Hey everyone. At the last TASL meeting I mentioned that I was building some leaping arches out of PEX and wanted to share pictures of the first part of construction. I'm following the build tutorial at Moody Christmas. He didn't post pictures of all the pieces so this may help someone. I can confirm that his 8' length to cut the PEX is spot on.
Because the 15m length spans two arches you will loose 1 or 2 pixel sections in the middle. They will not shine through the T and elbows. If you don't like this you can cut the 15m strip in the middle and add 4" or so of bridge wire. I didn't do this because I wanted the flexibility of using any 15m strip and like Bob says you really can' t tell.
What I have here is the construction of two arches using one smart 12v WS2811 strip from Holiday Coro. Any 15m strip will do but HC is having a pre-season sale right now and you can get theirs for as low as $22.99 ea. Holiday Coro 15m 12v smart pixel strip - 50 pixels. I bought enough for a 12 strip mega tree, two strips for arches, and one extra as a spare.
Below are the two 8' sections of PEX pipe, 3 T elbows, and 4 'street' 45 adapters. Make sure you try your fittings on the PEX. You can't use regular old PVC fittings, you need CPVC and it may be in another section. The 'street' 45's have a male fitting on one end and female on the other.
This is one 15m pixel strip but it makes two arches. I used some 18g single strand wire to help me pull the pixels through. Just feed it through the fittings and the pipe, tape it to the end of the pixels, and carefully pull it back through. Here's a tip - if your strip has a big ol square piece of gel at the end of the sleeve like mine then wrap it with one or two pieces of painters tape so there isn't a flat section for grabbing stuff as it goes through the PEX. Since this was just a test fitting nothing is glued but based on the way this thing was bending all around on me I will be gluing it permanently. I may leave one connection in the middle un-glued to make storage easier.
Since this was only a dry run I used more of that 18g single strand to pull in the ends so I could see what the arches look like. When they are put in the yard I will use wood and stakes like Bob Moody.
Here's a test with some color. PEX really does a great job of diffusing the light. I really didn't have much of a problem with the strip twisting on me but even if it did I don't think it would be a big deal. One person mentioned using the metal strips that you hang HVAC duct work up with to keep their pixels straight. They mounted the pixels to the metal banding and then pushed it all through the pipe. I'm not going to worry too much about it.
That's as far as I've gone on the build. This was very easy to do. Later in the year I will finish the construction with the steaks, boards, and gluing so I can do a trial run in the yard. Plus this is only two arches and I've decided I want 4 now. Hope you all enjoyed and let me know if you have questions.