Lawrence Drive Lights MegaTree Build

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Hi all,
Here is how I am looking to build my MegaTree


Mega Tree Build


View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/iwnzfjw4gxhjt8m/Poppy%20Face%20Pic.jpg?dl=0



Quick dodgy video of “Trial set up” of MegaTree in garage


https://www.dropbox.com/s/2wiyg56ww50nbgt/Video 9-4-18, 9 08 16 pm.mov?dl=0


Picture of MegaTree in garage “Trial set up”


View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v5kn7fu767inb4m/Photo%209-4-18%2C%208%2035%2029%20pm.png?dl=0




Pixel Specs: WS2811 12V Square Pixel Nodes fitted to strip
12 Strings of 170 Pixels connected to 12 Outputs of Pixel Controller (Falcon F16 V3).
24 Stands of 85 Nodes per Strand


Xlights MegaTree Settings Below

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gt71pse1kpblqgg/MegaTree Xlights Settings Pic.jpg?dl=0

Power Injecting at end of each string via Falcon F8 Distro Board
2 x 12v 350W (running brightness @ 30% setting via Pixel Controller)
MegaTree Pixel Controller in waterproof “Ammo Box”

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1m6n1zsjyso9tbb/Photo%2025-4-18%2C%2010%2032%2028%20pm.jpg?dl=0



Tree Height approx. 4 metres
Base Diameter 1800 mm
Head Diameter approx. 300mm
Viewing Angle: 180 degrees

Mega Tree Pole
5.5 metre 40NB galvanised pipe (outside diameter 48.3mm with 4mm wall thickness)
Pole inserted 1 metre into ground via sleeve in ground and will be tethered at top via 3mm stainless cable
Next step was to figure out how to install Mega Tree in front yard.
Location selected is near side of house to try and get maximum viewing distance from the street in front of a small garden bed.

I needed a way of securing the Mega Tree pole in the ground

Decided to core a pvc pipe into the ground that is a snug fit to the 40 NB pipe (didn’t want to concrete sleeve in as yet as not 100% sure of location).

About ½ way into the ground with pole sleeve

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ten1ux2y67pygd/Photo%2026-6-18%2C%2011%2000%2023%20am.jpg?dl=0


Sleeve 1 metre into ground (since fitted a cap to top of sleeve to stop it filling up)

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8su28ggx9ljh0t5/Photo%2026-6-18%2C%2012%2007%2021%20pm.jpg?dl=0


Also fitted a base in the bottom of pole sleeve to stop the pole forcing its way further into ground and making removal of pole difficult.

Pic showing pole (sorry a bad photo with sun in background) but you get the idea.

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c0xurwgw5e13n9l/Photo%2026-6-18%2C%201%2030%2053%20pm.jpg?dl=0


Base Ring for Mega Tree
1 inch galv water pipe (old scrap piece I had lying around) bent into semi circle with basic pipe bender

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qrada667vq2tvn4/Photo 6-4-18, 10 38 42 am.jpg?dl=0

Bending pipe
https://www.dropbox.com/s/10ixz2dgme0bq5s/Photo 6-4-18, 10 26 06 am.jpg?dl=0

1800 mm Diameter base ring with
Strand spacing 125 mm
Drilled holes for ¼” “J Bolts” to attach strands (Yet to make up or purchase)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8kiupjdvo8mykt1/Photo 6-7-18, 1 25 00 pm.jpg?dl=0

Base ring will be approx. 500mm of ground and secured with steel droppers into ground.

Mega Tree Header (top piece which strips are attached to).
https://www.dropbox.com/s/m3nir8mizcl7f5u/Photo 7-5-18, 10 21 20 am.jpg?dl=0


Wanting a way to raise and lower Mega Tree header with strips attached.
Decided on using a cable winch (a cheap Ebay boat winch) and a cable pulley near top of pole.
Needed a way of mounting winch to pole so made up a winch plate adopter from some scrap 5mm x 100mm aluminum plate.

