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Frank Farmer

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

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avionics12,

My original design did have a narrower base.  While designing the star I figured out that if I made the base wider, the outter ribbon bars would line up with the edge of the star, giving the star a more secure connection to the rest of the tree.  See the back view of the star and tree in this picture: http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=714

I also think the wide base makes the tree look larger.

As Scottam67 and Heffo said, it's mostly what looks good in your display.  The side of my building, where everyone view the lightshow from is 150ft wide. So I've got lots of space to spread out. (Animation background=http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=876)

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Regarding the width of the frame at the base:

I just laid out my frame on my driveway.  I am using a smaller star for the top (the 30 inch 4-element exploding star from 3-G) so the height from the base to the tip is shorter in my case.  In laying out my configuration I lined up the outer ribbon bar with the line of the star.  Once I got things square I measured the distance from the tip of the star to the base.  It came out 234 inches (19-1/2 ft.).  Note that the points of the star are 36 degrees apart and if you take the measurement from the center-line to the outer point is going to be half of that or 18 degrees.  I did some trig math and found that Sin(18) = .309.  Thus the distance from the center line to the end of the outer ribbon bar will be .309 X 234 = 72.3 inches or a full width of 144.6 inches (about 12 ft.).

 

I agree that lining up the outer ribbon bars with the star makes it look aesthetic.  I didn't realize this until looking at Frank's drawings as they show the line of the star extended to the base of his frame.

 

Now off to drill some holes; lots of them.

Ken in West Seattle

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BIG OOPS!

I should have used the Tangent function instead of the Sine.  However the difference isn't very different.  for 18 degrees the Tangent factor is .325 instead of .309.  The difference is about 1 degree.  In other words, the above is about accurate for 17 degrees if the correct formulas are used.

 

My apologies and sorry for any confusion.

 

Ken

 

(OK, its been decades since my last math class).

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I will be drilling holes in my "Frank Frame" this weekend back in PA, where a friend was able to get 24' lengths of the 3/4 tube 1/8' wall for $15 each. He was able to cut lengths per Franks additional drawing in his shop ... I added 6" length to the bottom for my tree - just to stay well off the ground. Hope to finish drilling and do an initial assembly by late Saturday morning. Penn state Game sat night, load and run to Cinci Sunday. Then I have to transport it all to Cincinnati, and sometime late Sept get the CCR on it, and onward we go....

Someone had asked earlier in thread about 1/16 wall, and I considered but decided on 1/8. I think the 1/16 would be ok if you were up against a two story house. Mine will be free standing, so I'm adding two long supports and 4 shorter supports as I lean it back a bit. Basically create a stand for the tree frame. Even the 1/8 has some decent flex. If anyone does use 1/16 wall I'd suggest more cross supports.

My friends and neighbors think I've lost my mind :) But they all love my show, and several are hands on help once things atrt going up on the house and yard. It's a good thing, our light shows.

Frank, the extra photos are helpful, thanks for posting those. I'll be in touch for some sequence(s) soon enough.

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I will be drilling holes in my "Frank Frame" this weekend back in PA, where a friend was able to get 24' lengths of the 3/4 tube 1/8' wall for $15 each. He was able to cut lengths per Franks additional drawing in his shop ... I added 6" length to the bottom for my tree - just to stay well off the ground. Hope to finish drilling and do an initial assembly by late Saturday morning. Penn state Game sat night, load and run to Cinci Sunday. Then I have to transport it all to Cincinnati, and sometime late Sept get the CCR on it, and onward we go....

Someone had asked earlier in thread about 1/16 wall, and I considered but decided on 1/8. I think the 1/16 would be ok if you were up against a two story house. Mine will be free standing, so I'm adding two long supports and 4 shorter supports as I lean it back a bit. Basically create a stand for the tree frame. Even the 1/8 has some decent flex. If anyone does use 1/16 wall I'd suggest more cross supports.

