O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Late last night my amazing wife returned from delivering Christmas goodies to the neighbors.  She held out the five fingers on her right hand and asked, “Do you know what this is?”

Instinctively, I flinched, expecting a heart-stopping, up-close-and-personal demonstration of how cold her hands actually were.  This has happened before.

“That’s how many of the neighbors complained that you don’t have any lights up this year.”

Through an ironic and frustrating turn of events, I’d been too busy to hang or program anything for Christmas 2010.

Fortunately, today’s schedule was totally open.  I found enough inventory in the workshop (an E16 ethernet bridge + 16 strings) to assemble a nifty little triangle tree.  It measures 12′ tall and 11′ wide at the base.

After letting it run for a few hours, I checked the control statistics (the E16 contains an internal webserver which allows for easy field configuration and feedback) and was pleased to see that one point one million Art-Net packets had been successfully received and processed for each of the E16’s four universes.


Stills (click to enlarge):


(Note that YouTube was supposed to swap out the regular audio for a bouncing happy Christmas track.  But I don’t think it’s working for all playback locations.  Do you hear music or just road noise?)

From the Field

Florida Artist Jeff Slack built this amazing star for a local church service using 4 strings of RGB nodes, a T3 controller, precisely cut art glass and lots of patience.  It appears to be about 4′ in diameter.

Jeff's Christmas Star

Landy in Oklahoma (and author of the nifty and free .Matrix Art-Net Pixel Mapping Software sent over these fun clips.  His system includes 8 node strings and a couple T3 controllers.

Christmas Lights – 4 – Christmas Jam from Landy Bible on Vimeo.

Christmas Lights – 3 – Mad Russians Christmas from Landy Bible on Vimeo.

Christmas Lights – 1 – Christmas In The Air from Landy Bible on Vimeo.

Thanks, Jeff and Landy, for sharing your work.

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Federation Square – Melbourne, Australia.

We recently supplied about 2400 nodes and 4 E16 controllers to a lighting designer working in Melbourne, Australia.  This project is an interactive community display located in the city’s Federation Square.  It runs evenings through the end of December.

Mrpackethead captured some test video clips of the tree in action.  These, I’m sure, represent only a tiny fraction of the tree’s different looks.

They even have a webcam which points toward the main area.  When I checked this link this morning, I could see the tree flashing merrily away in (nearly) real time.

If you find yourself in Melbourne this month, it’s definitely worth a visit.