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Mega Tree (well, a small one anyway)

Discussion in 'Mega, Mini, Spiral & Pixel Trees' started by tuppet, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. tuppet

    tuppet Apprentice Elf

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    Kew, Victoria
    I know there are lots of posts about megatrees around, but some of the things about making a megatree which seem obvious once you've done it aren't so obvious to start with, so I'm trying to remember what was confusing and help put things together.

    Our tree is about 3.2m tall (though the bottom .5m is not lit because we have a fence), and the diameter at the bottom is about 1.2m.

    The base is made of wood, and the post is just aluminium framing (U shaped) supported by some aluminium right angles. The whole thing bolts together using wing nuts so that we can pull it apart easily. We have 4 lightweight ropes supporting the ring around the base, but the lights could probably take the load since it is only aluminium.
    megatree frame with no lights.png

    The lights are Red, Green, Blue and White. There are 12 strings of each colour, which are bundled together and shaped into triangles using a rig dad made out of scrap wood.
    panel rig for megatree.png

    As you can see, each string actually goes up and down the tree 3 times - our strings were 8m each so we made the tree to fit the length of 1/3 of the string (allowing for a bit extra used up in the base to get between the verticals). We like having more than one strand for each colour because that makes the effect easier to see (and program) AND keeps the channel count under control so we only need one relatively small controller for the tree.

    The tree topper (thing to attach the lights to) is a piece of wood with 12 hooks spaced evenly around it - there are lots of variations of these around, so long as it fits well on top or your post it should be fine. Ideally, this would be quite narrow, because otherwise the tree can be a bit flat on top - ours definitely is flatter than we would like, so we need to put something up there.

    As yet, there is no star, but we will work on it. We built the topper with a piece of dowel sticking up, so that we could attach something later.

    Each strand of lights is connected at the point of the triangle by a cable tie which has a hole in it. These 4 cable ties (one for each colour) are then joined using a larger version of this cable tie to make a section.
    3 sections on the floor.png
    The hole of this tie then slips over the hooks on our topper (photo to come, I'm not that tall).

    The four strands in each section are also cable tied together at ~30cm intervals, and all the cables at the bottom of the tree are cable tied together to make things neater. The 12 sections are currently attached to the ring with velcro, but that will change once it goes outside.

    the whole tree is controlled by a Tiger48, where outputs 1-12 are white, 13-24 are red etc. The blue things in the picture are our powersupplies.
    Tiger48 with megatree cables.png

    Our idea is to store each section seperately (to avoid tangles), so the whole thing should only take about 1 hour to construct each year (though it may take another hour to plug everything in.
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    Great work with the tree and a great post. Looks like my house lastweek with lights and stuff all over the place.
     

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