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Musical Fountain Build AMA

Discussion in 'How is your display put together...' started by Gary Roache, May 12, 2019.

  1. Gary Roache

    Gary Roache WorldOfChristmas

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    HI Guys,

    Some of you have seen my display that includes a musical water fountain as part of it, and have expressed interest in learning more about how it was done, and perhaps some of my lessons learnt. For those of you who have not seen the display here is a link to the youtube channel.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHLVXPXU_1CR-LNhp5z7rtA

    So where to start with this. I think the place i started was to design the pond, but to do this i needed a firm idea of what i wanted inside my pond, the space that would take and therefore the water and power requirements it took.

    I started out by sketching in excel a layout plan for the number and location of the jets, the pumps and pipework such that there was a buffer between the edge of the pond and then the jets. This would hopefully reduce water loss from jets shooting out of the pond.

    Once i had confirmed the size of my pond (originally 3m*4m and later extended) I then looked at the build methods for the pond. The first element is the excavation, and i can really stress you need to understand what is under the ground before you start digging, you dont want to hit a phone service like I almost did. Then you need to flatten the base, however you want to make sure there is a slight slope to a drainage point. The finish on the base concrete slab is really important to get nice, it helps all the equipment sit flat and also takes less water proofing membrane to cover the surface area. The sides were then constructed of Beccer blocks glued and stacked. When doing the design of this, i wanted to be sure i stayed compliant with local laws about water depth. Where i like 28cm of water depth was okay without a fence, so i designed everything to stay under that height. But there are a few advantages to a deeper pond that might be worth it if you have the ability to fence.

    Some of the other quirks i needed to meet for being a pond and not a pool was that it couldnt have a filter system. So technically you cant have a filter for it, at least not a fixed in place one.

    After this came the water proofing, ive tried two different methods but i think a hybrid of both is what i would recommend, using the water proofing strips to seal joins and then an asphalt sealer to hold it down and seal the concrete seems to be the best of both worlds. The standard blue water proofing for showers doesnt hold up well under UV light and constant water. You can go for a cheaper option like a black plastic, but that wasnt the option i chose.

    Once the pond is built you do need to make sure you can drain it quickly if needed for maintenance and repair, many times during testing things will break, or go wrong, and while you can hot fix a lot, sometimes you need to be dry to do the work to avoid water getting into copper cables etc for the water proof lights.

    Then comes your decisions around how you structure your pond and display. You can go down the path of having one pump per jet, or you can have many jets per pump. There are pros and cons for both, but i went for multiple jets per pump, this allowed me to use solenoid valves on each jet to control when it opens, and the pump then controlled the group height for that set of jets. To control these i bought DMX dimmers and DMX Relays and powered and programmed them appropriately. (This means i have something like 2.5km of wire going from my house to the pond to control it all).

    For the lighting i bought submersible DMX lighting from China, each one was about 35W and i have about 65 of them within the display.

    There is then all the complexity with powering and connecting all of these elements. Happy to take questions around more details. But this is a general guide as to how i constructed my fountain. Hopefully someone finds it useful.
     
    Fing, djgra79, OzAz and 1 other person like this.
  2. bpratt

    bpratt New Elf

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    Love it, looking forward to hear more about how you'd done it all.
     
  3. darylc

    darylc 404 darylc not found Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I'd like to hear more about (and see photos or video) of the pump, solenoids, jets etc side of it.
     
  4. djgra79

    djgra79 My name is Graham & I love flashing lights! Generous Elf

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    Thanks for sharing this info. I would love to see some more close up and behind the scenes pics and video of the fountains and setup of those.
     
  5. OzAz

    OzAz Senior Elf Generous Elf

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