The anatomy of a set piece (pictures taken from the construction of the Tree Plus Father Christmas – 2017).
This took two weeks to build – full time for one, and two or three days for a couple of others.
1. It all starts, after measuring the space available, with a sketch and some calculations.
2. Which is then transferred into a chalk drawing on the floor.
3. Then comes cutting and bending the aluminium, and welding the parts together (very time consuming and not easy!)
4. The completed frame is trial fitted to the final location.
5. The frame is then painted, and then the ropelight – LEDs moulded into a plastic flexible tube – is fixed. The tube has to be heated to fit, and secured with (thousands) of zip ties.
6 Every separate section of ropelight is wired back to the location of the control box.
7. The control box is programmed – the sequence is actually fomulated in a musical score writing package. The controller is an Arduino computer project unit, with relay boards.
8. The whole thing is tested – and erected!
9. At last – working!