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Frank Farmer

Anyone else building a frame for a 12 ribbon CCR tree?

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What did you use to attach each pixel (top and bottom) to the metal guidewire?  Does this keep the pixel from moving? 

 

Are you asking Frank or me?

 

If me, see:  http://www.k6ccc.org/pixeltree/

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What did you use to attach each pixel (top and bottom) to the metal guidewire?  Does this keep the pixel from moving? 

I didn't use any metal wire, I used 3/4" square aluminum tubing, bolted together.

The CCR's are attached to the tubing using wire-ties at every pixel cut-point (hundreds of them).

The pixels DO NOT MOVE. When I disassembled the frame I wrapped each vertical section in bubblewrap and then stacked them in the garage on hooks above the door.  Didn't take up much space and I don't have to take the CCR's off the tubing.

Here is a picture of the Frame before the CCR's were applied.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/gallery/christmas-2012/100_0940.jpg

Here is a picture of one of the tubes with a CCR strip on it.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/100_0949.jpg

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/100_0958.jpg

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This frame is 105 lbs.  With the cross members the frame is very rigid and two people can move it. Easier with 3.

post-2139-0-13032400-1350246866_thumb.jp

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Yea, you will need some help getting it into place. The main cross member is level with the edge of my roof, which makes for a good location to secure it.  Last winter it went through 45-50mph winds, rain and snow without any problems. I didn't loose a single pixel either, which is why I went with a frame verses putting the CCR's on flexiable conduit or rope/cable.

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OK folks. I've read through this thread a couple of times now and nobody seems to know about this or has remembered about it yet. This: http://www.magicchristmasnews.org/magic_christmas_news_002.htm is what I plan on doing. Mine will have the Portable Hole (Built), Strapping for the pixels and the center pole will be rigid conduit,

1 1/4" instead of 2". I did make the adjustments to the Portable Hole to all 1 1/4". The Jump Pole looks like what I'll use for my 20' LED Mega this year.

 

The portable hole is 135#s or so but you only have to move it once. Once this thing gets anchored, it's not going anywhere. 

 

The reason I'm going with the Color Motion style is just how even and precise everything lines up. Mine will only be 180and 16 legs but will be easy storage and easy take down.

I'm using flat WS2811 pixels, so I had to find something to make all 800 of them line up nice and neat.

 

Just another idea to ponder. 

 

Looking forward to some more Vids. I'll have some posted on my website shortly after I go live in late November or early December

 

Good luck folks,

Ron

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Frank,

 

I have a question for you. I see in your plans that you attach your star to the outer two aluminum pipes. Is your star on a backing? And is it string enough?  Thanks

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My star is made of 3/4" PVC plate. The two longer outside poles of the CCR-tree are bolted to that star.

We had 50MPH winds just after Christmas last year and even though it was waving like a flag, it never came down or broke anything.

I would not recommend string. The weight of the star requires a good anchor to the poles.

I've attached a couple of pictures. One is a view from the ground, the other is from the back of the star.

 

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=714

 

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=713

 

If you need anymore detail, let me know.

Frank

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The 20' aluminum poles I got were about $15 each. The ones with the holes is over twice the costs. (I guess for punching all the holes in it.)  I also caculated that it would have only saved me about 15lbs overall.  So the tree would have been 90lbs instead of the 105lbs it ended up being.  I went with the cheaper tubing, I think it's stronger too.

Frank

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anyone tried: http://www.zorotools.com/g/Strut%20Channel%20-%20KINDORF/00099407/  (the one with the holes) for a tree?  I wonder if it weighs less that the aluminium tubing. 

 

Lord no!  That is unistrut by a different name.  It's steel and heavy.  That is what I used for my pixel tree.

http://www.k6ccc.org/pixeltree/

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Hi Frank,

 

Been thinking of building a frame similar to this.  What wall thickness is the aluminum tube?

 

Thanks

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Frank,

I am almost hooked on the aluminum, as the flat surface seems to make sense. Your design for the tree also being adaptable to basically a straight frame ( say for Halloween) interests me. However, I just looked at the aluminum tube stock at $31.33 ( Lowes) for 8' sections 0f 3/4." That's a need for 24pcs just for the tree, then cross supports, and a few other pieces. Ouch, the frame is getting to be a $1,000 investment. (ok, I have 8 1600W's and tons of lights, and never used but have 15 CCCR's, so maybe I'm being cheap - lol). But I am wondering if you considered anything else?

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Utb ghost-

 

Have you checked prices online. I used metalsdepot.com and the price for all the aluminum and shipping was around 400.00. You might want to check them out.

