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Mega tree dilemma

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So the deal is I want up my game with my mega tree next year. Currently my mega tree is using LED 70 light strands. I'm using a total of 48 white strands 3 strands per channel for 16 channels. The strands are roughly 22 feet long. The base of my tree is roughly 12 feet wide. I don't want to play with these dimensions much because it worked out so well. I thought about making mega strands for it next year but if I'm using LED we're talking roughly $2,000. Plus all the additional complexity and weight. My other thought was using pixel nodes . 48 strands with 3 inch spacing 85 nodes per strand. That way I can use one DMX universe per 2 strands. Pixel strips might be another way to go. So I'm looking for some input from people who may have already been down this road.

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I'm starting to get a better idea of what I'd like to do. I'm thinking of doing a 270 degree tree 36 strings width 56 pixels per string with 4 inch spacing. I was going to use the pix strips from holiday coro. Can anybody tell me if I'm going to have any problems with the setup like that

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18 minutes ago, Dennis Laff said:

Just wondering how you going to get 56 pixels per string 

I'm going to be using pixel nodes so I will just add 6 to the ends of the strings. 

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I didn't get much input on this project and I just received the strips and pixels from holiday coro and got started building. So far things seem to be working fine but it would be nice to get a few opinions. I'm building a 270 degree tree. 56 pixels per strip 36 strips. This will allow me to use 12 outputs on a 16 output controller. I decided on 4 inch spacing (unless somebody has a better idea) this will get me 18 and a half feet roughly. I'm running 16 gauge wire from the controller and injecting power at the base of all the strips on each given universe and this seems to be working perfectly in fact I had to turn the voltage down. But still there may be something I haven't thought of here it would be nice if somebody who's been through this has any suggestions before I'm to the point of no return.

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I constructed a similar tree last year.  Mine was a 360 tree 32x50 with 5" spacing.  I used 16 outputs, zigzag, powered the first 50 from the board and injected at the end/bottom of every other string.  Power injection only at the bottom keeps things simple.  Video of my tree if interested. 

 

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Yes I'm using 3 strips in a zigzag pattern. All the strips are powered at the base off the 16 gauge wire. I will be running 4 400 watt power supplies so each power supply will run 4 outputs on the board. Uncledan how did your strips hold up at 20 feet? And were you happy with the spacing on the pixels.

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My only issue with the tree was wind.  It help up fine just swayed around a bit. I used the strips from holidaycoro to hold the nodes. (2811 12v bullets 6" spacing) They kept popping out.  I ended up zip tying and taping every node.  Kind of defeats the purpose of using them.  I kept the tree simple to minimize power injection as it was my first year away from incandescent.  5" spacing is too much I would think if you want text,pictures etc.  I have other things in display for that.  I just wanted a big simple pixel tree.  Makes it much easier with all data and power at the bottom of the tree.  

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9 hours ago, uncledan said:

My only issue with the tree was wind.  It help up fine just swayed around a bit. I used the strips from holidaycoro to hold the nodes. (2811 12v bullets 6" spacing) They kept popping out.  I ended up zip tying and taping every node.  Kind of defeats the purpose of using them.  I kept the tree simple to minimize power injection as it was my first year away from incandescent.  5" spacing is too much I would think if you want text,pictures etc.  I have other things in display for that.  I just wanted a big simple pixel tree.  Makes it much easier with all data and power at the bottom of the tree.  

It sounds like you did exactly what I'm doing (by the way nice video and display) I'm using the holiday Coro strips and nodes with 6 inch spacing. Can you give me some insight on the problem you had with nodes popping out? I see that your tree was fairly close to the sidewalk my tree is setback and with 4 inch spacing on my nodes I think I should be able to do pictures. I was thinking of the wind issue I was almost thinking that I might need to run some hoops inside the strips to keep them from twisting in the Wind

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All I can say is I had some nodes pop out.  Seemed to happen when it got windy and there was any movement on the strips.  Some hoops inside would definitely help with this.  The strips from Boscoyo seem like the way to go.  They are a heavier better quality product from what I've been told.  I would think with 36 strings of 56 nodes you should be able to do some nice text and pictures with the tree being setback from the audience. 

