Pixel Snow Flake Build

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by johnfish, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. johnfish

    johnfish New Elf

    Jan 5, 2013
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    Hi all,
    Last year I made snowflakes out of dollar tree plastic snowflakes and 2811 pixels strips. (see http://diychristmas.org/vb1/showthre...eepo-Snowflake) I was my first attempt and I learned a lot about water infiltration and how brittle plastic becomes in the cold. The 5 snowflakes I built made it through my show but not without reworking the pixels and adding splints to the dollar tree snowflakes as both failed. This year I am taking a different approach.

    1. I am going to mount the snowflakes under the eaves out of the direct effects of the weather. I know this is not guarantee but it should mitigate direct infiltration.

    2. I am removing the pixels from the silicone tubing and placing them in 1/2 inch clear heat shrink. (I found a dealer on ebay that was selling 100 ft of it for 18 dollars.) I have tested them full on white for several hours inside a sealed piece and found no heat issues. I am only sealing up to 6 pixels per section of heat shrink. It seems to work really well. At the wire end I am shrinking progressively smaller pieces of heat shrink to semi seal the ends (I know this isn't 100 % and am still investigating the best way to completely seal them. I may do nothing else and see how it works)

    3. I am adding 12 more pixels to the snowflake to give it more of a snowflake and less of a star feel.

    4. I am making each section independent so they can be removed and worked on. There will be 6 sections with 6 pixels and 6 sections with 2 pixels.

    5. I have made a coroplast back plate to mount the pixels. I am using Velcro to hold the pixels in place so I can position them properly and so they are easy to remove for repair. The wires are all hidden behind the coroplast. I will be adding some small PVC pipe on the back to give it some rigidity and for mounting to the house.

    6. The snowflake will be held over the pixels using a few strategically placed tie wraps.

    7 I will be using Kombys to control these guys. Probably 3 snowflakes per Komby with a total of 6 snowflakes. I have already created a prototype and used nutcracker to test some affects. It worked great but I still need to figure out the best wiring to match a nutcracker model or define a custom model for nutcracker (this is still new to me and I don't know if it will even work).

    Here are a few pictures of what I have so far. First one is of the pixels strips velcroed to the coroplast. The second is with the snow flake laying on top. Then 2 pics of the snowflake lit up in white and pink. And finally here is a link to a video of the snowflake in action. I am running it wirelessly from nutcracker doing the butterfly effect.

    Attached Files:

  2. AussieDoug

    AussieDoug Full Time Elf

    Dec 1, 2012
    Likes Received:
    It looks great. Thanks for supplying all the detail of your build, trial & tribulations. There is bound to be a few people that will use your idea :)

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