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Newbie Needing More Help With Mega Tree Please!


nucmanofbr
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Merry Christmas all,

I am totally submerged into creating this 20foot mega tree.  I have the base all ready to go.  I've been working on sequencing (it's going pretty good for a newbie).  I even have a 6ft prototype mega tree built in my home office so that I can see the effects as I do the sequencing.  

 

The thing I'm having trouble with now is how many lights to put on the 20 foot tree.  I have been bitten by the bug of using multiple color "super strings".  I'd like to use red, green, and clear 5mm leds.  I calculated that I need 120 strings  of each color if I use 3inch spacing between the strings.  Thats 360 strings of 5mm leds.  Wow!  that's a hefty check to write.  I'm ok with that but do you think  that since this is my first year of doing animations I should try to use the incans that I have and try to get the leds on sale after the holidays and use them next year or is the sale price difference not that great?  Or Im I not figuring out how many light I really need to have on this tree to have the three different colors.  I would really love to use RGB pixels but that is WAY over my head right now.

 

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!  Thanks in advance for your help, :-)

 

Jamie O (a.k.a. The Nucman)

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Nucman:

 

Just some thoughts!  I take it from your comments that this is all new to you.  Also, you indicate that you have 32 channels of lights and want to control 360 strands of light..  I see some challenges here.  First, I found that sequencing mega trees is very time consuming and adds to the complexity of your job BIG TIME! It doesn't seem like it should but mega trees and arches triple your sequencing time. Second, I'm not sure how you're going to drive 360 strands of lights with 32 channels.  You will need that many channels and more just to drive the mega tree, but you  may have that all figured out already.  Your biggest challenge is the time it will take you to create that many super strands and do the sequencing.  Everything takes twice as long as you expect it to.  The $ question is your business.  You know your budget and means.   For what it's worth, my best advice is to start your mega tree simple and build it each year.  I'm still using the 10 footer I created 2 years ago.  In my first 2 years, I was advised to 'keep it simple' and that really helped.  I still have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew.  Either way, hope it goes well.  Happy lighting!

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You could easily cut that in half and it would look just as good.

I was going to say the same, or even 9" or 12" spacing.  Keep in mind that spacing gets closer as you reach the top of your tree.  The logistics of trying to connect 100 or more strings to a point at the top of a tree can be a nightmare.

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I was going to say the same, or even 9" or 12" spacing.  Keep in mind that spacing gets closer as you reach the top of your tree.  The logistics of trying to connect 100 or more strings to a point at the top of a tree can be a nightmare.

I only have 32 strings and I find the top is really heavy..10 times that is going to be a LOT of weight.

I would love to see pictures...

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Don't do it!

 

I have super strings, they are great, but as noted fewer channels adds to the work.  I have 4 strings of each color on each channel, so I have 4 slices to go around the tree.

 

I use 16 channels for a 10 foot tree with a seperate channel on another controller on a different controller.

 

Also, use heavy duty wires to support the tree, it will be very heavy, I would suggest you start with fewer strings until you have some experience with the tree, I started with 1 color and 16 channels.

 

Final thought, go LED it will save you $$ on power alone.

 

Good Luck

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Hi,

 

Last year was my first attempt at an animated display with LOR, after many years of a static display.  I only did a mega-tree, as I didn't want to bite off too much my first year.  I did not do super-strings, but I was very happy with how my tree came out.  I opted to go with more controllers and fewer light strings.  I think the greater granularity of control makes for better effects with the tree.  I documented my complete build on our family website if you want to see all the details.

 

http://barsix.net/?page_id=8

 

As for sequences, I found it was much better to find sequences that people have made available for similar elements to the one you are building and then modify those.  I sequenced a couple of songs from scratch last year, and I didn't the results nearly as much as the modified sequences that I downloaded from others.  But I am also not very artistic, so I wasn't surprised.  I would be happy to share my sequences with you if you end up with a design similar to mine.

 

Good luck with your build.

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My first attempt was a 20' mega tree with 4 colors and a dozen strings of light. One sting for each clock position. Was easier to visualize and program, at least in my mind? Last year we up'd the light count to 4 colors and 2 dozen stings. It required a second larger hook head mounted above the first smaller head. It got very busy at the top when hanging the lights. You can see the tree on YouTube "jallenl1". Both the 2011 and 2012 videos are up, so you can compare the difference in light quantities. These were 100 LED light strings from Action Lighting and about 37.5 ft long so they were doubled up for the top 2/3rds .

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't use super strings as I like the full look given by having the strings separated. My 20 ft tree has 40 strings each of red, green, and clear controlled by 24 channels. I use the remaining 8 channels on those 2 controllers for "outer" tree of 16 strings of C9s. With 2 trees together, there are more possibilities for effects.

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