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.
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
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
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
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
Mega_Tree_32_Relay_Seq_BOMLink 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.