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Need ideas for Tree light replacement

Discussion in 'Mega, Mini, Spiral & Pixel Trees' started by caffeine, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    So my 2D tree was the first RGB/Pixel element in my display, and it's seen its last year last year.


    Originally it was built with pixlite lights, and I meticulously drilled holes in rectangular conduit so that each line of 50 lights was dead straight (i.e. the spacing on the inner lines was slightly shorter than the outer lines).


    Originally the structure was a flimsy wood A-Frame attached to PVC pipe. Last year it got replace with a steel frame, rough design attached. The lights weren't long for this world though after a few years and they went in the skip, along with the conduit, at the end of the season.


    Originally 14x50 lights I want to bump that to at least 16 strings of 50 or 100 lights for added flexibility, but seems a shame to waste the custom steel frame after one season.


    Anyone got any good ideas to achieve the same effect (i.e. straight horizontal) ideally retaining the existing shape?
     

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  2. Roosta

    Roosta Full Time Elf

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    Great looking frame.. I may try to duplicate it for my mega tree..


    My use/idea for it would be to convert it to a 180degree style tree.. Use 4m conduit with 4m of pixel strip x 20 across..


    Space out evenly top and bottom should give a bit of a curve, maybe not 180 degrees but yer..


    Cheers..
     
  3. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    PixLite Pro are 100 pixels a string
     
  4. OP
    OP
    caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    The main thing is the substrate to hold the lights. The design initially was based around the rectangular conduit, which had some structural integrity, so the general design was to hook the top of the conduit over the top of the A-Frame and simply guide it down at the cross-bar for spacing and then screw at bottom. Easy to remove, fix, and replace a string.

    I'm not a huge fan of 180 trees for what I do, as I'm very much neat animation driven and the viewing angles are wide.


    I could just redo the initial concept, however that required drilling 700 holes (would be more now) and pushing 700 bulbs through. Fair truckload of work. The spacing was nice though, about 75mm vertical and 75 horizontal (on average). Thinking to tighten that up a little to more like 50mm
     
  5. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    You only need conduit if you use strip to support the lights. But if you want all the holds to line up you still need something. e.g. mounting strips.
     
  6. battle79

    battle79 Full Time Elf

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    I used 12mm square metal lengths. Stay dead straight with one extra support in the middle of the 5mtr length.
    Then I just zip tied strip to the front and added hooks to the top.

    I install post then add the verticals in pairs after hooking them together.
     
  7. fasteddy

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

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    Im not sure why strip is not a consideration for a 2D tree as there are far less water ingress issues with the strip and less time to construct. Also if you use the 30LED/m 5vdc strip then you end up with a higher light density
     
  8. OP
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    caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    12mm SHS for the light strings? That sure would be strong enough for the job but 4 meters X 16 is several hundred dollars worth of steel surely?
     
  9. OP
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    caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    Yeah it most certainly is in consideration. If I go that way it would be 30/30 strip, the only issues I have with that approach (which are probably me being overly pedantic) are:
    1. I think I'd struggle to get horizontal spacing to be as dense as vertical spacing of 3.3cm on average. Could do so with a 32 string 2D tree, but the apex is currently 340mm wide, so that will struggle to fit 32 silicon tube strips, especially at angles.
    2. The height difference on a 2D tree for the current angles between the inner and outer strings would be about 2cm per meter. At 3.6m that's 6.8cm curve at the base, at 4m that's more like 8cm curve at the base. Not sure how that will impact the animations (but in fairness probably the ONLY person it would bother is me LOL).
     
  10. fasteddy

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

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    It goes down to how much effort you are willing to put into things that may not really be noticed by the public. Most of the time we are our own hardest critics
    The issue with using lots of strips is that the top of the tree does become pretty wide and congested, this is normally masked my adding a nice proportionally sized star at the top.
    In the end there are no rules, so you do what you think will work best for you for the effort you are willing to put into it. For me im a bit lazy and would go the strip as its a lot less time to build
     
  11. OP
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    caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    Yeah, I just drew it up and I'm being wayy too pedantic. Of course I still need to find some sort of substrate to mount the strips to to keep them straight down the length (which for convenience would be 4m).


    Guess I need to re-adjust my power usage, roughly 921watts for a 30p/m x 4m x 32strip on the off-chance I pure white it, which would be a 4PSU job.
     
  12. fasteddy

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

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    Ive used 25mm conduit as the substrate and it worked very well. But 32 strips is a lot and may be too congested for a tree using strip
     
  13. OP
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    caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    OK so this is where I landed...


    I'm actually really pleased with the result.


    In summary:
    • Re-used the steel frame from last year.
    • 10 600x900 wire mesh panels from bunnings for about $5 each. 12.5mm spaces.
    • 800 lights (16/50) pushed through from behind in tree shape.
    • Cable ties to ensure they stay there.
    • Top section hinged with a pulley line at the back so it can be dropped for repairs.
    Looks quite need and tidy IMHO, only an extra 2 columns from last year but just generally 'tidy'.
     

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  14. marmalade

    marmalade cats & pixels

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    should look nice when powered up! I bet you got a bit sick of cable ties after that effort! :)
     

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