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My SuperStar Star


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I finished my 12 CCR SuperStar this week. It's awesome to behold! I owe much of the credit to Brian, of course, but I thought I'd share how I made my star. I wanted a bright star so incandescent minis were unacceptable. I wanted to be able to cut the strings of lights to any length and I didn't want a mess of left over lights. I wanted a star that was easy and quick to assemble.

So, I got a 5 concentric star wire frame from Wire Frame D'Lites. That was easy! The width of the outer star is about 47 inches which fit nicely in to the window of my house.

Then I used waterproof flexible LED strip lighting from LED Wholesalers. Item 2059WH. They can be cut every 1 1/2 inches so cutting to the dimensions of each star was simple. And the really cool part is that this particular strip light shines out the edge of the strip. That means I could very simply wrap the light strip around the outside of each wire frame with no bending hassles. Coincidentally, this strip lighting is manufactured by the same manufacturer that makes the LOR CCRs. Colors match perfectly, etc.

The downside of my design is that you can't switch the LED drivers directly to turn on a star. It takes them a couple of seconds to actually turn on and plugging an LED driver in to a LOR channel would destroy it anyway. So I used solid state relays from Crydom, p/n DC60SA5 and switched the DC output of the LED drivers. This turned out to be very responsive.

The downside of my design is that the LED strips are somewhat expensive. But if you can afford a 12 CCR SuperStar that won't stop you. Also, the use of relays adds some complexity.

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Can you tells about the rest of the tree how you tied it down , what did you use to stiffen the strips from swaying in the wind ect going to start mine this weekend all information would be helpful the star looks great and i like the idea of cutting the rope light every1 1/2 inches will keep this in mind for next year thank you Blair

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I generally followed the guidance on Brian's SuperStar website. I used 1/4 inch nylon braided ropes to cable tie the CCRs to. I used a bowline at the top and a taut line hitch at the bottom. The bottom of my stars were on my driveway so I used Tapcon bolts and brackets to hold down a piece of PVC pipe that I tied the ropes to. Like Brian, I used some horizontal wires to keep the CCRs from twisting. He used aluminum wire. I used steel. I don't think it matters but don't use rope.

For the "headbox" (my working term) I built a 5-sided box that would fit in my second story window, leaving the back open so I could install the controllers, etc. For me, this was about 48 inches square. The photo shows the back of my box with the electronics installed. The LED drivers for the star are at the top right. The SSRs are at the bottom right. There's a lot of wires in there. (20 power cords, 17 power supplies, 14 CAT 5 cables, 12 cables to the CCRs, wiring for the 5 SSRs) I tried to keep it neat but I could have tried harder!

I didn't keep track of how much time this all took. But I'm sure it was a lot. I spent 45 minutes just tying up each CCR. I started mid-year.

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