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All,

I found a place that will cut 1" aluminum tube stock to lengths up to 253" Evansville Sheet Metal Works. Since 20' sections will not UPS, they will FedEx Ground Ship , at a cost premium. Fortunately for me I am in Evansville, IN every other week on business .......and I think I can strap them to my company car (Caravan) rack to transport. I'm going to see if there is much if any differential costs to cut the pieces to the specific lengths in Frank's drawing elsewhere in the thread.

(http://www.cut2sizemetals.com/images/common/footer-phone.png) I punched in 15 240" pieces and it priced about $752 or so

It's Christmas in the Aire!

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I just went down to the local metal fabrication shop and asked for 20x20' lenghts of 3/4" aluminum tubing with a 1/8" wall. Told him I would pay cash and I was in no hurry, it could wait until his next shipment. He charged me $300.00.

A close up picture of the tree in storage is attached.

I'm guess the increased cost is for shipping? 

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=724

Frank

 

In fact I just picked up another 20 tubes for another project and a little cheaper this time.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=725

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For those in the Midwest, try Alro Steel http://www.alro.com/  Just bought 21' lengths of 3/4" square with 1/8" wall for about $22 delivered.  Not quite the deal Frank got, but better than Lowes or Metal Depot.  For smaller props you can probably get away with 1/16" wall for cheaper.

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I stopped in at Evansville Sheet Metal and I think I will be buying from them .... overspec'd at 1" but as Frank noted, 3/4" will do so I need to revise my request. Someone also asked about wall thickness ..... I picked up 20' sections of 1/8 and 1/16 thickness and have to believe the 1/16 is sufficient with the cross member support.

I plan to ue that. My tree will be somewhat free standing so I think I will give it a slight lean, and support with 4 long sections of 1/8" wall thickness as braces

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I stopped in at Evansville Sheet Metal and I think I will be buying from them .... overspec'd at 1" but as Frank noted, 3/4" will do so I need to revise my request. Someone also asked about wall thickness ..... I picked up 20' sections of 1/8 and 1/16 thickness and have to believe the 1/16 is sufficient with the cross member support.

I plan to ue that. My tree will be somewhat free standing so I think I will give it a slight lean, and support with 4 long sections of 1/8" wall thickness as braces

At 20' will the 1/6" wall hold up it's own weight?  e.g. if you hold one end and lift it up how much does it bow? and how much difference is the bow between 1/16 and 1/8 walls?  I'll probably go with 1/8 but if there is little difference then 1/16 saves money and that means more lights. 

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This will be my first year with a CCR tree (12 ribbons plus a 3-G star at the top in the usual configuration).

At first I was planning on using rope or PVC conduit but this thread has me (actually my wife concurs, too)

re-thinking my plans.  Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread as there is a goldmine of information

here.

 

So, I am sure I'm going to go with the 3/4 inch square aluminum as Frank has generously provided detailed

plans.  And while its not cheap, I think that its cheap insurance.  Replacement of one CCR Ribbon is near

$200, so I think I can justify the $400 or $500 investment.  After all it would have probably cost $100 to $150

for a rope or conduit set-up, so the cost is really more like $350.

 

I wonder if there is more input on the 1/16 inch vs. 1/8 inch thickness.  However the cost seems to be not that

much more for the thicker stock.  One of the posts earlier mentioned 'Metals Depot' and I priced out 12 sections

of 21 ft. lengths of 3/4 X 1/16 inch vs 3/4 X 1/8 inch.  Including shipping to Seattle, the costs were $422.82 and

$499.94 respectively.  I still need to add a couple of pieces for bracing but it won't be that much more.

 

I plan on attaching my frame to a 20 ft. mast that's 1-3/4 inch aluminum tubing that performs as the support for

my amateur radio antenna the rest of the year.  I plan on removing the antenna for the season, mounting the star

on top and use U-bolts to mount the frame to the mast.  I will probably kluge up a couple of supports at the lower

corners as they will sit about 4 ft. above the ground but  am sure I'll have plenty of extra stock for that.

 

Ken in Seattle

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Hi Ken,

I used the 1/8" wall for my CCR tree and as like you said, it was not much more expensive.  Last year right after Christmas we had a storm come though with 50+mph wind gusts.  Even though the tree wobbled abit at the top, It never folded over. 

 

My plans were to build a structure for my ribbons that would protect them and something that i could use for years and years.

 

I'm using some 1/16" wall tubing for ribbons that I'm putting around the edge of the building. It's being screw into the building at three places (per ~16' length) along the roof line and only has the weight of the ribbon on it. 

 

Since I've used both thicknesses, I would still recommend the 1/8" wall 3/4" aluminum tubing for the CCR tree.

Frank

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