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  Mega Tree

To make the mega-tree, I cut a piece of 1/2" gas line to my desired height fro the main support. I borrowed an idea from another Light-o-rama user and screwed 2 floor flanges to a "4 inch bun" I picked up at Home Depot. The flanges were threaded onto the gas line and the top was threaded to another 2 foot piece of gas line for the star. I then screwed 16 hooks to the outside of the bun to hang the mini lights.

I strung 30 X 100 count multicolored mini lights around the hooks and attached them to the bottom, which I made out of 16 feet of 1/2" conduit. The conduit is held by 4 heavy duty tent anchors I picked up at Peavy Mart. The nice thing about the anchors is that they hold the guide wires for the pole as well.
















For the 3D star, I went to Princess Auto and picked up some utilities marker flags. The wire from the flags was bent into the shape of the star using 4 pieces for each star. I took some copper tie-wire and wrapped the star joints. I then took out my torch and soldered the joints together for added stiffness. Three hundred clear mini-lights was zip-tied to the star shaped wireframe and then it was attached to the top of the pole.


  Exploding Stars

I used 3/4" conduit pipe and tied 5 pieces together into a star shape. I cut the ends to make a clean corner and zip tied them together.





















I painted the frame black and white to make it stand out more. With some chicken wire I picked up at home depot I covered the frame. I wanted to keep it as light as possible and make it wind friendly - as here in southern Alberta we regularly get wind gusting 40 - 60 mph.









I took a roll of incandescant rope light and attached 4 stars attaching each with a number of zip ties.

The support for the star is a 10' galvanized wire fence topper pipe. First I figured out how big to make the sections. I then attached 1 extension cord up to each section, this way they get hidden after the next step. I wrapped eight 25 count c7 strings up the pipe to give it options for light effects.



  Computer control

The most frequent question I get is: How'd you do that.

I ordered my computer-controller boards from Light-O-Rama (located in New York). I got 7 DIY kits that require you to solder the boards together. It took me about 4 hours to do each board. The boards are connected to a basic 400 mhz PC (old computer) via cat 5 cable and daisy chain the boards together. There are 112 total controllable plugs wired to the boards. Each plug goes to an extension cord out to a string of lights. There are six 15 amp circuits required to power the boards.








The Light-o-rama hardware comes with software to program the lights. Each horizontal line on the programming screen represents 1 plug. Each on and off of every plug was programmed by myself. It takes me about 6 hours to program one minute of music.




  Information Sign

I made the sign out of a string of C-9 bulbs zip-tied to a 3' by 4' piece of pegboard. I figured it would get hot in there, so I wanted some ventilation. I built a 4' by 3' frame out of 1x4's and screwed the light board to the frame. One sheet of coroplast cut to 3' by 4' finished the top. I went to a local sign shop and had vinyl graphics cut for about $35 and applied them myself.

A little paint to the outside to make it look a little more professional (by my pro-painter Caleb), and it's done.



I do have to thank my brother-in-law for testing-out the local radio stations to find out what frequency I could use for my lights.

(thanks Jeff)




How to's



The snowflakes on the roof are made from 4 foot square coroplast. I took a sheet of paper 4 feet square and folded it into the traditional shape for cutting snowflakes, and cut away. I simply masked off the paper and painted the flakes.

Using my dremel, I drilled out holes for the lights. I pushed 300 clear mini lights into the holes.

For added support, I made a box from 1X3 lumber and air-stapled the coro to the frame.