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New Years Eve Ball Drop


Jim Looker

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I asked about this on another forum, But I thought I'd Give it a shot here also. I'm building a ball to drop on New Years Eve. It's 36 inch's in diameter. It will have between 700 to 900 pixels on it. Since it will be in a corner, I may not put as many on the back half as the front half. It will be controlled by a PixLite 16 controller, controlled by Xlights. It will be indoors at about 35 ft up. I'll lower it to about 11 ft. Two problems have me puzzled. The first it a way to keep it from spinning. It will be suspended by a braided rope, or a small steel coated cable. The second problem it the wires. It will have to have two pairs of 14 gauge wires and a cat 5 cable. I'm not sure how to run them. I can't run them through the pulley. So I need to figure a way to run them along side the support wire and not get tangled. Any ideas will be appreciated. Here's a picture of the skeleton. 

 

post-169-0-03362200-1416589754_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks, Jim

 

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To keep it from spinning, run a guide wire behind the ball from your pulley support down to the floor.  Feed it through a loop in the back of the ball.  For more stability, use two wires on either side.

 

 

For the wires, two thoughts:

1.  Just let them hang from the bottom of the ball. 

2.  Fix the wires half way up the wall, then over to the ball (you did say it was indoors in corner).  Leave enough slack to reach the top and the floor.

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That looks great.

 

I think I'd just use coiled cord. I use a lot of old coiled phone cords for things like that too.

 

 

14 gauge coiled wire cord. One foot stretches to over 10 feet.

http://www.jegs.com/p/Dedenbear/Dedenbear-Coiled-Switch-Cord/748289/10002/-1

 

 

Cat 5 coiled wire.

http://www.cablescience.com/coils/electronic-1/ncc-series.html

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Thanks for the ideas. I did switch over to a two cable support. Thought that would help to keep it from spining. I'm installing the lights with the supply wires to the bottom. I will try both letting them hang down to the ground and a loop as cacoulter mentioned to see which way makes it more stable to minimize wobbling. When I get the rest of the lights on it, I get more pictures up to see.

 

 

Jim  

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Just a update on the New Years Ball. I'm waiting on delivery of 6 more strings of pixels. I still have to mount the controller and the power supply in it. Here's a picture of my first test. I'm going to run it with Xlights, but I'm not sure the best way to program it. I want to run various effects for about 4 hours, and then at midnight change it to the count down. Then run some more effects for about another half hour. Is there a way to do this in Xlights? 
 
Thanks, Jim
 

post-169-0-33908100-1417245268_thumb.jpg

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Jim,  Just a thought:  Is the center support pole clear on the ends?  If so, maybe you could slide it down a center pole similar to the flagpole they use for the New York drop.  That way a single wire, attached off center, may be all you need to lower it and keep it from spinning.  So far it is amazing !!

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Because of the weight of the lights and electronics, I put a 1 1/4 in dowel rod down the center to support it.  I put two wires 8 in apart on top to keep it from spinning. I just trying to figure out the programming now.

 

Thanks, jim

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