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How many channels do most of you use for a mega tree?


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I know this season has just gotten started, but I'm trying to plan for next season already. I want to make a mega tree R/W/G, and for sure want to make the whites "spin" around the tree. I might be satisfied with the R/G each being all on but also want to figure the option of having all 3 "spin". I also have thoughts of making the R/G straight up/down and spiraling the whites. So in short how many segments to most of you use. I plan on making the strings/channels go up and over. Also I might be able to get a free aluminum flag pole, would that be able to support the lights if I make a hook head to fit it. It is approx 3" at the base and 2" at the top. Thanks for any info.

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Currently I'm limited to 8 segments per color due to having only 1 16-channel controller available and two colors (red and blue). However, next year I'll be adding at least one more controller for the megaTree so that each color can have 16 channels. 16 channels gives me the "spinning" effect I'm looking for. BTW, my tree is 20'.

I'll leave the pole specifications to the more experienced engineer types on this site. :)

Good luck,

Sally Simpson

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I currently use a 25' telescoping flagpole from Tele-pole which holds 48 strings and 16 lengths of 1/16th inch aircraft cable. I use a winch to pull the cables tight so there is little sag. It holds the weight plus the tension (plus snow weight when we get it) very well. I do have guy wires from the top and also 2/3 of the way up. The top of the pole is only 1" but I believe the wall thickness of the aluminum is 1/4". I wouldn't go any thinner with any sort of weight.

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As of this year - 4608 ;) I'm using 12 strings of 128 RGB pixel nodes.

For the previous 9 years, I've had a Red/Green/Gold tree. Each controllable portion was a "slice" going up the tree, and back down the other side, making a 180-degree "tree slice". There were 12 such "slices" (24 drops from the top) and 3 channels each, so I had 36 channels on the tree itself.

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My tree is 17' tall with a 3D 2.5' star on top. Using 100ct strings that go up and back down about 15" over. Got 12 channels for Red, Green & White. thats 36 channels. Three more channels for the 3D star and two more for strobes. Thats 41 channels all together. Using some of the spare channels for other yard items, still got a few spare channels out of 48 channels mounted on the trunk of the tree.

Edited by Max-Paul
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For most music the formula is simple, do everything in groups of 4 - 8 - 16. If you are a musie, and like to do things in 3/4 time, use 12 channels (but your audience will never understand your work)

The first year I used 10 slices, and was never happy with how the beats got divided up, so I added two more the next year. This was the dark days of LOR 1.0 where you sequenced everything by hand on a fine grid (yes, I know some still do it that way, and I have no idea why lol). Today with the chase tool you can pretty easily make any number work. But 12 works well because it divides evenly by both 4 and 3, the most common musical meters.

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20 foot tree

16 channels of white - 4 strings per channel - 64 strings

8 channels of green - 4 strings per channel - 32 strings

8 channels of red - 4 strings per channel - 32 strings

If a string goes out, not noticeable to the general public.

On the 30 ft long bottom ring, they are laid out about three inches apart as white-red-white-green, white-red-white-green, etc. This places the whites about every six inches, and the red and greens are every 12 inches. White spins are very smooth, while the red and green spins are not quite that good.

Richard

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Top of Star is 30 feet and I used a tower to hold all of it... LOL

16 channels of White - 4 strings per channel - 64 strings

16 channels of Green - 4 strings per channel - 64 strings

16 channels of Red - 4 strings per channel - 64 strings

16 channels of Multi - 4 strings per channel - 64 strings

6 channels of White- up the center of tree - 12 strings

1 channel Star

1 channel strobes

Jeff

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I use 64 channels for the main part of the tree (4 colors x 16 channels per color) the controllers for these are mounted on the center pole. Each controller runs a 1/4 slice of the tree (four colors). I also have a three channel star and I use three channels for strobes. These controllers are not mounted on the mega tree, but close by.

That would be 70 total.

I had to make short zip cord extensions to get from the tree mounted controllers dongles to the strings. I number and color code both ends so I know how to connect things each year.

