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pete
12-17-2008, 02:32 AM
Ok, After partaking in acouple decussions in chat on how to setup a mega tree. I thought I'd start a thread on it. I know this wont be the first nor the last on the subject. But what I'm hoping is to get a good selection of example ( Pictures of actual Mega trees) to showcase different designs. As well as example of different anchor methods for bith the top and bottom of the tree. I have included a drawing of the basics of a mega tree, I hope its helpful


Pete

djulien
12-19-2008, 03:13 AM
But what I'm hoping is to get a good selection of example ( Pictures of actual Mega trees) to showcase different designs. As well as example of different anchor methods for bith the top and bottom of the tree.

I put a few shots in this post:


this is my first year with a mega-tree (so I may be doing something stupid), but here are some pics of what I have so far

I'm not sure if those are the style you are looking for. If so, I can upload some more.

[EDIT] I finally wrote up what I did. It is at http://downloads.eshepherdsoflight.com/Howidid-MidiTree.pdf. There is a section showing topper, base, and setup/connecting the light strings.

don

dadams14
01-03-2009, 09:09 AM
I had a metal post with 8 sets of white lights and 4 sets of red and 4 sets of green. I had mega troubles with my gfci tripping...
It may be the wooden box I used for ssr.
anyway we had a bad windstorm dec 27th and the whole thing came down.
SO next year I have to do better at guy wiring it up.

TonyK
01-17-2009, 12:32 PM
It probably shouldn't be called a megatree, because it's only 10 ft tall, but its the tallest tree in my yard, so it's mega for me. It could easily be adapted to taller designs.

My design goals were:
> Use things I already had and others were likely to have or could get easily and inexpensively
> Make it very strong to handle the winds and bad weather we have around here.
> Easy take down/setup with minimal storage space requirements
> A big goal that I couldn't find on other designs was an adjustable tension system on the lights so the light strands stay taught and don't flop around in the wind. The strands tend to stretch over time so it had to be adjustable multiple times as the strands stretch
> capable of high strand density so it looks great and can do smooth spins and other effects
> Have more of a tree shape and not so much of a tent shape
> Work with the 23ft light strands I had on hand
> Avoid GFI trips
> Inexpensive to build. I like the lights but would rather spend more money on my family than on blinking lights.

We have this basketball goal that never gets used anymore and my wife wanted me to get rid of it. So I did, but not in the way she expected :) It's one of those cheap ones that has a plastic base that you fill with sand or water for weight. I was tempted to continue to use the base, but it doesn't sit level in the yard, and it had fallen over before in high winds and dented a car, which really made me mad :) , so I decided to ditch the base and make my own.

You could just as easily use PVC pipe instead of the basketball goal post, so if you don't have the basketball goal, you can still do this project and keep it cost effective. One of the benefits of using the basketball goal post is it's height can be adjusted so I was able to lower it to 9ft so it would fit in my garage while I was building it.

What I came up with is a wooden octagonal base which supports the post and the bottom end of the lights, with a PVC drain on the top of the post to support the lights at the top of the post. The octagonal base of the tree looks round from a short distance and can be built out of wood fairly easily (if you have a miter saw - lots of angles to cut).

I completely disassembled the basketball goal. The main part I wanted was the post. It's strong, adjustable height, painted black, just perfect for my use. In the end, I ended up using almost every piece of metal from the basketball goal. By the way, you can do this without destroying it, so if you want to keep using your basketball goal when done with the tree, keep all of the parts and put the goal back together. I had a mandate from my wife to get rid of mine, plus I was still not happy about it denting a car when it fell over, so I was more than happy to make this a permanent change.

I attached what I could of the build instructions, but I couldn't post all the photos due to attachment limits. Will be happy to email detailed photos, etc for anyone that would like them.

thight
01-18-2009, 09:00 AM
TonyK-
Thanks for posting your example of the converted basketball goal. I really like the octagon base, and am interested in any measurements/instructions you would be willing to share. I appreciate the creativity. Regards,
tlh

jrock64
01-18-2009, 11:13 AM
The wires for my mega tree(12ft) are permanently strung on rewire.
Four panels are hooked over a top ring and placed in an octagon configuration with the back two panels missing.
Two pieces of 1/2 inch rebar hold each panel a foot off the ground.

