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Frank Farmer

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

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I've used this aluminum channel for epoxy coated strings: http://www.prohmi.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ZSS5103

 

But I'm looking at this channel for the CCRs: http://www.prohmi.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=A734

 

or maybe a deeper channel: http://www.prohmi.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=A1359

 

or maybe a thicker version: http://www.prohmi.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=A1250

 

I just ran a flathead screw through the channel so no interference issues.

 

 

I had them sent to my local glass & screen company and picked them up there.

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khawes, I'm going to defer to Ken's expertise here and go with 1/8. Having discussed my project with the neighbor, (who might be the power source for my tree - lol)he reminded me of the wind tunnel effect between our houses, which is where my tree will be. Consider the investment with intent to preserve the ribbons and have a forever tree structure, I think I'll spend for the 1/8" now. My tree will be free standing so I have to use several pieces for support.<br /><br /><br />

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I did too.  I placed my order with Alro for 20 x 20' 3/4 square w/ 1/8" wall.  and a 2' x 2' x 1/2" plate to act as a hub for a Halloween spider web (will bolt 6' spokes to it to form a 12 spoke web.  (It'll be a great clock too.)  It's actually my spider web that sent me down this path, because it's currently 1/2 PVC and can't hold it's own weight.

 

Both my tree and the web are hung fro the peak of my 2nd story roof:  www.christmasoutloud.com 

Edited by khawes

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OK Frank, I rediscovered your star. Couple questions:

1) that's about all of the 20' tube that meets at the top of the star? Not more than 20', correct?

2) are those CCP's or mini's. and how may strings / lights? I'd be ok with white mini's atop the CCR tree this year - white star is ok by me

3) Any guidance on the spacing?

Your info here is most helpful.

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Thanks to all who have contributed here, I took the plunge and ordered 15 sections of 21 ft. aluminum in 3/4 inch

square.  I found a source local to Seattle (On-Line Metals) and they were very courteous and I got a good price

(less that $27 per section).  I'll be able to pick up locally and there is no shipping charge.  Wow!

 

Thanks to Frank for his PDF file showing the details of the frame layout.  I was able to adopt it to determine exactly

what I needed.

 

Now one more request:  Frank, can you describe a little how you used the stainless screws to assemble your frame.

How long and what size did you use and how large did you drill the mounting holes.

 

Thanks, yet again,

Ken in West Seattle

     (Off to start working on those CCR sequences).

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Acutally I used SS bolts. I think I did say screws in a previous post. Here are some close-up pictures of how I did it. 

The main goal was to keep the ribbons perfectly flat.  Also to have something that I could take apart and put back together next year...and the next...

This is how they are stored right now:

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IMG_20130807_112330_8021.jpg

 

From the top, back view:

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0920.jpg

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0952.jpg

 

side view:

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/100_0927.jpg

 

Ribbon side, showing hole where the bolt head goes through and is below the level of the ribbon:

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0925.jpg

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0956.jpg

 

I took tons of pictures, so let me know if there is something you need more detail on.

Frank

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Frank-

Great pictures and it inspires me to take some when I put mine together.

 

Just to clarify from what I see, you are using 1/4 bolts, drilling a hole to

clear the head on the CCR side of the square aluminum, and drilling AND

tapping the hole on the opposite side (to hold the bolt in place).  Then simple

clearance holes on the cross members and diagonals and finally a nut to

hold it all together. 

 

Again, Thanks!

Ken

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If the bolt head will not turn inside the tube you could get away w/o needing to tap, the ribbon (or a dab of hot glue if you are using pixels) would prevent the bolt from slipping out.  

 

Though drilling through the back side only and taping that hole, would let you screw the cross members directly to the main tubes, no bolts/nuts needed.

Edited by khawes

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Frank-

Great pictures and it inspires me to take some when I put mine together.

 

Just to clarify from what I see, you are using 1/4 bolts, drilling a hole to

clear the head on the CCR side of the square aluminum, and drilling AND

tapping the hole on the opposite side (to hold the bolt in place).  Then simple

clearance holes on the cross members and diagonals and finally a nut to

hold it all together. 

 

Again, Thanks!

Ken

 

I'm using #10 SS bolts, but 1/4" should work fine.

I'm NOT tapping anything. In the past I have found aluminum to soft to tap, It's possible, but I didn't want to count on that.

Yes, I drilled hole to clear the head on of the bolt on the ribbon side, inserting a bolt with a lock washer, then putting a nut on the bolt to hold it to that piece of tubing. Here is a better picture.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0928.jpg

The bolt is now part of that tube and dose not ever get removed once the ribbon is in place. The bolts are 2" long, as you can see from the picture, I probably could have gone with 1 3/4" length.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0952.jpg

The bolt that is sticking out now goes through the crossmember and get another lock washer and nut.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/100_0920.jpg

 

I'm sure there are better ways to do this, I'm an electrical Engineer by training, not a structial engineer. However I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out and how well it held up to the weather last year.

I have all my ribbons on top a some racks, wraped in bubble wrap to keep the ribbons from being damaged.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IMG_20130807_112330_8021.jpg

(Anyone notice the LOR controllers on the second rack back?)

I'm expecing to build the tree back up and have it installed in less than a day, when the time comes.

Frank

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Frank, thank you for all your pictures and pointers.  As a software engineer, I've got nothing to go on in the building world other than a class way back in the 7th grade, which was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. 

