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m1ke05

Spiral Tree (Webber Tree) HALP!

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So I did my first LOR show last year with a 16 ch controller. It went over very well with about 30 people showing for opening night. This year I took advantage of the sales and picked up 3 more controllers. 

My big addition for the year is going to be a 10' Spiral Tree. What I cant figure out is how many strands of lights to use. I don't have a huge budget, so I plan on using Multi color LED Wide angle mini lights rather than solid strands of each color. I just cant figure out what is a good amount of strands to use. Will 16 strands work or should I use more? 


TLDR 10' Spiral Tree with Multi-color wide angle mini lights, how many strands will sufficiently make it look good (On a Budget)

Thanks

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If I understand what you are planning, you will be fine with 16 channels.  To clarify, I understand you are planning on running strings of multi-color LED with all strings being multi-color (as opposed to strings of different colors - often called super-strings).  Especially on your fairly small tree, 16 should be fine.  Where the channel count goes up in a hurry is when you have multiple colors that are individually controlled; for example each "string" is a super-string consisting of a string of Red, another of Green, and another of White.  That example would use 16 strings times 3 colors per string for a total of 48 channels.
 

Of course, going to individual RGB pixels REALLY gets the channel count up fast, but you are not looking at that (yet)...
 

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Awesome thanks for the quick replies. Scott I will look at that spread sheet when I get home and k6ccc you're spot on whith what I was saying. No money in the budget this year to make super strings. Thanks again!

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If I understand what you are planning, you will be fine with 16 channels.  To clarify, I understand you are planning on running strings of multi-color LED with all strings being multi-color (as opposed to strings of different colors - often called super-strings).  Especially on your fairly small tree, 16 should be fine.  Where the channel count goes up in a hurry is when you have multiple colors that are individually controlled; for example each "string" is a super-string consisting of a string of Red, another of Green, and another of White.  That example would use 16 strings times 3 colors per string for a total of 48 channels.

 

Of course, going to individual RGB pixels REALLY gets the channel count up fast, but you are not looking at that (yet)...

 

Key word here is "yet"

 

As for the OP, I agree with both posts. Mine was about 8 ft. last year with 16 pure white strings and everybody loved it. 16 Channels will be fine.

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Thanks Ron. I'm really hoping it goes over well

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I've done a 16 channel Spiral Tree for 3 seasons now using multi-colored LEDs. It is fine. What I would recommend is to go with C6 style, and double up your strings. You will still have 16 channels, but each channel will have 2 strings of lights instead of just one. I use 50ct strings, they are approx 17' long. That is about the minimum I would use.

 

The spreadsheet is nice, but don't over think this tree. You will need to figure out your height. Mine is 11' and the 50ct give me a full twist from top to bottom.

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Same here. I have an 11' fall (er tall - not a Jimswinder tree) tree that has a 5.5' base. Use 16 C6 100 string lights spiraled 1 1/2 times around. Works perfect going up and down as a double string, giving me 32 strands. From the top I spiral 6/8 of the way around from top to 1/3 of the way down the tree, then 3/8 of the way around from 1/3 to 2/3 way down the tree, finally 3/8 of the way aroud from 2/3 down to the bottom. With the top being more narrow, the tighter spiral looks similar to the rest of the tree's spiral. Only used one color, but hopefully 2014 will have RGBW.

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I want to do a spiral tree... but I can't get it exactly right with the look I want.  With OCD its really really hard.... I get frustrated and overwhelmed and it drives me crazy! so I haven't done it for the show yet.  :(  one year maybe.

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I want to do a spiral tree... but I can't get it exactly right with the look I want.  With OCD its really really hard.... I get frustrated and overwhelmed and it drives me crazy! so I haven't done it for the show yet.  :(  one year maybe.

The OCD is a pain. Because of that, I took the spiral tree out this year and am doing my spirals with the Pixel tree.

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I'm glad someone understands!  `It's a pain for sure.  I don't have a spiral tree and they still loved it and I think my show this year will be awesome.  I JUST finished my second sequence yesterday.  I had a sequencing marathon.  I guess I have to go back and see it to see what the outcome was...Lord knows after 12 hours what I may have come up with   LOL. 

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The first year I had a spiral tree I used 12 channels.  My tree is 20' tall and it was a bgd hit.  If you are short on channels, I suggest trying 12, and save the other 4 for other things.

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Last couple of years I used 8 channels, doubled up the strings (C6 lights) for smaller trees then used the other 8 channels for additional items in the yard.  Remember with a smaller tree your base will be smaller and crowded with so many wires, confusion etc.   

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I want to do a spiral tree... but I can't get it exactly right with the look I want.  With OCD its really really hard.... I get frustrated and overwhelmed and it drives me crazy! so I haven't done it for the show yet.  :(  one year maybe.

I'm with ya on that, my show last year was OK, but it can always be better, and I know I'm going to pull my hair out building this tree. Well actually building the tree will be easy, I think adding the lights might be where my OCD destroys my mood. I've spent the last year or so watching spiral trees on youtube. I see the twist at the top is tighter and tapers out as you get to the bottom. This will probably be my undoing LOL!

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I'm with ya on that, my show last year was OK, but it can always be better, and I know I'm going to pull my hair out building this tree. Well actually building the tree will be easy, I think adding the lights might be where my OCD destroys my mood. I've spent the last year or so watching spiral trees on youtube. I see the twist at the top is tighter and tapers out as you get to the bottom. This will probably be my undoing LOL!

well if you get it all worked out... the spacing for perfection... make sure you right it down and send it to me...spare me the OCD drama....LOL. 

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I have been working on these myself this year. This is definitely the challenge to determine the spacing on the lights. I had used the spreadsheet to calculate out things, then once I had that I was able to determine the length of the helix. I used 70 count C5 LED strings and doubled them over which was perfect for the length of the helix I have. I was using 12 strings of lights (is plenty to start) then I built the tree structure and determined the length of the support wires. Once I had this I was able to figure out the spacing, I had 1 1/2 turns on each string so I had 16 connections on each guide wire, I took the length of each guide wire and divided it by 16 to figure out the spacing, then took a support wire and twisted loops at this distance to space the lights strings. I made 4 of these spaced 90 degrees apart and it worked great to get even spacing of the light strings. Be sure to tag the strings at the bottom of the tree, it is total confusion when wiring it up if you don't!

 

I have similar budget constraints so starting with 2- 9' tree's with 4' base and 1 -18' tree with 8' base. Planning to just parallel all 3 tree's to a single controller and operate them all the same. Hoping next year to double it to 24 strings winding the tree's with a second colour in the opposite rotation of the helix.

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I did a first test run the night before last on a spiral tree.  I used 8 channels with 8 - 100 count mini lights. I have not painted the frame yet so you will see it. I plan on using many more lights, just didn't want to spend the extra time on a test run.  It gave me good insight to see it going.  The timing is off a beat and was nice to see some things to not do.  All input is welcomed.

 

http://youtu.be/NBtxR-Fvv0s

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