It's all about the blinking...
See a comparison of the hardware used to run the displays between 2007 and 2017.
Planning to work on the last 600 or so RGB LED's and seal them ready to use this year.
Today I started testing the RGB LED's, but I think it will take a few more days to fully test and seal the last 12 or so sets of them. I did find 1 more bad LED but wiggling caused it to illuminate properly, but it was cut out to avoid issues during the show.
So far I have tested the remainder of the RGB lights and begun to seal the last 600 (12 sets) of them.
I have also started to work on the Star which will be at the top of the Megatree, adding short 20cm leads on the end of each of the LED Strips, with sealing at each end, and this will be left for a few days to dry.
I started adding the lights to the star, but struck a problem - of the 4 sets I added, 2 failed!
Here is the sealed strip cable tied directly onto the 5mm round bar. The problem seemed to be that the bending caused shorts and breaks in the power tracks, leading to very quick failure.
Here the power input end shows the heatshrink and silastic solution to stop any water getting into the RGB strip. The problem is that cable tie breaks things, so another idea is needed. I dropped down to Bunnings and grabbed some tube and a few bits of plastic to see what I could come up with.
Here the RGB Strip is encased in a round tube and this is also sealed both ends to further keep water away. A plastic angle iron piece is placed behind and this allows cableties to put almost no pressure on the RGB strip, but keep the led's in place.
The last couple of days have been very busy. Yesterday I finished and tested 9 DMX and 24V DC cable sets to be used for the Floodlights. To test them even better I placed them in the yard for a simple halloween display using just red flickering lights (and one white flood) in the garden, and it was a hit with the kids, as over 50 visited.
Today was a busy day with completing the DMX and floodlight power cables, and then adding the power leads to the 8 lights for the windows on the house. These were all tested to ensure there was no issues with the wiring or connections.
Here you can see the power in end, well and truely sealed, and the power wires are then clipped to the aluminium frame and directed down to the base where I will later mount a controller at ground level.
Here is an initial test with 4 of 5 sections lit. The last 2 were damaged beyond repair, and needed re-making.
The star was completed today, and the five 4 core power cables were run as a bundle and cable tied together. I dont have a controller to power these yet, but I will try to get a video as soon as I can.
Also today I started working on the lights around the windows of the house, and the order made for additional RGB LED's, power supplies and RGB led strip will come in handy as I think I will need a lot more of the RGB LED's than I initially expected. I also had to order more 4 core alarm cable as I ran out today.
All 8 of the 5V LED lights for the window surrounds have been done. Only 2 have wires back to the controller, and I am waiting on an order of cable to connect it.
A couple of days ago I ordered yet another bundle of gear from China, including 500 more RGB LED's, 5 meters of RGB LED Strip, 2 power supplies and some end caps for the strip.
Started the tune to signs today. A few days ago Nigel from N&K Stickers and Signs started by making part of the stickers for the signs.
I wanted a plain white box from the front and this meant the stickers had to be placed on the inside, thus it has to be backwards.
Here is the layer of coro used to hold the lights to illuminate the sign. A total of 50 RGB pixel's will be used to illuminate the sign, and each letter was assigned a different number of LED's depending on its size.
Here is a quick test of the LED's in place to ensure they work OK. Each LED is individually controllable in terms of color and brightness, but for testing just a single color in the 4 sections were used,
The sign in white
The surround for the sign was placed, glued and screwed in place, along with some standoffs. The paint is to stop the light shining through the side, ruining the look of the sign.
This is all people will see looking at the sign when it is not illuminated. I'll be adding a plastic strip around the edge for strength and sealing later.
The light holder placed in the back of the sign. The PIXAD8 there was used for testing of the signs.
The sign in action. The lights look a little blurred due to the long exposure time and the effect of light wicking along the coro. The effect is not as noticeable with the naked eye.
More of the light in action
The pixels are individually controllable, so you can get some great effects and multi-colored effects.
Yes it even does white :)
I have done a lot of work in the last month, but simply not updated the website.
This is the edging on the Tune To signs. This keeps the edges from being damaged as well as helping keep water out of the sign.It is simply some plastic angle stuck in place with silastic, so it can be easily removed should I need access to the inside of the sign.
Completed sign ready to be put away until mid November when it will be hung on the house. Substantial testing has proved the reliability of the sign, and it is subtle enough so that it will be used during most of the display.
This is the first of 2 large controller boxes. In it there are 27 channels of 12V output for 2 stars, and its 12V power supply (The smaller one at the bottom left). Another 54 channels are used for 24V ropelights, as well as some spare 24V outputs. A second 24V supply is used to supply power to 2 pin connectors at the bottom and they will supply power to about half of the 24V Floodlights in the yard.
A neat case, but it needs to be able to get the heat out, so vents were cut into the front. Sealant was placed inside and outside around the vent to minimise the chance of water ingress.
Because the case will be in the garden bed, I wanted it to blend in a little, rather than being a bright off-white, so a mottled green has been added, and some darker colors will be added once that paint dries and hardens.
This is the internals for the second box. A total of 54 24V outputs are in the box (Not all are connected in this image) and supplied from one 24V supply. The second supply is for more of the 24V floodlights in the yard.
The cover for this box is set 90 degrees from the previous one, but has since got the same green color as the previous box.
The rose garden's Stellagreen pixels will be driven from a small 8 output controller housed in this box. It has been given the usual waterproofing and external vent as in the other boxes.
Tucked in the bottom of the rose garden, this green box will be hard to spot.
The 6 arches have begun to be prepared too. The conduit has been cut to size and then given an initial coat of black paint to hide it during the display.