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  1. Can I make a suggestion here, please? Rather than focus on what you didn't receive (thanks), why not focus on why you gave in the first place? Learning to give without strings, even strings as insignificant as a thank you, is a much more rewarding experience. The giving is the part that should make you feel good, not the receiving of a thank you. There will always be ungrateful, forgetful, or ill-manored people in the world. When you understand that your gift to the unappreciating is just as valuable as your gift to someone who shows appreciation, all those negative feelings go away. Don't share if you expect a thank-you. Share because the act itself is right and feels good.
  2. Just wanted to post and say JR Dibble and James Morris contribution’s to this forum are invaluable. You guys set the bar and thank you for all what you do!!! Rock on!!!!
  3. Friends ... please be careful Yesterday I went to a Christmas party... had a few beers, followed by a few cocktails, followed by a few shots... I still had the sense to know that I was over my limit. That's when I decided to do what I have never done before: I took a cab home. Sure enough, there was a police roadblock on the way home, and since it was a cab, they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident. This was both a great relief and a surprise because I had never driven a cab before. I don't even know where I got it from and, now that it is in my garage, I don't know what to do with it.
  4. Here is one of my 2015 videos, I just shot and up-loaded it last night. Came out kinda cute. Both these little guys voices are me playing with an audio editor.(yes that's really me ) Let me know what you think. It always gets a laugh out of my "stalkers"
  5. Yep - We've seen your work:
  6. If you have the means, I highly recommend...
  7. No I changed my mind about selling.....I'm going to give it 1 more try
  8. You could always torch their house and then stick a sign in their yard saying their bonfire sucks.
  9. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Light-O-Rama-land, and if all goes well you will [Foul Language Used] off your HOA."
  10. I learned that my dislike of Facebook(and social media in general) has merit. January 1st I'm deleting our Christmas light FB page and my personal FB page so I can focus on old school real life again. Too much wasted time "commenting on comments"... "liking posts, pictures, and other crap"..."starting to type my opinion only to realize nobody really cares"... "realizing that people I thought were smart, sound pretty stupid fairly often"... "NOT realizing you have become one of them"... etc, etc. Should be a banner year for actually getting stuff done!!!
  11. Once you dabble, your hooked. Kinda like a serious drug. Prices won't be a high priority, divorce is acceptable and being late on bills are side affects. ?
  12. Right now is customer support time. After the new year Matt Brown and myself will be working on integrating SS and PE and SE and it will be known as S5. The plan is to make it so you can use any of the 3 during any portion of your sequence. It will also mean you no longer have to use copy/paste or a subsequence to get SS sequences in with your other lights. As for when it will come out, I can't say.
  13. I wish they would do a show with the "Average Joe" in a "regular" residential area. Not the homes with 5 Acres of property and or HUGE homes. Give the regular homeowner a chance to show off and see what we can do. There are a lot of homes that really pack more punch than some of the crap they show on this show......
  14. Well this is one person that will not jump ship. I will continue to use LOR until it doesn't work for me, if that time ever comes.
  15. Here is one of 6 songs I mixed and then laid out in LOR to program, Enjoy! My first year on LOR, love it! already building for bigger and better next year
  16. When I closed my show down last night I had a note left in my mailbox and this is the true Spirit of Christmas and why I do this: "I just wanted to honestly thank you and your family for this wonderful gift to the community! I recently had surgery and its killed my entire holiday spirit, including Thanksgiving. I brought my boys by this evening and ended up overwhelmed with the holiday spirit and even cried. It made me feel like a kid again, to the point that I was ashamed to have let my recovery ruin so much for me. Seeing my children's faces light up just filled me with so much joy that I'd lost this season. Thank you guys again! My boys want to come back so I'm sure we'll be camped out again later this week. Thank you and blessings to your family!"
  17. Tonight I took my nine year old to her first concert. She may have high expectations for future stage shows after this one. There were several songs she recognized from our show and it managed to entertain her pretty well for her age. If I could have just one of the dozens of high power lights, spark machines, foggers, lasers I would be happy.
  18. This is my first year decorating the house. I built the tree last year and decided to match the house with it this year. Hope you enjoy!
  19. That lady better stay away from my house then. She'll be out numbered.
  20. In 2011, I had The Demented Elf do a package of announcements. I heard his Halloween voice and just loved it. After I got my stuff, I contacted him and had him re-do a couple in that voice. I call it my Christmas monster. I use it for a headlight reminder and also for a keep out of the yard reminder. They're both very effective, and in each announcement he says please and thank you and even Merry Christmas. Since then, I've had maybe 4 people complain that their children were frightened when they heard that voice. (One lady even said I was intentionally being cruel.) It's always women - never had a guy complain. I basically tell them to get bent, and suggest that they shouldn't bring their children by until the kids are old enough to either enjoy the voice or not be frightened by something they hear on the radio. One lady left in a huff as I was laughing at her and said she was never coming back and was going to tell all her friends. I still chuckle when I think about that one. And I'm still waiting to see the drop off in traffic. If someone's going to "jump in and blast" what Ebuechner said, it won't be me. He's totally correct. If more parents did their job we wouldn't have the human snowflake problem we see today.