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On ‎4‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 9:38 PM, uncledan said:

I constructed a similar tree last year.  Mine was a 360 tree 32x50 with 5" spacing.  I used 16 outputs, zigzag, powered the first 50 from the board and injected at the end/bottom of every other string.  Power injection only at the bottom keeps things simple.  Video of my tree if interested. 

 

2 questions for you: 1) What UAV are you using?!?!  I have a Phantom 3 that has become my new hobby!  Can't wait to get some Christmas light shots.  2) Do you have construction pics of your 360 tree?  I'm building a 180 tree this summer using the boscoyo strips, but unsure how to mount them at the top and bottom.

 

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In the 1970's Opel produced a cheapo "sports car", with the "cheapo" part being the most accurate and descriptive words.  They knew that.  But still they advertised it pretty heavily in newspapers and magazines.  Their come on was " Looks like Corvette!"  They were right.  It DID look like a Corvette.  At first.  From a distance.  But it didn't take long before buyers (PT's 'one born every minute') discovered that LOOKING like and BEING like were actually opposite ends of the Spectrum.  That's exactly what comes to mind when I see the words Holiday Coro. 

And nowhere is that better illustrated than the pixel strips described above.  Boscoyo Studios' pixel strips (the original ones for those who haven't been keeping track) are thicker/heavier and no-doubt better made from much better material.  They also seem to hold up better considering how many complaints I've read on various forums about HC's knockoff strips and how few I've seen (read: NONE) regarding Boscoyo's strips.  Personally, I've had Boscoyo strips working outdoors in the sun, wind, rain and snow 24-7 for something like a year and a half.  I've yet to have any stretch, break or fade.  Nor have I had a single pixel node pop out or loosen in any way.

Yes, they cost a few cents more (laughable when one looks at how much they spend in total on this hobby) but compared to the cost and time spent zip-tying and taping every node I'll argue all day that I wound up with the better deal.  Buyer beware.

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18 minutes ago, drivemewilder said:

2 questions for you: 1) What UAV are you using?!?!  I have a Phantom 3 that has become my new hobby!  Can't wait to get some Christmas light shots.  2) Do you have construction pics of your 360 tree?  I'm building a 180 tree this summer using the boscoyo strips, but unsure how to mount them at the top and bottom.

 

I don't know how he mounted his strips but I'm using hooks through the Boscoyo metal plates that you can fold into the strip. I built a hook head that can slide up and down the pole and it gets lifted by a metal cable on a cheap hand crank winch. At the base I use 1 inch PVC conduit that I drilled holes in and mounted hooks. And my personal favorite on the UAV is the chroma.

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2 hours ago, George Simmons said:

In the 1970's Opel produced a cheapo "sports car", with the "cheapo" part being the most accurate and descriptive words.  They knew that.  But still they advertised it pretty heavily in newspapers and magazines.  Their come on was " Looks like Corvette!"  They were right.  It DID look like a Corvette.  At first.  From a distance.  But it didn't take long before buyers (PT's 'one born every minute') discovered that LOOKING like and BEING like were actually opposite ends of the Spectrum.  That's exactly what comes to mind when I see the words Holiday Coro. 

And nowhere is that better illustrated than the pixel strips described above.  Boscoyo Studios' pixel strips (the original ones for those who haven't been keeping track) are thicker/heavier and no-doubt better made from much better material.  They also seem to hold up better considering how many complaints I've read on various forums about HC's knockoff strips and how few I've seen (read: NONE) regarding Boscoyo's strips.  Personally, I've had Boscoyo strips working outdoors in the sun, wind, rain and snow 24-7 for something like a year and a half.  I've yet to have any stretch, break or fade.  Nor have I had a single pixel node pop out or loosen in any way.

Yes, they cost a few cents more (laughable when one looks at how much they spend in total on this hobby) but compared to the cost and time spent zip-tying and taping every node I'll argue all day that I wound up with the better deal.  Buyer beware.

