Holiday Lights – Finished Build

OK, this will be the final post for the Internet of Holiday Lights RoadTest Plus. It’s been fun, frustrating, collaborative, etc …

  • Fun, because I really enjoyed working with the Yun. I love Arduinos and the Yun’s wireless programming and network connectivity just make it even better!
  • Frustrating, because I didn’t get to where I wanted to be, due to unforeseen difficulties with the build.
  • Collaborative, because of the sharing and teaming up for special features.

Get ready for some picture overload!

Building the Tree

The biggest (and hardest as turned out) part of this project was the build. I wanted to make a Christmas tree with both classic and modern elements.

The idea was to hollow a log and stuff the electronics inside. Unfortunately, hollowing the log did not work as planned, and my tools were not suited for this kind of work. I ended up going for an alternative with a plastic cylinder for the base after having wasted too much time on the log.

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The tree itself was easier. Using threaded rods cuts in different lengths, I created a tree structure with branches. The expectation was to have a long LED strip go from branch to branch in a spiral shape. This lead to the next problem with the build: the strip was not rigid enough to keep the spiral shape and would just hang loosely. To solve that issue, I came up with the idea to

use some fence wire to which the LED strip would be attached. That worked.

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Finally, all the wires needed to be guided to the base of the tree and hidden as wel as possible. Zip ties came in extremely handy!
The tree is ready! It’s not late for Christmas 2014, it’s just ready a bit early for Christmas 2015

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Now, where do I store this until Christmas … ?

Conclusion

We are now the proud owners of a digital Christmas tree which can be controlled either manually using our smartphone or tablet or automatically depending on the Christmas song that is currently playing.

Oh … I almost forgot. It also tells me when other fellow e14 members’ project is online!

This was fun building, I hope you had fun reading!

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