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A different mega tree construction method!

Discussion in 'Mega, Mini, Spiral & Pixel Trees' started by kane, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    At my house I have fake turf, so I wasn't going to be able to install a flag pole for my mega tree. And I wasn't that keen on trying to use big straps to hold something else in place.

    So I figured I'd have to use something that is pretty much free standing, and decided on a pyramid style, and had a metalworker put together the frame out of alluminium tubing. The I then ran some conduit around the base in a circle for the strings to come down to. I wasn't terribly happy with thebig bracket at the top - I thought he was going to make it round, but that was probably too hard.. oh well!

    As you can see on the photos below, I've strung out a heap of single colour LED strings (from MySolarLED) - 64 in total (16 each of w,r,g,b). I've also put the largest of my RGB 1804 based perspex light box Stars at the top. I have also strung 4x100 string 1804 pixel strings from the top, spiralling down, which allows some pretty nice effects.
     

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  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Nice effort. :)
     
  3. Boof63

    Boof63 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    really good job - envy :-[
     
  4. OP
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    kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Don't want to waste space with a separate post, so may as well add this information here - here's a few lessons learnt from hooking everything up over the weekend (keeping in mind that this was my first year):

    1. Planning is key - getting cables all made up with waterproof connectors on them makes hook up so so much easier. Putting together spreadsheets with all controller names, names for cables, etc, and then printing them out, makes things so much easier when you're not sure where things go.
    2. Fuses.. Although I haven't used the fuse PCBs I got from DA (will leave those until next year), I did actually ensure that every power run had a separate fuse in-line. This proved essential as I had two wiring issues that immediately blew the fuses. So was very happy with that happening, rather than blowing something else up. Also, I've found that the mini-blade fuses fit in the full size blade holders, which was handy for me as my holders are full size, and I didn't have enough full size fuses
    3. Cat5 cables - both of the cat5 cables that I ran from my garage out to the yard failed (one up to my balcony and the Pixad8, and one up to the top of the tree to the e680). I had to do another run and re-terminate them again. I am starting to think that the cheap Cat5 cable I bought (and cheap crimps) are perhaps not a great investment - anyone had the same sort of experience? All I can say is that I'm glad I tested the tree one out before hanging the 64 strings up - as I was able to tip the tree back over to run the replacement cable!
    4. Strings like to get tangled up.. The curtains I have up against the house (in white only) are all horribly tangled up. They still look quite nicelit up, but I will be trying to work out a way of securing them at the bottom for a more uniform look.
    5. LSP Gotchya - when setting up the e1.31 configuration - need to make sure that you setup the same information in the scheduler as the sequencer. I had a bank of channels not working, which I found out was just because I'd set the "size" for one of my universes correctly. Took a while to track that down.
    6. Another LSP gotchya - for me, shuffle mode for the scheduler does not seem to work - it crashes the first time it attempts to go to the next song. Have disabled shuffle mode now, and from my quick testing, that should work fine now..

    I love my RGB stars - one of those photos you can see the multi coloured effect which I think looks great. In some of my sequences, I have the stars spinning, which also looks good

    Will get some more photos and maybe a video when I get a chance.
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Very nice effort Kane, now for me to get some fake turf so i dont have to cut that damn lawn every fortnight in summer
     
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    kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Tell you what - I'll never go back to real lawn. No mowing, edging, retic issues, fertilising, etc. You still get the odd weed that comes up, but you can just spray it with roundup if you want!. Of course it stands out a bit (greenest grass in the street), but that being said, so does a bloody great big christmas tree! :)
     
  7. Dave

    Dave Full Time Elf

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    Great tree Kane.....are they Mysolarled light strings on the tree?

    Oh and don't worry Kane, the Fremantle Doctor twisted up my iccicles the day after i put them up on the second story. :(

    Dave
     
  8. Mike

    Mike CLAP infected!

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    Dave Tell me about it, my icicles are now inside my gutter.

    Kane nice work. Great idea.
     
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    kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Yep, MySolarLED strings - and not a single failure out of the whole lot! Be interesting to see how they all go throughout the season.
    The curtains up against the house, and also along the fence were also made to order - had 5 made for the house 1600 wide in 3 sections (so 3 channels), and 3 for the fence 1800 wide in 4 sections..
     
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    kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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  11. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    thats a really great tree kane, and even better cause its portable and doesnt have to be dug into the ground. I hope to do something similar this year.
    Luke 8)
     
  12. Greg Young

    Greg Young New Elf

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    Very nice job on your megatree Kane!
    I like your concept of artificial turf. It's funny because in the states many folks with allergies have moved to areas like Arizona, etc whose desert climate allows them to be able to breath easier.
    So what do they do? Many install irrigation systems to allow them to have a front lawn, and as you can guess grass pollen counts have begun to rise, and allergies are returning! ::)
    Planting grass in a desert environment... now that makes a whole lot of sense- not! I guess they never heard that "you shouldn't mess with Mother Nature"! :p
    I'll try to pass the word to some of them regarding artifical turf. The worse that can happen is maybe it will fade a bit over time due to the intense sun they get.
    Again, to get back on track, your display looks great!
    Greg
     
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    kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Sticking with the off-topic conversion, we get a lot of sun here too, and with water restrictions etc, it's very hard to keep a nice green lawn going. I think the one I got offered 10 years guarantee on fading. The way I look at it, after 10 years if I have to lay another lot, it's not the end of the world.
     

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