Department of Villainy tree 2019.

The Manx beard club’s contribution to the local festival of trees under the guise of The Department of Villainy. The Isle of Man government has various departments like the department of infrastructure and department of environment, so we added a more sinister one.

The display is based on a 1″ square (25mm) aluminium box section cut and joined with knock-in plastic corners. The base has an extra aluminium plate on each side, shaped and drilled for vertical support.
The back is covered with a 0.5″ (12.5mm) grid welded mesh attached to the aluminium frame with penny washers and self tappers. Steel and aluminium are only really suited for a dry indoor application.

The neon-style LED strip is cable tied to the grid to hold it in shape and controlled by the custom DOV animation controller.
Because this display is in a public area the power supply is a good quality Mean Well unit bought from a prominent UK component supplier. It’s actually waterproof and has rubber caps covering holes with sleeves leading to potentiometers for adjusting the voltage and setting a current limit if desired. It also has power factor correction and inrush limiting. I set the voltage to 11V to reduce the display intensity and extend the longevity of the LEDs. The imported LED strip is of unknown quality, so I’m playing safe and keeping the current lower in case it’s really pushing the LEDs.

The idea is that the frame can be stripped and re-used for different murals.

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