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smeighan
12-12-2012, 03:08 AM
I have been asked by a few eople how i built my megatree.

I used 3" abs plastic for the base and pole. I have 60 smart rgb nodes in the coro star on top.
I attached my 20 x 120 flex strips to 1/2" emt pipe. I drove a 3" oak dowel into each end of the emt. On the bottom i screwed eye bolts. On the top i screwed in eye hooks.

I recorded two videos describing the tree.

This week we had 50 mph winds and the tree didnt move at all. We will see if i get higher winds. For now, i am happy it all came out.

i like the fact that i can easily (less than 30 seconds) remove any segment from the tree if i have to repair any bad pixels.

Here are links to two videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH4qY3DmR_8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl1z4TkZDck


thanks
sean

smeighan
12-12-2012, 12:32 PM
Wow, so your topper has just the rectangular nodes mounted straight on it and they are ok (exposed) in the snow, etc ? Also, I noticed your flex strips will just zip tied to the EMT, which is great. I was putting mine in PVC tubing, but doing so was kind of a pain. I did find that 1" OD x 3/4 ID PVC clear tubing fits the strips like a dream and provides considerable protecting to the strips ... but also adds considerable cost.


Well, not quite.

I ordered the star from holidaycoro. 60 dumb rectangle nodes. 3 dmx controllers, 2 power supplies. I forgot i needed their special programmer to set the channel numbers for the dmx controllers. I ordered that mid november. David, sent an email and said the order of controllers from China had been lost. It might take 2-3 weeks to get a replacement order. Turns out he somehow got them in 5 days. But i made the decision to remove the dumb rectangle nodes and replace them with smart nodes i ordered for something else.

I am VERY happy i did this.

I now only needed 1 cat 5 cable going up to the topper, not 110v and cat 5.
i could remove 2 pretty heavy power supllies from teh star and 3 medium heavy dmx controllers. I then decided that io liked the look of the smart strings with a more narrow thickness. So the star went from 3" thick to 1" thick.

Although the
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/TM1804-IC-led-pixel-module-DC12V-input-20pcs-a-string/701799_374338740.html?_componentAcceptorEnabled_=f alse
look waterproof, i took no chances and have them encased in coro and sealed all cables going into the star.

Now i did have to scrape off 60 dumb rgb nodes and 3 dmx controlelrs. The DMX controllers removed part of the coro so i put epoxy there to strengthen it.
http://meighan.net/nutcracker/images/IMG_0104a.jpg


After replacing all the nodes with smart rgb , i then decided that i liked the look with 1" high sides. Personal preference.

http://youtu.be/bR9fXGGNYec

smeighan
12-12-2012, 12:32 PM
Sean,

Nicely done. Is the topper wood?

I need to do a behind the scenes video of my layout (I have a standard megatree with 32 strands of LED strings -- not smart this year) and only 10' tall (I live in a townhouse so anything larger would be overkill).

Definitely want to see videos of your show this year. I will be posting mine this weekend. I am working on a new website called GustafsonLights.com for my show.

Kurt


Yeah, the topper was two sheets of 1/2" plywood. I painted them with Kilz, then assembled them. I finally painted them with exterior house paint. 20 eye bolts , nuts on both sides went and covered about 190 degrees.

On the top of the tree i have two steel cables (dog run , plastic coated cables) that attach from the topper down to a 5/16 x 4" eye-bolt. These two cables counter the force of the 20 emt's. I was afraid i would break the flange. You can see the 3" flange i used to attach the 1" plywood disk in the below images

Here are some pics of the topper
First picture shows the 1" thick oak board that i put down the 3" pipe. The purpose of this is for the 3/4" pvc pipe attached to the star can fit into the hole in the center.
http://meighan.net/nutcracker/images/IMG_0118a.jpg

Here shows how the star will fit into the topper. Note: I have not yet glued the front coro onto the star. You can see the sides are 1" high , instead of the original 3".
http://meighan.net/nutcracker/images/IMG_0115a.jpg

and here you can see i painted the tops of teh 20 eye-bolts yellow. This helps me see them when i am holding teh emt and trying to attach the hooks into them.
Note the entire weight of the tree would be supported by the plastic flange. Worried of the stress of this force, i have two eyebolts on the back that will counter this force.
so far, nothing has broken.
http://meighan.net/nutcracker/images/IMG_0116a.jpg

timon
01-07-2013, 11:40 PM
Well, not quite...

After replacing all the nodes with smart rgb , i then decided that i liked the look with 1" high sides. Personal preference.


I like it. I think the only change I'd make would be to use Pixel Strips rather then Pixel Modules but the effect would be the same.

So I'm assuming that you added a new feature for stars to Nutcracker to support these:)

BTW, Sounded like it was quite cold that day.

smeighan
01-08-2013, 11:46 AM
I like it. I think the only change I'd make would be to use Pixel Strips rather then Pixel Modules but the effect would be the same.

So I'm assuming that you added a new feature for stars to Nutcracker to support these:)

BTW, Sounded like it was quite cold that day.

