Like riding a bike - reinvigorate the megatree

AussiePhil

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Yeah, back on the bike but really simple this year with just a megatree from everything in storage.

Pulled a string out of the container and at best the old existing covers are crap and yellow.
P8180095.jpg

I have already embarked on printing new C9 covers with a spiral pattern to them
P8180094.jpg

Well then I had to get at least one controller up and running to test the strings so today spent some time setting up a F16v2 i found yesterday along with power etc
P8220129.jpg

Once i updated the firmware was pleasantly surprised to find a test mode... nice

so plugged in the string on the bench and got...
P8220111.jpg

The new covers to the right... so time to replace them all.

P8220126.jpg

What i really like about the new covers is the head on look, hard to capture with the camera.
P8220121.jpg

I'll be back to this with a refresh of the star for the top.

Nice to be back
 

i13

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Hi AussiePhil

I am guessing that the new covers are 3D printed. The light shining through them is a great effect and it looks like they have a crystalline appearance. It makes me wonder how those covers would look on a string of clear pixels https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/13418/

Where did you get the old covers and what type of plastic are they made of? Lights turning yellow is one of my pet peeves and I'm probably not alone in wanting to avoid it.
 

Indigogyre

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Those do look nice! Glad to see you are making use of the clean bench. Do you share you files anywhere?
 

AussiePhil

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Hi AussiePhil

I am guessing that the new covers are 3D printed. The light shining through them is a great effect and it looks like they have a crystalline appearance. It makes me wonder how those covers would look on a string of clear pixels https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/13418/

Where did you get the old covers and what type of plastic are they made of? Lights turning yellow is one of my pet peeves and I'm probably not alone in wanting to avoid it.
Hey mate, the ones that went yellow are actually the ones i shoed of all those years ago in ADL, printed at home in ABS, expected a few years and got it really. They yellowed more stored in the shipping container.
The ones i'd used on my stars (image to be posted yet) turned even more brittle left outside for the last 5 years so not unexpected to be honest.

The new ones are all printed in transparent PETG filament, aging to be found out over time :)

I reckon they would look awesome on the clear pixels ... if you have a string pop round and i'll donate a set for testing

Cheers
Phil
 

AussiePhil

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Thought I better get the old star out for the top of the tree, i have two if these and they have both just been leaning against a fence outside... not the best storage option in hindsight.
P8240131.jpg

There is 100 pixels around so these are also getting the new covers and the clips were also crappy so new clips, better design. They old ones had sharp points and hurt.
P8240133.jpg
The poor old pixels and wiring have suffered from the sun, the wiring and pixels were all clear at one time. The old covers and clips have become stuck on and the bottom of the covers needs to be cut off.
They say it's slower at times to repair than to start from scratch.
Need to test these before i go to much further and need to find the top of pole power setup as I'm not sure what voltage on these, be surprised if they are not 5v but i know they are the original bi direction protocol ones in that loose one in the middle and they kept working.
P8240132.jpg
The clips angle the pixels up at 20 degrees.
 

AussiePhil

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Those pixel covers look very nice, and those clips are neat
thanks for that,
The covers can be found on thingiverse, the stl is too large for the forum to handle
For any one interested i've attached the STL file for the clips ... this one is 6mm rod to 12mm bullet pixel
 

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i13

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I reckon they would look awesome on the clear pixels ... if you have a string pop round and i'll donate a set for testing
Unfortunately I don't have a string of clear pixels. Thanks for this offer though.

Your post showing the weather damage on the star made me think of the black pixels which I do have. Mine are 5V but this is a link to some 12V pixels which otherwise look the same https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32822044734.html?storeId=701799
I'm hopeful that these will last better in the weather.
 

AussiePhil

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Unfortunately I don't have a string of clear pixels. Thanks for this offer though.

Your post showing the weather damage on the star made me think of the black pixels which I do have. Mine are 5V but this is a link to some 12V pixels which otherwise look the same https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32822044734.html?storeId=701799
I'm hopeful that these will last better in the weather.
You have to remember that a lot of this weather damage is due to literally excess time outside ... most shows get maybe 6 to 8 weeks of exposure per year and storage in not so hostile environment as my shipping container (heat wise)... the star in particular has 250 weeks outside and the pixels themselves are weather and the wiring is getting brittle but that's to be expected.

Cheers
 

djgra79

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I like the look of the new covers Phil, and agree front on is a nice effect.
 

AussiePhil

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Got going again on the star after find some bits needed to light the pixels up... 5 years outside in the weather and they all worked
P8280143.jpg
I'd already started replacing the clips before i thought to grab a photo.

P8280146.jpg
The old clips were still intact and had sort of glued themselves to the pixels, the bottom of the covers had done the same thing and had to be peeled of like peeling prawns.

Took a few hours but the end result was worth it.
P8280149.jpg
P8280150.jpg
 

AussiePhil

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It was a super wet weekend so didn't get much done but i did get time to redo for want of a better name my megatree string skyhook setup.
Over time i learnt that winching toppers up was just to much hard work so the topper rings became permanent fixtures on top of the poles and I just lift the strings up into place and tie down.
This actually makes replacement or fixing a string really easy and quick.
This time i've made new connections for the 19mm PET strap i use and had to redo the hook setup... a few more years experience with F360 allow me design one that just screws on to a standard painters pole.
P9050167.jpg
P9050168.jpg
Here is how it works in photos, the long M6 bolts will be replaced with correct length ones when they arrive.

P9050172.jpg
P9050171.jpg

The hook set just uses a 1/4 inch 6mm j hook from bunnings to hook into the top ring
P9050169.jpg

The strapping connecters are more than strong enough and likely this is over done.
 

bpratt

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This time i've made new connections for the 19mm PET strap i use and had to redo the hook setup... a few more years experience with F360 allow me design one that just screws on to a standard painters pole.
Now that is a clever way of doing it.

Makes it easier to put up and pull down to replace problem strings, and the painters poles are easier to get hold of.
 
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