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    Rgb Pixel/dumb Strings In Mega-Trees


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    I have recently purchased a bunch of RGB LED strings to re-do my mega-tree in LEDs this year. These have a 4-conductor ribbon cable running the length of the string, with LED modules attached every 4". I'm wondering now what issues I need to watch out for when stringing them up across the mega-tree, with the weight and wind and weather.

    I read previously the suggestion to fill the ends with hot glue to avoid water getting inside when the wires spread the back of the light open, but should I be concerned about the strings hanging by the ribbon cable like that, or maybe provide something additional for support?

    If you've tried doing this with pixel strings, they're structurally very similar to those.

    thanks!

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    Other threads here have addressed this, and according to the experts - those that have already Been there/Done that... You will need to secure these to some type of wire. I believe they can stretch and that seems to be a bad thing. I'm not one of the experts, but if the stars line up this year, I expect to learn a lot - hands-on.

    Edited by Tim Bateson
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    I must not have been searching the other threads hard enough. I figured it had to have come up before but didn't initially see anything on this. I suspect you're right, though, it seems like it would be asking for trouble to put all the weight on the wires with these. I'll look for some way to run a strong cord or wire and attach the lights to that instead.

    This is my first attempt to switch anything to LED lights, and the possibilities for using RGB strings with my display are pretty exciting. If this works out, I'll start saving up to take the plunge to true pixels next.

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    I use parachute cord. Zip tie the strings to it after pulling the cord tight. You don't want any tension on the rgb nodes. Anything less than ip68 waterproof rating will be prone to water getting in the nodes causing lots of issues.

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    Good idea. I believe these are IP66. I'm guessing you'll want to attach each node to the cord, or they'll still hang on the wires. Do you zip tie the cord directly to the nodes? I'm thinking of how to make them tight enough to avoid slipping during the month they are up.

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    I ran 2 parallel cords and put the nodes between them. About every 3 nodes I pinched the cords together halfway between the 3rd and 4th and had the ribon cable against the pinched cords and zip tied it. This allowed me to aim the nodes toward the street. It wasn't perfect but it was better than using 1 cord as the weight of the node would cause it to aim toward the tree pole.

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    Interesting. So the nodes are still supported by the ribbon cable, just not more than 3 nodes at a time. From your experience doing it that way, do you think that was better than, say, zip tying the nodes themselves to the cords and letting the ribbon cable hang free?

    Did you point the nodes out from the tree trunk all around, or did you point the back nodes "in" so they are visible from the front as well?

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    I wouldn't tie the nodes as you would have to point them up or down and could stress the connection. Direction is a preference. I pointed mine at the street to get better fill. But it did make spins look a little different. The ribbon cable is pretty stiff and you won't hurt it. Here are a couple of my videos. The first shows the spin effect. The 2nd shows a cascading rainbow effect at the beginning that took hours to create for only a few seconds of sequence time but I like the way it turned out. In case you are wondering, Snoopy can sing, dance, and play the guitar depending on which of my videos you are watching.

    Edited by keitha
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    Cool effects. Going to actual pixels is next on my major upgrade list, but I think I'll have a lot of fun this year with the RGB LED strings and RGB floods I'm making. I'm still not sure about attaching the cords to the ribbon vs. the lights themselves, but I guess I'll have to experiment and see what it looks like with actual strings and it'll probably make sense when I see it in action.

    Thanks!

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    SW

    been working with RGB pixels for a couple years now, the dumb ones are essentially the same weight so advise is the same.

    The weight of the nodes and the wire when left to just hang WILL stretch the wire AND pull the plastic apart were the wires enter the back of the node.

    I've got one 126 count string that stretched nearly a foot over it's full length when i had it hanging up testing lights for a about a month.

    Tip1: were the wires exit the node, zip tie the wires together as strain relief.

    Tip2: (already told by others) tie to supporting wire, i personally use plastic coated wire.

    Cheers

    Phil

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