For this year, i used single strand effects for the star. This nex year will have star as a target by itself. This will require you tell me where the pixels are in your star. Basically a star will look like a megatree viewed from the top, target wise

Skunberg
01-08-2013, 11:56 AM
For this year, i used single strand effects for the star. This nex year will have star as a target by itself. This will require you tell me where the pixels are in your star. Basically a star will look like a megatree viewed from the top, target wise

I'm planning to do this same star with pixel strings rather than nodes or strips. I'd like to display straight lines from the center to the star tips in addition to the star.

Brian

Xenia
01-08-2013, 01:05 PM
Sean, Do you have any video of your tree in action that you would share.

mlkren
01-08-2013, 01:18 PM
Great job Sean, do you have any video of it in action.

CDN_Diesel
01-08-2013, 02:59 PM
Hi Sean, as far as stars are concerned, (the star starts at about the 1:40 mark in the video. I love the effect at about 1:55) this is the star I would like to build for next year. I have no idea right now how to do it, but I should be able to figure it out. My star will not be that big, but it will be on my roof.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPKVNF1jnE

rstehle
01-08-2013, 03:09 PM
That star is very cool!! I would love to have one of those too!!

XmasLightGuy
01-08-2013, 10:12 PM
i like the fact that i can easily (less than 30 seconds) remove any segment from the tree if i have to repair any bad pixels.
I really liked that part of the design.
Overall cool tree .. the colors/effects on those RGB strips are awesome

WayneKremer
02-05-2013, 06:07 PM
Sean,

I'm planning on adding the same star to my megatree this year as well. For your pixels, I see you chose the TM1804's. What controller did you use? It looks like you injected 12V power into the Ethernet to get it to power up the LED's. How many amps on your power supply? I hope you are still planning to add your star as a target this year as it'll help me out as well. Thanks!!!

budude
02-05-2013, 08:02 PM
Sean,

I'm planning on adding the same star to my megatree this year as well. For your pixels, I see you chose the TM1804's. What controller did you use? It looks like you injected 12V power into the Ethernet to get it to power up the LED's. How many amps on your power supply? I hope you are still planning to add your star as a target this year as it'll help me out as well. Thanks!!!

He's using RJ's pixel controllers...

smeighan
02-06-2013, 01:14 PM
i had a 450w supply running the 16 flex strips. While the tree was lit, the ac line used less than 3amps. most of the time around 2amps. I ran my entire tree and arches from one 15amp breaker.

The star had 60 rectangular nodes
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/TM1804-IC-led-pixel-module-DC12V-input-20pcs-a-string/701799_374338740.html?_componentAcceptorEnabled_=f alse

the 20x120 flex strips was
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/4m-waterproof-LED-digital-strip-by-tube-DC12V-input-without-controller-10pcs-TM1809IC-m-30pcs-5050/701799_425556741.html

my arches were
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/128-node-LED-pixel-string-DC12V-input-new-model-IP68-TM1804IC/701799_495658226.html?_componentAcceptorEnabled_=f alse

i used the DLA Pixelnet controllers

You need one etherdongle (E1.31 in Pixelnet out) $80
http://www.diylightanimation.com/wiki/images/7/72/ED25Finalrr.jpg

I had three 16 port hubs connected to this.
http://www.diylightanimation.com/wiki/images/a/a3/Hub-Finished2.jpg

Each hub is 8 universes of 4096 channels. Each hub costs around $90. So i had 12,288 channels. The output from these hubs are rs485 and rated for driving 300'. This means you must have a receiver at the other end. These receivers cost $10 each. The receiver can be programmed with the starting channel. The receivers i put inside 1 1/4" PVC pipe.

The cat5 cable carries the data line on one pair and the 12v on the other 6 wires. You can drive something like 3amps through the cat5. There is no power injection needed. so the star on top of the tree just needed one cat5 cable going up the tree.



i will be adding all sorts of star effects to nutcracker, also snowflakes.



thanks

sean

WayneKremer
02-06-2013, 06:08 PM
Sean, thanks for the quick response with the fine details! Looking forward to the cool star effects. I assume for the star effects to work with Nutcracker, we'll have to have the same type of pixel configuration. It looks like you started on the inside row and worked your way out.

smeighan
02-06-2013, 06:54 PM
Sean, thanks for the quick response with the fine details! Looking forward to the cool star effects. I assume for the star effects to work with Nutcracker, we'll have to have the same type of pixel configuration. It looks like you started on the inside row and worked your way out.

No, that wont be true. When i build the star effect i will allow you to tell me how you wrap your star. Just liek i let you tell me how you wrap your megatree. I will be expanding targets to give more flexibility to the users.

here are some stars that i plan on supporting

http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/images/sample_stars.jpg

I will be prompting you for which star, how many concentric stars, how many rays, how many pixels .etc.

Then all my star effect swill work on them as i keep my effects target agnostic.

thanks
sean

abslte23
02-19-2013, 07:44 PM
Did you ever post any pics of your tree in action?

smeighan
08-18-2013, 11:41 PM
Just pinging this thread in case some of you missed it. This describes how i built my megatree out of ABS plastic. Tree was 16' tall with a corostar on top.

thanks
sean

ealltech
12-16-2016, 06:47 AM
For this year, i used single strand effects for the star. This nex year will have star as a target by itself. This will require you tell me where the pixels are in your star. Basically a star will look like a megatree viewed from the top, target wise