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RGB Pixel Mega Tree Test


ryebred
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Here is a test from my RGB Pixel Mega Tree that is currently set up in my back yard. The tree is 24 strands of WS2811 pixels from Ray Wu. They are zip tied to 18 foot sections of 1/2" rigid EMT conduit that are spray painted flat black. Each strand is 50 pixels for a total of 3,600 channels for the whole tree.

 

The sequencing on this segment was done by Brian Bruderer from Super Star Lights.

 

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Just an observation and question

 

If your EMT is 18ft and there are 50 pixels per EMT then the straight line spacing would be 4.32 inches.  It appears that the wire between pixels is wraped around the conduit, which would equate to a greater distance than 4.32.

 

What is the wire spacing between your pixels???

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Just an observation and question

 

If your EMT is 18ft and there are 50 pixels per EMT then the straight line spacing would be 4.32 inches.  It appears that the wire between pixels is wraped around the conduit, which would equate to a greater distance than 4.32.

 

What is the wire spacing between your pixels???

 

This is my one sore point with my order from Ray Wu. I had ordered 4 inch spacing on the pixels because from my calculations, that was what would work with my existing mega tree setup so I wouldn't have to alter the height at all. What I got was 5 inch spacing but I found that by wrapping it, the height would work out just fine with an extender that I added to the center pole. Also the advantage to wrapping is that I didn't need a zip tie at every pixel because the tension from the wrap helps to hold it in place.  This saved me time because I can wrap faster than I can zip tie.

 

However, I received 7 strings that had more than 5 inch spacing. The entire string itself was inconsistant. It might start with 5-1/2 inch spacing and half way through go to 5 inch spacing and then have a couple pixels at 4-1/2 inch spacing. If you look at the last image above and the conduit that is in the center of the picture, you can see slack in the pixel wire. That is a string with wacky spacing and to get each pixel to line up with all the other strings, I needed to wrap it with slack which meant I had to measure the space between each pixel and zip tie at each pixel. Those 7 strings were a pain in the rear.

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Very, very cool!!!

I like the use of the EMT; but I'm wondering if the conduit blocks the view of the pixels in the back of the tree?

I've got to get a pixel tree for 2014.

 

The pixels are the square kind with the wires that come out the side for ease of mounting. The pixels themselves are 1/2 inch wide and the metal conduit is 1/2 inch wide so the ones in the back are not blocked at all except for at the very top where the center pole blocks some. There are two strings that are 50% blocked if you stand facing the tree in the dead center and those are the strings on the sides which would be my number 1 string and my number 12 string.

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That looks awesome, I can kind of see my Tree evolving into one of these. I still have no clue on how it all interfaces with LOR though. I think I kind of understand the pixel principle but, how do you get each Pixel to do do something different???

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That tree looks great. Can't wait to install mine next week. I am doing a 180 with 16 sticks at 20 foot long. I used the same pixels and did have the problem with Ray on the order. I zip tied each pixel twice and it took me 4 weekends and plenty of skin of the fingers.. LOL  What are you using for a topper?

 

Jeff

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That looks awesome, I can kind of see my Tree evolving into one of these. I still have no clue on how it all interfaces with LOR though. I think I kind of understand the pixel principle but, how do you get each Pixel to do do something different???

 

There are three methods used in my sequences to program the pixels. One is just doing it the manual way using the LOR tools. I have had 4 CCR arches the last couple years so I copy and pasted some of the animations on the arches onto the tree and then extrapolated it out to more strings. Also simple movements like chases and coloring the full tree and things like that are easy to program the manual way.

 

For some more fancier effects I used the free Nutcracker software. Playing with all of the sliders you can get some unique effects.

 

The third way is using the Superstar sequencer. Four of my sequences were done using this. I plan to learn how to use it more next year and convert more of my sequences to this method.

 

 

That tree looks great. Can't wait to install mine next week. I am doing a 180 with 16 sticks at 20 foot long. I used the same pixels and did have the problem with Ray on the order. I zip tied each pixel twice and it took me 4 weekends and plenty of skin of the fingers.. LOL  What are you using for a topper?

 

Jeff

 

I am using the christmas light show star as my tree topper. In HallowXmas's video it looks like he is using their 3d version or something similar.

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Ryebred -- Thanks for the info. I still feel overwhelmed but, I know it will get better the more I sink my teeth into this.

So then how are they wired?

I see that they appear to be daisy chained together but, then how is each one addressed?

 

I have been playing with some rainbow floods this fall that have RGB signals that you simply apply voltage via a DC board to each colour to make them illuminate. Then in LOR i've just simply assigned the DC board number and channel it's plugged into and it works.

 

I'm thinking that what you have is more DMX'ish

 

Thank you for being patient with me :)

 

Evan

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Ryebred -- Thanks for the info. I still feel overwhelmed but, I know it will get better the more I sink my teeth into this.

So then how are they wired?

I see that they appear to be daisy chained together but, then how is each one addressed?

 

Three strings of 50 pixels are connected together to one output on the ECG-P12X which equates to one DMX universe.The first string starts at the bottom and the cord is plugged into the controller. At the top the string is plugged in to the string next to it. You have to plug it in on the ground first before setting both of them up. The third string is connected at the bottom so it is an up-down-up configuration. Between the second and third string at the bottom I have a Y-connector so that I can inject power from an additional power supply. If you did not inject power then only the first string plus half of the second string would light up. The data wire is the only one that needs to flow in one direction. The power can flow backwards which is why injecting between the second and third strings results in power being supplied fully to both strings.

 

Since it is an up-down-up configuration that means pixel 1 is at the bottom whereas pixel 1 on the second string, also known as pixel 51, is at the top. In order to simplify sequencing I apply a reverse string effect through the controller on string 2 so that I can set it up in the sequencer with every strings pixel 1 being at the bottom. Then I dont have to remember which strings are going up or down when sequencing and it is easier to do chases and effects if all of the strings are going in the same direction.

 

In the sequencer I created a track with 24 CCR's and deleted the macro channels then changed them to DMX universes instead of LOR networks. The nice thing with DMX using E1.31 is that you run the network cable straight from the computer to the controller. No adapater or dongle required.

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I am still debating about using RGB in my setup.  About how much did that cost you?  That is one of my big concerns is RGB is still so expensive.  I think you did a great job!

 

For all of the lights, power supplies, waterproof cables, and the controller it cost $750. All of the EMT conduit cost another $60 and the center pole and legs plus guy wires I already had from my previous years mega tree.

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  • 1 month later...

This is the style of tree I am planning for next year.  Do you by chance have a closeup pic of the tree "head".  I am particularly interested in how you fasten your EMT legs .

 

Regards

-Bob

 

I don't have a closeup picture but I can tell you what I did. I used #0 1/2 inch conduit hanger like these...

 

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Raco-3-8-in-1-2-in-0-Conduit-Hanger-with-Bolt-5-Pack-2052B5/203671723#

 

I drilled a hole in the EMT at the top, slipped the conduit hanger over the holes and put the bolt through. Then it acts like a big metal hook that you can slip over the spokes of the tree head pretty easily.

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