  21. Well, at the end of 2016 we made the decision to be "dark" for 2017 in case we decided to travel, or just to give ourselves a break - but it turns out we'll be dark in 2017 for a different reason altogether! We've decided to sell our current digs and buy a new house. We won't even get ours on the market until May or June, which means we may not close on a new place until the fall - which is way too late to get started on a new configuration and creating a whole new show! And you KNOW I'm only looking at houses that are one-story with big front yards (or corner lots) so that I can decorate along the roofline but also have more room to expand! I'm also only looking at houses that have nice wide streets for traffic purposes. Other people care about updated kitchens and new appliances. I'm the one looking at rooflines and yard sizes...
  22. Update: I have had a bunch of great comments the last two nights about my arches laying flat since they fell so I am going to leave them flat and build some stronger arches today. I have decided to call them flat feet since they are fallen arches
  23. You could always try voodoo. I often sacrifice a chicken while chanting to the electrical gods. (Eating a bucket of KFC while yelling work dammit)
  24. I feel as though everything is going smooth so I recorded the simulation of my Star Wars sequence and put it on YouTube still may have a little tweaking to do
  25. I learned that I have one asshat neighbor that said he "would do anything to stop my display" I learned the GCLF can be more about the "story" than the lights regardless of what they tell you. I learned that Lawn moth grubs love warm controllers. I learned that a close enough lightning strike can take out a lot of stuff, especially if you leave everything powered up during the storm. I learned that by taking off the 2016 season I will be just fine mentally..... The uncontrolled head jerks are annoying though.. I learned that vertical strip lights need a way to drain even if they are "sealed" I learned that 3 night a week is plenty for a synchronized display and the other 4 nights static works just fine. I learned that if it were true that you "learn from your mistakes", I should be a stinking genius.. but that isn't the case unfortunately.
  26. I have decided to try and launch a National Campaign for this coming Christmas season. I want to call it A Blue Christmas. The idea is to say thank you to the men and woman who serve and protect our communities, and to honor the memories of those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. It can be as simple as changing a porch light to a blue bulb…..blue candles in the windows….a section of lights on your house that are blue. If you do a more elaborate display, your imagination is the limit. I am still working out the details, but wanted to give you the background on this idea. On March 18th Greenville Police Officer Allen Jacobs lost his life when he and other officers spotted the suspect walking along the street and wanted to ask him about a weapon. They were conducting a field interview based on some information they received. The suspect took off. And Officer Jacobs gave chase. As Officer Jacobs rounded a corner of a house he was met with a hail of gunfire. He was shot multiple times, was wearing a bulletproof vest, and his gun was still holstered. Officer Jacobs died later of his wounds in the Hospital. Before other Officers could chase down the suspect, he turned the gun on himself. Officer Jacobs left behind a young wife, 2 sons and a daughter on the way. Officer Jacobs death has stunned the community. I don’t know why but this death has really bothered me, so I thought we need to come together as a community and a country to say thank you. We need to let officers know we appreciate what they do and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, let their families know they aren’t forgotten. What better time than at Christmas. Right now this is an idea I have, as it comes together more I will post more. But I wanted to get the idea out there and see what happens. Thank you to every officer that has said I will serve and protect….thank you to my Dad, who was an officer in the 60’s and then went on to train officers in NJ.
  27. No, I'm still here. But if there's a couple of us, I'd at least like to know who my competiton is, if you don't mind.
  28. A woman rang my door bell last night at five pm. She introduced herself and said she wanted to talk to me about my Christmas lights. She explained she moved here from Canada and her her grandchildren only get to come see her once every few years. It had been 5 years since their last visit. While visiting last Christmas they came everyday and watched my lights and the kids were spellbound. She went on to say how the display is special to them and when the grandkids call they always ask about house with the lights and they reminisce about watching the lights and how they want to do it again next year. She left thanking me, once again, for making their Christmas with their children and grandchildren so memorable and special. I don't care you are, that's a cool story! She could have passed on by and never told me. And who knows exactly how many people our displays touch and we don't even know. I just wanted to share that. That is not the only story I have. Not trying to make a point but if there was a point it would be- everyone keep up the good work, who knows how many traditions you may be starting.
  29. This is pretty much how I start doing every song. Gives me lots of timing options very quickly (about 10 minutes). I still have to take some time to make sure things are perfect, but it gives me a huge head start. This video shows how to: Look at what is inside a bare bones LMS fileTake advantage of advanced timing wizards in AudacityHow to manually convert Audacity timing grids (labels) and import them into Light-O-Rama timing gridsHow to automatically convert Audacity labels to LOR timing grids using a crude PERL script, that I don't support.How to use the Beat Wizard and the Tapper Wizard.Ends with a brief code walkthrough on the script.Links: Audacity Download:http://audacity.sourceforge.net/Queen Mary Vamp plugins for Audacity: http://www.nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/releases/Vamp_Plugin.exeLink to Audacity to LOR Script: (I provide no support for this): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B95M-4jUDX5aSVVGMEJoQmpiUGM/viewActiveState PERL: http://www.activestate.com/activeperl
  30. We've all been there. I'll give you this... if I had a nickel for every time I've had to cut/re-solder a 4-core wire because I forgot to slide the shrink wrap on... I'd be a very rich man.
