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Thread: Advice on a "mega" tree

  1. #16
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by SWood View Post
    I honestly don't think it matters what you use as long as you use guy wires. Like i said I've used a 20' 4" pvc pipe for two years with 72 strings of LEDs and a pretty good size Bethlehem star on top of it with no problems what so ever. We had some 50 mph gust at least two night this season and I never had a problem whatsoever.
    As long as the pipe is continuous with no joints I would agree, however, a thin walled pipe is likely to collapse under the total weight of the pipe, guy wire, shuttles, lights, snow, wind, etc especially is the pipe is damaged in some way. A threaded coupling is not a good solution to carry load as it will be the weakest point in the pipe and especially if the joint is at the midpoint. When the lights are added the weight of the structure increases dramatically that guy wires will not shed. The pipe itself will bend under the weight very similar to how a bow (bow and arrow) does. The pipe is subject to wind loads directly and vibrates which is called a subharmonic frequency and the light strands act as sails and exacerbate the vibration. The guy wires will help to suppress the subharmonic or shift it the frequency to a frequency that will not damage the pipe. Having a second set of guy wires at the midpoint will greatly reduce the vibration. If the pipe diameter is thick enough the vibration will be minimal and not really a concern with winds in the Raleigh area with is a 75 or 85 MPH wind zone (I think it is a 75mph wind zone). I have seen directly or photos of lots of megatrees that have failed. I have yet to see a megatree made of 21' x 1 1/4" steel or black iron pipe (continuous) with a minimum of 3 equally spaced guys with proper anchoring at the base of the pipe and guys to fail. Furthermore, due to the thickness of the steel pipe, there is no need to guy the structure in the center. In residential and commercial construction steel pipe is commonly used to carry load, however both EMT and plastic pipe are neither used as a load bearing member. Given the weight that a pipe on a 21' megatree carries, it is not good practice to use anything other than steel or black iron pipe. Besides the cost of black iron or galvanized pipe is very reasonable.
    Al

  2. #17
    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    You keep talkin all that engineer jibberish, i'm talkin @Rupert or redneck engineering. I agree though, yes you do need guys at the mid point too as I did have on mine. I had 4 at the top and 4 in the middle.
    Shannon Wood
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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    I learned this year that after 4 seasons outside, my PVC is becoming more brittle. Some of my megatree fram parts that "snap" together are starting to crack and break from becoming too brittle. Becoming brittle does not appear to be a problem for small posts and supports that don't have to flex. But I would worry about the flexing of a large length of PVC pipe on a megatree after 4 or 5 years.
    Last edited by kidcole; 01-15-2013 at 08:02 PM.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
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    Official Lurker Rupert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Yall rang? Man, Al has done gone off the deep end now. Shannon Yalls plastic megatree rocks. It looked like somebody put a place to hook up a trailer to the ceptic tank. But it wood take a tralier all jacked up like a monster truck to hook up to it. Well shoot, Yall aint hookin that thang up any more? I was planning on runnin down to Yalls house after dark and bringing Bubbas new monster truck and hookin up his bumper dumper and fixin your megatree up right. NOw I cant. Dude Yall need to thank that over again.

  5. #20
    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    Default Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
    Yall rang? Man, Al has done gone off the deep end now. Shannon Yalls plastic megatree rocks. It looked like somebody put a place to hook up a trailer to the ceptic tank. But it wood take a tralier all jacked up like a monster truck to hook up to it. Well shoot, Yall aint hookin that thang up any more? I was planning on runnin down to Yalls house after dark and bringing Bubbas new monster truck and hookin up his bumper dumper and fixin your megatree up right. NOw I cant. Dude Yall need to thank that over again.
    I've done cut it all up now. I got enough pipe to make some nice tater guns.
    Shannon Wood
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    Official Lurker Rupert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by SWood View Post
    I've done cut it all up now. I got enough pipe to make some nice tater guns.
    Now you done gone and done it. Now Al is gonna talk ingeneer trash about tater guns. The boy needs to get his head outta them books and get lickered up at the Friday nite olympics at me casa. See now Al has me talking mexican. Al talks that mess all the time now. He keeps talking about joinin pilgrims in Spain or some crazy crap. Dude the pilgrims dudnt come from Spain they come off the Mayflour and the Mayflour was from england. Hes crazier than a sack of rabbit weasels all foaming at the mouth. But if them pilgrim women looks like Demi Moore in that movie Scarlet Letter, I fixin to go with him. Well shoot, I guess I need to learn mexican now. Hasta lavista baby.

