View Full Version : Mega Tree channeling
12-03-2009, 06:13 AM
I find tons of stuff on building a Mega Tree, but can't find much on how everyone is channeling for one of these things. This isn't a How-To, but maybe if enough respond, it'll sort be like a How-To.
So my question(s) are:
Most of these trees seem to be around 10-15 feet tall, and it appears a lot of you are running about 24-32 channels. How are your channels set up with regards to colors? For instance, if I run a 3 color tree on a tree this size, it means I'm using 8 channels per color, but that doesn't sound like a lot to go around a tree with this size diameter.
If the above paragraph seems about right, then how are you running your strings? Do you run one string from the top down per channel, do you loop the string up and down multiple times to the same anchor point, ...
These questions are due to the fact that when I view trees in online videos, it's hard to believe that only eight channels are being displayed for one color and still provide such a huge amount of effect. Some of these videos appear to have 24 channels per color spread around the base, but upon reading the descriptions of these trees, it appears only a few (8 or so) are really being used.
So help this confused, old mind again if any of you have the time.
12-03-2009, 06:55 AM
This was my first year to do this. I did a lot of reading. I have a 4 color setup using 48 channels, with 96 strains of 100 ct lights for the MT. The news media was here Monday for an hour to shoot a live sequence. I have 30,000 lights with video. Here is a link so you can see.
If you need any help just PM me.
12-03-2009, 07:34 AM
keep in mind most people go up and down with 1 channel so that basicly doubles the number of strands around the base.
12-03-2009, 07:42 AM
Ok , I'm gonna use what I have , for an example :
I have 2 ten foot Mega trees ( actuallu midi trees as someone else refers to them - LOL ) . Each one has 3 colors and 8 channels per color .
Now , I wrapped 1 of each color with 1 each of the others to create one twisted group of three different colors wrapped into one twist .
Now , each 100 foot strand of minis is aprox 30 foot in length . This gives you WAY more length than the 1 2 to 14 foot height needed for running a strand up on side . So , you can either start at the bottome and then go to the top and over the other side ( directly across from the start of the strand ) , creating 2 lines for your mega tree , or , you could start at the bottom , run it to the top , and then come down along side of the original start line and have two lines now , side by side .
I did one tree each way , and to tell you the truth , I have a liking more for the one side by side , rather than the over the top and down the other side directly across from the original line .
If you need me to , I can sketch up a little drawing if your not sure what I mean .
Now , lengths , believe it or not , you just used up your 30 foot length of wire for the minis ( since most only have the lights spaced using aprox 24 foot of the wire . )
And , this makes for spacing at the bottom ring/rung aprox 7 inches apart , which is NOT far away at all . ( but that also all depends on the diameter of your mega tree you choose . Mine is aprox 14 foot - but that distance is a matter of taste. )
I have 2 ren 24's for 48 channels.
Channels 1-16 are my whites
Channels 17-32 are my blues
Channels 33-48 are my greens
In my controller box I have both renard24s and 2 SSRs from my Ren64.
The 2 SSRs control my star, my red bulbs on the tree, twinkly lights on the tree and a few other things.
12-03-2009, 09:00 AM
Thanks for all the info so quickly. It's really hard to believe that when you do your sequence all the way around the tree with one color, that you're only using 8 or 12 channels, but I guess that's what's going on.
PT-BOB - Congrats on the TV coverage.
Dave99gst - It still doesn't seem like the effect comes out of just so few channels.
Sky-Lights - I understand completely what you're saying and was considering both ways. Since my display will be a year away now due to all sorts of stuff out of my control, I'll have a chance to experiment.
Trip - I'll bet with that many channels per color, you get really smooth movement.
Merry Christmas all,
12-03-2009, 04:16 PM
My Mega tree is about 18ft tall...I created mega-strands where I bundled 3 strands together (zip ties every couple feet or so)...
I use 16 of these "mega-strands", but double them up...so I have 8 channels of white, red, and green...with 16 megastrands surrounding the tree...
