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Thread: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

  1. #1
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    Default Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    I bought 12 spiral mini-trees (see picture or this link: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Holiday-T...-Pack/12080735 ) to replace my mini-trees that use incandescent minis. Iíll replace the bulbs on these with pixels. Theyíre 3 and 4 ft tall; so viewers will still be able to see over and through them, as they sit in front of the other props.

    My initial thought is theyíd look best with pixel strips; however people seem to have more problems with strips than pixel nodes. I donít understand why; maybe because I havenít used any strips? The leds are encased in heavy plastic sleeve or tube, only the two ends are open. Unless they arenít sealing the ends, what else could cause problems? Condensation?

    One advantage with strips is that the pixels would align on each mini-tree. If I use nodes, it would be difficult to make the spacing the same.

    I know others have used this type of spiral tree with pixels. What did you use and are you happy with your choice. Any video, Iíd appreciate seeing it.

    So strips or nodes? If nodes, flat back or bullet style?

    Oh, has anyone opened up these stars and put pixels in them? Can they be opened or are they glued together? I havenít tried yet, so Iím a bit premature in asking. Hoped someone could save me the time, breaking one probably, and have a hint on how to open them up.

    Tks!!!!
    Joe
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeyelights View Post
    I bought 12 spiral mini-trees (see picture or this link: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Holiday-T...-Pack/12080735 ) to replace my mini-trees that use incandescent minis. Iíll replace the bulbs on these with pixels. Theyíre 3 and 4 ft tall; so viewers will still be able to see over and through them, as they sit in front of the other props.

    My initial thought is theyíd look best with pixel strips; however people seem to have more problems with strips than pixel nodes. I donít understand why; maybe because I havenít used any strips? The leds are encased in heavy plastic sleeve or tube, only the two ends are open. Unless they arenít sealing the ends, what else could cause problems? Condensation?

    One advantage with strips is that the pixels would align on each mini-tree. If I use nodes, it would be difficult to make the spacing the same.

    I know others have used this type of spiral tree with pixels. What did you use and are you happy with your choice. Any video, Iíd appreciate seeing it.

    So strips or nodes? If nodes, flat back or bullet style?

    Oh, has anyone opened up these stars and put pixels in them? Can they be opened or are they glued together? I havenít tried yet, so Iím a bit premature in asking. Hoped someone could save me the time, breaking one probably, and have a hint on how to open them up.

    Tks!!!!
    Joe
    My spiral trees are made from those. I use standard bullets

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bwinter; 01-05-2018 at 12:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    im using the bullets also on mine
    http://www.vixenlights.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Vixen3-Logo-435x165White-300x107.png

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    I had WS2812 strips. I had to replace them three times in one season. The next season I moved to WS2811 3: strips and have not had an issue since.


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    My spiral trees are made from those. I use standard bullets

    That was a fun sequence to watch. Well done!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. Likes Dkelly0802 liked this post
  7. #6
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    I tried bullets, in varying mounting patterns, then settled on strips for ease of install and neatness.
    I believe the main drama with strips is they tend to break at the join or where the pigtail is connected. This just means you need to be mindful and take extra care and precautions. I soldered the pigtails on, then added heat shrink and a small amount of silicone inside before shrinking, Then cable tied the pigtail to the frame when assembled to stop any movement. Also I cable tie the strips at the joins and don't make them too tight as they will expand and contract to some extent and I don't want any unnecessary force on the joins.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    Quote Originally Posted by pburton View Post
    That was a fun sequence to watch. Well done!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I agree - very cool! I just bought some of these for next year; looks like it will be fun to come up with effects for them.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    Depending on how tightly you want the wrap to be on the tree, I wonder how something like 3/4" Pex tubing would work with bullets to help protect them from the elements? I would imagine that you would want to make sure that all the bullets face the same direction as you pulled them through the Pex too.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    On all of my dead WS2812 strips my issue was never the pigtail. It was always the WS2812 chip generating too much heat and the solder from the chip to the board letting go. My temp fix to keep a string going while the show was actively running was to use a small C clamp to hold the chip to the PCB. You could not see that pixel but the rest of the strip would work until I could swap the strip with a spare and then repair it. In most cases all I did to repair was to resolder the chip to the PCB. After three repairs on a single strip I always just discarded the strip. Now I have almost no WS2812 strips in my show (my front arches are the last elements to have WS2812 strips and they will get WS2811 strips once these die).


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Default Re: Spiral mini-trees, strips or nodes

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    My spiral trees are made from those. I use standard bullets

    You got a night pic of those, i like that idea.

    Edit: Nevermind, juts saw the video, ,thats sick.

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