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dibblejr

LOR CCR 16 Tree Build

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I purchased my LOR 16 CCR Tree Kit (pixie16) during the spring sale http://store.lightorama.com/16ritrpico.html

This will be my first year with pixels so to assist anyone else who may have been a bit overwhelmed in the tree construction and lack of total information here's my build. 

This is how I built my test frame and below will be improvements I will be making to it. As of right now it is a bit wobbly however it has been standing and running sequences since June 6 without failure. The improvements below the write up will be required for me to move the tree to the front of my home for the holidays. This was just a quick build and enough to get my test shows up and running.

The total height without star is 20'. The lighted height is 18' leaving enough space between ground and bottom of ribbons for other props and keeping everything off the ground. I used my Boscoyo Studio 6 Channel 36" start to get the top of the tree where I wanted it.

Any material with an * means it will be discussed in my improvement thought.

Materials - LOWES -  Total cost for parts I did not have at home was $93 after my military discount at Lowes.

32 ea - 1/2" X 10' EMT conduit   (Electrical Section) 

16 ea - 1/2" Set Screw Coupling ( Electrical Section) PN 45240 came in bag of 10

32 ea * - 1/2 EMT 2 Hole Straps (Electrical Section) PN 41920 bag of 25

4 ea  * - 1/2 EMT 1 Hole Strap  (Electrical Section) 

16 ea - #6 X 3 3/8  Screw Hooks (Hardware Section)  Hillman PN 35236 came in a  box of 20

1 box 100pc * - 1-1/4" Exterior Screws (they were sold out of 1" which was what I wanted. Either will suffice)

1- PT 2X4X8 * - Base Support - Had this at home so used it. Could have used 2X4X10 though

1- PT 2X4X4* - Center Support

1- PT 2X4X26" * - Top Support

Additional nice to have stuff

1- Carpenter pencil (flat type about 1" wide" ) used as a measure LOL

1- something square or rectangle 3" wide (use as spacer, makes life easier) I used my cordless drill battery

1- Bench vice if you have one, if not you will need a big hammer and a lot of extra food, energy drink, rest (used to smash one end of 16 pieces of EMT pipe)

1-drill with about 1/4" bit (drill holes in conduit)

1- Philips screwdriver or bit for drill above

The Build

1) I marked a spot 2" in from the edge of my vice to speed up the process. Doesn't have to be exact but they are pretty close. I used my jack handle to extend my vice handle and squished one end of each of 16 conduit pipes. (16 not 32)  It took  2 attempts to get it completely flat since the jaws on my vice missed about 1/8". 
 
2) took my 24" (top support) 2x4 and took a straight edge and drew a line from end to end , centered 
 
3) Measured 1" in from each edge, that will be my starting point (required to put the hooks).
 
4) Measured and marked every 1.5" to make 16 marks (I don't know how I got 17 , I wasn't even drinking)
 
5) Drilled a starter hole with a small bit at each mark
 
6) Used pliers to assist in attaching the hooks, I buried 1 full turn after the thread disappeared
 
7) Drilled about 1/4"  hole in each flattened end of EMT (I used that carpenters pencil as a spacer)
 
8) Laid the 2x4 with hooks in the shady part of the driveway (that EMT will burn you if left in sun)
 
9) Placed the drilled flat ends in the hooks
 
10)Got my base and center 2X4's.
 
11) Placed the center 2X4 in the center where the coupling will be
 
12) attached a coupling to the ends of the top sections of EMT - Ensure the coupling is pushed on all of the way. Back out the set screws prior. It is easy to feel resistance and stop but it may be the set screw interfering. Tighten upper set screw ensuring screws are facing inward or outward and not up where they will interfere with your strip, strings or ribbons.
 