Jerry

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There are several "aspects" to my mega tree.

I run 32 channels ( 8 each red-blue-green-white) rope lights.

I also have vertical rings ( 6 sets) of Red, Green, Gold. Each colored ring is a seperate channel-except the gold which are 2 rings on each channel-so another 15 channels for that.

I also have 16 strands (each on a seperate channel) fo white spirals. I do this a little weird (like I do in other parts of the dispaly). I made a 16 channel relay box that switches the read and blue rope lights to the spiral lights-so I can use either but not both at the same time.

I use the leftover channel of the rign lights to trigger the relays-so I get another "effective 16 channels" and only use 1 channel of control.

And then I have 3 channels on the star on top.

So depending on how you count 66 channels.

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46 channels : 16 clear, 8 red, 8 green, 2 blue (because of load), 8 firestick center pole, 3 star, 1 strobes

32 100ct strands of each color (clear (2 per ch) slice, red (4 per ch) opposite slices, green (4 per ch) opposite slices, blue (16 per ch) interleaved slices on tree

16 100ct strands on center pole (2 per ch) adjacent

3 100ct strands on star topper.

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I have a 16 footer, with 12 channels of multi-color LED and a 3 channel star topper. It's only 270 degrees of a tree as it snugs to the corner of the roof, I wish after seeing in in real life, I had made it 360 deg. Next year, if I can figure out how to raise the funding, I would like to do an RGB mega tree. I think with what you can do with them, it kinda negates a lot of the guess work of channels, colors and having to wrap for spirals.

-RainyOregonChristmas

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I run a smaller version of Tim Fischer old tree (In fact I read his how-to back in 2006 (or so) and built his Mega-Strings of Red-Green-Gold. I will add that the Mega-String method is nearly flawless. I can attest to this because the strings I built in 2006 are the SAME strings you see on my tree today --- bulbs and all... The lights are in nice groups and the mega-string diameter seems to take the stress off the sockets so we have had literally no failures..

We run 8 3-color megastrings, up and over a tri-tel pole (triangular topper was a little tough with the 60 degree angles) which brings us to a grand total of 24 channels.

Unless you have a lot of Christmas waltzes, using 4,8,12,16,20 strings (or mega-strings) makes programming easier and more fluid. I have a few elements that have odd counts (my old arches.. 5 strings of 2 colors .. 10 channels)which makes programming a bit more challanging.

Long way to get here .. but thats my story and I'm sticking to it..

Bob

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I run a smaller version of Tim Fischer old tree (In fact I read his how-to back in 2006 (or so) and built his Mega-Strings of Red-Green-Gold. I will add that the Mega-String method is nearly flawless. I can attest to this because the strings I built in 2006 are the SAME strings you see on my tree today --- bulbs and all... The lights are in nice groups and the mega-string diameter seems to take the stress off the sockets so we have had literally no failures..

I used mine for 9 seasons. The biggest problem was bulb color-fading: I actually repainted the greens about midway through their life with stained glass paint to try to lengthen their life. The Target Gold (can't get that anymore, but loved them) looked as good last year as the day they went out. The red held its own but definitely faded over time. Next to all the LED's that have crept into my display over the last 5 years, it was starting to look pale and out of place. But the strings themselves held up perfectly.

Going into the 10th season it was time to redo the tree. I started out investigating redoing it with LED stringers. I quickly discovered "dumb" RGB strings were cheaper and much more flexible than the LED stringers. And then I discovered that for about 30% more I could have a pixel tree. I figured if I was going to dump a load of cash, I might as well dump a bit more and have full control :)

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Dumb question for all you mega tree experts: do you keep all your bulbs pointing in the same direction? Maybe ty wrap them so they're all uniform?

inquiring minds need to know

I don't, and I like the random look. Makes it look more like a regular Christmas tree to me. To me, if all the bulbs are oriented perfectly, it looks more like a Vegas sign than a Christmas display item.

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