My friends and neighbors think I've lost my mind :) But they all love my show, and several are hands on help once things atrt going up on the house and yard. It's a good thing, our light shows.

Frank, the extra photos are helpful, thanks for posting those. I'll be in touch for some sequence(s) soon enough.

 

That was me who asked about the 1/16 wall.  I decided not to be penny wise & pound foolish so I ordered 1/8 and it's already been delivered.  I've been slowly cutting and drilling, in the little time I have between work and carting the kids around.  

 

My tree is 15' tall and I'll be using Ray's Technicolor Pixels on mine with a spacing of 3 5/8" -- yep lots of zip ties in my future.  I'm going to position my bottom cross member at 1 1/4" from the bottom, and start my strings with a bulb on that spot so the bottom of the tree is straight.   The other 6' of the 21' tubes will go toward the spokes of a spider web / clock.

 

My neighbors also think I'm nuts.

 

Thank you Frank for paving the way to "Franken Frame" props. 

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I'm glad you guys descided to go with the 1/8" wall tubing.

PLEASE, PLEASE, take pictures as you go along and share with the group.

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Frank,

First thank you for all the awesome insight. I understand your construction of the frame but am still in the beginning stages of the electrical side. Do you have any more information, or a wiring diagram, on how you wired the inside of your boxes? Sorry for the nube question, but trying to get it right the first time! Thanks again

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I'm glad you guys descided to go with the 1/8" wall tubing.

PLEASE, PLEASE, take pictures as you go along and share with the group.

Here's my tree ready for drilling:

 

2013-09-06%2008.11.01.jpg

 

And I'm also working on a spider web, This is the hub at the center, with some of the mounting holes drilled. I will cut off the corners after drilling is done.

 

2013-08-24%2014.11.37.jpg

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Been away for a week on business; thanks for the replies on my question.  My question was based on visual "quality" so to speak.  I am using Brian B's star kit and I agree that having the outer ribbons line up with the star edges would look better.  My thinking was in regards to the visuals.  Since my total visual area would be less than others I wondered if the sequences might look compressed so to speak, especially for scrolling words or graphics.  I don't think it will matter, just asking those with more experience.

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Question for all you building a CCR tree frame, either like Franks's or using something comparable.  How are you standing up your tree?  I finished my frame this morning and realized that with all the weight, my approach needs some revision.  I'm using the Monkhouse Jump II as a base.  My plan was to screw in the first 10ft pipe section, then lean over, insert a pole pin (CLS.com), then the second 10ft pipe with my star attached at top, as well as my 12 rays.  I thought at first, I could walk up by myself, then I thought my 16 year old son and I could do, which we did but it was touch at go at the very end, and then getting it back down with all the weight on top was scary.  I thought for sure that my star was going to history if it fell to the ground.   

 

I'm thinking some type of pully, either for the full set up, or to just pull the rays to the top of the pole once vertical.  Don't have a good place to attach a pully to the house to pull the whole tree up from a horizontal position. 

 

If anyone has encountered something similar and has a good idea, please let me know.  Thanks

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My tree will hand from the peak of the 2nd story roof.  I've got an eye bolt and a pulley for the tree, and two pulleys for the house.  I'll run rope from the eye bolt to 1 roof pulley back down to the tree's pulley then back to the roof pulley and back down to me and a final eye bolt above the garage door.

 

For the roof pulleys I have 2 8' long 2x6's, which are held in place with 4 or 5 cross members (like a ladder).  The face has the pulleys mounted to it hand hangs over the front about 3 inches, the rest straddles the roof line heading away from the house with two LOR controllers mounted at the back, a San Devices Pixel 1 will be added as far back as the light leads allow. All this is the counter weight of a big lever that the tree weight cannot over come.  I do tie the back of the contraption to the chimney on the far side of the roof just in case.    3 years running and some pretty heavy amounts of lights and no problems, and the whole thing comes down off the roof once the season is over.  

 

Pictures in October if anyone wants to see it.

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Question for all you building a CCR tree frame, either like Franks's or using something comparable.  How are you standing up your tree? 

