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# How to build a christmas mega tree

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• 1. How To Build A Christmas Mega Tree Strategies for stringing your mega tree Tips for assigning channels Press F5 to see full screen slide show mode <ul><li>Strategies for stringing your mega tree </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for assigning channels </li></ul><ul><li>Tricks for getting more lights on the tree </li></ul>This How To Guide Includes: By: Jeff Ostroff LauderdaleChristmas.com Version 1.6 January 14, 2008
• 2. 16 Channel Red Mega Tree 16 strings of red Each string 100 lights Total # Lights: 1600 Requires one 16-channel controller 32 Channel Red/Green Mega Tree 16 red strings, 16 green strings Each string 100 lights Total # Lights: 3200 Requires two 16-channel controllers
• 3. Requires three 16-channel controllers 48 Channel Red/Green/Blue/White Mega Tree Each color has 12 strings 1200 Red 1200 Green 1200 Blue 1200 White Total Lights: 4800 PROBLEM: 12 strings for one color can look sparse
• 4. Solution: Fold each string in half as optical illusion to double up the number of viewed segments, or just double the # of strings Instead of routing each string from the bottom of the tree to the top of the tree… Fold the string in half and route from bottom to top, back down as another segment. This will effectively double the apparent number of strings with the same number of lights. -Trees taller than 12 feet, you may need to actually double the number of light strings. 100 lights to go up to the top, 100 lights to come back down the next segment. PROBLEM: 12 strings for one color can look sparse
• 5. Connecting your improved and “folded in half string” solution to the controller Example: Red Strings Doubling your number of strings to get more viewing density presents another issue. To keep # of channels and controllers from growing, you must group your lights for each color. Above example shows 24 strings of lights, but we don’t want to exceed 12 channels per color, so pair up strings to the controller channels as shown. CH1 CH2 CH3 CH4 <ul><li>Remember: </li></ul><ul><li>3 Controllers </li></ul><ul><li>16 channels each </li></ul><ul><li>48 Channels total </li></ul><ul><li>We have 4 colors so we need 48/4 = 12 channels per color. </li></ul>50 50
• 6. Profile View Profile View Top View Top View Outline Mode: String goes up over the top of the tree, and down the opposite side <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><li>Uses fewer channels </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Potentially fewer strings </li></ul><ul><li>Less programming time for lights </li></ul><ul><li>Spinning outline effect looks cool </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>You are stuck with the opposite channel always on </li></ul><ul><li>Can look less dense than searchlight method, which must use more lights </li></ul><ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><li>More versatility </li></ul><ul><li>Can also do outline mode by turning on opposite channel too </li></ul><ul><li>Lights can appear more dense </li></ul><ul><li>Radar Sweep/Searchlight effect looks cool </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>Requires more channel assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Can require a bit more programming time </li></ul>Radar Sweep Mode: String goes up to top of the tree, back down same side How should I string my mega tree? Outline Mode or Radar Sweep/Searchlight mode? It boils down to preference. I prefer Radar Sweep mode, with the most versatility. It allows me to do a thin searchlight sweep around the tree. I can also create an outline by simply turning on a channel opposite on the other side of the tree. So I can create the outline by turning on channels 9 and 3 for example, if you use 12 channels for each color. If you use the outline method, you are stuck that way forever. You’ll have to change all your synchronization files later if you decide you don’t like having opposite channels on all the time.