In the off season the panels are stored flat against a wall withe the lights still on them.
No tangles.
No stretched cords.
Let the wind blow, this design is unaffected.

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3251&d=1232291483

Joel

dmcole
01-18-2009, 02:41 PM
If anyone is interested I can post measurements and complete instructions on how to build this.

Yes, please do so.

Thanks.

\dmc

RichF
01-19-2009, 04:42 PM
As everyone has different Idea's on their mega tree I thought I would show off my ever evolving design.

The pieces consist of:
1 6inch wood bun
20 1.5 inch wood eyelets bent open.
2 3/4 in floor flanges
2 1 inch machine thread eyelets
1 8 inch 3/4" pipe
2 10 inch pieces of fiberglass
1 1.5 inch sink drain pipe 2 inches long
lots of epoxy

Start by slightly bending open the 20 eyelets. Then screw each on in to the wood bun working around the circle trying to keep them even. I used an across method. One across from each other until I had all 20 in. After all the hooks are in mix epoxy and cover the entire bun in a thin coat and work 1 peice of the fiberglass on top. Cut the fiber glass cloth to go around the hooks. When on side is dry complete this step on the other side. Your wood bun is now a reinforced wood bun. After the epoxy dries mark the center of the wood bun and drill a 1.5 inch whole in the middle of the epoxy covered wood bun. Cut a piece of sink drain pipe to fit inside the wood bun and stick out about 1/4 of and inch on each side of the bun. Now starts the messy part. Mix up a big batch of fiberglass resin and pour it over the top of the bun put a thick layer on it but do not cover the top of the drain pipe. Let it dry and repeat on opisite side letting the epoxy put a thick coat on the wood bun. Now you have a light strand holder for your tree.

Now take the 2 flanges and screw them together with the machine thread eyelets. Screw in the small piece of 3/4 in pipe make sure the pipe is on the side with the eyelets openings.

The next step is to decided how tall you want your mega tree. I use chainlink fence top post. To mount your tree toper place the end of it in the fence post. Select the heigth of tree you want and guy wire it from the top. Use some 3/8th in rope to run through your bun up to the eyelets pointing down then back to your bun. This is the raising mechanism. Attach your light strands to your hooks and hoist them up.


I use this design on my 16 ft tree with 60 strands of lights and raise it by hand. The strings are heavy and may requre some help to raise them with out a wench.

Pictures are attached an you can see my mega tree in my photo album.

Aurbo99
01-19-2009, 05:16 PM
Nice pics RichF

I'll be stealing this design for my Mega tree next year =)

One change I can see is to replace the 3/8" rope with 1/4" braided steel cable used for garage doors or other things, and use a ratchet or "come along" from a cargo tie down strap, band clamp it it the pole near the base and you have an inexpensive hand winch.

A cable eye with wire cable clamp can add extra safety/lock point.

A simple pull on the ratchet will tighten up or a flip the lock level and slack it off.

I'm sure it wouldn't take much from the other guys here to figure out a way to mod it to a crank or wrench turn if you want to go that way too.

RichF
01-19-2009, 05:23 PM
I plan on a ratcheting wench next year. I did not think about the garage door cable. Looks like I will be making some changes. If anyone needs any more pictures let me know.

ppohlman
01-19-2009, 07:06 PM
I used a small carabiner at the top of the pole to hold my light strings up. I thought that it was easier than hanging them over hooks. Plus, it will hold them in place even if the wires are loose and a big wind storm comes. You can easily place 10 or so strands in one of those cheap small keychain type carabiners that aren't made for climbing. It reduces that amount of hardware that needs to be fastened at the top of the pole.

Just a thought.

mkess
01-21-2009, 07:55 PM
I have no idea what kind of tree I want to do this year. Could you guys post some stats and pics/videos of your trees? Stuff like how tall, # of channels, pics of your base, things like that.

rstehle
01-21-2009, 08:35 PM
My tree was 14' tall, 16 with star on top. The center pole was a piece of 1 1/4" conduit inside a piece of 1 1/2" conduit. Very rigid. Had 3 guy wires at the top. Made the topper myself, along with the 4 plane star. Made the base per the example shown on www.christmaslightshow.com (http://www.christmaslightshow.com). The diameter is about 7.5'. Used 3 colors, 16 channels per color, Blue, Red and Green. Here are a couple of pics.

DennyMo
01-23-2009, 03:49 PM
Speaking of ChristmasLightshow.com, I "cheated" and bought some of his pre-fab parts for making my megatree out of 1-1/4" steel pipe. (http://www.christmaslightshow.com/xcart/home.php?cat=25) I picked up a 5-way cross, standard hook head, and pole pin, built a 15' tree. I cheated again, and weighted the base down instead of using guy wires. I got away with that this year, but next year I'll guy it.

I picked up a bunch of cable thimbles (like these: http://www.mcmaster.com/#aircraft-cable-thimbles/=acvxz), and zip tied the top of my lights around them before putting them on the hooks. The bottom of the lights were zip tied to a PVC hoop around the base. As others have mentioned, the strings stretched under their own weight, so they got pretty floppy before I got them down. (Which happened yesterday, so I cheat AND I'm lazy...)

Next year, I'll be adding more light strings to the tree, but I'm thinking of zip tying the strings to wire cables and using the cables to both support the weight of the strings and as guy lines for the tree. Any suggestions on what kind of cable to use for that? I assume coated, to reduce possible abrasion of the wire jacket on the light strings. Stranded vs. solid, does it matter? Thanks.

WireWrap
01-23-2009, 08:25 PM
Stranded will be a lot more flexible for storage, and will not suffer from bending fatigue. I wouldn't even consider solid.:-)

Tom3982s
10-15-2009, 03:54 AM
Nice setup Joel... Any night time pics, bet this looks nice at night

oldcqr
10-15-2009, 09:58 AM
I'll add my 2 cents into how to make one:

A Simple Method to Build a Megatree (http://www.landolights.com/main/content/view/80/39/)
Animating Your Megatree (http://www.landolights.com/main/content/view/82/39/)

kostyun
10-15-2009, 11:34 AM
I could give you my opionion - but - I think I'll get images up soon!

dirknerkle
10-27-2009, 10:21 PM
I flew into Phoenix tonite and am stuck here for a while on a connection to Minneapolis, so I thought I'd go outside an look for Frank's tower. Lo' and behold, on the way to the observation deck I overheard some pilots talking about this "crazy guy who put up this gigantic tower for Christmas lights -- and he's right here in Phoenix!" They said the guy lives down in Ahwatukee...

Oh man, Frank, you're on the map now! You've got the pilots talking about you...

So I looked down your way from the airport and I could swear I saw you fiddling with the webcam atop the tower... that was you, wasn't it???

kostyun
10-28-2009, 12:30 AM
I flew into Phoenix tonite and am stuck here for a while on a connection to Minneapolis, so I thought I'd go outside an look for Frank's tower. Lo' and behold, on the way to the observation deck I overheard some pilots talking about this "crazy guy who put up this gigantic tower for Christmas lights -- and he's right here in Phoenix!" They said the guy lives down in Ahwatukee...

Oh man, Frank, you're on the map now! You've got the pilots talking about you...

So I looked down your way from the airport and I could swear I saw you fiddling with the webcam atop the tower... that was you, wasn't it???

Depending on what way you looking.. its possible.... well, when flying

LabRat
10-28-2009, 08:35 AM
I flew into Phoenix tonite and am stuck here for a while on a connection to Minneapolis, so I thought I'd go outside an look for Frank's tower. Lo' and behold, on the way to the observation deck I overheard some pilots talking about this "crazy guy who put up this gigantic tower for Christmas lights -- and he's right here in Phoenix!" They said the guy lives down in Ahwatukee...

Oh man, Frank, you're on the map now! You've got the pilots talking about you...