Winch plate secured to pole with round pipe clamps (allows winch and plate to be fitted when pole is upright.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7gwvuciprgrl4vy/Photo 6-7-18, 9 56 56 am.jpg?dl=0


Using a basic Bunnings cable pulley
https://www.bunnings.com.au/zenith-50mm-zinc-plated-wall-ceiling-single-pulley_p3950321

With winch plate sorted used similar method to for securing pulley for winch cable for top of pole.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r46fb6nown6bkq3/Photo 6-7-18, 11 40 49 am.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/12s3w2v9l9r4fs5/Photo 6-7-18, 11 41 07 am.jpg?dl=0

Just will have to remember to feed cable from winch up through cable pulley before inserting pole into ground sleeve.


Here is what it will look like (mocked up on a short section of pipe)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/muzskw0cxo7w96j/Photo 6-7-18, 11 51 50 am.jpg?dl=0


Still got to sort out how header will slide up pole (need to hole saw centre of header and probably fit some type of guide rollers to help it slide up and down pole).


Also need to fit guide wire mounts for top of pole, probably use more pipe clamps etc.


Updates to come

MegaTree Star

Double row 5 pointed star made with 5mm flat aluminum with square pixel nodes secured in strip and cable ties to aluminium.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0zkjfp8w11k45cq/Photo 25-4-18, 1 59 18 pm.jpg?dl=0

Need to make adapter for star to pole etc, Updates to come

Not sure yet if star will be attached to header of simply attach to top of pole

Updates to come.
 
Last edited:

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Ok a quick update

Firstly I have decided to increase the density of my Megatree
So going from 24 strands of 85 pixel nodes per strand @ 180 degree viewing angle to

32 strands of 85 pixel nodes per strand @ 180 degree viewing angle. I wasn't going to do this until next year but decided to go ahead with it.

One of the design aspects I wanted to have was the topper being able to be fitted when the MegaTree pole was in-situ.

ie Fit pole into ground sleeve with top pulley plate attached and guy wires attached.

Then bolt on winch with winch plate and bolt on sliding tree header (topper)

So come up with this somewhat crazy design for the tree header

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dafalupg4a0qy8a/Photo%2015-7-18%2C%201%2054%2000%20pm.jpg?dl=0


its just a "mock up / prototype so to speak" and will add some more bracing if needed, clean up and paint etc

So bolt the topper together around pole, and using pvc pipe as a bush to allow the header to "slide" up and down the pole easier.

Header to be winched up with boat winch and secured in place with the ratchet on the winch.

Need to also add something to header to attach winch cable to.

Not to sure yet as how going to secure strips to topper yet, was looking at small carabiner things but may just use hook bolts.

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1tn3y1ikcxtzsjb/Photo%2015-7-18%2C%201%2059%2029%20pm.jpg?dl=0
 

videoman3857

Full time elf
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
425
Location
Glass House Mountains
Just will have to remember to feed cable from winch up through cable pulley before inserting pole into ground sleeve.
Make sure you you have somewhere to anchor/hold the cable down low - or perhaps on the winch. It's amazing how it pulls itself back out of the pulley and down to the ground when you're wrestling with the tree trunk.
 

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Ok another quick update on the tree header
Here it is, yes it is looking a bit messy and a weird contraption, but hopefully it should work ok

I have added some bracing to the top which will also be the lifting point
View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qvtegxg3dgyf92v/Photo%2018-7-18%2C%201%2050%2054%20pm.jpg?dl=0



Here it is "mocked up" on a small section of pipe to give you a idea of how it will work (well hopefully work).
View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zbxw99htbsho0bi/Photo%2018-7-18%2C%202%2005%2019%20pm.jpg?dl=0


Note; Piece of steel plate attached to end of small lengths of strip just to see how the strips would hang down.