  31. [Admin Edit - Note: There is now a video at the bottom of this post. Not the thread, this post.] In lieu of all the members I have assisted with setting up and configuring their pixie16 and the pixie2/4 and 8 controllers I am going to see if this will provide some relief to you the end user, myself someone who likes to help others and the LOR Help Desk who get a ton of requests at this time of year and the end user may not understand the volume of help tickets. Also more than a few recommended I write this up. So here it is. If you follow these steps in order you should have lights at the final step as long as your light strings or strips work. I am writing this as an S4 user. S5 users can follow the steps to a certain point. At which time you will have to have a basic understanding as to how to add a pixie device to your S5 sequencer. Things to consider: 1) The pixie16 and other pixie devices will only control "smart" RGB lights 2) Do not get wrapped around the Hardware Utility for anything more than setting the Unit ID, light color order and a minor test. The HU has nothing to do with the controller running the lights outside of the HU. Once you close the HU the rest is with you the end user to ensure the network is set up correctly and the device is added to your sequence. 3) The newer pixie controllers will have 8 dip switches. Please familiarize yourself with the location of the switches. From the factory one dip switch will be in the "on" position. This dip switch in the "On" position will not allow the user to set a Unit ID other than 1 4) The pixie series controllers will automatically assign the unit ID's after the user selects the first one. If you attempt to interfere with this process by manually building the unit ID's and not follow the Hexadecimal protocol you will have channels (units) that will not work. This is the time to start talking Units, the pixie series assigns unit ID's not channels like the AC controllers. You must remember this especially when you start adding other controllers or you will have conflicts. Example: If your pixie16 has a starting Unit ID of Unit 1 then the system will assign it to Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F and 10. As you can see the system uses an alpha numeric Unit ID after 09. This is consistent across the board. Any number that has a nine the following 7 unit ID's will be alpha numeric. Based on the pixie model you may have. Pixie2 - 2 consecutive unit ID's Pixie4 - 4 consecutive unit ID's Pixie8 - 8 consecutive unit ID's Pixie16 - 16 consecutive unit ID's Lets get started: Items required Pixie controller 2/4/8/16 can all be configured using these instructions. Black RS485 or Red RS485HS adapter (red preferred) red is backwards compatible and with the cost being a few dollars more than black - makes it worth while. A spare is always good Cat5 cable(s) Time - its best to start this only if you can dedicate an hour or so without interruption Of course a computer Lets get started- I am going to keep the steps as simple as possible 1) connect the RS485 (black) / RS485HS (Red) adapter to the computer - if you have not previously configured the adapter do so using the LOR provided instructions prior to continuing on 2) Inspect the pixie controller and look for those dip switches. As mentioned above the newer units have them. If yours does not have them you can skip the next step 3) If you are using the pixie controller as any unit ID other than Unit ID # 1 please turn off the dip switch that is currently on. All dip switches should be in the "off" position. If using as #1 you do have the option of leaving it on or turning it off thus enabling you to change the unit ID without forgetting this step later on when you add additional controllers. 4) Open the Control Panel - this will vary between users so I will not cover that. 5) Ensure the Comm Listener (CL) is running. You should see a CL on your task bar. 6) Connect only the pixie device being configured to the RS485 adapter. Remember one unit at a time is the best way to prevent issues while configuring any controllers. - Note if you disconnect the RS485 adapter from your computer you need to remember which USB port it was connected to. 7) In the HU on the left side you should see the comport that your computer found and assigned your RS485 adapter to. Refrain from refreshing this or using the "auto configure". 8 ) On the right side of the screen you can adjust the "max number of unit ID's" if it is set to far beyond your controller numbers it takes additional time searching the network. Optional 9) In the center of the HU there is a "Select Unit to Configure" button. Now is the time to press this and the HU will search for the controller. The light on the controller should be solid on. 10) Once the HU is finished you should see your device listed in the box directly under the heading. 11) It probably found 01- Pixie... and version number (unless the unit number has been changed to something else) it will show the appropriate Unit ID 12) If the Unit ID is not the Unit ID you wish to have assigned you change that in the bottom left of the HU - select "old Unit ID" and "new Unit ID" then "Change Unit ID" you will see the message "Unit ID has been set to..." 13) Now to check the color order of your light strings (if you have them) if not you can refer back to this step once you have your light strings or strips. 