 

I didn't notice the controllers in the shot, but i do now :)

 

My tubing from Alro arrives Tuesday...   My tree will be 13' tall, and the spider web 13' across.  Any pointers on where best to attach the rope to these monsters so they can be suspended from the roof peak are welcome (and sought after as well)

 

Oh Frank, can your sequences come as LOR v3 files instead of SuperStar files?

Edited by khawes

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That rack has almost 30 controllers on it. I use to have them haning up around the garage, but ran out of wall space. :)

 

I had not thought about suspending the tree. Can you post a picture of where your going to put it?

 

On the sequences, yes. I'll PM you.

Frank

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Just a quick thank you note to all on this thread. I'm always way behind on this stuff, due to travel and cycling and bow hunting and a college football addiction and what not - but appreciate the help and insight. I will not get my materials until the week after Labor Day - also have decided to reduce costs a bit on the frame by alternating 1/8 and 1/16 lengths and 1/16 for the cross supports. I will use a two extra 20' lengths in 1/8 bolted as legs to support my tree which will free stand between two houses in a natural wind tunnel and probably do the same from about half way down. Trying to keep the metal under $500 and I might just make it.

BTW Frank, neighbors ( some are roof rats for me) are getting old as am I, and I'm thinking of building a frame for the lights I have clipped all across my garage.. Might still use PVC, but now aluminum channel is opening my eyes. We would build the frame, have it on wheels of some sort to have the lights elevated off the roof a bit and enable us to just slide it up the garage roof. The lead wheels will go over the crown of the roof, and the frame should just sit there fine - maybe some weights attached on the legs extending over the crown of the roof ......someday in the future I see a garage roof aluminum frame for s 12 plus CCR's!

Yu guys are awesome

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I had not thought about suspending the tree. Can you post a picture of where your going to put it?

 

Frank

 

tree_lights.jpg

 

You cannot see it in the picture but it's held up by 2 parallel 2x4's with several cross braces.  That contraption sits on the roof with only 4" hanging over.  The weight of the 2x4's and the controllers mounted at the far end keep it from falling down.  It's also tethered on the corners.  

 

You also can't see in the picture that the bottom of the tree is about 2' higher than the top of the garage door, which is why my tree height is limited to 13' or so.

 

You can see it in the video's though:

http://christmasoutloud.com/videos.html  (2010)

and 

https://vimeo.com/christmasoutloud/videos (2011)

 

 

and the web from Halloween:

 

Edit: you CAN see the contraption in the halloween video. It's silhouetted against the sky.  those tabs sticking up from the roof are actually LOR controllers. 

Edited by khawes

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I've been asked for some additional information on my frame's tube lengths, so here it is:

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/MoreCCRFrameMeasurements.pdf

 

I've also uploaded about 50 pictures to my web-sites photo gallery of the tree's construction.

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/index.php/photo-gallery/

 

Frank

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Hi Frank,

 

Thanks for the info on the frame, it will be useful as I begin to build a frame this week.  I had a plan to build a frame, however yours is much more sturdy and worth the cost and effort.  We sometimes get strong winds here and the initial investment in the frame is worth it.  My question is in regards to the power supply you have.  I will use a dual power supply setup; one each for 6 controllers. Do you have a schematic for the power supply wiring to the CCR controllers?

 

Thanks,

Randy

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I did the same thing, I have two outdoor boxes, each  12x12x8 that I got from Home depot. Each one has a power supply and 6 CCR controllers.I have one on each side of the  tree, that way I didnt' have to cut or add lenght to the CCR ribbon cables.

This image is hi-res, download it and blow it up.http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=871

I used these power jacks from radio shack:http://www.radioshac...614#tabsetBasic

Just wire each power jack directly to the power supply.

Let me know if your looking for more detail.

Frank

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Thanks for the quick reply!

 

I was hoping for more detail because I looked at the link you provided for the power supply and it says it has one output.  Do you connect all of the positives (+) to one terminal and all of the negatives (=) to the other terminal?

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It's true, just one output, 12VDC. There are 9 screws on the terminal block of the power supply. Three for AC in-netural, hot and ground. Then there are 3 screws for DC ground and 3 screws for DC positive.  I hooked two controllers to each set of DC screws.

 

Does that make since?

 

Here is the spec sheet and it has PIN assignments on it.

http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ProdDS/244743.pdf

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That makes it quite simple doesn't it!  A few ring terminals, the power jacks, and wire should do the trick.  Thanks for clarifying the hookup.

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Frank:

How are the Radio Shack power jacks wired? Is the center the +?

Larry

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Hi all

I am planing on building my CCR tree frame some time soon I will try to post some photos what I was thinking of doing is making one big

A frame with 50 X 25 RHS on the sides 50 X 50 RHS as a H frame at the bottom and 25 X25 RHS for the cross braces then for the lights to mount to I was thinking of screwing some 20 X 20 wood to that to keep the weight down I will see how it goes as it will be free standing I may need to bolt it down or put some weights on it

What do you think I will try to post some pics when I get started

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OK, here's the silly question of the day.  Does the width of the tree at the bottom matter?  I looked at the dimensions of Frank's tree and the tree I am building is considerably less.  Prebuild dimensions are 19 ft tall with star and 7' 8" in width at the bottom.

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OK, here's the silly question of the day.  Does the width of the tree at the bottom matter?  I looked at the dimensions of Frank's tree and the tree I am building is considerably less.  Prebuild dimensions are 19 ft tall with star and 7' 8" in width at the bottom.

There are many variations, mostly due to individual space requirements.  You can find Brian's original dimensions on his website here:   http://superstarlights.com/SuperStarConstruction/CosmicColorRibbons.php

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