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  1. 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)
  2. Tom- Thanks for the compliment. Trust me I understand your pov. As far as outline sequences other than James there may be less than 5 members I have asked for a sequence and I know each of them from memory. James sequences compliments my props and my singing faces. I also have either met in person, skype or over the phone each of them, well except for 75Redman who recently shared a work of art with me. I still haven't worked it into my show yet, I think it was a patriotic sequence so it will get there. IMO this is just a fun hobby, that's why I do what I do. If I wanted to get paid, and I have had offers, that would take the fun away. I like helping people either singing faces or setting up their pixies etc. and when my local publisher asked me why I do what I do for the holidays my comment was and will always be the same "because I can and there are others who simply cant for various reasons" and I left it at that. Its the same way in the forums. Happy Lighting and Merry Christmas everyone. JR
  3. 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.)
  4. Captured about 40% of my takedown and put away with some time lapse photography. 85k lights, LOR, RGB all down and tucked away.
  5. Got me thinking do I need a pair of gloves MMmmmmmm
  6. Dcroc

    OLD SARGE

    Yup....Sarge is a stand up guy.
  7. We have had a sleigh and several reindeer made from plywood for several years now, bought them at a garage sale so no idea how old they really are. The sleigh hasn't weathered very well so I needed to make a new one. I also wanted to make it easy to take apart and put together so we can store it indoors. The old one was all screwed together. We started with a sheet of exterior grade plywood and one of the old sleigh sides as a pattern. Which became a couple of these: And then this: I think the inspector approves First coat of primer on everything, a couple coats of white paint to come:
  8. Many of us know Jerry72 here on the forums. On 15 Sept he was involved in a head on collision the results being from the other driver who was drunk and has been arrested. Though I didn't set up the GoFundMe account it was sent to me and I asked LOR Admins for their permission to post it here. (granted) I wont get into his family but a little background is posted on the GoFundMe account and it is heartbreaking at best. For anyone that reads this that received face sequences from me and offered to donate to me, this would be perfect. I and many others here consider Jerry a friend. https://www.gofundme.com/jerry-thompsons-medical-and-family I am sure any contributions will be greatly appreciated. JR [Admin edit to correct date, as mentioned in future post.]
  9. A situation recently came up with our display. Our landlord where we have lived for four years had plans to sell us the house in 2022. However now that the market is up around here he wants double what the house appraises for so unfortunately both us and our display is going to have to move in August of 2020. We sadly notified everybody on our shows Facebook page 2 weeks ago. It wasn't until then we realized just how many people were highly upset about the display moving and how many people our show really touched each year. From parents of special-needs children, autistic children and some people that just told us our display is their holiday tradition to visit each year. We have been getting lots of support messages and people vowing to follow our displays no matter where we go. We also have one person who reached out to us that is having a new home built and wants us to rent out their current home so they don't have to sell it. Their time frame for building gives us the perfect opportunity to rent their pool home which is much larger than our current home and gives us a much better viewing area with no HOA as the house is on the outskirts In citrus hills and no neighbors across the street or on the sides of us. Shockingly it's actually right down the road from another display house in citrus hills that another forum member on here has which would be a total upgrade for us. It's one of the nicest areas in our county to live in and is much higher end homes It's not set in stone yet but this really shocked me since it was just somebody who has come to visit our lightshow and come to find out we actually talked to them before and had no idea who they were just thought they were a happy viewer. You never know who is visiting your display and what could possibly come of it. For that opportunity to arise it really made me sit back and think about how many hours go into this and how it really touches people. I do these light shows as my way of just giving back and letting other people enjoy it but it's nice to know that others are so deeply affected by what we do. nothing is set in stone yet but this gives us a wonderful opportunity as well as lets us know just how much people really appreciate what we do.