So I looked down your way from the airport and I could swear I saw you fiddling with the webcam atop the tower... that was you, wasn't it???

Flying to Minneapolis? Better double check that the pilot's don't have laptops with them. ;)

(They were probably trying to get some sequencing done)

dirknerkle
10-28-2009, 06:07 PM
Flying to Minneapolis? Better double check that the pilot's don't have laptops with them. ;)

(They were probably trying to get some sequencing done)

You may have something there! The two pilots were from Washington and Oregon, and I hear that the FAA has made it so they won't be flying again anytime soon...

So they'll have plenty of time to sequence now!!!!

frankv
01-30-2010, 07:05 PM
New here, so not sure if this thread is still alive or not.

Anyway, in case it's useful for someone next year, here's how I did a 10 ft tall tree last Xmas.

I used a length of white plastic drainpipe for the 'trunk'. Hammered the bottom end about 6" into the ground, and drilled holes at the top end. Then strung 8 wires from the top out to a circle about 10ft diameter to give the shape. These were pegged down with tent pegs.

I used cable ties to attach a star shape to the top, and then ran a long string of green non-flashing LEDs in a spiral. These were cable-tied to the wires. A couple of strings of flashing red LEDs, and some silver globes, and it was done.

This survived two lots of strong winds that beat half my icicle strings to death.

Dave Burrows
02-15-2010, 02:46 AM
I have used my 6 metre (18 foot) flag pole in my static display for the past 4 years. Look out 2010.

mmulvenna
02-15-2010, 09:31 AM
Flying to Minneapolis? Better double check that the pilot's don't have laptops with them. ;)

(They were probably trying to get some sequencing done)

The pilots probably new about it as we have a airline pilot in our Arizona light group. BTW, there is also a 40 foot MEGA tree in Northern Phoenix at our display.:)

brownjm74
04-13-2010, 09:33 PM
Well here is my mega-tree:

Last year my tree was 20' tall and next year will be about 28' tall

My mega-tree is called the JUMP Jack Up Mega Pole. You can read all about it on my web page and I have videos on how to build one along with update videos. I have posted a few photos of it here which are also in the photo section of my web page.

http://jbhobby.weebly.com/mega-tree.html

Jeremy

mrpackethead
04-14-2010, 02:19 AM
What is a collection of mega-trees called? I think its called a Giga-forest?

Jrd
04-19-2010, 04:27 PM
What is a collection of mega-trees called? I think its called a Giga-forest?

That's a good one, and if you get 1024 Giga-forests together you have a Tera-Jungle.

Giant Redwood Forest lookout...

g2ktcf
04-19-2010, 04:30 PM
That's a good one, and if you get 1024 Giga-forests together you have a Tera-Jungle.

Giant Redwood Forest lookout...

This is about the point that you can't see the forest for all the dang trees in the way! :D

smartalec
04-20-2010, 05:47 AM
Hi Jeremy,
On your website it says your designing a new JUMP system?
will you be putting on these forums or your own webpage only?
thanks alec.


Well here is my mega-tree:
Last year my tree was 20' tall and next year will be about 28' tall
My mega-tree is called the JUMP Jack Up Mega Pole. You can read all about it on my web page and I have videos on how to build one along with update videos. I have posted a few photos of it here which are also in the photo section of my web page.
http://jbhobby.weebly.com/mega-tree.html
Jeremy

brownjm74
04-22-2010, 04:23 PM
As soon as I finish the details I will post a note and link on the forums to let people know that the updated information is available.

Jeremy



Hi Jeremy,
On your website it says your designing a new JUMP system?
will you be putting on these forums or your own webpage only?
thanks alec.

brownjm74
05-18-2010, 08:51 AM
Just letting everyone know that Walter has made some improvements to the JUMP. These improvements will make the JUMP safer and increases the stability. Now available on my website is the video update, a new “bill of materials” aka price list, my outline from my presentation at LUO (Light-Up-Ohio) Mini, and a few additional tips for building a JUMP.


