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Thread: Mini tree question

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruppro View Post
    Don't know that it will help, as this is my first year, but I also am building Mini Trees, using Tomato Cages and Mini ican lights. In HD I found Rustoleum Undercoating, Black Rubberized Undercoating Spray Paint that I am using to prevent GCFI/Fuse issues (I hope ). My only recommendation is to make sure you let it dry for several days before working w/ the cages, even after 1 day they were still a little tacky and my fingers got coated.
    I thought about spraying the base with something like this.... But I wondered about coverage....just a tiny gap and the electrons could find their way to ground although I suppose it does eliminate the majority of surface area and thus lower the odds of a current path to ground.... Plus...I wondered about how much product I would use to cover those tiny wires on a cage......

  2. #12
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    Sep 2013
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    Newhaven, East sussex, uk
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Hi there.
    I use 20mm pvc pipe to make all my mini trees.
    I can take them apart each year and store all the lights and pipe in 1 box.
    Going to be making 8 more this year with dumb rgb strings I didn't use last year.
    All dc 5v super bright 8mm leds.
    80+ plus channels

    2 x 32 channel custom build tlc5940 dimmable DC controllers.
    1 ren 48 LSD v3c
    All rgb strips and 1 custom made face.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Lebanon, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    It is the ability for stray "energy" to go to ground from the accumulated electrical signals on the tree. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters see it as what would normally be interpreted as someone taking a electrical hit and then it does its job. In many cases, if you remove the ability for it to get to ground (as in putting the tree on a piece of plywood or making your trees from non-conductive materials), then it won't trip. (Verified the hard way. :| )

    The wonderful thing about the DC side is that the power supply is between the GFCI and the lights. Nothing is transfered from the lights to the GFCI. Also, the lower voltage makes it much safer for us working with the lights (again, verified the hard way. :| )

    Edit... Written before the last two entries made it to me. Saying the same thing.
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  4. #14
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    Jan 2016
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Quote Originally Posted by Santacarl View Post
    Not surprised about the DC results. In my case...I have 56 strings of LED strings that I can't see throwing away and mini trees was about the only thing I could come up with to utilize them.... We'll see how it works I guess....

    I do have a question though..... Did you try your mini trees without the chicken wire? Or, did you find that you needed it to make the trees more full/round? I am actually using 2 cages for each tree...I'm hoping that gives me enough of a rounded/full look......but I hadn't thought of the chicken wire so I'd be interested in hearing more....
    I wasn't happy with the results without chicken wire. Two cages was definitely better than one but the chicken wire made them much fuller and look more like a tree. Its all trial and error. Building 77 mini trees with chicken wire was a bloody mess for my hands...

  5. #15
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    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    I would use two cages instead of just one. I used one cage and i wasnt super happy with the triangular shape, but still worked for me a couple years. Using a second cage would have gave it a more round shape.

  6. #16
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    Aug 2013
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    Prairieville, LA
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    I have used tomato cage-based minitrees for three years (AC incans) and I have not experienced any shorting of wiring onto the cages. I have had some GFCI trips, but that was because I did not setup my AC outlet correctly--so it got water in it during a hard rain and the GFCI tripped... But no problems with those minitrees, at least not with AC incans....

  7. #17
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    Jan 2016
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Quote Originally Posted by chadowamsley View Post
    I would use two cages instead of just one. I used one cage and i wasnt super happy with the triangular shape, but still worked for me a couple years. Using a second cage would have gave it a more round shape.
    Two is definitely better than one. One gives a triangular shape as you mentioned. Installing lights with chicken wire makes things much easier when affixing lights on tree and gives a round shape to the tree. I found the easiest and best route was one tomato cage wrapped with chicken wire myself. Making them the first time is a bloody pain but they've been working great for close to ten years for me. Now time to strip the 5400 dumb rgb off and get the new 5400 bullet pixels on....

  8. #18
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    Aug 2013
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    Prairieville, LA
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Oh and by the way I am in Louisiana and sometimes we get really torrential downpours!! I have only had the one problem and it was "on me"---not a problem with the trees so to speak... I bought some receptacles after Christmas last year and I will get all my plugs up in the air--last year I had some down lower than they should have been and when one minitree would turn on the GFCI would trip!! So it is actually an easy fix...

  9. #19
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Quote Originally Posted by chadowamsley View Post
    I would use two cages instead of just one. I used one cage and i wasnt super happy with the triangular shape, but still worked for me a couple years. Using a second cage would have gave it a more round shape.
    Now I'm rethinking the chicken wire....I haven't started wiring them yet and so far just have the cages done...had to fix the top so it looked symmetrical with the rest of the tree....

    Maybe I'll try to find a small roll of chicken wire and experiment a bit.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Mini tree question

    Quote Originally Posted by DanJ View Post
    Oh and by the way I am in Louisiana and sometimes we get really torrential downpours!!
    Ahhh....so you get the downpours right before I do in MS.....Wish you guys would quit sending us 'them clouds'.....LOL

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