Ha Ha. I remember the opal I'm a mechanic I know exactly what you mean. So what you're saying is don't bother using the holiday Coro strips if I want to save a bunch of headaches. I also made the mistake by buying one of the alphapix (A better name would be Betapix ). It might cost me $140 to replace the strips with the Boscoyo strips but I don't want to be out in Wisconsin winter trying to fix the tree. I'm taking a close look at the Holiday Coro strips and the holes are not consistent they have sections of them that are not on Center and the diameter of the hole is way off. Some holes are 11.49 and others are 11.78

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On ‎4‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 11:16 AM, drivemewilder said:

2 questions for you: 1) What UAV are you using?!?!  I have a Phantom 3 that has become my new hobby!  Can't wait to get some Christmas light shots.  2) Do you have construction pics of your 360 tree?  I'm building a 180 tree this summer using the boscoyo strips, but unsure how to mount them at the top and bottom.

 

Not sure what UAV it was.  It was a professional who hooked me up.  I know he said he had close to 20k in it though.  No construction pics of tree.  It is basically a Christmaslightshow.com mega tree I made work.. I used the hook head at the top and ground anchors at the bottom.  Was kind of flying  by the seat of my pants last year trying to get everything working and set up..   I will be redesigning the whole tree this year. 

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Great tree ideas... Unfortunately, it sounds like I bought the wrong strips... And a bunch of them.

I'm building pretty much the same tree that UncleDan built (thanks for the video)

I'm building out of galvanized pipe (3/4", 1", & 1-1/4"), using clamps and guy wires to keep it from moving. It looks like it's going to be about 22 feet, 3" spacing, 85 pixels per strip and power injected at the base of every other strip, 85 up, 85 down... This should make the most use of my controllers... My other thought was to just run all power thru the controller and add a controller to eliminate power injection.

Thanks for all the great info, I'm always looking for ideas to make my tree better (preferably before I buy products) ...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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That's a big tree how many strips total , What controller are you using .

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That's a big tree how many strips total , What controller are you using .

I'm using two E682s... 2,000 pixels, and 24 total strings, I think I can get a decent 270° tree.. I would like 360°, like in UncleDan's video above,... But that's a lot more pixels and other supplies that go with it.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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7 hours ago, Thinkagainagain said:

Great tree ideas... Unfortunately, it sounds like I bought the wrong strips... And a bunch of them.

I'm building pretty much the same tree that UncleDan built (thanks for the video)

I'm building out of galvanized pipe (3/4", 1", & 1-1/4"), using clamps and guy wires to keep it from moving. It looks like it's going to be about 22 feet, 3" spacing, 85 pixels per strip and power injected at the base of every other strip, 85 up, 85 down... This should make the most use of my controllers... My other thought was to just run all power thru the controller and add a controller to eliminate power injection.

Thanks for all the great info, I'm always looking for ideas to make my tree better (preferably before I buy products) ...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

I if you're running 85 pixels up the tree then 85 back down you should be able to run a heavy wire from your controller to your first set of pixels and then run power to where the next strip comes down all your power would then be supplied through one cable. I personally buy the green extension cords when they come on sale at the hardware store they have 3 conductors at 16 gauge which is usually more than enough to  Supply a full DMX universe without injection. All twelve of my universes for the mega tree will be done with a single cable to run three strips with 56 pixels each. I've already put together 9 strips total which would be 3 universes and tested it with this configuration it works perfectly. I am setup with a hundred Watts per output on the controller which is slightly over what I need with all the pixels on full White. I'm running for 400-watt power supplies on a 16 output controller two of the power supplies control the two banks on the controller. I have pulled 4 of the lower fuses on each Bank and used a remote fuse block to connect the remaining two power supplies into the controller board. I do this by connecting the power supply through the fuse block to the load side of the fuse that's been pulled off the controller board.

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Be real careful with that setup. That is well in excess of the current rating for E682 outputs (and most other controllers). A full universe in full white is almost 10 amps.

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk

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10 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Be real careful with that setup. That is well in excess of the current rating for E682 outputs (and most other controllers). A full universe in full white is almost 10 amps.

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk

If you read carefully how I did it you'll realize that I have split the load up on the controller board. Each output is still protected by a 7.5 amp fuse. And The bus bar on the controller is not carrying the full load.

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13 hours ago, drivemewilder said:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle....you used a drone to film your display yes?

I know what a UAV is... As I stated "Not sure what UAV it was.  It was a professional who hooked me up.  I know he said he had close to 20k in it though" 

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