14) At the bottom of the HU screen you will see a "Config" button - select that 15) Towards the bottom center you will see "CCR/ Pixie device" - select that. 16) Select the ribbon/ string model number 17) Select the color order - if known, you will test and be able to change this in a couple more steps. Note different mfg color order may vary. Its best to not mix and match because with pixie device you cannot change the color order of different Unit ID's. Triples RGB. RGB, RGB is also in this step. 18) Select the number of pixels per string 50 / 100 16) Resolution - I have never changed the resolution from the default 17) Apply and then you will receive the "changes have been applied" box. 18) Back to the HU main page for color testing. Its pretty self explanatory so I will not cover it. If you select a color and the color is different ie; you select Red and the color is Blue this is where you can go back to the config/ CCR/ pixie config above and change the color order. 19) Note - If you selected 100 pixels in step 18 above but you only have strings of 5o, during testing there will be delays while the controller is attempting to light pixels that do not exist 20) Once you are happy with the color order you are finished in the HU. Close it out but leave the controller connected. 21) I ALWAYS perform this test while assisting others - reopen the HU and select the "Select Unit to configure" "Refresh" button again. This is to ensure you did not miss a step or forget to turn the dip switch to the "off" position if needed. (I recommend you turn it off) 22) Once you have verified that the HU found your correctly assigned Unit ID you can now close the HU. 23) Now we will set up your Network Configuration 24) In the Control Panel drop down list ( just under the HU) you will find Network Preferences (NP) click on it to open 25) If you have never opened this before on the right side of the box you will see "simple mode". 26) You want to press the "Advanced" button just under the "Simple Mode" 27) The next box should resemble a spreadsheet (green and white rows) 28) You will have 3 tabs LOR/ DMX and Misc. We are keeping it simple and not discussing either of the DMX or Misc tabs. 29) Select the LOR tab 30) You will now see your networks. Most users probably have only one network 31) You should see LOR Regular and under that the various Aux network 32) We are concentrating on the Regular LOR network 33) You will see the speed. By default it probably shows 57.6 kbps - click on the speed- you will now get a small pop up window. Use the drop down to select 500K 34) In the same box you will see an "enhance" box- click that - it is crucial you do not miss steps 33 and 34. If you do this you will not have lights 35) Click "ok or apply" 36) you will get the 500K warning, do not worry about it 37) you will receive the "enhanced" warning. once again disregard 38) Select the "OK" button on top right of the scree and NP will close - you are now almost ready to have lights on 39) Setting up your pixie in your sequence - this is where S5 users should refer to the S5 manual. I do know there are two methods to add a device to S5. One is through "Prop Definition" the other is in the "Preview Editor" the latter found on the right side of the screen. That is my knowledge. 40) Back to S4 users 41) Open an existing sequence "if you have previously used SE and have a controller configured" 42) If you do not have a sequence and are brand new 43) Open Sequence Editor from the Control Panel or your Programs menu 44) Select "File" 45) Select "New" 46) Select "Musical Sequence" 47) Now is a good time to remind you that although it is not mandatory it is best to keep your "Audio and Sequence" files in the correct LOR directory. My Documents/ Light O Rama/ Audio (for music and Sequences for Sequences. 48) Select the audio file - just select the first one since this sequence will be scrapped later (unless you plan on using this song to create your first sequence) 49) SE will process the audio 50) You will now get a "New Musical Sequence Option" box 51) On this first attempt I just ensure that in the bottom right corner under the " Initial Timing" box that "use a fixed timing grid" is selected. All other defaults are good at this point. 52) Press the "Ok" button 53) Your sequence working grid will appear 54) If using the defaults in the previous steps you should see 8 Channel buttons on the right side of the grid. (if you are new) If you are familiar with SE and have controllers already built into your config skip the following steps and pick back up on the add device step 55) If new and do not have any other controllers then perform the following 2 steps 56) Right click on the bottom channel button , it may say port or channel 8 57) in the drop down select "remove channel from track" 58) A warning will appear asking if you are sure - select "yes" 59) That channel will now be removed from the working grid leaving you 7 more, repeat steps 56-58 until you have only one channel remaining 60) Right click on the remaining channel 61) On the drop down you will select "insert device" 62) in this tutorial you will select "below" if you are a previous user having a configuration you may wish to select "above" but I recommend "below" for you as well 63) You have the option to "Name" your device. If you know what you are using the Pixie for it is recommended to name it. Example: CCR Tre 62) To prevent clutter I ensure that the box directly below is Not checked. "Include Base Unit ID's" 63) "Device" if the pixie 2/4/8/16 is not in the box use the drop down to select that device group *** At the moment if using the Pixie16 for anything over 100 pixels at step # 63 select Pixcon16 instead and at step 66 select 170 for pixels per port. Light O Rama will be updating the manual and the firmware in the near future. 