lights here
LArches_green Leaping Arches Purple
Palms_Galv garag_santa

Videos of Display

Panaramic View of Leaping Arches 2020

I have 12 Leaping Arches across the front and 3 in front of the Door. The 3 in front of the door are installed early and also used for Halloween. Most of the questions and complements I receive are regarding the Leaping Arches.

PanaramicView

This is a pdf document where I explain how I constructed the Leaping Arches. this includes the type of Poly tubing, the End Stakes, Power Lines and data lines.

Link to a Leaping Arches pdf
MegaTree
MegaTree With Lights 32 strings individually controlled

Mega Tree Documentation for 2020 season. This document shows how to make the relays controlled by the FPP sequences. Schematics, Weather Proofing and Sequences.

This Mega Tree consists of 32 strands of LED AC lights. The relays allow switching individual strings on and off with the sequencer. This is accomplished with 4 x 8-channel relay cards. The leader cords (2 wire) from Box to the Bottom of each Light Strand is about 8ft. The Box is a SockitBox which remains weatherproof after installing components inside. I had no issues with any of the 32 relays for the 2020 season.

The Mega Tree is a mechanical construction using square steel tube with a Top Plate and a topper light Ball. The top plate has 18 hooks for light strings. The Steel tubing is telescoping and arranged such that the overall height is about 24ft; however there is the possibility of additional 8ft. The bottom concrete "stand" was constructed using an oversided piece of square tube 2"; concrete with nylon additive; using a water heater pan as a mold. There are 32 light strings attached to the steel structure and a 32 relay box to control the lights with my sequencer. The light strings used are 5mm 50L 6inch spacing about 25ft long. The Mega Tree is hand lifted into place using steel pins to hold it at intermediate points using holes in the tubing.




MegaTree With Lights 32 strings indiidually controlled


megacabling

The Mega Tree Sequencer Box with 8ft. cables

The Mega Tree sequencer had 32 x 120V Power cords that are 8ft in length. There were no Mechanical Relay failures or issues with the Mega Tree Relay box during the 2020 season. Additional Relay failure comments below. The LED light strings were about 25ft. in length, The small Radius of the Tree is about 6ft. allowing calculation of the length of the hypotenuse. The Steel tubing is telescoping and arranged such that the overall height is about 24ft; however there is the possibility of additional 8ft. The bottom concrete "stand" was constructed using an oversided piece of square tube 2"; concrete with nylon additive; using a water heater pan as a mold. There is also a 4ft section of PVC under the stand that allows the steel tubing starting height to be about 6' (head high without ladder).

Mega Sequencer with 8ft cables
megabox

MegaTree relay box showing Internal Electronics

MegaTree box cables 4 x 8 cables top

MegaTree box Relays 4 x 8 relays center

MegaTree box Arduino mega and Ethernet Shield bottom, center

MegaTree box AC/DC power adapters,Right & Bottom


Relay Failure comments.

This MegaTreeBox had no relay failures for the 2020 season with 32 relays. However, I had other mechanical relay boxes that had issues before I inserted Snubber circuits into the relay box. So I have tried to characterize the different situations in terms of current and Inductance.  Note Household Power 120V here; currents are RMS and calculated based upon 69Watts per 1000 5mm LEDs which is 0.575mA per LED.  This is a Good estimate based upon my measurements with Red being the least at0.39mA per LED and Green being the Largest at0.69mA per LED.

Cord length  LEDs  Current  Issue
8ft       50    29mA   None for 32 relays
100ft    780   449mA  Yes repeated failure

Schematic for 32 Relay Sequencer

The schematic includes parts that are for reference only; consult the BOM before attempting to replicate.  The AC/DC adapters are shown in the schematic as reference; the actual devices used are included in the BOM.  Notice I used Mechanical Relays without failure which I attribute to the short extension cord and low current.  The Ethernet shield is shown for reference only and not schematically connected. I used a Cat5E cable to connect the MegaTreeBox to my network to accept sequencing signals.


Xlights Sequence for controlling AC Mega Tree


megaSeq

Mega_Tree_32_Relay_Seq_BOM

Link to a MegaTree BOM and discussion pdf

Arduino Code Here

I found this code online and modified it for my needs.  I believe the Author's references were left.  This was configured for 32 strings of AC lights for the MegaTree. I installed POST (power on self test) to help identify issues at powerup.  The POST would run for about 2 minutes every evening just before the sequence would start from the FPP.

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tracy@tracyhollyhall.com