Next thing to do is come up with somehow to mount the MegaTree Star topper I made up.
Star approx. 1300mm from top to bottom.
Going to need to add some bracing etc and mount to tree header?
Or may just attach to top of megatree pole via clamps yet, if I go down this path I think I will need to come up with a idea of being able to tilt up the megatree pole.

Not sure yet, any ideas??

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kjtrjbf5j3cycj8/Photo%2018-7-18%2C%202%2022%2037%20pm.jpg?dl=0
 

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Ok, just a quick update

Looks like I will be going with a tilt up Mega Tree pole, did a little work on the tilt mechanism over the weekend. (I will update with some details and photos etc when I get a bit more done to it).

I did give the tree header a quick coat of paint (its low sheen black as that is what I had on hand).

Also going to go with hooks on the tree header to attach the strips to, instead of the small carabiner's.

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vp9umdu4ydj5yxh/Photo%2022-7-18%2C%202%2004%2058%20pm.jpg?dl=0


So basically "making it up as I go" .
 

videoman3857

Full time elf
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
425
Location
Glass House Mountains
Looks Bonza mate
The hooks are a bit fiddlier to set up now, but should be easier and faster for light set and break down.
The Carabiner's look like they's be too fiddly - well for my liking anyway.
Looking forward to seeing that tilt mechanism.
 

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Ok next piece of the puzzle completed

Made up a bracket (from some scrap bits and pieces like a left over post saddle and some 5mm flat bar) to be a tilt / pivot point for the Mega Tree pole

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/49eponipmqeo49v/Photo%2025-7-18%2C%2010%2029%2005%20am.jpg?dl=0



The bracket is attached via existing bolts to the fence post.

Mega Tree pole is attached to the pivot point (just a bolt) via a bolt on clamp.

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggywl3shwgybflw/Photo%2025-7-18%2C%2011%2010%2004%20am.jpg?dl=0




Here is another pic with pole attached.

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nm881e7qvql8cm1/Photo%2025-7-18%2C%2012%2031%2000%20pm.jpg?dl=0




Mega Tree pole tilts up nice and easy (compared to trying to lift the pole into the ground socket)

Just need to come up with a idea on how to lower the pole into the ground socket once tilted up

Then attach star etc etc.........

Hopefully more updates to come once I figure it out


Sorry didn't get a pic with the pole tilted up :)
 

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Ok a quick update on how I am going to fit my star topper for the Mega Tree.

Star is made from aluminium flat bar with 100 pixel nodes on outer ring and 70 pixel nodes on inner ring (Star is approx. 1300mm from point to point), Pixels mounted using left over Boscoyo strip and lots of cable ties.

Fitted some aluminium angle to attach the star to the top of the Mega Tree pole. I was going to mount the star on the movable tree header but decided to simply attach the star with 2 x clamps to the pole.
Here is a quick pic of the star attached to a short section of pole to give you a idea.

View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vfwtl2hzcuczabu/Photo%2026-7-18%2C%201%2026%2037%20pm.jpg?dl=0




View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qf4itep5e244j2b/Photo%2026-7-18%2C%201%2027%2036%20pm.jpg?dl=0
 

LawrenceDriveLights

Full time elf
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
277
Hi all,
Just a quick update

I was looking at ways of how I was going to attach the Boscoyo pixel strip to the tree topper I made.

I went with some Ramset dynabolt hooks similar to these
https://www.bunnings.com.au/ramset-8-x-45mm-dynabolt-plus-hook-opening-bolt_p2261911
(They are overkill, and there is lots of other hook type options out there, but these where available locally)

and used a couple nylock nut on each side to secure to the topper.

Here is a quick pic of the topper with hook bolts fitted
View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/esy197711o7q542/Photo%201-9-18%2C%201%2033%2033%20pm.jpg?dl=0
 
Last edited:

hwick

New elf
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
5
Just wondering where you recommend buying the pixels and mounting strips from thanks
 
Top