64) Ensure "Add as a group" is selected. Once again to declutter the Unit list 65) The next box should say Pixie 2/4/8/ 16 - use the drop down menu to select your particular model number 66) "Pixels per Port" once again 50 or 100 67) "Channel Mode" Triples RGB, RGB, RGB 68) "Base Unit ID" this must be the same unit ID that you assigned in the HU setup process 69) "Network" for most users this will be "regular" if you have additional networks you know who you are and what to select. This must match the network that you assigned in the Network Preference (NP) steps 70) Select "OK" and now you will see your pixie on your sequence working grid 71) If you were one of the members that deleted the 7 channel buttons in the previous steps now is the time to remove the last channel button. Leaving only your pixie device 72) If you followed all of the above steps you WILL have lights as long as 1- you physically have lights and 2- the lights are not broken 3- lights are connected to your controller 73) Testing you lights 74) On the open sequence - if you "grouped" the pixie as described above you will see a "+" sign 75) Select that and you will see 16 channel/ unit ID buttons 76) The buttons will be grey and to the right your working grid will be black 77) We are now going to write your test sequence 78) On the right side of the SE "tool bar" you will see a yellow star 79) To the left of the yellow star as you put your mouse over the different tools you will find the "color fade" tool select that 80) A pop up box will appear it will have a fade from red to green. This is the tool you use to place colors to your RGB sequences if you use SE to create your RGB sequences. In order to have solid colors just select the same color on both ends 81) For this tutorial you will leave it as is Red to green 82) I am going to show you how "I" use this tool for testing. IMO this is the fastest way to fill the entire sequence and will teach you haw to use the copy/ paste fast feature 83) Use the scroll bar directly under the working grid and drag it all of the way to the end (right) of your sequence. 84) Place your mouse on the top "black row" probably pixie... port 1" 85) Right click in the last grid box and drag it all of the way to the left (beginning) of the sequence. Note- to make it faster you can drag it all of the way to the edge of your computer screen. You do not need to stay within the working grid. Before you release the mouse you can also drag it all of the way to port that corresponds to your pixie model. Thus filling the entire pixie working grid with color. I will discuss the copy paste method next. 86) Because you scrolled to the end and dragged to the beginning your color fade will be green to red 87) If you only filled in one row the fastest way IMO to copy paste that row (s) is right click on the first grid square- select row (s), that entire row will now be encapsulated in a white box. Now right click in that box. "copy". To paste - place your mouse in the next Unit/ Channel/ Port and right click - you have the option to select "paste or paste multiple" select the one that coincides with your situation. If you selected the "multiple" you will be given another option "Vertical" (top half of the box) or "Horizontal" (bottom of the box) In this instance you will select the bottom choice and fill the correct number based on how many ports you wish to paste to. Once you press ok it will perform the action and your entire pixie device "should" have a sequence filled within. 88) Once you have the sequence filled and your lights connected. Go to the "play" tab on the tool bar. At a minimum ensure "Control Lights" is checked. Your light WILL NOT work if this is not checked. 89) Also under "play" scroll down to "Play Range" and ensure "Entire Sequence" is checked 90) On the tool bar you will see a "Blue Arrow" your "color Fade" tool is probably still open. Push the blue arrow and it will turn off the color fade tool. If you forget to turn that off, anytime you put the mouse and click it on the working grid it will place either a color or grey fill. (that's something to always remember) 91) Now push the "Green" play button. If all was performed correctly you WILL HAVE LIGHTS. 92) For those of you that do not have lights and wish to test your controller - refer to the Visualizer tutorial in the "Help" guide in the Control Panel drop down menu. Or feel free to PM me and I will send you a CCR tree viz file to help you test your light. I probably have one that is already set up for almost every pixie config within unit ID 50. If I don't have one it only takes me a few minutes to create one for you. Best of luck and if you need further assistance feel free to submit a Help Desk ticket or PM me. Note from Sept - January I am very busy with my show and helping others but I will reply. Happy Lighting JR ---
  32. Orville made a 'one word post' !!!
  33. Remember, a significant percentage probably don't even tune in their radios, or even spend enough time to associate the music to the lights. I don't do social media, don't advertise or desire any media attention, The show is what it is, take it or leave it. The fact that the lights are perfectly timed makes me smile, that's enough for me.
