View Full Version : 10ft Stars for tower

11-12-2010, 07:41 PM
I'm starting a new thread for this project, since my first thread was titled too specific about ropelight.

The plan is to make 3 stars - 10ft across and mount them to 3 out of 4 faces on a large tower at the school where I work.

I'm attaching some pics - a pic of the campus, a pic of the tower with a mock up of what the stars will look like, and 2 of the star plans. One shows a wood and conduit frame, the other just shows the lit portions, with one color per channel (the light will all be white ropelight).

450ft of ropelight is ordered, and I'm going to start making up a RPM DMX16 for control. It won't be to music, just for visuals.

I'll post updates here as I go.


11-19-2010, 09:32 PM
Here are some photos of the work I got done after work this evening. one of the primary stars with ropelight - and the start of the frame and rays.

So far zip ties are working well, but what other tricks have people found for aligning lightrope onto the top of a tube so it doesn't roll to the side? A bead of caulking?

11-24-2010, 01:38 AM
Some more build progress, all 3 stars coming along nicely. Ran out of zip ties today just before getting the first one fully filled in with rope light. Got power up to the tower today - and brought two full rolls (300ft/900W) of ropelight up to test that we wouldn't trip a breaker.

Going through a lot of zip ties....


11-24-2010, 09:01 PM
Woohoo - all the stars were finished today.

Did some test sequencing with my custom software, but it was still too bright to appreciate.

A couple bits highlighted in the photos below. I came up with a way to have 2 opposite rays (one spoke) use a single segment of ropelight by "diving" the light into the PVC as a way to black out the middle. I have this make a brief appearance in the middle of the star.

The remaining challenges will be getting them up to the tower, and determine whether to wire with a terminal block, or to use extension cords.

Hope to have it up and running by mid to late next week.


11-25-2010, 09:18 AM
Looking good Preston! I can't wait to see a night time shot!

11-25-2010, 10:19 AM
Pretty impressive so far, can't wait to see video.

12-01-2010, 09:09 PM
Well we hoisted the stars up today - have not yet even hooked them up to a controller in the dark to see them full lit up yet! But we had a window today with guys to get them up - so I took it. It was a heck of a lot of work, I think someone else here took some picks of us hoisting, so I'll try to get those later. But here are some pics of them in place on the tower. Hopefully tomorrow they will be lit!


12-04-2010, 02:35 AM
OK, they are done - some final pics of the install.

The computer, ethcongateway and a switch which also connects to a wifi WAP so I can access show laptop remotely.

This is located on the floor below the open tower where the stars are, and is still fully enclosed.

Shot at the star level, two enclosures, one just holds terminal blocks for joining two stars onto one set of channels.

And finally VIDEO - the sequencing is kinda basic - plan to continue to develop it more over time. I also have red and green flood lights in the cupola in the level above the stars (at the top of a rickety ladder) - but don't have them sequenced yet.



12-04-2010, 03:31 AM
Nice job - those really look great!

12-04-2010, 07:06 AM
Well the wait was worth it, very nice job but you wouldn't catch me up there hanging them up, that is just a tad to high for me to hang over that ledge. Did you check and and see how far away you could see them.

12-04-2010, 10:41 AM
Great job! You'll get some grand comments about the stars!

I liked the music in your video. Bing's distinctive voice was cool. Knew him through the game of golf -- a game that he just adored.