From: Peter Bancroft <peter@...>

Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 22:31:39 +1100

Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 22:31:39 +1100

Dear Incalculable, This is not a simple question ... >Question requiring some calculus and such.. > >I have 96 feet of ribbon lights, end to end connecting. > >I want to make a conical christmas tree, and I need to know given the >length of lights, how tall and how wide such a Cone could be that I >could wrap these around and come out with it all lit from top point to >spiral bottom? > >Thar will be a mast pole, and then 6-8 radial positioned (looking down >from above, clock'ish like) guy wires going to stakes on the ground. >Along the guy wires or cord, will be some hangers to hold the light >cord as it spirals around. > >Just wondering if any of you people with Math-sters degrees could give >me a rough fathoming estimate of the H x W I can make, with the >spirals spaced about 1-2 foot above the last. After some investigation there a three methods for solving this, analytical, numerical, and rule of thumb. Rule of thumb being the easiest, lay out the lights in a spiral on the ground, then allow one to one a a half tree heights for height and curvature shortening. This should give a reasonable estimate ... but you've probably rigged it up somehow by now. Peter