  10. https://www.digitalcitizen.life/print-large-image-multiple-pages-4-steps-using-microsoft-paint I found this quick article about how to scale an image to print on several sheets of paper. I took a a 400x400px image of a tree and printed it on six sheets which I'll then trim and tape for an outline to trace onto my coroplast sheet from home depot. I did it all with microsoft paint, freely installed with windows
  11. I had nine kids cry and was told off by one parent, overall a successful Halloween. 😁
  12. First, all new lighters should first fill in their profile as this information is very important in helping us answer your questions. Your software version and license level is one of the most important pieces of information needed as they can dictate what you can and can't do. This little piece of information can solve 50% of the questions asked in the forum. Second, when asking for help please give as much detail as possible. Type of controller, type of pixels/lights, number of pixels, voltage, network, distances and anything else possible, it's all important and can affect what is going on with your setup. Third, the Holiday season is going to start ramping up soon and this forum is going to get very busy. You won't see the veterans around as much as they will be busy setting up their own displays. The new lighters will seem like they are coming out of the wood work so the more info you can give us the faster we can help you solve your problem. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question, if you don't know or are not sure then ask. I have been doing this for six years, (a newbie considered by others in here ?) and I consider myself pretty proficient but I still have questions and I ask in here all the time. The bottom line is help us help you, the devil is in the details.
  13. UPDATE on my lights order... On Saturday UPS rings my doorbell and asks me to open my garage door. He then proceeds to bring 30 boxes into my garage. I was flabbergasted and confused. When I placed my order, all the reviews and questions commented that despite the listing saying the item was a 6-pack of lights, it was actually a single strand. Armed with that info, I ordered 10 blue, 10 green, 10 red and 2 white (to have on hand in case my spiral tree needed some strings replaced this year). More than enough to upgrade my 8-string spiral tree to have four colors and have some strings left over as necessary. I paid ~$128. But what was delivered was 10 six-packs of blue, 10 six-packs of green, 10 six-packs of red and 24 strings of white. So instead of 32 strings, I got 204 strings of lights for $128!! So now I have more than enough to not only upgrade my spiral tree, but also create a couple more elements if I have the time. Of course, I don't have enough channels to use them all, but at least I have enough lights to last me for quite a while!
  14. We let our extension cords grow wild. You all would be horrified if you saw them. Green cords, white cords, orange cords, red/white cords. All running willy-nilly all over the yard like a web built by a spider doing coke. The only cords we have labeled are the ones that are directly connected from a prop to the controller.
  15. There is nothing to troubleshoot as that is what the lights are supposed to do. When you turn on red they become red then you turn them off. If you turn on blue without turning off red then the colors will mix, this is how you get all the other colors with RGB. If you turn on red you will get red, when you turn on green the colors mix and you get yellow, when you turn on blue all colors mix and you get white.
  16. Isn't it the parents job to deal with a child's fears whether they be real or imaginary? This is the problem these days everyone wants everything around them to change to fit their needs if they don't like it. If you take that down because this lady can't talk to her child and explain that is a fake piece of plastic and that's nothing more than decoration, maybe even have her or him touch it so she or he understands that it's not going to hurt them, then you're a part of the problem that we have with this PC correctness and other nonsense that's going on today. This is still a free country and everybody should be able to have their own likes and dislikes without forcing others to conform to their wishes. Just like somebody's probably going to jump in and blast what I said and that's their right.
  17. Update ~ Everything up and running. Anyone that has a pixie16 will need to have version 4:3:18 or newer. (my friend above was on 4:3:14) Pixie16's are not recognized by the older versions. Updated, set unit ID, created Master Channel Config, got him a free pixel seq and all is working. From the excitement in the background his family loved it. JR
  18. I found a solution to a problem and I wanted to share my solution. The problem is that my front porch light is very visible from the street. Over the years I keep turning the intensity down (it's on a LOR channel), and it's still too bright. The solution is that I installed a piece of cardboard in the light fixture so that the light is completely blocked towards the street and unblocked towards the house. Now I can leave the porch light on at a useful intensity and not have it shine brightly towards the street. The photo below does not really do it justice, but you will notice that you don't see any direct light from the porch light, but you can see the shadow from the wreath on the front door being cast on the wall. Took about 10 seconds to install the cardboard, and will take about that long to remove it after the season is concluded.
