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My Firework Shooting Stars - More info on them.


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Jeff

The stars are wireframes with LEDs attached - 4 channels of white + 1 channel each of blue, green and red driven from a DC board. The poles each have 8 segments of minis. I run the stars in pairs - one pair facing each street frontage. Total channels are 16 for the poles and 14 for the stars.

My arches are attached to the inside of my fence and the splash pools are each made from 2 flat plant trainer frames - zip tied. There are a several LED tubes which were sold as path outliners (stick in ground) + some snowflake LEDs zip tied to the wire frames. These lights were all from nominal 24V sets (which are the normal supply in Australia) and I simply wired these togrther so they all operate from a single supply.

Hope I get the photos upluaded OK

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Edited by Geoff Harvey
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Hi Jeff

Our roof is corrugated iron (colorbond). The rafters and cross members are exposed. The 3*2 is bolted to the rafter and the cross member using Allen head screws. On the 3*2 I mounted a short (2') TV aerial mount vertically and then stand the 50mm pvc tubing over this before attaching guy ropes. I then insert a pair of 1/4 bolts into predrilled holes in the pvc & steel TV mount to stabilize the pvc tube position and to prevent rotation.

The gur ropes attach to eyebolts in the roof and to others in our perimeter fence.

This suits our roof, but may not be directly transferrable to others. However, with a bit of lateral thinking, solutions are often possible.

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Hi Joe

I loved your Firework stars last season and have provided you with the sincerest form of flattery - ie imitation. I mounted 4 stars on the roof as two pairs and everybody loves them.

While my display is currently only running as an animation, (ie not synchronised), it runs through a series of colour patterns and chases. You can see it at

Just wanted to say many thanks for your idea and for sharing.

Regards - Geoff

Well Done Geoff-- Awesome job. Love the color effects!

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Geoff,

Amazing display, Very well done.

Hope you don't mind answering some more questions. How did you get the sequencing effect on your icicle lights. I tried something similar, but your sequencing appears to be much more fluid and close together.

I used incandescent icicle lights that came in 18 foot legnths. The light strands allowed for cutting them apart at three foot intervals. I then made 4 extension cords 72 feet long. I place a female vampire plug at the beginning on cord 1, then placed plug 2 on cord 2 at 3 feet, plug 3 on cord 3 at 9 feet and plug 4 on cord 4 at 12 feet. I then started back on cord 1 at 15 feet, cord 2 at 18 feet, etc.

The effect looks good, but not as tight or fluid as yours. HOW DID YOU DO THAT?

I appreciate any insight and sharing you are willing to give. Your display is one of the best I have ever seen. You did an incredible job.

Thanks,

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DrHudd - Thank you for your kind comments.

The icicles that I use are 4 channel chasing icicles that originally come with a multi-function controller. They are wired so that there are 2 consecutive drops on each channel of the chasing controller. ie, for every 8 icicle drops, there are 2 on each channel, 1, 2, 3, 4. I then simply cut off the controllers and wire each of the channels to a separate LOR channel. I then use a chase sequence arrangement on the 4 channels to get the chase in the direction required. Note, the suppliers are increasingly going to 2 channel flashing sets which do not provide the chasing effect, cost scutting I presume.

For the eaves icicles, there are 3 sets of 4 channel chasing icicles, (blue & red leds which are zip tied together so their patterns match, and a set of clear minis), There are also some static white icicles divided into 3 blocks on each street. The icicles are wired so that at the house corner, the direction of chase is opposite, Each colour of the chasers uses 4 LOR channels. The LEDs run from DC boards (some have resistors inserted to get the right LED corrents), while the minis are driven by switching their transformers from an AC (16D) LOR board. Note, most Australian lights are low voltage sets which makes cutting and joining much easier (& safer). The cut points are also closer than for 110V sets.

At some point in the sequence, I have the red & blues running together and there is a dark gap chasing, and then following, the red & blues fill the gap. Its interesting that on video & stills, the red blue combination creates a definite purple wash on the house which is more boticeable on pictures than when watching live.

I have been on the lookout for green LED chasing icicles to complete the setup, but have not found any yet.

Hope this helps

Regards - Geoff

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DrHudd - Its interesting that on video & stills, the red blue combination creates a definite purple wash on the house which is more boticeable on pictures than when watching live.

red + blue = magenta

red + green = yellow

blue + green = cyan

red + blue + green = white

7 colors from 3

Take off your glasses or squint, works everytime.

Glenn

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DrHudd - Thank you for your kind comments.