• 7. LauderdaleChristmas.com Mega Tree with 4800 LED lights that we used back in 2006:
• 8. <ul><li>48 Strings of 100 lights, folded in half to form 96 viewable segments </li></ul><ul><li>Each color has 24 viewable segments </li></ul><ul><li>1200 Red Lights </li></ul><ul><li>1200 Green Lights </li></ul><ul><li>1200 Blue Lights </li></ul><ul><li>1200 White lights </li></ul>LauderdaleChristmas.com 2006 Layout with 4800 lights: 50 Lights stretch up to the top of the tree and 50 lights stretch back down the tree on the same side a few inches over. Forms a 2-segment slice for that color on 1 channel. CH1 CH2 CH3 CH4 <ul><li>Remember: </li></ul><ul><li>3 Controllers </li></ul><ul><li>16 channels each </li></ul><ul><li>48 Channels total </li></ul><ul><li>We have 4 colors so we need 48/4 = 12 channels per color. </li></ul>
• 9. 48 Channels Total 4 Colors of lights spanned across 48 Channels on 3 controllers <ul><li>LauderdaleChristmas.com </li></ul><ul><li>2006 Layout with 4800 lights: </li></ul><ul><li>1200 Red Lights </li></ul><ul><li>1200 Green Lights </li></ul><ul><li>1200 Blue Lights </li></ul><ul><li>1200 White lights </li></ul>12 White Channels 12 Red Channels 12 Green Channels 12 Blue Channels
• 10. <ul><li>Q: How can we add even more lights to the mega tree? </li></ul><ul><li>Q: Can it be done without adding more controllers and more cost? </li></ul>
• 11. We are already at 48 strings (96 segments) of light, for a 12 foot tree size, you can’t fit more strings. The new strategy is to compact it all down and combine several strings into one super string. Instead of routing each color string separately, twist all 4 colors of strings into one super string to free up space around the base of the tree. The lights have been compacted to ¼ the space. Note: You are not plugging 4 different colored strings together, just twisting them together. Each color will only be plugged into strings of the same color at the controller. Instead Of This…. Try This…. 400 Lights 4 Strings 1 String = 100 Lights 1 Super String = 400 Lights 24 Super Strings = 9,600 Lights! - 12 foot tree 48 Super Strings = 19,200 Lights! – 20 foot tree Photo of our super strings, Christmas, 2007. Then This…. 1600 Lights 4 Super Strings 400 Lights 4 Strings twisted Super String
• 12. Making the superstrings. Our invention for a fast automated method to wrap your superstrings: <ul><li>Get a 1” diameter PVC pipe about 3 feet long. </li></ul><ul><li>Drill a hole in the center of the pipe to run a 2” to 3” bolt through it to plug onto your drill chuck like a propeller. </li></ul><ul><li>Get 3 metal caster wheels. The swivel wheels will keep your strings from twisting up like a phone cord. You want to braid them, not twist them. You’ll still lose some length of string by twisting them. </li></ul><ul><li>Use re-usable zip ties to secure lights onto the wheels. </li></ul><ul><li>Secure the other end of the strings to a rock solid point like a heavy tripod, tow hitch, bracket on a wall, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Use 2 people, one to spin the drill slowly at first, one to monitor the strings so they don&apos;t tangle up. </li></ul><ul><li>You can twist 2 or 3 colors of strings at once. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a fairly tight tension on the strings when you braid them with this setup. Don’t let the strings sag, this will make them fly like a jump rope and they will get caught on each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the braiding starts at the end opposite the drill at the female plugs. Work it up the string toward you at the drill. </li></ul><ul><li>Leave 2 feet of untwisted strings at the male plug end so you can separate plugs for their final destination in the tree. </li></ul><ul><li>We have a 1 minute YouTube video showing this invention in action, click the photo at left to view it, or Click This Link . </li></ul>
• 13. Our LauderdaleChristmas.com 2007 Layout for 12’ tree with 9,600 lights: <ul><li>LauderdaleChristmas.com 2007 Layout with 9,600 lights: </li></ul><ul><li>2400 Red Lights in 24 super strings into 12 channels, 200/channel </li></ul><ul><li>2400 Green Lights in 24 super strings into 12 channels, 200/channel </li></ul><ul><li>2400 Blue Lights in 24 super strings into 12 channels, 200/channel </li></ul><ul><li>2400 White lights in 24 super strings into 12 channels, 200/channel </li></ul>24 folded Super Strings: Each color has 50 lights on each segment stretching up, and 50 lights stretching back down the next segment. Means 1 channel CH6 Requires three 16-channel controllers This is our tree for 2007! CH12 CH2 <ul><li>Each Channel has 2 super strings </li></ul>CH1 CH3 CH4 CH5 CH7 CH8 CH9 CH10 CH11 50 50 50 50
• 14. LauderdaleChristmas.com 2007 Layout with 19,200 lights for 20 foot tree: <ul><li>LauderdaleChristmas.com Design for 19,200 lights: </li></ul><ul><li>4800 Red Lights in 48 super strings, into 12 channels, 400/channel </li></ul><ul><li>4800 Green Lights in 48 super strings, into 12 channels, 400/channel </li></ul><ul><li>4800 Blue Lights in 48 super strings, into 12 channels, 400/channel </li></ul><ul><li>4800 White lights in 48 super strings, into 12 channels, 400/channel </li></ul>48 Super Strings Total Recommended solution for a flag pole mega tree 20 feet or taller. Shorter trees will be too tight to wrap the strings. CH12 CH2 <ul><li>Each Channel has 4 super strings </li></ul>CH1 CH3 CH4 CH5 CH7 CH8 CH9 CH10 CH11 100 100 100 100 Requires three 16-channel controllers Means 1 channel CH6