  19. I was unable to find straight 3" translucent white pipe to make my RGB Fire Sticks so I came up with what I think is a cheap, better, faster way. This video is just showing a very quick mock up. I will do more with it later. I just wanted to prove the concept. It looks really cool in person. The camera doesn't do it any justice and it is only on a tester so no way to turn it down. I put this together in about 10 min for the test so it's not perfect.. but you get the idea. Using Coroplast I just created a triangle and put a 60/m strip in for testing. The final will have a top and bottom and a method for mounting to a 10' piece of conduit to hold it up in the wind. More info and details later. Please like and subscribe. Craig
  20. I'm not sure I can answer that as all I've ever had has been the advanced (now Pro) license level. All one needs to do is create the effect you want in the first cell of your chase, then select the number of channels and the length of time you want the chase to occupy and then push the H key. It actually takes less time to do than it took to write the description. Self-serving note: Sequence U teaches all this and more. Classes begin next Sunday.
  21. This year I decided to have a different set of songs play each week. Here is Week 1:
  22. This is the first year I have used Windows 10 for my show computer and I have an issue that others might also have. This forum has been so helpful over the years I thought I would give back with the solutions I have found. The problem is Windows 10 does automatic updates to its operating system when it wants to and this often results in a reboot of the system. Even if this reboot does not take place during the show, it leaves the PC waiting for the user to login. If you don't notice this when the next show is suppose to starts, it won't because you haven't logged in. I have three solutions for this. First, set your "active hours" to include your show times. Windows will not update your PC during your active hours. This can be done by going to Settings (right click on the task bar and select Settings) select Update and Security and select Change Active Hours. Note, you can have a maximum of 12 hours active. Second, if you want to stop Windows from doing any updates (and I don't necessarily recommend this) you can go into the network settings and set your WIFI connection to metered. If a WIFI connection is metered, Windows will not download any updates, instead it will notify you that updates are available and you can manually download them when you want. Do this by going into Settings and selecting Network and Internet, select Show Available Networks and select your network and select properties. The last property is Metered Connection. Set this to On. Finally, you can have Windows automatically log you in after a reboot so that the reboot can happen without your intervention. This can be done by holding down the Window key (the button that has the Windows logo on the bottom left corner of the keyboard) and typing R. In the window that pops up type: NETPLWIZ and select OK. At the top of this new window is a box that is checked that says "user must enter a user name and password". Uncheck this and select OK. it will prompt you for your user name and password that will be used to automatically login from now on. I am using the first and third solution and it seems to be working well.
  23. Oh and 2 high speed USB 485's and mega tree kit with topper lol I wasn't that lucky but almost ! $ 200.00 the 5 controllers are the commercial grade ones i thought it was a great deal !
  24. k6ccc

    outdoor speakers

    That's what I do. However having worked as a broadcast engineer, I DO know how to do it right and make it work despite some very long cable runs. Before you even read the novel I'm about to write, I will repeat an offer I have made in the past. If you need assistance in audio distribution (for example, long cable runs or distribution to multiple distant locations), my background may be able to help to do it right. Feel free to contact me. Admittedly my setup is more complex than most other people have any need to use, but it works well for me. In my case, my show computer has been in the very back of my house. As part of my front yard landscaping project, I installed four speakers in the front yard, and two 75 watt per channel amplifiers in a closet that drives them. There is a conduit path from the show computer to the amplifiers, but it's about 100 feet long. Additionally, there is a conduit path from the show computer to the brick column in the front yard where the FM transmitter is located, but it's a little over 150 feet. If I were to simply connect a Y splitter on the output of the show computer and long cables to the amplifiers and transmitter, there is a HIGH probability that there would be noise and /or hum introduced into one or more likely both. Now I'm going to explain how to do it right. Then I will add a little about the rest of my audio distribution - and how I added yet another complication this year. The big issue with long cables is that most consumer audio devices use un-balanced audio inputs and outputs. That means that the audio signal is carried on a single wire that is referenced to whatever ground that the equipment has. The cable used is normally a shielded co-axial cable with the audio signal on the center conductor and the ground on the shield. This works OK for short distances, and in particular when all the attached equipment is using the same power system. If the two pieces of equipment either don't really have a real ground connection (most consumer audio equipment these days doesn't), or have a different ground, there