<snip>

 

 

Last year, my pixel tree was just leaving against the eves of the house.  My 20 year old son and I had no trouble picking up the tree and walking it into position.  The 2 pieces of unistrut that support it were just sitting on the lawn with nothing except the weight to keep them in place.  I do note that here we seldom have any wind over a few miles per hour in December so I was not too worried about it blowing over.  This year I think I will attach a piece of steel cable from the tree to a bolt in a roof rafter so it can't blow over.  I may also come up with some standoff so the tree does not damage the paint at the contact points with the eve.  If you look at the 2nd and 3rd photos on the web page below, the tree is leaning against the lower eve.

 

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

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My tree will hand from the peak of the 2nd story roof.  I've got an eye bolt and a pulley for the tree, and two pulleys for the house.  I'll run rope from the eye bolt to 1 roof pulley back down to the tree's pulley then back to the roof pulley and back down to me and a final eye bolt above the garage door.

 

For the roof pulleys I have 2 8' long 2x6's, which are held in place with 4 or 5 cross members (like a ladder).  The face has the pulleys mounted to it hand hangs over the front about 3 inches, the rest straddles the roof line heading away from the house with two LOR controllers mounted at the back, a San Devices Pixel 1 will be added as far back as the light leads allow. All this is the counter weight of a big lever that the tree weight cannot over come.  I do tie the back of the contraption to the chimney on the far side of the roof just in case.    3 years running and some pretty heavy amounts of lights and no problems, and the whole thing comes down off the roof once the season is over.  

 

Pictures in October if anyone wants to see it.

Sounds impressive.  Pictures would be great!  Thanks

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The vertical unistrut pieces are 15 feet long and the top of the star is a couple inches higher.

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Jim,

That's a good size for your location. Big enough to be inpressive and protected by the house as well.

Good job.

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Thanks Frank.  It's plenty big for the location.  I live on the outside of a 90 degree bend in the street and it's totally visible from one direction and fairly visible from the other.  Can't miss it!

 

I'm noticing that I need to update my signature file.  I now have 39 channels active, and that will go up by about 40 channels this weekend....

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hello,

I have read this topic over and over and am excited to get started. I have been researching the aluminum tubing and can only find 16 footers that would be reasonably priced locally.  I have 12 ccr's and am brand new to using them.  It seems like a lot of others have been using the rgb bulbs or pixels which might make the taking down easier but since i have the ccr's I think i would like to do what Frank did and keep them attached to the tubing for storage purposes.  I have certainly appreciated everyones responses and Frank - all of your pictures and diagrams have been so helpful!!!!  

 

I do have a few questions I am hoping some of you could answer.

 

1. since the ccr's are already 16' long, would I be in trouble going with only 16' aluminum tubing on the 10 middle structures? (I may be able to get 2-24' tubing and cut down a little to use on the outsides of the tree but since they were $33 each i am only willing to buy 2. Plus I need to pay for delivery of all of it.)

2. Just so I understand, it sounds like i can only use 6 channels on 2 separate LOR ctb16pc control boxes?  does this also mean I can't use the other 10 channel outlets for regular led lights?

 

I had considered using pvc and rebar for support inside but I figure the cost and extra storage for all of it probably isn't worth it and should just stick with the aluminum tubing.

 

thanks for any help you can give,

Tara

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Hi Tara,

 

Welcome to the CCR/Pixel tree making group!

 

I'll try to get to all your questions, if I'm not clear on anything, please let me know.

 

Ok, 1st, ribbon length.  The CCR is actually 16 feet and 4 inches long.  Your ribbon is going to be 4 inches too long. Also I would recommend starting the ribbon at least two inches from the base to protect it from water and to give you room to run the wires (if the controllers are base mounted).  You could cut a couple of pixels off, but I wouldn’t recommend that. You might build some sort of extension for the extra length at the top.  Someone else might have a suggestion.

