This tree is modeled after a megatree. I used this one for a few year s from 1999 till 2006. It is too small in my definition to be called a megatree. Lets call it a mediumtree. It really isn't as small as it looks. It is almost 11 ft. tall with the star. Santa is 13 ft tall. It is made with a steel fence post, a 10 ft, 1 1/2in PVC pipe, 16 strings of lights (100ct). and a plastic wireframe star.
This tree is the 2007 version. It topped out at 15' including the star. The star is 34" tall and uses clear 1/2 ropelight for illumination. The pole is 13' of 1 1/2" pvc. In my opinion this is about the maximum height attainable with 1 1/2" pvc. We had a couple of 50 mph windstorms and we nearly lost it twice. There were 3,200 lights. 1,600 red and 1,600 green. Each of the 6 sections had two red and two green.
To make a small megatree start with a 6' steel fence post. The steel post is driven about 1 foot into the ground with a big hammer until the spade is flush with the ground. Then the PVC post is slid down over the top of it hiding it. Then a string of lights is draped over the PVC at the strings midpoint. To hold the lights on the top a 12" wicket is dropped down into the PVC pipe and over the strings of lights. Now I use my feet as a ruler and stake the plug end of the string to the ground with a shorter wicket. Then I stake down the other end on the opposite side of the tree. So now it looks like a 2 dimensional flat tree. I repeat this process at 90degrees(looking from the top of the tree)from the first string. Now you have a pyramid tree. For the rest of the strings split the difference as you work towards a round tree. Now that the tree is complete you need to plug it in. If you don't have computer control just plug in the plugs (no more than 3 end to end). The whole tree will draw less than 6 AMPs so you can be safe plugging into a 15 A circuit and a 16 AWG extension cord shorter than 100'. If you have 8 channels of computer control plug each two adjacent strings together then each pair into a channel of your controller.
Another way of anchoring the lights on top of the tree is to make a custom wireframe star. This star is made from 1/4" cold rolled steel rod. It has a 12" piece of 2" steel pipe welded to the bottom in line with it. This 2" steel pipe has several S hooks welded to it just below the star. These are to hold the lights. Also opposite the star is another S hook which the hoisting rope is tied to. 2" steel pipe does not fit over 1 1/2 " PVC nicely so There have been 4 holes drilled and tapped 90 degrees from one another at the top and the bottom of the 2" pipe. Eight nylon screws are threaded into these holes and adjusted so they act as guides on the 1 1/2" pvc.
In the top of the PVC there is a 5/16 X x 2" eyebolt attached with the eye opposite the star side. On this eyebolt is a rope pulley. This pulley has a rope running through it for hoisting up the lights.
There is a redesign in plans for this setup which was used in 2007. It took everything I could do by myself to hoist up 32 strings of lights and get good tension on them. So what I'm going to do is use a boat trailer winch, 3/16 steel cable, a garage door pulley and a steel main shaft to beef everything up make it taller and also easier for me to set the whole thing up.
For 2008 I have some cool ideas I going to try. My medium tree is going to grow and change color. I'm making a 25%, 50%, and a 75% size tree inside the main tree. Then fade each tree into the next making it appear to grow. For 2008 I also plan on making the tree about 15' in height. I would also like to add additional color to the tree maybe white and blue.
This is how you sequence a spinning tree in the Light O Rama sequence editor. The wider the bands horizontally the longer the strand of lights or section will stay on. The more bands that are on simultaneously the wider the sections of the megatree will be on.