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Thread: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

  1. #1
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    Default Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking about building my first pixel display item to use next year. I have a height of 9 feet with a 6 foot diameter base in mind with a 180 degree viewing angle. The viewing distance for the tree would be around 20 to 30 feet or a little closer if someone is on the sidewalk.

    Do any of you have experience with staggering pixels toward the top of the tree to keep them from bunching up or is that a bad idea? If it is a bad idea does it have to do with sequencing or something else?

    What recommendation do you guys have for pixel spacing? I have thought about 1, 2 or 3 inch spacing.

    What recommendations do you have on the number of strings? 16 seems like it might not be enough but 24 seems like it might be too much. Does, what appears to be, the old rule of increasing string count by 8 even matter with pixels? If so, why?

    I am thinking of building the tree out of EMT and EMT fittings so I hopefully won't need to use guy wires. The main pole would be 1.25 or 1.5 EMT or rigid EMT and the rest of the structure would be 1/2 inch EMT. EMT hangers and straps would be repurposed to join all pieces together in a manner that allow the 4 long and 4 short supports to fold against the main pole for storage. The base would be made in 8 sections for separate storage.

    Thanks in advance for the feedback.

    Rich
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    Last edited by NavyGator; 12-18-2020 at 10:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    My opinion is 6’ is too much at the base. Usually about 1/2 the height. 6’ will look fat at the bottom.
    I have a 20’ tree with @ 9’ at the base. I use 1 1/2” EMT conduit for mine. I have a 270 degree tree.
    I stagger mine at the top because I don’t want a fat tree top. I have 32 strings with 16 strings on the outer edge and 16 @ 1” in from the outer edge. You can’t tell when the show is on the strings are staggered and it gives it nice proportion. At the base all the strings are on the same line.
    My viewing distance is about what you have.

    Hope this helps you out. Feel free to ask any more questions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Just opinion but I agree with TSL on proportion.

    As far a staggering, you mean something like 50 pixels on string 1 and 52 on string 2 and then 50 on 3 and 55 on 4? Mostly the reason we don't do that is "lazyness". It is much easier to setup a xx node string tree than one that has all different lengths. One thing I considered at one time was trying to make a mini tree on top of my mega tree. I have 16 string 180 tree and it is tight up top with a 12"? topper. But very doable. I just line them up front back front back etc so that the node sticks between the adjacent strips. I think I could get a few more in there if I tried. But then I thought maybe putting a 8 string mini tree about 18-24" high on top of the the other pixels. Decided it looked "good enough" and just put a star up there instead!

    At 20-30 feet viewing distance, you will need density to make some things show up. Bars vertical or horizontal will be fine at any spacing but some effects will be lost at 3" spacing.

    As far as adding strings, there is no need to do 4/8. The current sequencers will adjust the effects based on whatever you have in your prop. So add any number that you think would work for you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    My mega tree is about the same dimensions you are asking about. My first year I went with a 6' diameter and my tree looked far too fat. Last year and this year I'm doing a 5' diameter for a tree that has 24 strings of 50 pixels and I use the Boscoyo tree topper with J bolts/hooks to hold them. Yes, it's a little tight at the top, but I just overlap each plastic strip (think of shingles overlapping) and it looks fine - none of my pixels are blocked by the overlapping. Oh, and 2" spacing is plenty - if you go to 1" you'll have a very dense tree that could be extremely bright, especially if you run at 50%+ brightness (I run mine at 25%). Now, if you plan on putting images onto the tree then you might want to go with 1" spacing, but if you do, make sure you plan on the right number of power supplies you'd need for all those lights -- I've got 2 of the 12VDC PSUs running my 1290 pixels on my tree (1200 for the tree, another 90 for the star on top).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Here is a fat tree that someone set up. Looks okay in context.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgTA_Ksi_P4

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by TSL View Post
    My opinion is 6’ is too much at the base. Usually about 1/2 the height. 6’ will look fat at the bottom.
    I have a 20’ tree with @ 9’ at the base. I use 1 1/2” EMT conduit for mine. I have a 270 degree tree.
    I stagger mine at the top because I don’t want a fat tree top. I have 32 strings with 16 strings on the outer edge and 16 @ 1” in from the outer edge. You can’t tell when the show is on the strings are staggered and it gives it nice proportion. At the base all the strings are on the same line.
    My viewing distance is about what you have.

    Hope this helps you out. Feel free to ask any more questions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the input. I will look at the base before I actually build anything.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeKrebs View Post
    Just opinion but I agree with TSL on proportion.

    As far a staggering, you mean something like 50 pixels on string 1 and 52 on string 2 and then 50 on 3 and 55 on 4? Mostly the reason we don't do that is "lazyness". It is much easier to setup a xx node string tree than one that has all different lengths. One thing I considered at one time was trying to make a mini tree on top of my mega tree. I have 16 string 180 tree and it is tight up top with a 12"? topper. But very doable. I just line them up front back front back etc so that the node sticks between the adjacent strips. I think I could get a few more in there if I tried. But then I thought maybe putting a 8 string mini tree about 18-24" high on top of the the other pixels. Decided it looked "good enough" and just put a star up there instead!

    At 20-30 feet viewing distance, you will need density to make some things show up. Bars vertical or horizontal will be fine at any spacing but some effects will be lost at 3" spacing.

    As far as adding strings, there is no need to do 4/8. The current sequencers will adjust the effects based on whatever you have in your prop. So add any number that you think would work for you.

    Yes. That is what I meant, I probably should have been more clear.

    If I were to try and do different string lengths to reduce pixel density at the top of the tree, do you have an idea of how much more difficult (time) it would be?

    I have thought of shifting the planned location in my yard to move the tree back farther from the street. If I can, I will probably do that.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormyblade View Post
    My mega tree is about the same dimensions you are asking about. My first year I went with a 6' diameter and my tree looked far too fat. Last year and this year I'm doing a 5' diameter for a tree that has 24 strings of 50 pixels and I use the Boscoyo tree topper with J bolts/hooks to hold them. Yes, it's a little tight at the top, but I just overlap each plastic strip (think of shingles overlapping) and it looks fine - none of my pixels are blocked by the overlapping. Oh, and 2" spacing is plenty - if you go to 1" you'll have a very dense tree that could be extremely bright, especially if you run at 50%+ brightness (I run mine at 25%). Now, if you plan on putting images onto the tree then you might want to go with 1" spacing, but if you do, make sure you plan on the right number of power supplies you'd need for all those lights -- I've got 2 of the 12VDC PSUs running my 1290 pixels on my tree (1200 for the tree, another 90 for the star on top).
    Thanks for the input. Sounds like I need to look at a smaller base ring.

    Is your tree 360, 270, 180, etc?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyGator View Post
    If I were to try and do different string lengths to reduce pixel density at the top of the tree, do you have an idea of how much more difficult (time) it would be.

    One time setup. When you define your mega tree, you will have to do it one string at a time. Once setup, it should be fine. You can test the concept in the sequencer so when you do build it, you will know what you are getting yourself into.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mega(Mid?) Tree Question - Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyGator View Post
    Thanks for the input. Sounds like I need to look at a smaller base ring.

    Is your tree 360, 270, 180, etc?
    I forgot about this detail in my response. It's a 360 degree tree because it sits in the middle of the yard on a corner lot.

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