Double check your local vendors for the tubing.  I live in a rather rural area and was able to get my tubing locally.  Any place that builds anything out of metal should be able to get the tubing for you.  My local machine shop was very helpful.

 

Now, onto the controllers.  I can see some confusion here and I think I can sort it out for you.  The CCR’s come with there very own controller (described as aluminum controller in the manual). You will not need to use any of the channels on your LOR 16-channel controller for the ribbons.  If you are going to put a star on top, like mine, you will need to use 6 of the channels of your 16-channel controller to control each of the individual stars light strings.  The rest of the channels can be used for anything you want.

 

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/?attachment_id=871

I got kind of fancy by splitting up my 12 controllers into 2 boxes and have each of those boxes with it’s own power supply powering 6 controllers.  Each of these control boxes are at the base of my tree (mounted on the wall behind the tree, towards each side).

http://lightshow.franktronics.net/index.php/photo-gallery/100_0940/

  My 16-channel controller is located under the roof line and controls my 6-channel star and a few other items close to the tree.  I’ve seen where one guy just dumped everything into a tote and sat it behind the tree, that seems to work just as well.

 

A couple of extra notes:  Read the manual with the CCR in your hand and go through the settings in the hardware section of the manual to help you understand how it all works.  Be VERY CAREFULL with the ribbons; unroll them only once you’re ready to put them on the tubing.  You can run the ribbons while it is rolled up, just don’t leave it on too long as there has been some concerns that it can overhead in the roll.

 

Also take a lot of pictures, we love pictures.

Frank

Edited by Frank Farmer

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Thank you Frank for your advice.  I ordered the ccr's over the summer and after reading over and over again how fragile they are I have only taken one out of the box.  I will do a little more reading through my manual regarding the controller. That is where I was probably not understanding some of your comments up above with all of the control boxes and electrical so thanks for clearing that up.

I am excited as I have called probably 10 places about the tubing.  i actually even called one back today that I had called the day before.  Good thing that I did as she told me somehow there was a miscommunication when she quoted me on the cost for a 24' tube.  She called me back and told me it was $16.32 per piece which is half what she quoted me the day before.    Now I just need to rent a truck from homedepot to go pick it up as they won't deliver to a residential community.  That's okay though, I can make it work for half the original price.  the next step is going to be figuring out how to support the back of it since I can't lean it again the house and support it.

 

My next question is, I may have to purchase 1-2 sequences off the internet to get started to see some of the new stuff that superstar has to offer.  Is it pretty easy to incorporate an already programmed sequence into a 12 ccr superstar sequence?  Is it going to be just some cutting and pasteing?

Anything else I am going to need to know to when it comes to the ccr strips?

 

thank you for getting back to me tonight, I certainly do appreciate it. I have been trying to read up on the different forums before jumping in and asking questions. It is nice to see so many helpful people!!  :)

 

Out of curiosity, how many people are moving to the rgb pixels/bulbs??? Are they easier to use instead of the ccr's?

Thanks,

tara

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:

:

My next question is, I may have to purchase 1-2 sequences off the internet to get started to see some of the new stuff that superstar has to offer.  Is it pretty easy to incorporate an already programmed sequence into a 12 ccr superstar sequence?  Is it going to be just some cutting and pasteing?

Anything else I am going to need to know to when it comes to the ccr strips?

 

thank you for getting back to me tonight, I certainly do appreciate it. I have been trying to read up on the different forums before jumping in and asking questions. It is nice to see so many helpful people!!  :)

 

Out of curiosity, how many people are moving to the rgb pixels/bulbs??? Are they easier to use instead of the ccr's?

Thanks,

tara

 

Yes it will be cutting and pasting.   Since we have a little mini community of 12 strang x 50pixel  RGB trees here I'm willing to share my sequences with all of you. (once I get what I have them converted to over to the new tree.)  I will have time for only one sequence where the new tree will be used in all it;s glory  "Peppermint Winter" by Owl City.  I'll let you all know when it's done.

 

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