Queensland King Light Display

Discussion in 'How is my display put together...' started by QldKing(Brad), Aug 14, 2017.

  1. QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    So after much planning, reading, questions, answers, how-to videos, more reading, more planning, more questions I thought its time to start a thread on my display. For years I promised the kids that we would do a sequenced display after seeing one of the locals do it in Epping, Victoria (just off Hayston Boulevard - if your reading this send me a message :)). But it would be put on hold due to work and relocating to Queensland. End of 2016 decided 2017 would be the year. An email to a company led me to ACL. I still remember the first time accessing chat on Boxing day 2016, and everyone was discussing electricity rates and KWh and who knows what else. Thought I was out of my depth straight away.
    Then it was trying to work out what I want (how do I know what I want if I dont know what I want). What controllers, what software, what lights, what layout, what power supplies, what music and it goes on. A lot of sleepless nights with the mind churning. Being not much of a handyman I decided to keep things simple. 4 x spiral trees (after reading this post https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/the-making-of-my-first-spiral-trees.8466/#post-75867), some lights across the top of the house and a mega tree (Had to have one of them). Simple and a great start.
    Decided on the F16V3 with a Pi. I was not keen on having a computer to run the show. Knowing my kids they would figure out a way to stop the sequence and play YouTube videos.
    Then the lights - I decided on strip lights. For some reason they just looked right. Then to start researching, ordering, building, sequencing, etc.

    Via this thread I am going to retrospectively go through my build. Hope someone gets something out of it :D

    Cheers
    Brad

    I bet someone could get really rich opening a business that untangles Christmas lights!
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Front of my property is quite wide, but majority of it is hedge, so anything I add will need to be viewed on the driveway, or up high on the roof (fireworks maybe one year?).
    First attempt.jpg
    The spiral trees will be in the side driveway on the left, the roof lights will be on the 3 x gables, and the flat mega tree near the front door. The control centre will be just to the left of the mega tree (behind a small privacy fence). Decided on a flat mega tree as its easier for me to build and store.
    For the spiral trees, I got the plant trainers from Bunnings. I had a set of dumb strip so did a quick mock up to see how it would look
    Mock up.jpg (first ever spiral tree that doubles as a clothes line).
    Next was to start learning a sequencer. Decided on xlights (first one I looked at) and then to absorb everything. At this stage still had not ordered any lights. Needed to show the minister of finance how it would look first before I could submit a request for funds. Got the approval (after some very dodgy sequences) and next was to pick the lights.
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    The trouble with research - the more items you find you would like. I now want a matrix. Add to cart 20 P10 panels (5 w x 4 h), a 5v PSU. Then I find out need a BBB and octoscroller. And a frame, and wiring, and wire cutters, and a solder iron, and joiners (no packing tape allowed I found out O_O) - the list goes on.
    Updated.jpg
    When I talk to people I explain this hobby as the Demtal hobby - But wait.... There's more.
    Its order time - jump on the bulk buy for the F16V3 (first time I have ever got excited waiting for a board). Get my quote from Ray and place my order. Now locked and loaded. Time to start sequencing and getting my head around how to connect the dots.

    Due to Global Warming Santa will be giving out Solar Panels to all the naughty kids this year!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Lights have arrived. Never tracked a parcel before - exciting watching it cross the world:watching:. Open everything up (with the help of the kids).
    Photo 15-4-17, 15 33 36.jpg
    Add the lights to the spiral trees, but cant fire them until the controller arrives. Tackle the P10 panels. Lucky its the easter weekend so Bunnings on the Saturday we go. I pick out some steel angle brackets to make the frame look cool and solid.
    Photo 15-4-17, 15 33 58.jpg
    Trouble is the holes dont line up with those in the panels, so take it back and get some timber. At least its easier to work with. Get some help from the kids building. After 3 days its finally ready to go.
    .
    Need to get the corner brackets but I am happy :laugh: (and the wife is stunned).