During the day, it looks a bit sparse, with about an 18-20" gap between strands around the base, but at night it looks pretty good....although it will look better next year when I add some more...;)
I wouldn't bother with 10 channels of each, 8 or 10 will look about the same I think...I'm thinking about jumping to 12 or 16 next year (with double strands on each channel)....
The advantage to using two separate strings on each channel (as opposed to up/down with each strand) is that if the string dies (fuse, wire breaks, etc), then there's at least one strand still lighting up.
12-03-2009, 04:45 PM
Mine is a 12' tree with an 8' diameter base. I am running three REN-24's, 24 strings of white
24 strings of red, and 23 strings of green, all doubled. One channel is used for my strobes and I steal a channel from another Renard for the Star.
This is my first year for the tree and I think it looks good. I was afraid it wouldn't be full enough, but personally, I wouldn't go with anything less than 16 channels for a tree this tall.
12-03-2009, 10:39 PM
Mine is 18' tall and is a flagpole cemented in a orange 5 gallon bucket and the base is 8 sided pvc base (1 1/2") elevated 1' off the ground with 8 legs. 5 colors and 24 channels per color. i zip tied super strands by zip ties on each 5 color superstrand and made sure to color code the ends and the tree can be up in less then 1.5 hours but takes another 2 hours to wire and cover the contwith 3 channels for 38 strobes.top is a 2.5" piece of pvc that slips over the flag pole with a flange on top wite spring clamps to attach the female ends to.It would look pretty good if i used 12 channels per color and 2 strands per color but its done and the controllers are wired for it.
I would suggest anything with a 10' or wider base to go with at least 24 runs down per color. if i did it again it would have been allot less scrolling thru vixen while sequencing if i did 12 channel and 2 strands per color.. I do love the options I have though.
12-03-2009, 11:13 PM
My tree is 15' tall at the top of the star. 2' for the star and 12' for the tree, all of which starts 1' off the ground.
I use 24 strings of each color for 72 strings total. Each color has 12 channels dedicated to it. I run each string up and then back down and connect two together for each channel. My topper has 24 hooks and each holds 3 strings of lights. Each string running up and down sits about 2" apart from the other strings. This makes the tree look full during the day and has great coverage at night. The only thing I may change in the future is to have double the channels per color to break up the segments.
I have 46 channels total dedicated to the tree. 12 green, 12 red, 12 white, 4 segments on my wrapped center pole, 4 for strings of ornament balls, 1 for strobes, and 1 for the star.
In the future I will either double the channels per color or consider a complete redesign to segment the tree vertically or incorporate a spiral pattern. I can't see me making it any taller as the current scale of the tree fits my yard perfectly.
12-04-2009, 12:40 PM
My tree is about 13 ft to the bottom of the star. I have 34 channels 2 colors, 16 for white, 16 for green and 1 each for the strobes and the star. I use 100 ct strings about 24 ft long and go up and back down in a v to give me a fuller tree. The base is about 20 ft around I think it is about 6-7 ft wide and spaced my strings about 4 inches apart. You can see my videos here http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9515
12-04-2009, 02:07 PM
My "midi" was a very last minute install. It's 8' tall and I used an "H" pattern of 2" tees to make the base so there is no cement involved. I drilled hoes in the ends of the legs of the "H" and tapped in foot-long 3/8" rebar stakes (don't think it would tip anyway) and used a 4->2 reducer with 12 eyehooks around it (thanks Dirk!) and that holds my doubled-up super string of RGW strands. I used three 12-channel SSR boards - each one drives a separate color. The strands are tied down with plastic tent stakes. I still need to find a star for the top though...
12-20-2009, 03:04 PM
My tree is 23 feet to star top, about 19 feet to top of light strings. 4 colors, 16 channels each. Strings only from top and down one side (no loop overs)
Very easy to sequence although it does use 64 channels, plus 8 more for the star. Plus 2 addirional channels for strobes (one mounted in the star, the other for the megatree, so a total of 74 channels.
12-20-2009, 05:36 PM
32 channels for lights
1 channel for the tree topper
3 channels for strobes (will be more for next year!)
I have my channels as B,Y,G,R, on each SSRoz and repeats around the tree.
