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About PipefitterDan

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  • Birthday 12/10/1977

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    Hills, Iowa
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  1. PipefitterDan

    Show Tear Down Complete

    I understand, December is a busy month for us too. We didn't get out to see ANY lights last year, animated or otherwise.
  2. PipefitterDan

    Show Tear Down Complete

    I got mine down this weekend too Aaron. This is definitely the nicest March I can remember us having in a while. Now I'm on to yard work.
  3. PipefitterDan

    GFCI 's

    Max-Paul, for a little clarification when you say "coming back via ground" do you mean through the ground wire or by any means to the ground. Such as through my hand, up my arm, down my side and out my foot. Some people could be confused by your comment.
  4. PipefitterDan

    Structural Safety

    Well you don't want cast iron pipe. Cast iron does not bend, it just breaks. You want bkack steel pipe, some times refered to as gas pipe. Whats most important is the base you use. You might get by with 1" but I would sugest at least 1.25". Myself I would use 1.5" because it fits nicely inside 2". I would concrete 2 feet of 2" pipe in the ground for a base. Either put a cap on the bottom or concrete under it so the smaller pipe doesn't sink. Get an expandable plug (we call em dollar plugs) to plug it off in the off season. Leave the pipe a couple of inches short of the ground so you don't hit it with the mower.
  5. PipefitterDan

    Structural Safety

    Some reference material, if you ever wanted to know the weight or dimensions of pipe. Schedule 40 is standard size, so 99% of us will use Table 38. Attached files Pipe specs.pdf
  6. PipefitterDan

    Structural Safety

    Seeing your last two posts I think you have it well in hand. A couple of hints on welding the sections together. Drill fairly large holes trough the 1" pipe. Insert the sleeve, leaving a 1/8" gap between the 1" pipes. Weld the gap full then weld the inner pipe to the outer pipe trough the holes you previously drilled. This should provide the most strength. I ran my lift lines up trough the center also so I too had to eliminate the couplings.
  7. PipefitterDan

    Structural Safety

    Well since I know a thing or two about pipe I'll throw my 2 cents in. Anthony is correct, The weak spot will be the joint and it doesn't matter how long you make the inner pipe. At this small size you have no strength, even a threaded coupling on the outside is only slightly stronger. If you insist on using 1" pipe you must install guy lines at the top and at any joint between the ground and the top. I have used a internal sleeve before on larger pipe. The sleeve was only used to align the sections then I welded the joint. This still creates a weak spot but much less so. Last year during take down when my carriage got hung up and the lift line jumped the sheave AND the pull down line snapped, well then I snapped and cut one guy line and pulled the whole thing over with the opposite guy line. About the time the star got within reach the pipe tore apart at the weld. It was actually a little satisfying to watch it crash to the ground. That mega tree mast was 1 1/2" black steel pipe, 25' above ground with one welded joint 10' from the top and one unwelded joint 5' above the ground. The bottom section with the winch bracket welded to it bent to almost 80 degrees and the 20' top section stayed straight, breaking in the middle at the weld. I was able to reuse the two 10' pieces to make mini megas this year. I don't think I've really helped any with your question. Your plan may work just fine. It depends on how much side ways force you put on the pipe. If you can manage to get all the stress to push straight down then you'll be fine. But if your mast is not perfectly straight and perpendicular to the earths gravitational pull, or the wind blows, or your light strings aren't space exactly equal then you could have problems. If you want to try it, then 2' into each section should be enough. I would probably try it myself, even with what I just told you. If you haven't had a problem with the coupling you might be safe. If you could get someone to weld the joint for you even better.
  8. PipefitterDan

    Ukrainian Lighting Show

    WOW! That does give me some ideas, but I don't have a canvas like that to work with. That took a lot of creativity to come up with those effects. The way they used the building structure, weaving things in and out and seemingly morphing the building was amazing. I am very impressed with that.
  9. PipefitterDan

    I have a huge problem and don't know what to do!

    That's good news. Hopefully this is a learning experience for a lot of folks. I create my sequences on one computer, copy to a flash drive and then copy to the show computer. This way there are three copies of each sequence. I also copy the music in the same manner. If my show computer goes down all I have to do is swap the cat5 and enable the show on the other computer. At the end of each season I burn every file LOR uses to a CD and file that away. I've never had to use any of these backup measures but it's better to be safe than sorry. edit: I really need to use spell checker
  10. PipefitterDan

    From the sky!

    Was just browsing different maps of my home and came across Bing maps. I stared at this picture for ten minutes before realizing that was my mega tree in the side yard. I don't have it up this year so this photo must be from last year.
  11. PipefitterDan

    My Halloween Setup

    No problem. My first video I tried to plug my radio's earphone jack into the audio in on the camera. Problem was where I had to film from was so far away that the radio would lose signal if I moved and I didn't realize it. It sounded awful. I sat there looking at the computer monitor thinking of ways to get better sound and happened to see that I could add an audio track. Duh. Could have saved hours of head racking if someone would have told me before hand. Now I actually talk over the video, I listen to music on headphones and count it down. Helps line it up quicker for me.
  12. PipefitterDan

    My Halloween Setup

    Very cool. The audio is easy to fix. Mute the audio that's part of the video and add a new audio track. Insert the audio file that you used for your sequence and adjust to match the lights. That way there is no background noise from cars, wind, people etc.
  13. PipefitterDan

    Features in next release of software

    I like this RGB Channel feature but it needs more options. I have many elements that have red, blue, green and clear lights on them. I would need a Multi color channel where I could set the number and colors of sub channels. But for now I will make full use of the RGB tools.
  14. PipefitterDan

    do you leave your controllers on?

    I turn mine off, they are powered by the same system as my static display so it's easiest to turn it all off.
  15. PipefitterDan

    Dielectric Grease and GFCI

    I use dielectric grease on all of my feeder connections (power to the controllers). I haven't had a problem sense but I have no GFI's on that portion of the display. My problems were always corrosion related.