    And suddenly those annoying neighbors that leave their Christmas lights up all year long look like geniuses.
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Just some more photos of the build Photo 16-4-17, 19 48 12.jpg Photo 16-4-17, 23 17 36.jpg . At first I divided the panels in half with the PSU. I will come back and remove one down the track, but at this stage just want to get them running. Time to get back into sequencing. Still got a month or so until the F16 arrives.

    Oh the weather outside is delightful, the balance on my account is frightful, what happened to all of my dough, I dunno, I dunno, I dunnnnoooooo
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    School holidays and time to tackle the mega tree. Flat, 16 strings, 5v 90 lights / string, 3000 mm tall. Ordered 16 x 4000 mm lengths of flat ali. Trimmed at approximately 3050 mm. Used some of the cut offs as cross braces IMG_5325 copy.jpg - got something in mind for the remaining lengths.
    11.jpg (yes thats a pizza oven, no dont know how to use it). 12.jpg . Attached the lights in zig zag and power injected at 1st, then 4th, 8th, 9th, 13th and 16th string (works fine in testing but will check again in November when it goes up if it needs more). At this stage have a 3000 mm piece of timber for the main support. No rush to buy anything else (UPDATE: in August driving home and neighbours up the road giving away a basketball set complete with water base - now to be used as the main support). Hardest part was trying to get the spacing right, and then lock it in without it moving. Figured as long as its real close I will be the only that notices (plus people will be approx 20+ mt away). And lots of cable ties.... Very short video but you can see it here (along with the P10 panels ).
    .

    May have put up a few too many Christmas lights. A 747 just landed in the backyard.
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    The F16V3 arrived and I need a control centre. Was going to put everything in Tupperware but decided against that. Picked up a Rittal enclosure from the Brisbane Mini and set about putting everything in. This is an old photo. Pi is now in the middle section, top PSUs are 5v, 5v and 12v. Bottom is 12V(not in use at the moment). I have use plastic spacers (normally used for monitor arms) which I am using to raise the PSUs and F16 off the back plate. Ive also got a L bracket in which I cut holes in to keep the pig tails in some order.
    Guess I am gettting C.L.A.P. now. The little display has now grown. Update.jpg Added the wickets (yes I know there are 3 stumps to a wicket) and trying to work in a virtual matrix TV. More sequencing.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Here is a photo of my pig tail tidier. Evens along the top, odds on the bottom (fingers not included).
    IMG_0483.JPG.jpeg Photo 14-8-17, 17 25 37.jpg

    The downside of being a bomb disposal technician. It takes 6 hours to open Christmas gifts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  9. Lishfish

    Lishfish Full Time Elf

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    Looking good Brad!
     
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  10. DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Great work Brad, you've got so much done! Bet you can't wait for December to show it all off.
    Looking forward to following your progress, keep us posted.
     
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  11. MacArthur St Light Madnes

    MacArthur St Light Madnes New Elf

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    Love it mate... I still remember you and I talking early on about BBB and octo's, and all the in sundries! Hope it all comes out brilliant for you!
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    This is turning into a bit of this is your life :)

    Hi @DavidJ247 - its been a while. Hope your well (still remember the clothesline spiral tree). Can't wait for December, however going to do a test run of a few lights for Halloween, just to bring the neighborhood along slowly to the idea.:thumbsup:
     
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    QldKing(Brad)

    QldKing(Brad) Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Ok - it's official this is now in the realm of a light problem. I've gone from a few things to (for those of you playing along at home)
    10 shiny stars
    8 arches (a-leaping)
    5 gutter outlines (you were hoping for golden rings ;))
    4 wickets
    4 spiral trees
    3 sets of gables
    1 post line (to the right of the mega tree)
    1 mini tree (was an arrow)
    1 lighted wreath
    1 P10 matrix
    1 flat mega tree
    and a Partridge in a pear-tree (well maybe not)
    Screenshot 2017-08-16 22.04.32.png
    I'm still tinkering with the virtual matrix (the box in front is a TV) to get it to work. Still time.

    FINALLY!!! ..... I'm not being harassed incessantly by my family and coworkers for listening to Christmas Music. It was really rough back in July tho.
     

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