Author Topic: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree  (Read 7664 times)

Offline smeighan

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Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« on: December 12, 2012, »
I have been asked by a few eople how i built my megatree.

I used 3" abs plastic for the base and pole. I have 60 smart rgb nodes in the coro star on top.
I attached my 20 x 120 flex strips to 1/2" emt pipe. I drove a 3" oak dowel into each end of the emt. On the bottom i screwed eye bolts. On the top i screwed in eye hooks.

I recorded two videos describing the tree.

This week we had 50 mph winds and the tree didnt move at all. We will see if i get higher winds. For now, i am happy it all came out.

i like the fact that i can easily (less than 30 seconds) remove any segment from the tree if i have to repair any bad pixels.

Here are links to two videos

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thanks
sean
Sean
Littleton, CO
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Offline SteveMaris

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, »
Nicely done, thanks for sharing.
 Look forward to some video of your show.  8)
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Offline kgustafson

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, »
Sean,

Nicely done.  Is the topper wood?

I need to do a behind the scenes video of my layout (I have a standard megatree with 32 strands of LED strings -- not smart this year)  and only 10' tall (I live in a townhouse so anything larger would be overkill). 

Definitely want to see videos of your show this year.  I will be posting mine this weekend.  I am working on a new website called GustafsonLights.com for my show.

Kurt
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Offline sjb

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, »
Very nice Sean.

Thanks for the info.

Steve

Offline taybrynn

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Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, »
Excellent work and great video.   Thanks Sean !!
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline smeighan

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, »
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Sean,

Nicely done.  Is the topper wood?

I need to do a behind the scenes video of my layout (I have a standard megatree with 32 strands of LED strings -- not smart this year)  and only 10' tall (I live in a townhouse so anything larger would be overkill). 

Definitely want to see videos of your show this year.  I will be posting mine this weekend.  I am working on a new website called GustafsonLights.com for my show.

Kurt

Yeah, the topper was two sheets of 1/2" plywood. I painted them with Kilz, then assembled them. I finally painted them with exterior house paint. 20 eye bolts , nuts on both sides went and covered about 190 degrees.

On the top of the tree i have two steel cables (dog run , plastic coated cables) that attach from the topper down to a 5/16 x 4" eye-bolt. These two cables counter the force of the 20 emt's. I was afraid i would break the flange. You can see the 3" flange i used to attach the 1" plywood disk in the below images

Here are some pics of the topper
First picture shows the 1" thick oak board that i put down the 3" pipe. The purpose of this is for the 3/4" pvc pipe attached to the star can fit into the hole in the center.


Here shows how the star will fit into the topper. Note: I have not yet glued the front coro onto the star. You can see the sides are 1" high , instead of the original 3".


and here you can see i painted the tops of teh 20 eye-bolts yellow. This helps me see them when i am holding teh emt and trying to attach the hooks into them.
Note the entire weight of the tree would be supported by the plastic flange. Worried of the stress of this force, i have two eyebolts on the back that will counter this force.
so far, nothing has broken.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, by smeighan »
Sean
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Offline taybrynn

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, »
Wow, so your topper has just the rectangular nodes mounted straight on it and they are ok (exposed) in the snow, etc ?  Also, I noticed your flex strips will just zip tied to the EMT, which is great.  I was putting mine in PVC tubing, but doing so was kind of a pain.  I did find that 1" OD x 3/4 ID PVC clear tubing fits the strips like a dream and provides considerable protecting to the strips ... but also adds considerable cost.
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline kgustafson

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, »
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Wow, so your topper has just the rectangular nodes mounted straight on it and they are ok (exposed) in the snow, etc ?  Also, I noticed your flex strips will just zip tied to the EMT, which is great.  I was putting mine in PVC tubing, but doing so was kind of a pain.  I did find that 1" OD x 3/4 ID PVC clear tubing fits the strips like a dream and provides considerable protecting to the strips ... but also adds considerable cost.

I believe the flex strips are rated IP68, which will do fine for the weather.
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Offline smeighan

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, »
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Wow, so your topper has just the rectangular nodes mounted straight on it and they are ok (exposed) in the snow, etc ?  Also, I noticed your flex strips will just zip tied to the EMT, which is great.  I was putting mine in PVC tubing, but doing so was kind of a pain.  I did find that 1" OD x 3/4 ID PVC clear tubing fits the strips like a dream and provides considerable protecting to the strips ... but also adds considerable cost.

Well, not quite.

I ordered the star from holidaaycoro. 60 dumb rectangle nodes. 3 dmx controllers, 2 power supplies. I forgot i needed their special programmer to set the channel numbers for the dmx controllers. I ordered thatmid november. David, sent an email and said the order of controllers from China had been lost. It might take 2-3 weeks to get a replacement order. Turns out he somehow got them in 5 days. But i made the decision to remove the dumb rectangle nodes and replace them with smart nodes i ordered for something else.

I am VERY happy i did this.

I now only needed 1 cat 5 cable going up to the topper, not 110v and cat 5.
i could remove 2 pretty heavy power supllies from teh star and 3 medium heavy dmx controllers. I then decided that io liked the look of the smart strings with a more narrow thickness. So the star went from 3" thick to 1" thick.

Although the
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look waterproof, i took no chances and have them encased in coro and sealed all cables going into the star.

Now i did have to scrape off 60 dumb rgb nodes and 3 dmx controlelrs. The DMX controllers removed part of the coro so i put epoxy there to strengthen it.



After replacing all the nodes with smart rgb , i then decided that i liked the look with 1" high sides. Personal preference.

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Sean
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Offline taybrynn

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, »
Very nice ... and interesting back story.

I agree, the smart strings setup is far cleaner than the DMX controllers and the power supplies ... but I do love the stuff holidaycoro has done and David is second to none in his support, documentation, service, etc.

My original 2-ch rope light star topper from CLS is really looking outdated these days ... since the RGB toppers can do so much more !!

What kind of model in nutcracker to you use to sequence the start topper with?
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline rdebolt

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, »
Very clean and nicely done! Really starts the wheels turning!  ;) Thanks for sharing!!!

Offline sebjsan

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, »
Any show videos?
Sebastian from California

Offline kgustafson

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, »
Try nutcracker123.com.  I think that is where Sean's show stuff is.

Kurt
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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, »
Great job on the tree, Sean!
Your talent is broad and wide. :)  Music, programming, and construction. 
 
wow.
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Offline sebjsan

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Re: Nutcracker: How i built my megatree
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, »
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Try nutcracker123.com.  I think that is where Sean's show stuff is.

Kurt

Pictures, but no videos yet. im sure he is busy so i will be patient.
Sebastian from California