  34. My set up is 48 Channel I I Will be sharing these and many more with singing faces as soon as I am OFF THE LOR NAUGHTY LIST.... LOL.. This list is of my 2014 Christmas List. 2015 has 4 singing trees and faces added to it 1. mega tree, 16 channel 2 color (multi and blue), 8 mini trees all multi color 1 channel each, Eves of house 3 channel three color led roped (Red, Blue and White, 2 arch's, two connected as 1 for a total of 4 but set the opposite so when one goes left to right the other goes R to L, 1 channel for Rudolf red nose deer, 1 channel for 4 yard deer connected together 2 channel for mega tree star, Multi and blue, 1 channel controlling 10 candy cane lining walk way. In case you are wondering... I will run different shows at diff times and will also make a separate show basically for the younger kids(more things like frosty the snow man, Rudolf, etc. geared more for the younger kids at early times like as soon as it is dark for a couple shows then change to more rocking and music for the older people. . Some of my music will also have Spanish as I live in S. Cali. and my wife and her family helps pick it out for me to do for them. If you see any here you would like to checkout send me the name and or number of what you would like and I will try to send it as soon as I can. My List Is constantly growing as I am retired and have lots of time on my hands. I FREELY SHARE EVERYTHING and JUST ASK THAT THE MILITARY IS REMEMBERED IN YOUR SHOWS BECAUSE WITHOUT THEM YOU WOULDN'T BE HAVING A SHOW. 48 channel LOR Christmas 2014 NO FACES 1 Adoro LosPanchos 2 All Day Music War 3 All I Want for Chrustmas is You Mariah Carey 4 Military Melody Air Force Band 5 Ava Maria Jewel 6 Bamboleo Melody 7 Jingle Bells Barking Dogs 8 Believe Disney 9 Blue Christmas Elvis 10 Camoflage and Christmas Lights Rodney Carrngton 11 Cannon Rock TSO 12 Charlie Brown Vince Guaraldi Trio 13 Chicken Dance 14 Christmas Celebration BB King 15 Christmas Cookies George Straite 16 Christmas Don't Be Late The Chipmonks 17 Contigo Aprendi Los Panchos 18 Curse of the Ice Queen 19 Dance of the Sugar Plum 20 Decorations The Beach Boys 21 Do you Hear What I Hear 22 Do You Wanna Build a Snowman Frozen 23 Don't Stop Believing Journey 24 El Burrito (The Burrito Yerba Buena 25 Fantasy Earth Wind & Fire 26 Feliz Navidad Jose Feliciano 27 Fina Estampa Ramon Algeciras 28 Frosty the Snow Man Willie Nelson 29 Fur Elsie Vince Guaraldi (Charlie Brown album) 30 Getting in the Mood Big Band swing 31 Gimmi All Your Lovin ZZ Top 32 God Bless The USA Lee Greenwood 33 Granada Ramon Algeciras (Flamingo Guitar) 34 Green Sleeves TSO 35 Guajira Santana 36 Hark! The Herald Angles Sing Jewel 37 Jingle Bell Rock Randy Travis 38 Joy to the World Ann Murray 39 La Flor de la Canela Paco de Lucia, Ramon Algeciras 40 Leroy The Red Neck Rain Deer Joe Diffy 41 Let it Go Frozen 42 Lil Drummer Boy 43 Little Saint Nick Beach Boys 44 Malaguena Salerosa Ramon Algeciras 45 Manger 6 Commercial Tom Bodet 46 Mele Kalikimaka Bing Cosby(Cartoon) 47 Music Box Dancer Schwede 48 My Favorite Time of the Year Florin Street Band 49 Nut Rocker TSO 50 O Holy Night Jewel 51 Please Come Home for Christmas The Eagles 52 Polar Express Album Cut 53 Pop Corn Hot Butter 54 Queen of The Winter Night TSO 55 Rhythm is Gonna Get You Gloria Estefan 56 Rock This Town Stray Cats 57 Rock You Queen 58 Rockin Robin The Coasters 59 Rudolf Drank the Moon Shine Blue Grass Christmas 60 Rudolf the Red Nose Raindeer Gene Autry 61 Santa Baby Eartha Kitt 62 Santa Claus is Coming to town Merle Haggard 63 Santa Clause is Back in Town Elvis Presley 64 Siboney Paco de Lucia, Ramon Algeciras 65 Sleigh Ride The Ventures 66 So This is Christmas John Lennon 67 Soldiers Silent Night Father Ted Berndt 68 Stille Nacht Jose Carreras 69 Takin Care of Business Bachman-Turner Overdrive 70 The Angles Cried Alan Jackson & Alison Krauss 71 The Story in Your Eyes Moody Blues 72 The Very First Christmas Spong Bob & Square Pants 73 THX Repair of my lights 74 Volare The Gypsy Kings 75 William Tell Overture Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 76 Wings of a Snow White Dove Ferlin Huskey 77 You’re a Mean one Mr Grinch How the Grinch Stole Christmas E Mail me at retired_old_sarge@yahoo.com with the number of the song you want
  35. I'm just the opposite. Sequencing is about one step above torture. The hardware part is easy and fun for me.
  36. Via one of my other ventures, I've learned about a device that will be able to broadcast a very short message to all (Android for now) phones in the area. (iPhone is being worked on.) Expected range is a 100 yard radius, and you are limited to 40 characters. I'm sensing the ability to send out greetings to those who visit your display. I do *not* know how quickly the device can have it's message changed, or if there will be API access to it somehow. If you want more information, shoot me a PM.
  37. O...M...G... What a great time with the greatest folks!!! Today was a blast and hope everyone had fun. Thank you for your kind words. It takes a little work to host an event but that's not what makes it successful. "YOU" is what makes it successful. To have great people attend and interact with each other. To share their story, their experience and to learn new things. And believe me, this mini (from what I observed) was very successful. SO I Thank You!!! for being involved. Each and everyone of you!!! And for everyone who donated a door prize and/or brought food (very delicious). Another THANK YOU!!! I'm going to work on posting pics but I gotta catch my breath tonight and chill. It was a busy couple days. So if you took pictures, please post them. I'll be doing the same soon. Have a great evening and remember... it couldn't have been great... without YOU. Tom
  38. Here's one I use. Lots of people like it. I use it for checking all the lights across both yards. (Sorry - I can't find any more recent video.)
  39. 10 feet off the ground from end to end of the house. Planned to be 100 feet but the CCB strings were longer than I expected.
  40. Sigh... ok so can I say the show is terrible? Is that allowed? Drew
  41. dibblejr


    Just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Old Sarge! I PMd him about a week ago with some questions and request for assistance. Since then he has been hard at work helping me out and giving me some lessons. There are not enough kind words to say about him. Thank you Old Sarge!
