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Thread: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

  1. #1
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    Default Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    I have been running my controller on my ground level behind my megatree in the past. My space is very vertical (see picture with proposed layout this season). As such, I have to run cables from the bottom to all the 2nd floor or higher props to connect the controller. This season, I'm also trying to add some stuff even above the second floor (TBD just how far), so I'm picturing trying to run all these and keep them hidden or at least not an eyesore, as my viewers are somewhat close. I had done it this way before, because the majority of my props/strings were on the bottom level. But a thought crossed my mind....What about running the controller from my second floor deck so it's more centralize?. This would however mean that instead of connecting my 16 megatree legs to the controller at the bottom with short-ish cables, I would either have to have the controller connections/start of the string going from the top down, then zig zagging back up, or have to run 8 cables down from the controller to the bottom of the tree. These are all 5v pixels i'm working with, so injection and voltage drop is a factor. Wondering if this is a good idea to run the zig zag top ->bottom->bottom->top? My only concern is with the transition between strings. It's find when the fold is at the top, because they are so close together, but the larger distance at the bottom of the tree may not be ideal. Thoughts?
    layout2019.jpg

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    Although there will be a bigger gap at the bottom any reasonable strong spacing will still be short enough to carry the data line across. This sounds like a tall tree. Exactly how tall/how many pixels do you plan per string? It might make sense to power inject at the bottom for every string.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    A few things: What sequencing software are you using? What controller?

    Assuming Vixen and an F16?? and that you want to keep the patching simple.

    Make sure your sequence/preview/patching is NOT patched using the reverse elements feature.
    On the F16 create a virtual string for each leg on a given port and set the direction for the legs as reverse/forward/reverse/forward etc.

    The distance of the Data plus V- between the legs depends on the wire. I get about 4M when using el-cheapo wire without a buffer.


    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

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcK View Post
    Although there will be a bigger gap at the bottom any reasonable strong spacing will still be short enough to carry the data line across. This sounds like a tall tree. Exactly how tall/how many pixels do you plan per string? It might make sense to power inject at the bottom for every string.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
    As of right now, the plan is to go with 50 5v ws2811 bullet pixels @ 2" spacing per leg. So nothing too crazy. The top of the tree would be about a few inches above the floor of the second floor deck pictured. I have used 16 strings, 180 degree with 48" base, which works out to something like 4.4" between strings at the bottom if I do the full 180. Since it's early enough in the season, I still have the option to modify the layout including the number of pixels, height etc. My plan of attack was exactly that, to inject at the opposite end of where the string starts, so every 50 pixels. I had traditionally done 8 strings of pixels folded in half, so the tree took 8 controller inputs. Each input had 2 tree legs/1 string. I had been toying with the idea of trying to run more off of the inputs, like maybe running 4 legs/2 strings/200 pixels per controller output, only needing 4 of the 16 outputs for the tree. Being a lot more comfortable with the concept of power injection after being a rookie to it last season last season
    Last edited by XmasinVancouver; 10-09-2019 at 07:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    Hey Martin, I'm running Vixen on the latest build (918) and a Sandevices E682 Controller updated to the "beta" 5.0+ firmware. I usually just use the controller settings to control the zig zag. I

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    I don not have an E682 so I don't know what its capabilities are. If the controller cant do what you need then the reverse elements function on the Vixen patching screen will do the trick.


    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

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    I don not have an E682 so I don't know what its capabilities are. If the controller cant do what you need then the reverse elements function on the Vixen patching screen will do the trick.
    Thanks for the input Martin. Always appreciated. In this situation, the patching and software operation wasn't an issue. But the actual physical setup

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    To confirm there will not be an issue if you understand patching....plus some controllers help thing out....like zigzag
    I built my mega tree with a injecting box, but wired it so string one was on the right....wanted on left. Like what you want to do, mine was also on top.
    I was able to get both starting on right and starting on top to work right using patching - - zigzag in the controller. (last year I didn't have a zigzag controller, so that was also done with patching)
    In Lights Therapy

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    To confirm there will not be an issue if you understand patching....plus some controllers help thing out....like zigzag
    I built my mega tree with a injecting box, but wired it so string one was on the right....wanted on left. Like what you want to do, mine was also on top.
    I was able to get both starting on right and starting on top to work right using patching - - zigzag in the controller. (last year I didn't have a zigzag controller, so that was also done with patching)
    I'm thinking physically at the bottom with the zig zag. MH pixels are only 3", so the 180 degrees spacing was something like 4.41" gap between legs on the bottom, I would have to reduce that gap which would give me less than 180. Not the end of the world on that front, but even I'm maxing out every fraction of that 3" on the bottom gap, I was picturing then you tension the legs and the amount of potential strain on the tiny bead of solder inside those two pixels at the bottom

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    Default Re: Running Megatree zig zag starting from the top

    i would be adding 3" of wire at each leg to reduce tension. pixels hate tension on the wire.
    Last edited by MartinMueller2003; 10-10-2019 at 06:40 AM.


    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

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