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by SWood View Post
    I've done cut it all up now. I got enough pipe to make some nice tater guns.
    I don't know if I'd trust them. If the pipe is brittle, wouldn't it explode when you shoot them? Maybe if you reinforce it with some duct tape first, they'd be OK.
    Likes SWood, Rupert liked this post

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    Official Lurker Rupert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    I don't know if I'd trust them. If the pipe is brittle, wouldn't it explode when you shoot them? Maybe if you reinforce it with some duct tape first, they'd be OK.
    Theres always room for duck tape.

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    Official Lurker herbaclaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Great thread. Answered a few of my questions. I am in a similiar situation. I have a a 16' post thats cemented in and has a screw to galvanized pipe. Ive not really tested it that hardcore so far because Ive up to this point only put 8 strings of old school opaque C-9s. Im curious about amount of lights.....

    I read somewhere that diameter should be abut 1/2 your height? I actually like my C9 look but those sets DESTROY available Amps.....so in order to thicken it up I am going to shift to LED's. Is there some general rule for light density? Like how far apart should each strand be?

    If you watch this video you see about 13 seconds in the C9 tree. Anyone able to guide me on how many sets to shoot ofr? I am going to dedicate 8 or 16 channels to it next year.

    Also as a follow up.....guide wires.....smart move in all cases? Where does everyone get theirs?


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    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    Default Advice on a "mega" tree

    Well as far as the strands go. Last year
    I used 16 strands on 8 channels, so two strands side by side per channel, single color. This year I stepped it up to make it look a little fuller. I used 3 colors. 24 strands per color on 36 channels. So basically 12 channels per color. Now my strings were twisted together to make a super string not each color spaced apart. It pretty much all your preference. A skinny tree will look more full than one fatter or wider at the bottom. There's an online calculator that helped me as far as spacing and pole height. When I get home ill send you the link to it.
    Shannon Wood
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  11. #26
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by herbaclaus View Post
    Great thread. Answered a few of my questions. I am in a similiar situation. I have a a 16' post thats cemented in and has a screw to galvanized pipe. Ive not really tested it that hardcore so far because Ive up to this point only put 8 strings of old school opaque C-9s. Im curious about amount of lights.....
    Excellent choice. My megatree until this year was cemented in but this year it was "portable" but will be cemented in for the next season. I have 128 strands of 100 minis. I don't think that is enough. . C9 retro fit, dimmable bulbs are pricey.

    I read somewhere that diameter should be abut 1/2 your height? I actually like my C9 look but those sets DESTROY available Amps.....so in order to thicken it up I am going to shift to LED's. Is there some general rule for light density? Like how far apart should each strand be?
    I believe it to be more of a factor of whether it is joined in the middle and the diameter. Black iron and galvanized pipe come in standard 21' lengths. If you join BIP or Galvanized pipe be sure the pipes are inserted fully into a coupler by using pipe wrenches.

    If you watch this video you see about 13 seconds in the C9 tree. Anyone able to guide me on how many sets to shoot ofr? I am going to dedicate 8 or 16 channels to it next year.
    I have 64 channels and wished I had more.

    Also as a follow up.....guide wires.....smart move in all cases? Where does everyone get theirs?
    I got/get mine from AgriSupply in Garner, NC. Here is the link. I have a crimping tool for the steel cable crimps which isn't too expensive. Here is an article on how to crimp steel cable. Crimping rather than clamping is neater and looks much better. AgriSupply and Lowes both sell the crimps and crimping tool. 3/16" cable is adequate for under 21'. When the length of the pipe or the amount of weight increases significant then a larger diameter cable is justified.



    My comments are in blue.
    Al

  12. #27
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    I always recommend two strands of lights per channel. This gives you a better shot at not having to replace a dead string during the season. I have lost half of a string but the had 1.5 strings still showing, so no "holes" in my tree that would mess up the look. And speaking of the look, the more channels youa re willing to dedicate, the smoother your tree will look when you are doin effects and spins.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    I always recommend two strands of lights per channel. This gives you a better shot at not having to replace a dead string during the season. I have lost half of a string but the had 1.5 strings still showing, so no "holes" in my tree that would mess up the look. And speaking of the look, the more channels youa re willing to dedicate, the smoother your tree will look when you are doin effects and spins.
    Yep, I had half a green string go out this year and you couldn't even tell it.
    Shannon Wood
    XLights 4 User with 40,000 channels and 60,000 lights.
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    Official Lurker Rupert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a "mega" tree

    Quote Originally Posted by SWood View Post
    Yep, I had half a green string go out this year and you couldn't even tell it.
    Well I noticed cause I was the one that made it go out. I was using my new wrist rocket slangshot shooting persimmons. I was aiming for the house but missed. Yall should get some Bud Light can lights. They are perty.
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