Jump to content

Newbie Mega tree lighting question


Recommended Posts

Hey guys! I am very happy that I found this board. It is always nice to find people with similar interests!

I am currently building my first mega tree in the garage. I will set it up in the back yard when I get all the lights and controllers so I can have some real fun!

I am going to run three colors, red, green, and white. I am planning on twisting the three strands together into one string and having 16 of these around the tree for a total of 48 strands. I was originally planning on running this with each strand as a separate channel so 48 channels to control the entire tree. Through surfing this forum, I have found a schematic that shows one channel as two adjacent strands which would mean only 24 channels.

My question is would there be enough difference to justify using 48 channels or would 24 be just as good? I am assuming that the 48 channel set up would be smoother (if your programming is right), but probably not as bright. The 48 would be a lot more work programming wise also. But if it's preferable to run the more resolution, I am not concerned about the time really. I may be later though!

TIA

Travis

Link to post
Share on other sites

First, welcome to PC--there are lots of people to help here. Make sure you contribute with what you have learned as well, since we are all still learning.

Can't comment from experience, but based on what you are saying, it sounds like the actual tree design will be the same either way--16 R,G,W strings. Therefore it is just a matter of whether you connect adjacent strings or not. Therefore, since you are planning to play with it in the backyard beforehand, it would be fairly easy to test both scenarios. Make two simple sequences with a couple rotations either way using both 24ch and 48ch, and compare the two. Just would have to change a couple plugs and then run the alternate sequence. My suspicion is that 24 channels will suffice. An 8 ch tree (per color) is usually very smooth if sequenced properly (with overlapping fades). For example, Holdman's 2007 videos include an 8ch per color tree. http://www.holdman.com/christmas/video.asp

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your logic there. I guess I just need to get the 64 starter package and try it both ways. The 24 channel set up would leave me plenty to play with 40 channels, but the 48 would only leave 16 which means i would probably need an extra 16, but I guess I could order that at a later date if I thought I needed it.

Holdman's videos never get old. Too bad he can't put it on his house anymore (or so I've heard).

Thanks for your reply. It's funny how another's perspective can shed light on a situation sometimes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your logic there. I guess I just need to get the 64 starter package and try it both ways. The 24 channel set up would leave me plenty to play with 40 channels, but the 48 would only leave 16 which means i would probably need an extra 16, but I guess I could order that at a later date if I thought I needed it.

Holdman's videos never get old. Too bad he can't put it on his house anymore (or so I've heard).

Thanks for your reply. It's funny how another's perspective can shed light on a situation sometimes.

Holdman is actually moving his display back home this year. Many are looking forward to it.

And with regards to the "starter package" make sure you read this thread (half way down especially) if you aren't familiar with LOR PC controllers (can save some money--i.e. more money for more channels):

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php/42839-controllers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Travis, Welcome to PC.

I have 48 strands and they are all on 16 channels (three strands per channel) for each color (48 green & 48 blue). I'm adding blue this year. So I'm just using one controller per color. You could use 2 controllers for all three colors and still have a good smooth chase. And this leaves you with plenty channels for other lights.

I'm sure that what you choose will look good either way and like previously mentioned, you might try each scenario to see what fits you best.

I live in Oklahoma City and could show you video of my mega tree if it helps.

Edit: just noticed where you live - there are plenty of members in and around the Tulsa area. Great bunch of folks and I'm sure they would be more than willing to help as well.

Edited by Santas Helper
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I had read that post put hadn't thought much about it. I also didn't click on the links you had in there either. Wow, a lot of good information in there! Thanks so much for pointing that out.

I reran my costs and the 80 channels was going to be around 1700 with the advanced software (no shipping in there yet) to 1400 for 96 channels with advanced software, plus 52ish for shipping. So yes that is a much better deal. I put one controller in there that was complete and 5 that you had to plug in the leads and mount the strain plate. I really like the DIY options they give on the PC side. If I had more time, I would probably try soldering one just for fun, but the price difference is pretty small and it's already Sept. I don't want to cut time short on actual programing.

VIPZach, Thanks for the input. I agree that it will take less time to program the 24 vs the 48, but part of me still wants to try it. :)

Tom, I would like to see your videos. Do you have a site or link on youtube you could point me too?

How long does it typically take to get after you place an order from LOR?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I had read that post put hadn't thought much about it. I also didn't click on the links you had in there either. Wow, a lot of good information in there! Thanks so much for pointing that out.

I reran my costs and the 80 channels was going to be around 1700 with the advanced software (no shipping in there yet) to 1400 for 96 channels with advanced software, plus 52ish for shipping. So yes that is a much better deal. I put one controller in there that was complete and 5 that you had to plug in the leads and mount the strain plate. I really like the DIY options they give on the PC side. If I had more time, I would probably try soldering one just for fun, but the price difference is pretty small and it's already Sept. I don't want to cut time short on actual programing.

You're welcome. Sounds like you will have plenty of money left over to send me an extra controller as a token of your appreciation. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

[ATTACH=CONFIG]36730[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]36729[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]36728[/ATTACH]

Probably not going to have any extra after I get done buying lights... (nice try though!) :P

Put my topper and my light holder together today. This is before they got painted black to match the mast. I used a floor drain and necked that down to 1.5" pvc to act as a guide and not let it get ****ed sideways. The hooks are mounted canted at an angle so that they should be very close to full tension loaded with not much bending on them. I was worried about the PVC not being able to stand the moment loads of each strand, but I think it will work pretty well like this.

All I need to do is put the cable in it and it's ready to go up and down. Now I just need a bunch of lights...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Either way it will look great. By the way, Holdman is the whole reason I started this crazy light thing. My husband and family think I am crazy, that is until they saw the mega tree I built last year with my first LOR 16 channel controller. Just as a word to the wise. We went the route of putting the controller to the test by putting 5 strands of 100 mini lights per each channel(maxing it out without breaking it) and the house lights would dim in time to the music. While in my parents house, I could tell which song was on based on the inside lights(sad but true).

Oh also, in regards to Holdman's Christmas display, I read on his website (www.holdman.com) that the display may be at his house again for the 2010 season!

Can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

Good luck with your mega tree and don't forget Planet Christmas has a wealth of knowledge and pictures for dyi stuff. I don't know where I would be without it.

Edited by Kelsicia
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...