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yet another mega tree/amperage ques


Cdshakes
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Last year was my first LOR christmas display with 16 channels. Bought another 16 for this year, planning on doing a mega tree. I saw one tree on here, that i think i'm going to copy. I was able to get 24 boxes of white mini's (100ct) last year, but i'd like to do green and red slices too on it (when they're available for sale). According to the "figure power" page on PC ( http://www.planetchristmas.com/FigurePower.htm ) it says that 100 ct strings can get 36 sets on a 15 amp circuit. So i assume then for a 16 channel LOR unit could theoretically handle 72 strings of 100 ct lights? I also want to do a star on top, so that will eat up one of the channels right there. So i should probably use another channel for something else, so i have an even amount of channels.

How should i setup the other 14 channels on the base? i'm planning on using one string to go up and then back down the backside of the tree. I've heard others say they use 12 slices... just trying to figure out how to setup the strings, how many strings...etc. I would ideally like to be able to control the colors separately... any thoughts?

Colin

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Last year, my tree had 12 red and 12 green channels. Each channel was two strings of 100 lights, however, I did not take them up one side and down the other. Rather, I took them up and back on the same side. This gave me four strings of lights in each channel/slice of the tree. I could do a larger variety of effects by not taking the lights up one side and down the other, plus each slice is larger. That was 24 channels, plus the star for 25. I also took several strings of C7 type bulbs and wrapped them around the tree, from top to bottom (like you would do on a regular Christmas tree). These bulbs were red for the green minis and green for the red minis. It gave a really nice effect and took two more channels. This year, I will be adding strobes, so that is another channel.

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Cdshakes, I'm in the same boat as you. I had 16 channels last year and this year I added another controller to do a mega tree. My plan is to do a 12 slice tree (each slice a channel where I go up and down on the same side). There will be 3 strands per slice. Now each strand will be twisted with another color of lights. This other color will be another 2 channels that won't spin, just will all come on at once. Thus, 36 strands of one color that will "spin" (broken up into 12 slices/channels) and 36 strands of another color that will all just go on or off (2 channels).

Finally I have one channel for a 2 dimensional star that is 2'x2' on top. That leaves you with one channel to control something else.

Now as for amps and strands, Target's lights are typically .2 amps per 100. Lowe's / Home Depot are .34 per 100. If you do all Target brand of lights, you don't need to dedicate 2 channels to one color (so it can save you a channel). Something to consider as you plan your lights out.

I hope this helps. Brian

ps. would you mind going into your profile and updating where you are from. It's always fun to see if you are close by or far away. Thanks.

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hmmm... i didn't even think about having one color just all connected to one channel (or 2).... that's an idea. I don't understand all this coming back down the same side stuff. what is the reasoning (advantage/disadvantage) of going down the same side? do you go down the same slice, (like going up and down both at "6 o'clock", or like going up at 6 o'clock, and coming back down at 3 o'clock?) i figured i would go down the opposite side--up at 6 o'clock, down at 12.... up at 9 o'clock, down at 3...etc.

What is the rating of max lights on one channel? i assume about .9 amps?

Colin

oh, also mcnamara-- i'm trying to figure out your exact count of 72 strands... confused me a bit with that post.

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What I plan to do is wrap a green strand and a white strand of 100ct lights together to make one. Then I will take them up and down on the same line. I will do that 36 times around the entire tree. The tree will have 12 slices of 3 strands each of the green color. I will plug all of the whites together over 2 channels because 36 times .34 amps (12.24 amps) exceeds what you can put on one channel alone (8amps). So 36 strands times 2 colors times 100 lights per strand equals 7,200. My star on top has 200 lights as well which is another channel.

The reason why I'm going up and down on the same side is that it gives you more flexibility to make more effects. See the LOR mega tree sequence file I published to see some of the designs you can do: http://planetchristmas.mywowbb.com/forum25/14789.html

If you have any more questions, hollar! I learned most of my mega tree stuff by asking MANY questions from another PC and LOR member (dqhall)... so any credit for creativeness goes to him from my persective on this particular type of mega tree :D

Brian

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Brian,

so it sounds like you're starting from the base and going up to a hook at the top and terminating right next where you started on the base, correct? Then repeating that another 35 times around, right? I understand what you're doing with the white--that makes sense... so let's forget about the white for now. So if you just did it with the green, each green set of lights would be folded in half, essentially giving you two "strings" up to the hook at the top... so taking 3 sets of lights and plugging them together into the one LOR channel would essentially give you 6 "strings" wide of green lights going from the base to the hook at the top?

Colin

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Yes, you are correct on all accounts.
Brian

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brian,

I've been thinking a lot of how you're setting yours up, and i've been calculating amps..etc. seems to work out pretty good. The one question i have for you is how are you going to physically connect 18 strands of lights together onto one channel? The only way i could think of is to string sets of 3 together and then use a 6 way power strip?



Colin

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Good question. A power strip would definitely work. Also, remember that you can plug more strands into the backs of each male end to connect more than just 3 single strands. The 3 strand rule is when you connecting 3 strands male to female in a line. But I've plugged more than 3 strands into the back of each male (which might have 3 strands end to end --so essentially you have 9 strands connected) before. I'm sure the electricians on the board can verify this, but the limit in the number of strands end to end is due to the wire the amps have to pass through. But when you plug multiple strands into the back of the male plugs, the amps are going directly through those male ends only and not down the wires and so you don't pop fuses or have problems.

Hope this helps.

Brian

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ahh... right... that makes sense. I ran to home depot and lowes at lunch to look for extension cords --heavy duty to run my LOR unit right at the base of the tree. Also saw lotsa good outdoor rated splitters there... just nothing with 6 outlets.

I've been thinking about the animation stuff, and i had an idea for the one color that's essentially on or off... since i'm using 2 channels, i could put every other on the first channel, and then the alternates on the 2nd channel that i use for that one color, so if you switched back and forth while animating the other color, could add an interesting effect.... just an idea.



Colin

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Great IDEA! I had not thought of that one. I like it and if it's okay with you, I may have to "borrow" it :D

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colin,

you might want to check the flea markets. you have one on 206. you can find 50' heavy duty extension cords for $5 and three way spliters for $2. better price than home depot

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