  42. Sounds even more boring and annoying than that other thread. Love the new ignore option!
  43. I clicked on "like this" and that phrase pops up. What the heck is that all about?
  44. To start the Great Christmas light fight is getting annoying to begin with. Is this a Dance show or is it supposed to be about light displays. That's actually irritating unless those people are going to be dancing every night in your display from beginning to end it's not a part of your display. I can go on about a few other things but I'll just bite my words for now. The thing that ticked me off is the post on their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/TheGreatChristmasLightFight/photos/a.947516475319861.1073741828.943609729043869/951056548299187/?type=3&theater I guess unless you pay a lot of money to win in this show (Which is another thing that gets me with this pissing match) you're a Lighting no. But if you dump a lot of money to win the show you automatically become a PRO. Rant temporary off.
  45. Start sneaking up lights with Halloween decorations. Wear sunscreen (I burn the back of my calves every year). Strain relief your CAT5 cables. You will trip over them. Don't let your wife catch you on the roof. You'll be punished, and not in a good way.
  46. This is long. The Belcher family was a participant in Episode 1 of ABC’s "The Great Christmas Light Fight" for 2014. We were included in the episode which aired December 8th. Mr. Weaver deservedly won the coveted light bulb trophy for his wonderful Disney castle and character creations in our episode. Our 2014 Christmas display was an experiment in visual arts in which we “projection mapped” the front and one side of our two story brick and wood home. Projection mapping is a fairly new art form which in it’s simplest form is the projection of content onto irregular shapes and surfaces and "mapping" the content to fit those shapes and surfaces. We created five videos from purchased content, free content and content which we created in Photoshop, Gimp and AfterEffects. We mostly used free content, as it took hundreds of images, gifs, png’s and .mov files to build a 15 minute show based around 5 song titles. Each song was also edited and included verses and chorus from at least 3 different artist as we tried to match the feel of the song to the video scene we wanted to create. Vickie, my wife, created and developed the four animated characters who narrate the story line “Welcome to my House Party”, the theme of this year’s display. The star of “Welcome to my House Party” was, of course, “House”, an animated character who follows the outline of our real house and is very much alive. This is the character ABC showed in our episode and the character that Sabrina, our judge, couldn’t stop laughing with or at. The video included with this post is not the video which aired on ABC, but rather an edited sample of the 5 song titles that comprise our show. After the movies for the song titles were made, the story line was developed and narrated by the characters. We then synchronized both the video and lights to the music track. The movie was built in CyberLink Power Director 11 and the audio in Audacity. The show file including the 15 minute show based around the 5 song titles and 15 minutes of break music all which timed out at exactly 30 minutes. We rendered it to an ".avi" file and played it back in LOR S3. The final file was 85GB which plays on the hour and half hour without hiccup into four networks at normal transfer speed. The lights were designed to take a back seat to the projection in two ways. The first is that we could not have lighting which unintentionally spilled onto the projection surfaces. Second we could not have yard decorations which interfered with audience sight lines. This made for a very minimal, clean, modern look; albeit, not necessarily the look the judges were looking for. We used rgb dumb strips on all windows, doors, soffits, eves, the chimney and a few vertical lines thrown in for balance;, LED nets and strands on the (3) 70’ high pecan trees; LED net lights on the front and garage bushes and we outfitted the two 40’ cedar trees with oversized C9 bulbs and homemade rope light candy canes. The only yard decoration we had were two 5’ x 5’ “trees” made from 8” x 8” glass block and lighted with rgb dumb strips, row by row. A glass block “footer” was also used in between the two trees which actually sat on top of the existing landscape blocks. Due to the many people I engage with in the capacity of being one of the original LOR Partners, I have been asked about the experience of being involved with the Great Christmas Light Fight. I will detail it here for all of you who wish for a shot at making it on the TV show. I taught a “projection mapping” class at the Christmas Expo in July 2014. ABC had a booth set up in the vendor room and were actively looking for contestants to participate in the 2014 series. A casting person and one of the executive producers for the Great Christmas Light Fight were there for 3 days. I spoke with both of them on day two of the Expo. At this point, we had not really even gotten past the “concept” stage of our 2014 display. In fact, we had not done a display at our home the last 3 years, so we were really working from square one. I had even sold all of my controllers and much of the lighting was outdated and/or unusable. We had a couple of minutes worth of content built to present to the class and this is what we showed ABC. The casting lady said they were looking for different types of displays to present to the producers in addition to the synchronized “lights to music” displays which are so commonplace now. They liked our idea and said they would call. This was July 18th. The first email from ABC came on July 24th. They ask me to make a “submission video” of the family. This was a simple video introducing each family member in the front yard and saying things like…”We are going to win the $50,000” and “Nobody has what we have”—regular reality TV stuff. We recorded it and emailed it to them. A few days later several documents from ABC arrived for us to read, sign and return. Before committing to any family, ABC will do background checks, and search all social media outlets in order to get an idea of what you are about. Our family went on vacation on July 27-Aug 2nd and while we were at the beach in Hilton Head, SC, we received a call from ABC asking us to be available for a interview via Skype in the next couple of days. It felt like a step up the ladder of selection. On Thursday of that week, we gathered around the kitchen island in the rented beach house wearing our red and green shirts to do the interview. They asked us very leading questions and even supplied the answers they were looking for to several questions. It was basically more reality TV type dialog. This was followed by another round of emailed attachments for each family member who was going to participate to read and sign. They have “helper” forms to be read