be good for sequencing it. (not that I know anything about it!) Otherwise, I think you'd probably find that if you're sticking with LOR, that using Nutcracker to do the 3d star would help a heap (never know, Sean might even adapt it to suit that type of model)..

    For my spinners, I just set each up as a matrix in LSP, with each of the ten arms as columns. I could then run various macros from top to bottom of the matrix, which result in the effects coming from the centre of the spinner to the outsides.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    This is what I have in mind. Each leg is 500mm long and will have 30 pixels on each side to give 360° viewing.

    [attachimg=1]
     

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  7. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Good luck with implementing that. Let alone the routing of all the cables but with the 750 pixels I calculated you'll be putting up that works out to around 15 power injection points required. If you're folding over to cover the 2nd side full 360 degree viewing then my calcs work out to 1500 pixels, 30 injection points and about 28A at full load. Wow.
     
  8. arw01

    arw01 Full Time Elf

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    Check these out from Cabellas, don't know what shipping would be to your neck of the woods, but perhaps you can source locally.


    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Porcupine174-Fish-Attractor-3-Pack-Spheres-Only/703738.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dporcupine%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=porcupine&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products


    Pex tubing can be slotted to fit into the holes, and flex ribbon led will fit in the pex tubing. The pex defuses the light well.


    In the process of figuring out which strips to order for them myself currently. 5v saves some money and from a central point power distribution is not a big deal, but everything else in my display is 12v. Was thinking of of the ink1003 strips at .5 meter per spike.


    There is a thread by Steve Gass on diylightanimation.com where he talks about the idea from combustionmark and shows them in action on youtube.


    http://diylightanimation.com/index.php?topic=12266.0


    Starburst test run #2


    Alan
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    Hi Alan's

    Thanks for the info regarding power, I was planning on using 2 x 350W supply located at the bottom of the tree. Not quite sure yet how to "manage" the cables at the hub but I was thinking something of the lines of IP65 boxes with waterproof chassis sockets. I was thinking the construction needs to be modular so I can take apart for storage.

    Alan, thank for the link, this is fantastic. I have emailed the Porcupine manufacturer in USA to see if they will ship to Australia. I think they are about US$45 for a box of 3 spheres only, supply your own PVC tube. Perhaps the imperial sizes might be an issue? If anybody else is interested in these let me know and I can make a larger order, assuming they will shop to Australia
     
  10. mick8248

    mick8248 Full Time Elf

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    Hi Gareth I would be interested in getting some, but as you say the imperial measurements may be an issue, plus is there something similar to the PEX he has used here in Aus.
     

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