My "elevated" Megatree plan

darrenr

New elf
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Messages
49
Location
Bondi, NSW
I have plenty of blinky on the front of my house and fence, but no front yard as such.

I want a Megatree - real bad... here's my plan for 2020 - the "Elevated Megatree".
  • Verticals planned as 50x50x2.5 Gal Square Hollow Section (SHS) tube - one attached to the low brick wall for extra stability
  • Hinge design allows for ground level access to topper
  • M12 gal bolts for hinge and bottom connection
  • Base in a 1m dia mini tramp frame
  • topper is 18mm ply, 22cm dia (photo below)
  • 24 strands, 270 degs, 5cm spacing
  • tie downs from the base act as guy wires and tension for the strips.
  • Street viewing is from the other side of the hedge.
  • 41 lights per string, 984 total lights (plus star), 5V, PI around the bottom, 2 controller ports, 1 Power Supply, sizing details here
thoughts on the engineering, comments, suggestion please!

Megatree2020 (2).jpgIMG_4198.jpeg
 

LawrenceDriveLights

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Jan 16, 2018
Messages
310
Looks feasible
My personal initial thoughts are On MegaTree design:
How you going to attach strings to topper, or are you going to attach them tilt pole up.
Suggest using a winch and pulley arrangement to raise and lower topper.

Maybe consider some way of attaching base (tramp frame)to main pole just to add some extra stability for it and not just relying on the guy wires to hold in place.

Overall with any MegaTree make sure it’s safe and this also includes trying to make installation safe.
 

LawrenceDriveLights

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Jan 16, 2018
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310
Also some people before have used ply wood toppers without much success (they tend to split after a while)
Consider a steel topper
 

darrenr

New elf
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Nov 14, 2016
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49
Location
Bondi, NSW
Thanks gents, for the feedback so far, here's my thoughts on the above:
As for topper, agree on ply vs steel - any suggestions on where to find a 32 hole steel topper locally? I have tried to contact Overkill Metal with no success - assume because i'm not in the US.
I want to keep it all as light and simple as possible. The tilt mech is designed for ground level attachment of the strips, will hold them in place with additional nuts.
I plan on ropes/wires to centre and align the tramp base to the pole.
 

darylc

404 darylc not found
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Dec 8, 2012
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786
yeah I carefully made a plywood topper, but it snapped from the forces of the strips on the first year. The tilt up design of your pole is the same as mine and should work well, but I 2nd LDL's suggestion of a pulley system to raise the topper.
 

darrenr

New elf
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Nov 14, 2016
Messages
49
Location
Bondi, NSW
I'm doing 24 strands at 270, so additional suggestions for steel toppers welcomed :)
In the mean time I'll plan to double up on the ply.
 

Stkilda123

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Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Australia
How about a bike wheel for the topper? I bought a $10 BMX off Gumtree last year and attached the rear wheel to my pole and it worked a treat. Just drilled out holes in the rim and attached the strips with bolts. I had 16 strands of 150 pixels attached to a 6ft trampoline frame and all worked well.
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
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Dec 27, 2011
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1,550
Location
Cranbourne West
How about a bike wheel for the topper? I bought a $10 BMX off Gumtree last year and attached the rear wheel to my pole and it worked a treat. Just drilled out holes in the rim and attached the strips with bolts. I had 16 strands of 150 pixels attached to a 6ft trampoline frame and all worked well.
That could work I guess, but bike wheels are designed to have force applied around their outside pushing towards the centre, not lay sideways and pulled down, so unsure how they would behave with enough force of the strings pulling on them, particularly once strong winds are applied.
 

darrenr

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Nov 14, 2016
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49
Location
Bondi, NSW
That could work I guess, but bike wheels are designed to have force applied around their outside pushing towards the centre, not lay sideways and pulled down, so unsure how they would behave with enough force of the strings pulling on them, particularly once strong winds are applied.
Good points DJ... and how to attach securely to the top of the pole? And the star to the top of that?
I’m going to get a quote from a metal fabrication co, see what they can do for me....
 

Stkilda123

New elf
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Australia
I used 2 heavy duty U-bolts to hold the rim in place on the pole, 1 on top and 1 underneath. And i used a galvanized pipe as the pole.

20190803_113202.jpg

But i did have the advantage of being able to start the pole on top of my roof by securing a larger diameter galvanized pipe behind my front brick facade, and then placing the tree pole inside that.


20190608_123336.jpg


The star easily attaches to the pipe and only needs cable ties to keep it there.
With the bike wheel, it needs to be the rear wheel and remove the bolts in the middle, leaving the drum to be able to thread the pipe through.
bike.PNG

It all worked well and was about 4.5 meters from the ground. I did experience some really windy days and all held up well, except the last night (Dec 30th) there was a huge wind storm, which actually bent the longer galvanized pole a little, but the bike rim didn't bend at all (which surprised me).

Anyway i'm only adding this for some advice that it can be done, and done on the cheap if need be, as it's always stated on this site, no display is the same and you need to take all the advice you can and see what works for you.

tree.PNG
 
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