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Lawrence Drive Lights MegaTree Build

Discussion in 'Mega, Mini, Spiral & Pixel Trees' started by LawrenceDriveLights, Jul 6, 2018.

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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    Troy has the Boscoyo pixel mounting strips for sale locally (as per this thread, https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/boscoyo-products.9674/)

    Or alternatively you can purchase the pixel mounting strips direct from Boscoyo ( https://www.boscoyostudio.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_6&products_id=2)

    There is a couple of options for purchasing the pixels
    Locally Alan Hanson has them sale (Here is a listing for his 5 Volt pixels http://www.hansonelectronics.com.au/product/ws2811-5v-nodes-10cm/)

    There is a couple of other Chinese sellers like Ray Wu from Aliexpress (for example https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...4.0&pvid=b4d8ad6d-232d-4e1e-b1f3-183396d4f82b)

    There is lots of options when it comes to for purchasing pixels and it is a little difficult to recommend one Chinese seller over another, however most people seem to purchase from Ray Wu. The AusChristmasLighting 101 manual also mentions about purchasing pixels.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    OK another update.

    I have decided to change my controller set again for my Megatree.

    Going to now use 4 x 12 V 350W power supply's rather than the 2 I was going to originally utilise.

    I also had a spare Falcon expansion board sitting around so I also decided to utilise this as well.

    So in summary now have a 180 degree tree with 30 x 85 nodes strands with one strand per string.

    Using one output from the Falcon F16 and expansion board (32 outputs in total) per strand, i.e. only 85 nodes per string.

    This is waste of available channels available to be controlled by this combination, but I did have the expansion board sitting around and I won't need to do any power injection etc.

    The updated set up is going inside a ammo box like before with the controllers on the base and a small shelf for the Power Supplys.
    The shelf is secured by 4 x screws for quick removal if required (Note fuses accessible without having to remove PSU).

    I just made the shelf up out of some scrap timber.

    Base Board with Falcon F16V3 & expansion board looks like this.

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggr24vjc81p649x/Photo%2015-10-18%2C%201%2038%2015%20pm%20%281%29.jpg?dl=0



    PSU Shelf

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hj847umulqamobl/Photo%206-10-18%2C%2012%2057%2036%20pm.jpg?dl=0



    and all inside ammo box with fan & vents etc.


    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8q277rljrcy6b37/Photo%2015-10-18%2C%201%2056%2053%20pm.jpg?dl=0
     
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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    With the build of the main components now complete and with December fast approaching I took advantage of a nice Sunday morning with no wind etc to install the MegaTree pole. (The pole is 50NB pipe)

    I fitted the star on top first using the clamps, then below the star a tethering ring to attach the ratchet strap I am going to use as tethers.
    Then the top winch pulley with winch cable and lastly the winch and tree header (tree header is winched up the pole with boscoyo pixel strips attached).

    Here what the set up looks like before tilting pole into position

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ll8qqor4vn71yl9/Photo%2011-11-18%2C%2010%2019%2030%20am.jpg?dl=0


    After a bit of grunting etc the pole tilted up ok and I was able to secure the base into the previously fitted ground socket and fit the ratchet strap tethers.

    i used a high lift jack i had to help support the weight of the pole prior to loosing the tilt clamp and lowering pole into ground socket using the jack. Ground socket is approx 1000mm deep.

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mp4742tjdd688sx/Photo%2011-11-18%2C%2011%2037%2053%20am.jpg?dl=0


    It looks something like this (I have since straightened the pole), it looks worse in the photo for some reason??


    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2a3456tsbjj7iyf/Photo%2011-11-18%2C%2012%2003%2010%20pm.jpg?dl=0


    Next will be fitting base ring, securing pixel strips etc hopefully next weekend.

    I did test the star (couldn't help myself I wanted to see how it looked).

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hlkp8t7bmy0c58g/Photo%2011-11-18%2C%208%2039%2038%20pm.jpg?dl=0
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    2019 Update of Mega Tree Update

    After my first year of doing a Light Display there was a couple of things I wanted to change / tweak to make setup easier etc.

    One item I wanted to change was how I mounted the star on top of the Mega Tree, my original design had the Star clamped directly to the pole, I wanted to change this so if required I could make any repairs etc to the Stars Pixels etc.

    I made some alterations to the topper used for the Boscoyo Pixel mount strips which is winched up the MegaTree pole.

    I welded some extra brackets to the the topper so I can clamp a off cut of 40NB pipe with the Star to be attached to this pipe.