Link to Updates: http://jbhobby.weebly.com/mega-tree.html

mj_ferry
05-18-2010, 10:03 AM
Wow what a cool design for a jack up mega tree. Looks to be very stable. One thing that I seen in the videos that you might do is cover the tops of those rebars sticking out of the ground , I could see someone fall off ladder and fall on them and instant human shiskabob.
One question about the base is just the short pipe and coupling strong enough to support the whole thing?

Michael

Reddy_Kilowatt
05-18-2010, 08:58 PM
Just letting everyone know that Walter has made some improvements to the JUMP. These improvements will make the JUMP safer and increases the stability. Now available on my website is the video update, a new “bill of materials” aka price list, my outline from my presentation at LUO (Light-Up-Ohio) Mini, and a few additional tips for building a JUMP.


Link to Updates: http://jbhobby.weebly.com/mega-tree.html

Last year, I gladly retired my 20' 1 1/2" EMT megatree pole and went with Walter's single stage JUMP system. It worked out great and it was mega safer than my old bucket truck and shakey stick method that I previously used below:

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm141/reddy_kilowatt/P1010166-1.jpg

How not to do a megatree... :p:p:p:rolleyes:


-Craig

brownjm74
05-19-2010, 08:25 AM
Wow what a cool design for a jack up mega tree. Looks to be very stable. One thing that I seen in the videos that you might do is cover the tops of those rebars sticking out of the ground , I could see someone fall off ladder and fall on them and instant human shiskabob.
One question about the base is just the short pipe and coupling strong enough to support the whole thing?

Michael

Actually I do have orange caps that I place on the tops of the rebar’s. I had removed them to try to remove the rebar’s but I had to wait for the ground to thaw. And I shot the video the same day.

Matt_Edwards
07-20-2010, 08:41 PM
This is my idea for my portable hole. I researched the concrete filled ones and concluded a round wheel would be easier for me to move during set up and take down. Also being able to break it down into smaller manageable units is an additional benefit.
The basic concept is to use old car wheel with a pipe stub welded to the rotor. The mast slips into the pipe stub. 4 Eye bolts attached to the rotor are available for anchor points.
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/portable-Hole1.bmp
If I don't end up welding the4 stub to the rotor exactly perpendicular, washers can be used between the the rotor and the wheel rim to compensate.

Jrd
07-21-2010, 12:09 AM
That looks like a good idea, are you going to fill the tire with concrete or will this get all its weight from the rim, rotor, and tire?

Matt_Edwards
07-21-2010, 12:29 AM
I hope not to. My thinking is the 4 Eye bolts to 8 anchor should be sufficient. BUT time will tell.
I believe the weight is secondary to anchoring and footprint.
If needs be, I can also get a bigger rim with a bigger profile tyre.

Jrd
07-21-2010, 06:58 PM
That is true the anchoring and footprint should do more than the weight of the base. Keep us posted on how this works for you.

Matt_Edwards
08-04-2010, 06:48 AM
Look what I bought today.
My local parts store had the rotors for $19 each.

TimW
08-04-2010, 07:01 AM
I hope your base doesn't brake Matt! :)

TimW
08-04-2010, 07:03 AM
(its a wheely good idea though!) :)

Matt_Edwards
08-04-2010, 07:08 AM
As long as I don't get too tyred, it should work out fine.

dirknerkle
08-04-2010, 10:40 AM
Tread carefully.

klanger
08-05-2010, 08:19 AM
these guys are unbalanced, dont listen to them.

LabRat
08-05-2010, 08:31 AM
I don't see what all the hubub is about?

budude
08-05-2010, 11:24 AM
*groan* -- please make it stop - it's spinning out of control...

iconrl
08-05-2010, 03:53 PM
It's always nice to see these new ideas roll out.

dirknerkle
08-05-2010, 04:53 PM
It is written, "Blessed are they who go 'round in circles, for they shall be known as the Big Wheels."

Matt_Edwards
08-05-2010, 06:02 PM
Like all R&D projects, alignment is critical.

klanger
08-06-2010, 07:27 AM
*groan* -- please make it stop - it's spinning out of control...

wheely?

