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Thoughts Please


a31ford
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Hello all.

 

I'm thinking of a massive (160 ft. tall) mega tree on our antenna tower up on the hill behind (between ) the house and the main road (our house faces away from the road, the hill is between, and the tower is on the hill).

 

I'm going to plot out an X / Y axis of light strings , and then special effects (strobes) & mini trees as well as Santa & deer in the foreground of the tree.

 

The thing will be huge !!! (about 85ft base)

 

Anyone have thoughts on it ??

 

Greg

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Yeah my thoughts exactly..... lol thats a big, heavy, insane project and im all in hahaha :) but alot of time and planning need to go into it as far as weight distribution each strands weight especially if your making super strands with multiple colors could get heavy.... not to mention taking that into consideration each strand will need a cable to support the upright weight and being that big/tall id over do it on the ratings of cable to ensure that you can get each strand fairly tight to keep the tree shape consistency

Man just thinking about set up times for something that large scale hurts my head lol but you have a lot to consider with the weight and massiveness foundation would have to withstand the crazy amount of down force from the strands cables and guide/guy/support wires

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  Do it, take pics, make vids!  ( legal disclaimer, not a lawyer nor lighting/rigging professional, structural engineer  :)  ) 

 

It would also be cool if you ran a long string of red lights up and down it in the shape of a maple leaf,,, just sayin!

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I say don't do it. I'm surprised I'm even saying this (because I'm the most ridiculous person I know and I understand your sentiment) but at a certain point I feel like you could do more with the money it would cost to do this. I look at it like going to a mediocre buffet. Having more of the same isn't necessarily better and once you go that big, a lot is lost because you'd have to look at it from a distance which would cancel out the size. It's like buying a TV so big you have stand back 30ft to watch it. I think with that many lights and money invested, you could create something unique that no one else has. I don't mean to discourage you, however. I hope to encourage you to do something even greater!

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I like it, but also worry about the weight

 

Rough math:

 

A 3/16 guy wire is 7.3 pounds per 100 feet  and you'll need about 180 feet for each run (13.1 lbs). 

5 strands of tiny M6 100 count - maybe 1 lb each and 167 feet long (5 lbs total)

18.1 lbs for a single strand of M6s (x 16 channels) and you are already at 288 lbs suspended at the highest point of the tower (and no wind load). 

 

I am sure it would be cool, but single strands of M6s may not give you much to work from, plus only 16 channels means each one is 17' feet apart at the base (would it even look like a tree?)

 

What about tethering the mega tree in about 80 feet up?  Then run some strobes, smart RGB or something right up the spine of the tower that you can light up in sequence.

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I say don't do it. I'm surprised I'm even saying this (because I'm the most ridiculous person I know and I understand your sentiment) but at a certain point I feel like you could do more with the money it would cost to do this. I look at it like going to a mediocre buffet. Having more of the same isn't necessarily better and once you go that big, a lot is lost because you'd have to look at it from a distance which would cancel out the size. It's like buying a TV so big you have stand back 30ft to watch it. I think with that many lights and money invested, you could create something unique that no one else has. I don't mean to discourage you, however. I hope to encourage you to do something even greater!

 

I'm going to agree with George on this one.

That's going to be a lot of money AND a lot of time spent on one item.

I have a 33' mega tree about 150' from the road and it's almost too tall for everyone in the car to really see without backing up on the road.

I would rather see 160 mini trees dancing than one 160 mega tree.

Just my thoughts.

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Thanks to ALL, for their input.

 

I need to clarify something.... the tower is over 200 feet FROM the road, AND, is up on a hill that is 60 feet high....

 

As Well, it's a "tri-leg" Delphi (tapered)

 

The Idea is to build a triangle that will "scale" the tower from the base to the top, using 3 lift cables (one from the top of each leg) coming down the outside of the tower to the scaling ring, and coming down the inside of the tower to a boat type winch (electric, spare I have) the tower itself HAS three cables that go from the top and go to outriggers that keep it from swaying in the wind.

 

As far as the tower, it has a vertical load capacity of 1000 pounds (as long as the outriggers are used, or 150 pounds without the outriggers).

 

ALSO, this is not really a "tree" per say, rather more of a  three sided "inverted marty fan" per say.

 

Greg

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Would love to see a picture of the tower. Used to have a friend when I was younger, that has a 190' Rohen 45 tower. Used to climb it for him now and then. We are al Ham radio ops. And his sinclar 2mtr antenna would get zapped from time to time. Seems that very expensive model is more apt to take lighting strikes and toast the antenna. Last time we replaced it with a 4 bay folded dipoles. The support mast takes the strike while leaving the folded dipoles.

 

Point I should be making is that I would seriously suggest you get someone who is an engineer to look over what you plan to do. You will need the weights of the lights and support wires for the lights.

Along with anything else you plan to add onto the tower to raise these lights. Also need to look at wind and ice loading and how this might effect the structure of the tower. Best bet would be an engineer at the tower manufacturer. This is not a cheap tower and add to the cost to buy and new and install it. What about possible damage to the house or other property.

 

Love the sound of it. But please be careful and do it right. Still would love to see a picture of the tower. I am trying to picture this type of tower in my minds eye and just cant.

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Make sure you have an easy way to let a stand down for repairs. My mega tree has 64 stings of mule tape and all the super strings are zipped to them. I would love to see one that big and good luck and stay safe.

 

Jeff

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The tower is a "Tilt over" (once the outrigger guy cables are removed).

 

If you thought of the triangle  as being a "cable car" that  climbs the outside of the tower (using the lift cables & winch), it is basically the top of the lights. The outriggers sit at the top of the tower and the towers guy cables come off of those, so the actual top of the lights will be about a foot shy of the actual top.