I have my channel order set up to bring all the colors into groups from sequencing. Makes for quick and easy chases and fades.
Upping it to 48 channels for colors next year, 12 strobes and 4 colors on the topper.
12-20-2009, 07:33 PM
My Mega (Midi) Tree is around 12' tall plus 2' for the star on top
24 x strands of white incandescants
24 x strands of blue LEDS
Strands go top to bottom only and i have 1 channel for every strand plus 3 for the star
Having watched how smooth this tree can rotate i will not use less than 24 channels per colour around my tree
Check it out in the video here
The whites get overpowered by the blue in the video but work well together in real life.
Looking to add green to this next year.
The number of channels, how they are configured etc is really a personal thing on how it looks in your yard and setup, i've watch some really nice trees in videos that only have 8ch per colour.
12-20-2009, 10:02 PM
My tree is 12' tall and uses a single Ren24 to drive it. All strings are inverted "V"s. 8 channels of white, 2 channels each of red, green, blue, gold, pink and purple. Three channels are the topper and one for strobes. Chases are all in white. The other colors are nice to go with the overall yard color schemes as thay change. The center pole is made from post hole digger extensions and the base is an old iron ring from a wagon wheel.
12-20-2009, 11:20 PM
My tree is 6m tall and has 6000 channels.
12-20-2009, 11:57 PM
Last year my midi tree was ~ 11 feet tall, ~6 foot base, with 12 4-color branches (R, G, B, W) and used 14 channels. I used bank-selects on the colors to cut down on channels - details are on page 8 here:
This year I added 12 more 4-color strings, and duplicated the original bank select arrangement so it is dual color bank select with a total of 24 4-color strings using 28 channels.
12-21-2009, 12:41 AM
3 colors, 24 channels each plus 3 for the star. This year I'm only using 2 of the three colors because I ran out of $ to buy the 24 strands of LEDs. 18 feet high, 9 foot "ring" for the base 18" off the ground. Each strand goes from the top to the base ring and then to the middle.
12-21-2009, 01:05 PM
My tree is currently 14ft tall, made using 15ft LED strands. I chose a 6ft diameter base, which with 40 strands, gives a strand every ~6inches, to me, it looks very full.
My tree is laid out in an alternating color pattern, Red White Green White Red White Green White (R W G W R W G W). This "group" takes up 3 channels. 1 for Red, 1 for Green, and 1 for White. I have 5 of these "groups" which makes for 15 channels, 5 Red, 5 Green, 5 White. It means that the White channels each have 4 strands of lights, it doesn't look the best for a chase however the Green and the Red do look sufficient for chases.
You can see the video as follows http://vimeo.com/8208826.
I also use 1 channel for the white star.
12-21-2009, 03:35 PM
Mine is similar to most -- 10' with a mast made out of 3" pvc with a 2' topper star outlined with white rope light. Tree uses a wireless Renard SS24 (8 red, 8 green, 8 white). The topper star is controlled via an additional wired channel using a single-channel selectable SSR.
While 24 strings actually looks rather acceptable for a 10' tree, it's still not quite as full as I'd like it to be. Next year I'll either double-up on the string count or add another SS24; not sure which direction I'll go yet. Whatever I do it'll certainly be wireless next year again -- the Ren-W adapter has worked very well for me. And I'll probably use one of the SS24's channels for the star instead of an extra, individually wired channel.
I showed my wife a picture of Frank's megahumongoyougottabekiddinme tree, and she gave me "that look." Then, very quietly she whispered, "no."
12-21-2009, 04:21 PM
I'll throw my .02 in here..
My article series on Mega Trees (http://www.landolights.com/main/content/category/6/22/39/)
12-22-2009, 04:20 PM
The tree is 14 feet tall (16 feet to the top of the star). I have 16 channels each of white, red green for a total of 48 (2 Ren24's). The strings are twisted together to for a single 3 color string. Plus 1 channel for the star and 1 channel for the strobes. The bottom ring of the tree is 9.5 feet in diameter. The strings are are spaced at 10 inches apart at the ring. I like the effect, but I still think it could be a little fuller. I'm considering more channels next year.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.10 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.