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Steve--

When time permits we will have a video. Until then here is a brief description of how the JUMP works. It is a heavy duty telescoping pole. By turning the crank of a drop leg trailer jack (the kind of jack that is used to raise and lower the tongues of trailers) an external push rod pushes the telescoping pole up about one foot. A pin is placed in a hole that was drilled in the pole to hold it in place. The jack is now cranked down and gets another bite carrying the pole up another foot. The first pin is now removed and placed in a second hole. The process is repeated to obtain the desired height.

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I've looked over the pictures and the plans several times. I'm still missing something. I get the basic concept, but it's just not clicking. If anyone could post a quick video of it being jacked up (or down) I'd forever be in your debt.

Same story here. I think a video would help me "get it".

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I think I am getting how it works. A video would be great.

I was wondering how long it takes to crank it up and down and up and down and up and down and ...

Have you tried making something that would allow a cordless drill to operate it? I picked up one of the jacks and it seems like it would be a long process to crank the whole thing up.

Thanks

Scott

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Yes Scott attaching a cordless drill or motor will make the JUMP operate faster. However, that is totally unnecessary. Once all the lights are attached to your topper, it takes about 20-30 minutes to jack up to around 20'. Your light strings go up slowly but surely with no issues such as binding or ropes breaking and you don't have to worry about all of your lights falling on your head. The JUMP is capable of lifting hundreds of pounds of lights, stars, strobes or anything else you might want to dress your Mega Tree.

Edited by Walter and Jackie Monkhouse
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I am planning to do a mega this year, is the winch setup not a very good one. It seems to me that the winch could have the lights in the air much faster than this with about half the cranking of the jack up then down 8 or 10 times. It sounds like a good idea, like I said i havent done a tree yet but I have been looking for the best way to do it.

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RE: The question of a winch's reliability.

I used the pulley/winch method for the first time this year. It is best to make sure the winch cable pulls evenly on both sides of the ring sliding up the pole to prevent it from binding (I ran into this issue, rectified by using a pipe to push up on one side of the ring as it rose). Also be sure to use steel cable, not rope or nylon line. However, with snow, sleet, ice, and horrible wind, after securing the cable it hasn't slipped/dropped an inch. Granted I've never tried or witnessed the JUMP concept, but I have cranked many boat trailer jacks & winches, and while some winches are geared faster than others, virtually every one of the trailer jacks are slow. It certainly seems a winch is faster to raise, because you just crank away without having to reset pins and extensions.

I will say however, that if I understand the JUMP concept, that unless you mess up in building it, there should be no way for the top to fall down as it is held by a metal pin, which would have to break for the system to fail. I personally still would not forego guy's - I'm sure a JUMP can be easily guyed by just jacking up guys with the lights and securing them at the end.

Edited by Stephen Blue
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It sounds like you don't have enough bearing surface on your ring. You need to just make it longer...like a tube.

If it is a tube larger in diameter, so it slides up the pole you can put all your force on one side and still slide up smoothly.

If it's not long enough it will tip diagonally and pinch on the pole causing binding...

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This was my first year with a mega-tree and it happened to get destroyed in a wind storm. So I got the parts and made the JUMP and I love it!!! It does take about 20min to raise it. I wasn't even thinking of making a video of me raising it and lowering it. My base is still in my lawn and once it warms up I will assemble the JUMP and make a video of the process and post it here and on my website. I do have some photos of my JUMP on my website http://jbhobby.weebly.com/2009-christmas-lights-photos.html but no real detailed shots. The JUMP itself is real easy to build and use.

Also I have a few notes about the JUMP I built here: http://jbhobby.weebly.com/mega-tree.html

Edited by brownjm74
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One of the shortcomings that has been mentioned is the short throw of the trailer jack used. You only get 1 foot of lift or so before you have to reset. That is a lot of cranking. Has anyone thought of modifying the design and using an electric tongue jack like the attached pic? Adds a bit of cost, but easier to push a button instead of cranking.

post-5916-129571191215_thumb.jpg

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One of the shortcomings that has been mentioned is the short throw of the trailer jack used. You only get 1 foot of lift or so before you have to reset. That is a lot of cranking. Has anyone thought of modifying the design and using an electric tongue jack like the attached pic? Adds a bit of cost, but easier to push a button instead of cranking.

I know it was discussed at HAM, but most felt it was easier and cheaper just to turn the crank. Nothing against those who would like to use the motor. Someone else talked about modifying the standard rig to be able to operate off a drill.

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Same story here. I think a video would help me "get it".

Ok, you jack up the section a foot. Put a pin in the pole to hold it. Crank jack down. Now this is where I am fuzzy. You now have a 1 ft gap between the top of the jack and the bottom of the pushrod if the top of the pushrod is still in contact with the clamp on the lifted pole. Do you add another section of pipe to the push rod for the next lift? Do you move the entire jack up? I think this is where people are getting lost. I know I am. A video of someone doing the whole lift process would be a great benefit.

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Same story here. I think a video would help me "get it".

I know it was discussed at HAM, but most felt it was easier and cheaper just to turn the crank. Nothing against those who would like to use the motor. Someone else talked about modifying the standard rig to be able to operate off a drill.