    Here are some pics

    Here is the Star mount attached to the topper

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/54ohylj0m67nye5/Photo%2026-5-19%2C%202%2051%2017%20pm.jpg?dl=0



    This is how it looks all together

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t989ef9d635a05f/Photo%2026-5-19%2C%203%2021%2017%20pm.jpg?dl=0
     
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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    Not sure if this is the correct place to post, but I will included here as part of our MegaTree update.

    I was looking around for a alternative way of securing the guide ropes for our MegaTree pole, last year I used star pickets or some people call them star droppers. These worked great but are a bit of a pain to get out of the ground during pack up (yes u can purchase a special removal tool, and I have a length of pipe with a chain etc attached to help remove them, but there still a pain).

    I was looking on Ebay and noticed these Spiral Ground Anchors listed - Here is a link https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/4PCS-NE...var=413732489174&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

    Here is a pic of them when they arrived

    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/81r4koehivm677g/Photo%2017-6-19%2C%2011%2016%2012%20am.jpg?dl=0




    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7i71uv7d0qfyrv6/Photo%2017-6-19%2C%2011%2016%2030%20am.jpg?dl=0



    They are approx. 400mm long and the construction looks ok for cheap made stakes and they have D ring attached on top.

    I did a quick test and they seemed to hold the same amount of tension I used on my MegaTree guide ropes last year, so I may use them this year.


    View: https://www.dropbox.com/s/385xiih1i446m1r/Photo%2017-6-19%2C%2011%2010%2048%20am.jpg?dl=0


    I do like how they are flush with the ground so no end of star picket sticking out of the ground etc and screw out of the ground easily.

    Now these might not suit everybody's application due to various ground conditions etc and different forces applied etc on them, but if you are looking for some alternatives to secure some items as part of you display that are a bit easy to install and remove compared to star droppers they may be worth having a look at.
     
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  8. andrewa

    andrewa Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    I think these are a great Idea.

    One year I used mini star pickets, and punctured my main water line. A Great fountain ensued.
     
  9. Giles1

    Giles1 Giles

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    Just looking at your winch arrangement and I was wondering if it would be better to have your attachment point closer to the pole? I just thought that having it out so far from the pole, might cause it to bind and make it harder to pull up? Still, I suppose that once you have all of your lights attached, that extra weight might even up the load. I'm keen to see how you go. :)
     
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    LawrenceDriveLights

    LawrenceDriveLights Full Time Elf

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    Yep a good point
    I did offset the winch cable mounting on the tree header as the tree is 180 degree and with the weight of the pixels and strips all on one side I was trying to get close to the COG (it was guess). It worked ok last year and didn’t bind / tilt when raising. Not sure how it will go this year with the extra weight of the star and mount.
     
  11. Jarrad33

    Jarrad33 New Elf

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    Hi LawrenceDrivelights

    I have been searching for a little while looking for ideas to improve my display this year and by far yours is fantastic. Extremely well done mate.

    If you dont mind I would like to follow a few aspects of your tree but I want to change a few things on your set up to suit what I need.

    Im taking it if your still reading you are saying yes :p

    First im very new to RGB lights so I have little to know idea on what im doing. Even with controllers /PSU's ect ect which im hoping you can help we out with.

    1) Is the Falcon F16V3 still ok to use ? (Also I see your using a program call xlights does this come with the unit ?)
    2) I see you have changed PSU's what ended up being the best option (Also where to get this from ?)
    3) pixels which ones to get ? (where from these days ?)
     
  12. videoman3857

    videoman3857 Full Time Elf

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    Hi Jarrad33.
    I will chime in here for a couple of your questions.
    Falcons are very popular controllers, but by no means the only one to use.
    X-lights is a free to download, free to use sequencing program and it is very popular here.
    Here are some links:
    xLights is available for download from https://xlights.org/releases/
    Issue tracker: https://github.com/smeighan/xLights/issues
    Video tutorials: https://videos.xlights.org
    xLights user manual: https://manual.xlights.org/xlights/xLights is available for download from https://xlights.org/releases/

    There are 5 and 12 volt pixels and there is debate over which is the better to use and its a matter of choice. Some use pixels 5 volt pixels if their controller is close to their prop. Others use 12 volt because of power loss and less power injection needed for their run of lights. Some use 5 volt pixels because the 12 volts units reduce the voltage to 5 volts - being a waste in energy and an unnecessary cost of higher voltage/wattage PSU
    Pixels and PSU can be obtained from the likes of Ray Wu in China. - there are other guys that get their equipment from other vendors

    here is Rays store https://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799
    You can also get equipment here in Oz from Allan - http://www.hansonelectronics.com.au



     

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