LabRat
08-06-2010, 09:43 AM
Edit: Removed..

cobraman44
08-06-2010, 10:58 AM
Finally this thread is starting to get some traction

dirknerkle
08-06-2010, 11:13 AM
Finally this thread is starting to get some traction

The squeaky wheel always gets the grease...

klanger
08-06-2010, 09:03 PM
Oh spare me.

Matt_Edwards
08-06-2010, 09:06 PM
Stop it. I am start to feel the pressure.

klanger
08-06-2010, 09:08 PM
Actually, I'am feeling a little flat.

budude
08-06-2010, 09:09 PM
This is getting really tiresome...

klanger
08-06-2010, 09:13 PM
Need to tread lightly in here.

dirknerkle
08-06-2010, 11:00 PM
Otherwise you can lose your bearings.

klanger
08-06-2010, 11:58 PM
We need to realign this thread back on track.

dirknerkle
08-07-2010, 12:06 AM
I'd sure hate for those wheels to fall of the axles, too...

klanger
08-07-2010, 12:08 AM
surely we will hit a bump in the road any minute now.

dirknerkle
08-07-2010, 12:11 AM
...or maybe a pothole or two...

klanger
08-07-2010, 12:14 AM
I think we've "jumped the shark" on this one, think we should ditch it

dirknerkle
08-07-2010, 12:15 AM
Everyone needs a brake every now and again...

klanger
08-07-2010, 12:16 AM
waiting for the mods to pull on the hand brake

klanger
08-07-2010, 12:19 AM
we've completely jacked this thread and driven everyone over the edge..

pete
08-07-2010, 12:55 AM
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klanger
08-07-2010, 03:02 AM
So, what are you trying to say Pete?

pete
08-07-2010, 05:44 AM
????? .... I Don't Know?

Hey there, Kev, how you doing???

klanger
08-07-2010, 06:42 AM
Oh, you know, around in circles.

cparsons2391
08-11-2010, 10:35 AM
I have a Question, has anyone ever tried to decorate a Mega tree?
I have seen it done with Those Lighted Spheres, I was wondering if you could maybe make those with like 6 inch foam balls wrapped in lights.

Jrd
08-11-2010, 10:37 PM
I don't think many people actually "decorate" there mega trees other than hanging some strobes in it or something similar, you could hang lighted spheres if you wanted to.

I think you will find more traditional decorating being done on 'Z'-Trees (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11960).

Matt_Edwards
10-16-2010, 04:19 AM
Back on post 36 (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=120798&postcount=36) I showed a sketch of the Portable Hole I am making. I was able to get back to it again today. the hole should be completed tomorrow.
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Mega-tree-base.jpg

Progress can be seen on my blog (http://baulkolites.com/wp/?p=227). Details of the crown are also show there.

sjwilson122
10-16-2010, 12:36 PM
Why do I sense a retread of this thread comming on? Someone needs to put the brakes on this thread...........................ooops, Matt already did! ;)

WireWrap
10-17-2010, 01:09 AM
Why do I sense a retread of this thread comming on? Someone needs to put the brakes on this thread...........................ooops, Matt already did! ;)

Aaaaaaaaggggghhhh!

Keep that up and you'll be sent to the punitentiary -- where you'll be severely punished. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:


And I wheely, wheely mean it!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:



:)

Matt_Edwards
10-17-2010, 02:17 AM
you guys have it wrong, I am welding it not threading.

Matt_Edwards
11-13-2010, 05:21 PM
Puns aside, here are some photos of my Mega Tree
Tree minus the lights and controller
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/megatree/megatree1.jpg

Portable pole arrangement
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/megatree/portable-hole4.jpg

Portable hole close up
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/megatree/portable-hole3.jpg

Anchor launch detail
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/megatree/anchor2.jpg

Ground Anchor
http://baulkolites.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/megatree/anchor1.jpg

dirknerkle
11-13-2010, 06:49 PM
That base sure doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon... shazzzzzbattt!!!

jnealand
03-11-2015, 02:12 PM
This is an old thread, but why is it in the wireframe section? An administrator should move it. Looks like there is still some useful info in here.