Well I have never been one to worry about how cheap it would be. I am just lazy. HAHAHAHA. I even hate cranking my ATV trailer up off the hitch on my truck!

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Ok, you jack up the section a foot...

I see that you're old enough to remember bumper jacks that we used to use to change a tire on cars. The principle is identical.

You push up with one pin and then hold it there with another. Pull the jack pin, drop down the jack. Put in the jack pin, pull out the holding pin. Repeat until it's the hight that you want.

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Not really the same principal at all....at least not on the bumper jacks I ever used. The jacking mechanisim connected to the bumper and rode up and down a static pole...jacking up the car. The jump however from what I see is mounted to the 2 inch pole with a support between it and the base. The jack is upside down so the mechanisim pushes on a push rod which contacts a clamp on the top of the 1.5 inch pole. I thoroughly understand the concept. Jack up a foot...set pin in 1.5 pole to keep it from sliding back down....crank jack back down. Nobody has bothered to explain the next process. As I said before you now have a 12 inch gap either between the top of the jack and the bottom of the push rod or the top of the push rod and the clamp that is used to push the pole up. What is done to take up this gap so you can push the pole up another foot? I went back to the pics. The clamps actually slide up and down the pole? So, you jack up a foot, pin the pole so it stays. When you jack down the clamp/slip ring then slides down the pole with it? You then place a pin in the pole above the slip ring and remove the pin below? That would explain the 2 sets of holes spaced 2 inches apart. Pin in bottom hole...2 in for the clamp...pin in top hole. If this is correct then the developer should put a diagram of the process in his instructions because that is not clear at all....at least it wasn't to me.

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The clamps actually slide up and down the pole? So, you jack up a foot, pin the pole so it stays. When you jack down the clamp/slip ring then slides down the pole with it? You then place a pin in the pole above the slip ring and remove the pin below? That would explain the 2 sets of holes spaced 2 inches apart. Pin in bottom hole...2 in for the clamp...pin in top hole.
That's the way I understand it to work. It took me some time to understand it too. It is a very nice design.
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Since we are on the subject of the "pins" I would like to add some additional information. The pins are standard 1/4 bolts. In case you are concerned about them breaking- I performed shear tests on them and they failed at 2200 pounds. So unless you are going to raise over a ton of goodies up on your mega tree there is no need to worry .

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The link is:

http://www.photoshopshowcase.com/ViewFlashMedia.aspx?AID=233073&AT=3

If the link does not work for you the pictures are in the photo gallery. Go to www.MagicChristmas.org > click on NEWS > click on Build the Monkhouse JUMP > click on photo gallery of the Monkhouse JUMP.

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Thanks Jeremy, this is an excellent set of videos you have put together!

Is there any risk of these pins coming out?

So do you end up with a bunch of pins (left installed into hole) in the upper portion(s) of the pole?

Its hard to tell from the video, but about how long does it take to jack up the entire 23' tree ?

I really do like this design a lot ... kudos to those who came up with it and decided to share it was others !

I think the problem for me is that its somewhat non-intuitive, unlike a simple pulley and crank. But I think it

looks very strong. Does anyone have a max height they have used this with?

Scott

Edited by taybrynn
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Thanks Jeremy, this is an excellent set of videos you have put together!

Is there any risk of these pins coming out? Not really, I used 5" bolts and they barely moved.

So do you end up with a bunch of pins (left installed into hole) in the upper portion(s) of the pole? No, You just keep using the two pins. After the pole is completely up (your single hole @ the bottom) you insert a different pin and that one will stay there until you take it down.

Its hard to tell from the video, but about how long does it take to jack up the entire 23' tree ? In the video I didn't raise the pole completely up. I didn't time myself but I would say about 30 to 40 min to completely set the pole up. As you get more proficient with the system, the faster it will go up and down for you.

I really do like this design a lot ... kudos to those who came up with it and decided to share it was others !

I think the problem for me is that its somewhat non-intuitive, unlike a simple pulley and crank. But I think it

looks very strong. Does anyone have a max height they have used this with? Mine is about 22' tall, completely extended.

Scott

My comments in red, and your welcome - Jeremy

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Maybe I still have not seen a clear answer to the question about the pins and how many you need or do they stay in the holes.

First the lower pin that rest on top of the lower pipe will have to come out so that the bracket that does the rising can come down after each successful 12" raising cycle.

I was lucky enough to meet the Monks at the HAM last year in KC MO. Walter had a piece of 1/2" EMT conduit that if I remember right was slightly flattened at the one end. He then had if I remember correctly a length of wire that was about coat hanger weight. At the far end it was a closed loop that extend out of the flattened end. At the other end a piece came out of the pipe. Walter would hook the loop over the head of the tip up on the pipe and then pull down on the end at his end. Then he would remove the pin. Now if the pin is the lower one sitting on the top of the lower pipe, he would jack it up some to release this pin. The whole idea is to spend as little time as possible on a 6' step ladder. So, once the lights are on the topper / hook head along with the star on top of this. All of the work from that point on should be able to do this from the ground.

Right Walt?

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