The icicles that I use are 4 channel chasing icicles that originally come with a multi-function controller. They are wired so that there are 2 consecutive drops on each channel of the chasing controller. ie, for every 8 icicle drops, there are 2 on each channel, 1, 2, 3, 4. I then simply cut off the controllers and wire each of the channels to a separate LOR channel. I then use a chase sequence arrangement on the 4 channels to get the chase in the direction required. Note, the suppliers are increasingly going to 2 channel flashing sets which do not provide the chasing effect, cost scutting I presume.

Geoff,

Thank you for replying to my questions. I appreciate your willingness to share and educate the rest of us. I showed your video to some more people today and it is still very amazing for me to watch. I can't get enough of your display.

I NEVER thought about cutting out the controller of chasing icicles and placing them on LOR. I don't think I have ever seen chasing icicles on normal incandescent icicle strings. I checked today and the ONLY chasing icicles I could find here are LED. I know NOTHING about LED lighting loads and what can be cut and what cannot. I do know they are not as simple as incandescent lights to cut apart.

I really like the look of your chasing icicles, but until I know more about LED and the prices come down, I guess I am stuck with my 3 foot section chase effects. You stated that most of the lights in Australia are low voltage. I guess that is why you have products available to you that we don't have. I have never heard of low voltage Christmas lights. We have LED, but they still plug into 110 volt outlets.

Anyway, I am rambling, sorry...Thank you for replying and sharing.

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DrHudd

Australia (and at least some other 240V countries), have safety regulations that require most outdoor lighting to be low voltage, although we are now starting to see a few examples of 240V outdoor lights. The low voltage lights run from a step down transformer (plug pack), usually 240->24V. While this has adverse inpact on pricing which is usually significantly higher then the US, it does provide safety benefits AND other benefits, including NO GFI trips in wet weather - the transformers give isolation. Also, the number of bulbs that don't light when a bulb fails is a lot lower. It also makes it a lot easier to modify strings because the low voltage is safe. The downside is plugging in multiple plug packs which are often specific to a particular light set in voltage and power rating.

In Australia also, most Christmas lights are now LEDs and few minis are now avaliable apart from simple strings. My chasing mini icicles were a legacy from several years ago.

Regards Geoff

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Because it is over sized without a way to disassemble for shipping I would think your best bet would be to find a fabricator near you to crank them out. Shipping costs will be a problem regardless of who you use.

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  • 5 weeks later...

i ordered them from Lori and they did a great job on them. What was even better was a buddy was moving back from florida to NY and he said do i know any body needing anything brought back up cause he had room in his truck. So shipping was free it couldnt of happened any better. P.S. the $70 per star was a big help also great work great prices and free shipping

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i ordered them from Lori and they did a great job on them. What was even better was a buddy was moving back from florida to NY and he said do i know any body needing anything brought back up cause he had room in his truck. So shipping was free it couldnt of happened any better. P.S. the $70 per star was a big help also great work great prices and free shipping

Do you have any pictures? How large are the stars?

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Is there interest in having these made using coro or polycarbonate instead of wireframes? I did something almost exactly the same (concentric stars) for another customer, though out of acrylic (Plexiglas) and they turned out pretty nice.

This would allow you to make the stars by just poking the lights through the coro/polycarb and mounting. These would be cut on a CNC machine and thus be very precise.

David

www.HolidayCoro.com

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Is there interest in having these made using coro or polycarbonate instead of wireframes? I did something almost exactly the same (concentric stars) for another customer, though out of acrylic (Plexiglas) and they turned out pretty nice.

This would allow you to make the stars by just poking the lights through the coro/polycarb and mounting. These would be cut on a CNC machine and thus be very precise.

David

www.HolidayCoro.com

I thought about using coro for the stars. I am concerned about wind with coro on these. I thought about making one wireframe star and putting coro inside of it for the other three stars. I just don't think they will hold up in the wind up high on a pole. What do you think?

Scott

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I used 1/4" round rod and clipped the lights to the rod so the lights are parallel with the rod for better visibility. Using coro would require punching poles and I don't think the stars would look right. Also do not think the coro would stand up to the winter winds we receive in the 50 to 60 MPH range.

John

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I used 1/4" round rod and clipped the lights to the rod so the lights are parallel with the rod for better visibility. Using coro would require punching poles and I don't think the stars would look right. Also do not think the coro would stand up to the winter winds we receive in the 50 to 60 MPH range.

John

I think you are correct about unsupported 4mm PP coro - it's much to weak by itself. The 6mm polycarb coro would be as strong as the rod though. The one issue with polycarb - 6mm polycarb is $45 a sheet and with a 45" star, you can only get two stars.

Another possiblity would be to use 10mm PP coro and double-drill for the bulb and bulb base...

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