and signed; they have “owner” forms to be read and signed; they have “minor” forms for the “under 14” kids parents to read and sign and all of them come with very tight time lines for return. Before the process was over, we probably had a stack of documents around 2”-3” high. We did read through all of them, asked questions, got clarifications and signed all of them indicating our agreement to their terms. They want to control everything pertaining to the show and they want to make sure that any family or anyone “helping” the family does not spill the beans before they are ready to advertise the show themselves. This is a huge deal to ABC. We got back to Dallas on August 4th and exchanged more emails with the ABC office in Hollywood for a couple of weeks. It was then that we progressed from the casting department to the production department of the show. Throughout the department exchange, we were still not told that we had “officially” been selected to be on the show, although we certainly had that idea from the language being used. Even at this stage, more paperwork was sent to us, much of it was redundant and my guess is that they needed to make absolutely certain that we understood the process and the rules. The official confirmation of our participation was given to us around August 10th. I haven’t found that email and don’t know for certain, but this is close. Because of the late date and the fact that we were creating this show from beginning to end, we decided to cut the show down from 15 minutes to 6 1/2 minutes and only do two song titles. We got to work on making the movie because it had to be finished before we could begin to program the lights in LOR. No pressure! On September 4th, we were asked to make time for a “Rules Call” with all 20 families on September 5th and around that date we received a small hand held camera which we used to make selfies as we prepped for the installation. We were given a code name by which we were referred to during the conference call. Around this time they set up the first filming date which was to be Sept 8th. At this session, the crew were to interview the family members and shoot some footage of the property before any decorations were installed. This was a one-day, all-day video shoot. The day before this scheduled shoot, they called to postpone the first shoot and re-scheduled for September 15th and scheduled the final 3-day shoot for October 2-4 with the 3rd being the judging day. The film crew showed up at 11:00am on September 15th. The crew included a producer, her assistant, a sound engineer, two camera operators and a technician who handled the technical set-up of all the gear. The producer and assistant were at all four film dates, but the other crew members changed. They showed up in three vans loaded with gear and used our garage as their staging area. All family members were mic-ed up the entire time. Included in the paperwork we signed was the requirement that no one could turn off their mic at any time during the filming. We made sure to tell them when we went to the bathroom. Everyone on the crew had ear pieces, producer, assistant, cameraman and sound man. They guided us through a routine that they had obviously done several times before and were extremely professional in both their work procedure and the handling of our family. I can’t say enough about how good they were. They were all free-lancers but a couple of them had been on Dancing with the Stars for several years and knew their stuff about the shots they wanted and how to go about getting them. At the end of the day, they installed two battery powered cameras in our front yard. These were set to take a photo every 5 minutes or so. That day ended at 10:00pm and we didn’t see them again until October 2nd at 10:00am. We were allowed to begin decorating at this point although they asked us to save something for the October session. The flow of paperwork probably ended around September 21st or so. With regard to the other competitors, you never know who you are competing against in your episode and you don’t even know the names of anyone in the other episodes. I heard one technician making flight arrangements for El Paso and figured it was the Loya family they were going to film, having previously seen his display myself. I didn’t ask because I knew they would not give me the answer. A larger crew came in on October 2nd. There were more camera operators and production assistants to help with the bigger project that day. The crew split up; one crew followed me around and another crew followed my son, Chris around. They even jumped into the 60’ man lift with my son and filmed as he wrapped branches at a height of 50'-60'. This day was all about the “final preparation day” before the judge came the following night. On October 3rd, Sabrina came at 8:00pm to judge. She pulled up in that same black SUV that you see on every episode. The crew came in at 2:00pm that day and stayed until after 1:00am. Sabrina stayed on site until around 11:00pm. After she does the reveal and the walk-through, she basically just hangs out and waits for her turn in front of the camera to give her impressions. Late that night, the show producers also filmed our family as we discussed Sabrina’s reaction to our display. Throughout all film days they do something they call "OTF" which means a non-scripted film capture "on the fly". When the field producer sees something she thinks will have TV value, she calls an audible and the crew jumps in. We had over 150 people at our reveal, who all stood in the street for at least two hours before seeing our display play. We had hired catering for our guests, compete with tables and chairs which we set up in our back yard. We also rented a bouncy house for the kids and a stilt walker who was more than happy to be in every shot they took. ABC does not pay for any of this. Our field producer took a back seat on this day to a “director” who was flown in. The director set up all the shots, talked to the audience via bullhorn, directed the Jib-Boom operator and basically ran the show that day. She left after Sabrina’s “final thoughts” moment was filmed and the normal crew stayed another couple of hours. The next day was reserved for “personal” shots. This was October 4th and a smaller crew came in at 1:00pm and stayed until around 10:00pm. This is when they really collect the personal shots of the family walking, talking and interacting. Our energy level was gone at this point after two long days of filming, but we did our best to be excited. So, there you have it. Was it fun? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone else? Yes. Was it a lot of work in a compressed amount of time? Yes. In the end, it was a good life experience for all of our family and just like a great Christmas display, the end result will be a lifelong memory. Here is the YouTube link: or you can watch it on our website: https://www.christmasinrowlett.com Charles Belcher
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