13) insert the lower sections of emt to the coupling, once again ensure they are all the way on. Ensure the screws are off to the inside, this will ensure nobody catches something on it. And it needs to be flat to secure the strips/ nodes
 
14) set the base in place
 
15) for my test tree I used the very edge of the end of 2x4 to run both of my outside conduits. I used the "single hole strap" to secure it with the screw hole on the inside (it wont work any other way. (I wished I used the double hole strap and just bent it to the edge of 2X4. The two outer rungs were the weak spot and kept popping off as the tree flexed. With a frame this should not happen though. Secure both edge rungs first, (an extra few inches on each end would have been nice but my 2X4 was only 8' so I used it. A 2X6 would have been better. My tree conduit here longer in the center and will need to be cut off. This was due to how I wanted my star to line up. Had I used a 2X6 I would not need to cut any off.
 
16) took a 6" piece of 2X4 and used it as a spacer starting from one side and working to but not securing the center pipe. Use the double hole emt straps to secure each rung.
 
17)  went to opposite side and repeated step 16, however when I got to the center 2 I got up and looked at the tree from a distance and split the last two. There was a little more than 6". I didn't compensate for the actual size of the EMT conduit, but no problem.
 
18) This was the fun part - the center support. At this time it probably looks way off but no worries.
 
19) find anything that is 3" wide or long
 
20) Use the outside edges to start your first pipe - (once again the single hole strap) then look at it from a distance, it should be almost perfectly straight from bottom to top
 
21) starting on one side use that 3" item as a spacer, I used the bottom of the coupling to place my spacer Place a 2 hole strap over the coupling (will need a hammer since its a 1/2" spacer going over a 3/4 or 1" OD strap, however it makes it super tight) 
 
22) Secure 6 more rungs leaving the center loose and then repeat to the opposite side.
 
23) once again look at the tree from a distance and split the space left over (should be almost perfect) I do have 1 bent rung but its a test tree
 
24) all done .
 
25) I will use zip ties to secure my ribbons starting at the top. The extra space at the bottom will be hidden for Christmas
 
26) connect controller for a beer time
The tree is large. Not heavy but awkward. Took 4 of us to hoist it up against my back deck. Had it not been for my deck it would not have been up the day it was built.
Improvements and thoughts
While hoisting it up I realized adding two cheap wheels, casters, rollers to the base would have made it much easier to raise.(less friction)
It is currently tied to my back deck for testing.
The below changes will be made prior to Halloween
After watching the tree for 2 months I am happy with the test. The CCR's do not move at all. I used about 1000 zip ties to secure them.
Changes
As of right now I consider the tree frameless. It is wobbly (when being moved, attached to my porch there is no movement) but functional. There are only 2 braces (base and center) actually giving it any structure. The top only holds the emt strands in place. It has survived 50+ mph winds several times since it has been strapped to my deck.
My plan is to get 3/4 or 1" EMT conduit. Place the new EMT conduit along the base and mark on each side of the 1/2" conduit strands. I will then cut along them marks about 1/2 way through the conduit. I will then use a hammer or my vise to squish in between the lines. Making a valley for the strands to sit it. I will then use self tapping sheet metal screws to connect the 1/2" strands to the new base. (of course the 2X4 was removed first)
I would then do the exact same thing above it the center using a screw on each side of the coupling
The same principal will work for the top but will just screw the ends to the flattened areas instead of using the hooks.
I will then add a few vertical runners to allow me to hoist the tree into place. Those runners will protect the zip ties as well as giving it less resistance while sliding along any surface.
I will still figure out a way to attach at least 2 rollers. Probably a piece of all thread rod that will go through the base emt and attach the wheels (lawn mower type) on each end with a washer. Doesn't have to be fancy just functional.
I will add pics but need to find a new picture host site that is free. After 15 years or more PB now wants to charge. PM me if you would like pics sent via your smart phone.
Hope this can help those like me who are just getting into the pixel technology.
To those that are old hats at this, I do realize there are 1000's of ways to build this tree, this is the way I built mine. It works as it was designed.
I also figured out a really great idea to help stand it up using 2 of the back supports and some larger "T"'s. Will address that later.
JR

 

 

 

 

Edited by dibblejr

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1 hour ago, wmilkie said:

Do you have any photos?