 

The P2P wireless antenna is on a mast that comes out of the top, and I would put a tree topper along it (permanent).

 

The idea of the triangle is so the strings of lights can be taken down (winched down), off season. (as well as maintenance).

 

Greg

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The Idea is to build a triangle that will "scale" the tower from the base to the top, using 3 lift cables (one from the top of each leg) coming down the outside of the tower to the scaling ring, and coming down the inside of the tower to a boat type winch (electric, spare I have) the tower itself HAS three cables that go from the top and go to outriggers that keep it from swaying in the wind.

 

ALSO, this is not really a "tree" per say, rather more of a  three sided "inverted marty fan" per say.

 

Greg

 

Greg,

I used this same method you mentioned for another display I did. It was a 33' mega tree and had three pullies up top. Had 16 strands on each cable/pully so 48 strands total pulled to the top on all three sides. At the bottom I connected the strands to a metal tubing frame bent in a large circle. This kept the tree in a rounded fashion from top to bottom.

Worked pretty well but that wasn't near the hight your wanting to do. Hope you have a serious winch in mind. Not sure a boat winch will be enough. Especially with mutliple 160' length light strands going up at once.

 

I wish you good luck and hope all goes well.

 

Tom

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LOL, Max.... NO NOT a 160 ft tilt over, the TREE is 160 foot, See the tower is only 80, BUT the hill it's on, is 80 as well (From the road side view) from the house side it's only 50 or so, there is a depression on the far (road) side that makes it (the hill) taller.....

 

The tree  would be a total of about 160 (give or take).

 

I'll get a pic of it this weekend (even though the hill is covered in scrub, once fall hits and the leaves fall, it's wide open.

 

Greg

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See the tower is only 80.

Greg

Oh... well heck. Why didn't you say so at the beginning?

We aren't mind readers here.

If the actual tree from ground to top is 80', then say 80'.

If I say my tree is above a certain point of the ground compared to sea level, then my mega tree is 1,233 feet tall (give or take)

See my point?

Geeze, you just made this project half the trouble/cost.

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Now wait a minute S.H... The tower is only 80' but it sits on a 80' high hill. And he plans to make the elements 160' long. I agree that it was not clear at first. But the cost would still be about the same. Be it a 160' tower or an 80' tower on top of a 80' hill. He still needs to be sure that the tower can handle the weight of the lights with and without ice. That the weight is evenly distributed around the tower in 360 degrees.

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I don't think it will work with a 1000# load capacity.  If it's not new, then I would knock off 100# off it's capacity.  The guy wires alone will almost be at capacity when taunt.

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Now wait a minute S.H... The tower is only 80' but it sits on a 80' high hill. And he plans to make the elements 160' long. I agree that it was not clear at first. But the cost would still be about the same. Be it a 160' tower or an 80' tower on top of a 80' hill. He still needs to be sure that the tower can handle the weight of the lights with and without ice. That the weight is evenly distributed around the tower in 360 degrees.

 

If the tower is 80' tall, how can he run 160' long strands (unless he folds them in half)?

From ground level at the tower base to the top of the tower is 80'.

Last time I checked, an 80' tower measures 80' tall.

 

If it's still 160' then it is not clear at all and don't make since IMHO.

 

Pictures need to clarify.

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Santa's.....

 

The tower is 80, AND the hill is 80, together it's 160 (actually include the angle factor about 173).

 

Leaves are still on the trees so you can't see nothing yet....

 

Greg

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My tower is only 35 ft high and not too bad to get up. I have it on a hinge at the base but the key to getting it up loaded with lights and a topper is to LIFT/PUSH it up and not pull it up. I have 3 sons and all 3 played college football on the offense line or rugby so Dad has some beef lifting. When in place and ready to lift it takes 60 seconds with breaks for observation purposes along the way. Take a look at kevinkolak.com and you can see what I have. My large "mega tree" is 20ft high with only 8 legs but 64 channels. I have developed a system to get it up with only 1 person and I'm confident I could make it another 10 ft higher with no help getting it up.....its a unique system I have come up with.

Edited by Archer
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My mega tree tower is on a hing plate too.

I attach the topper, star and floods to it and pole lights. Then I lift it with my brothers winch on his jeep. So we pull it up. Goes up in about a minute or less.

Then I attach 192 strands of 33' light bundles (with red, white, blue and green on each mega strand) the next day. I (or a friend of mine) climb up the tower and there is a base to stand on while attaching each strand to the topper.

DSC03576_zpse1f04967.jpg

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DSC04978_zps869f7e9a.jpg

DSC05058_zpsc47f89f9.jpg

IMG_3263_zps63168b64.jpg

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WoW....I like it.....it just goes to show that there are several ways to make a mega tree...my 25 foot tree to the top of the topper goes up in about 15 minutes, has 64 channels 12,000 lights and needs only me to put it up. My 35ft, 7,200 light tower on the other hand goes up in 15 minutes including a 5 minute break and takes 3 strong backs for 1 of those minutes. I have designed my 500 channel display with 3 basic things in mind. 1. Easy to put up. 2. Easy to take down. 3, Easy and compact to store.

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WoW....I like it.....it just goes to show that there are several ways to make a mega tree...my 25 foot tree to the top of the topper goes up in about 15 minutes, has 64 channels 12,000 lights and needs only me to put it up. My 35ft, 7,200 light tower on the other hand goes up in 15 minutes including a 5 minute break and takes 3 strong backs for 1 of those minutes. I have designed my 500 channel display with 3 basic things in mind. 1. Easy to put up. 2. Easy to take down. 3, Easy and compact to store.

Sounds like you have an awesome deal too.

And I like your 3 basic things. Easy, easy & easy (thumbs up).

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