Using the Harbor Freight Adjustabale Flag Pole
Start by cementing the flag pole mounting sleeve in concret. In my rocky soil, I use a pressure washer to "dig" the hole, takes about 30 seconds to make an 18" deep hole, compared to several minutes using post hole diggers. Also much easier on the ol' back for me. I also use a Sprinker Valve Box so that all that is seen the rest of the year is just a small round circle in the yard.
Since my 8 Channel star weighs 30 something pounds, (by itself) I used two poles, mounted in a larger rectangular valve cover box. The pole on the left (front) is for the tree. The one on the right (back) was for the star.
There is no way I would trust the simple friction twist locks to hold the extra weight of the lights on these poles. Shown are two different ways to add extra support to make sure the sections don't slip down.
You can drill a hole and insert a bolt through the next upper sections ( I do this with a drill press before the pole is taken into the yard - Warning - extend all the sections first, start with the smallest top section and work down, with all sections extended, otherwise, the hole will be drilled through multiple sections - that is bad. Deburr the holes after drilling. A hose clamp can also be used, eliminating the need to drill.
The little Gold Ball that comes with the flag pole and is screwed in the top has a metric thread. I use about 15 of these poles throughout the display and found that they are not the same size pole to pole.
Suggest taking the plastic ball to Lowes (or similar) and purchasing the metric bolt the same size threads.
For attaching the lights, I made an "ugly" ring. A friend of mine used a plastic mixing bowl, drilled a hole in the bottom, mounted upside down. Then he drilled some holes around the edge to zip tie the lights to.
Lots of different items common around the home could be used to secure the lights to.
In this photo, I have already raised the star on the second pole.
In this photo, and the preceeding ones, the "guy ropes" are visible. I used Camouflage Rope" from Harbor Freight, item # 47835. It is 75 feet and 3/8" diameter.
I run it through the plastic "flag clip" at the top then wrap several zip ties to secure the rope to its neighbor rope.
I also do the same at the lower flag clip. This will result in having four guy ropes that can radiate out.
Just let the ends hang loose until the lights are hung on the pole top, and the pole is raised.
Since my winds during the display season are predominately from the north or south, the top two guy ropes are extended in those directions. The ropes from the lower flag clip I run in a northeast and southwest direction. Your area winds may be different.
On the ground, I use 1/2" rebar (2 foot section) driven just over a foot into the ground angled away from the tree.
With the lights attached, time to start raising the pole, starting with the smallest top section, secure the clamp or insert the bolt through the drilled hole, the repeat for the other sections.
I used 48 strings of 50 count C6 LEDs in 2008 in three colors. I had tie wraps every 25 bulbs, and as I raised the pole, I undid a section of 25 lights at a time, so as to not have to "walk over" them as I was raising the pole.
Probably doesn't have to be said, but the male plug end of the lights should be down toward the ground (yes, one year I put the lights on "upside down" and didn't realize it until I started to plug them in and was staring at the female sockets.)
Connecting the lights to the controller is the next step.
I have 4 LOR cards in the green box, giving me 64 channels right at the base of the tree.
Each of the black cables have eight pairs of SPT wire heat shrinked to make a cable, had six of those.
The lower ends of the lights are secured to a ring made of 3/4" PVC electrical conduit which is visible in a couple of the pictures.
Congradulations. You now have a finished MegaTree.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, if you need additional details or clairification on any of the steps. email: