Mega Tree

This is the business end of the top of our megatree. The outer ring is a 4 inch diameter pipe, welded to a steel base plate. The 4 inch ring is drilled for 32 threaded U bolts, each of which attaches 2 strings of lights. The threaded rod coming up the center is used to attach the star. The inner pipe, measuring 1.5 inches in diameter slides into the 21 foot section of 2 inch conduit that serves as the “trunk” of our tree. It is held in place with a bolt.

topper

 

 

This shows how the star is mounted to the threaded rod, with 2 pieces of aluminum angle, and several nuts.

topper with star

 

 

My son-in-law Aaron, a fellow Christmas enthusiast, is welding a threaded nut to the side of the conduit to anchor the ring assembly. After several less than successful tries (conduit doesn’t easily weld!), we tap threaded the 1.5 inch inner steel pipe, and drilled a hole through the conduit to pass the anchor bolt that holds the top piece securely in place!

trial and error welding

 

 

This shows the 64 strands of lights (actually size C6 LEDs) attached to the top assembly.

that's a lot of lights!

 

 

Here we are readying the tree for final placement, with Diane on the tractor, and Aaron attaching the lift rope.

final placement

 

 

Final preparations are done. Daughter Michelle (Aaron’s wife) has joined the crew.

final preparation

 

 

The tree has been placed, with the additional assistance of our neighbor Ron Michalski!

neighborly help

 

 

Aaron is installing the 3 guy wires to the “tree”. As the 21 tree (conduit) sits in a 2.5 inch 3 foot steel pipe cemented in the ground, the guys are probably not necessary, but as we are located up on a hill, and get high winds, I felt it was worth some extra protection. To date the tree, and most importantly all of the LED strings, have survived 65 plus mph winds!

installing the guys

 

 

Aaron is finishing up untangling the strings, so they may be passed over the base of the tree, which is 1.25 inch diameter pvc that forms a hoop, held 3 foot above ground level using ¼ inch rebar stakes.

untangling the strings

 

 

The finished mega tree!

the finished tree!

 

 

This shows the base of the tree. You can see the 2 sawhorses, each of which has 2 weatherproof plastic boxes. Each of the boxes (4 total) contains a 16 channel triac control board, that provide the 64 individual computer controlled circuits that animate the mega tree.

base of the tree

 

 

Here is the tree fully lit!

fully lit!

 

 

This is version 1 of the megatree. Version 2 used a telescoping heavy duty aluminum flagpole. That also was 20 feet high. Version 3 replaced the flagpole with 1.5 inch black pipe, with a winch and pulley system that raises the 64 strands of C6 LED lights, along with 8 strings of strobe lights, to the 20 foot height.

All 3 versions have held up to over 65 mph winds. Version two was subjected to 72 mph winds, with no issues!