Posted above, will post pics when I find a new "free" host. If you PM me a cell # I will gladly text them.

JR

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Materials

https://pix.sfly.com/3Mbtwe

https://pix.sfly.com/8RcvMa

https://pix.sfly.com/hbMoYg

https://pix.sfly.com/Xxx7qz

https://pix.sfly.com/T_6Goc

 

Since edit button is gone here are the pictured included is the step number.

1) Picture showing line on vise. This ensured all ends were flattened in the same spot. Also pic of flattened conduit

https://pix.sfly.com/Qk1cd7

https://pix.sfly.com/znpKrH

https://pix.sfly.com/3eJX1T

 

2 - 6) Showing me setup or top tree emt conduit mount 

https://pix.sfly.com/haoWXD

https://pix.sfly.com/Nbn2oX

https://pix.sfly.com/ZWU0AH

https://pix.sfly.com/OAy8Dj

 

7) Hole in conduit to attach to hooks 

https://pix.sfly.com/gX45BJ

 

10-18) 

https://pix.sfly.com/QyARtX

Spacing at center cross brace

https://pix.sfly.com/bhd48i

Finished

https://pix.sfly.com/Bp6Vsj

CCR's added

https://pix.sfly.com/gXmPUA

 

 

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thanks

had a 10foot pixel tree last year, no tree for 2017 but will change it to a 20foot for 2018; this is helpful

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2 hours ago, wmilkie said:

thanks

had a 10foot pixel tree last year, no tree for 2017 but will change it to a 20foot for 2018; this is helpful

Did the pics work for you? Just checking since I cant tell on my end.

It is flimsy while moving but after being secured to my deck hasn't moved an inch, but as soon as I am done testing the pixie16 I will be making the changes and adding to the thread. This was a hurry up and get standing tree.

JR

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Cant edit my original post. 

Here are the improvements. Now the tree is stout and ready for Halloween and Christmas.

Removed all 2X4's and replaced with 1" EMT conduit. Same Lengths as mentioned above.

I did add 2 additional cross member and slid one down. Where the center 2x4 was (at the couplings) I slid the new EMT pipe down about 6" and added the additional crossmember about 6" above. This gives support to that coupling which is the weak link. At the same time I removed all of the oem coupling screws. Made sure that the 1/2" EMT conduit sections were inserted all the way and replaced those set screws with 12X3/8"X1"L self tapping screws. Now the 1/2" emt is not going to move.

I also added a cross member between the top center cross member and the very top support (where the strands terminate before the star or whatever topper). I then used 12X3/8X1.5"L and 2 hole ent straps to secure each strand to the new cross members. I found it better to use a hammer and flatten the straps a little. This makes them even tighter when screwed to the 1"emt.

I also added a center pole. In my case Mr. P gave me a great idea. US military cammo screening poles. I purchased my entire system from ebay for $60. They come with a lot of pole sections. They are very hd aluminum. I used 4 sections and but 2 of the 12X3/8X1.5" self tapping screws in each section so they do not come apart.

I then used 12 3"X4.5" U Bolts (lowes $1.87 each) to fasten the center pole to the tree. I used an X pattern with the U bolts. 1 on top of the other. (2 for each cross brace) They will not slip if done in this manner and if you tighten properly.

I then added a caster wheel on each end of the base. I would not suggest doing this. It seemed like a great idea and still is if you have 4 friends to help move the tree but the wheels made it almost impossible to raise the tree via the center pole. Each time it would get to a certain angle the wheels would move. Even with the locks on. The wheels will be removed. Luckily I had 4 friends to raise the tree but even with the wheels they had a time. The slight slope didn't help either.

4 - 1"X10' EMT conduit $8.00 each

4 - box 12X3/8X1" self taping screws  $7 each

2- box 12X3/8X1.5" self tapping screws $8 each

Total new cost of tree $140 + casters (I had them in my barn for another project). If you just start out with EMT you would save more because of the 2X4's will not be required. Center pole also not included in my total cost.

 

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