can be substantial amounts of noise introduced because of differences in ground. The solution to this is to use a balanced audio line rather than an un-balanced distribution. In an balanced input or output, the audio signal is sent over two wires that are not referenced to ground, but rather a differential to each other. The cable normally used is two twisted wires inside a shield. The shield is normally grounded at only one end of the cable. Fortunately it is easy to convert the audio signal from an un-balanced signal to a balanced signal. The normal way to do this is by connecting the un-balanced signal to one side of an isolation transformer, and there is now a balanced signal on the other side of the transformer. Assuming that both your show computer and your FM transmitter have unbalanced inputs and outputs, you would use an isolation transformer at each end of the circuit. Note that the description I have given is for a single circuit. If you are sending a stereo signal (and most of use are using stereo), you need a separate isolation transformer at each end of the circuit, and separate cable for each channel. If you are splitting the output of your show computer to go to both a FM transmitter and also amplifiers for speakers, you could use a Y type splitter cable to create two outputs from your computer, and run one output from the splitter to the FM transmitter and the the other output to the amplifiers. If either of the cable runs is long, use the un-balanced to balanced transformer process described above for the long cable. In my case I'm not using a Y splitter cable. I have the output from the show computer (un-balanced) run through isolation transformers to two channel inputs of a sound mixer (balanced). This is despite the fact that the computer and mixer have been less than two feet apart. The mixer has a main output which is cabled to the FM transmitter, and an Aux output which is cabled to the amplifiers. The main output from the mixer is a true balanced output, so I don't need to use isolation transformers at the mixer end of those cables, however my FM transmitter has un-balanced inputs, so there are isolation transformers before the inputs to the transmitter. BTW, to give an idea how well using a balanced signal works, for the first year that I used an FM transmitter, I used a piece of unshielded Cat-5 cable for the 160 foot run, and it worked fine. I don't recommend doing that, but I really did not have the budget to buy the right cable at the time, and I had boxes of Cat-5 in stock. The Aux output from my mixer is semi-balanced output so I am using isolation transformers at both ends of the cables to the amplifiers. This year I complicated it a bit by moving the show computer out into a newly constructed data cabinet in my garage. Now I will have about 60 feet of cable from the computer to sound mixer. Of course that will have isolation transformers at the computer. One more note. The conduit paths that I'm using for these long runs, are also used for several other types of signal including, computer LAN, LOR networking, another low speed data used for some environmental monitors, telephone, and low current 12 volt power. All of these would likely bother an un-balanced signal, but have no effect on a balanced signal.
  25. Orville

    GCFi's

    Completely agree with the dielectric grease. After I started using it, along with child proof outlet covers on open female ends and pass thru plugs, my GFCI trips went away. But if a cord gets worn, or nicked where it can make contact with the other wire in some manner, it could cause issues, even if the nicks are only slight, but if both sides are nicked, even if they don't touch, water is a conductor, and that will trip the GFCI. Then FLEX SEAL products can be your best friend too, as they are water proof and form a nice watertight seal when dry. ' It really is great for saving a long extension cord that's seen lots of use and frayed, just cut or strip off the outer jacket that's frayed or split, cover with the Flex Seal, works great and the cord will be good for use again. Flex Seal makes a hard, but flexible plastic water-proof and water-tight seal, so it's great for use on cords with nicks or cuts. Just make sure the inner wiring of the extension cord isn't broken or nicked, if so, {solder the broken wire{s} back together, same color to same color},separate and cover each of the nicked wires, one at a time with Flex Seal, let dry, then cover all with Flex Seal, makes a nice water tight and water proof jacket.
  26. First thing I've won in years & years.... Hopefully just started a streak...
  27. I go thru a lot of ties. Mounting my LED strobes took over 2000! There was one for each bulb plus some extras on each of the 40 strands https://vimeo.com/280309439 I will be sticking with the old fashioned ties.
  28. Time and Motion was awesome work, impressive.
  29. This is exactly why I decided a few years ago that I will not run pixels on the LOR network. my personal preference as Pixies and Pixcon were not released then. RS485 is great for distance but it is just too stinking slow and I did not want the headache trying to figure out what to put on what network to keep things running. I currently run two networks, one LOR (RS485) and one E1.31, all my ac controllers and dumb RGB controllers go on the LOR nrtwork and all my pixels run on E1.31. I am running seven CTB16PC's and four CMB24D's on the LOR network and somewhere around 11,000 pixel channels on E1.31 with Falcon and Alphapix controllers. E1.31 has a much shorter distance but it is way faster so I have two 8 port switches stretched across the yard. This works great for me without one bit of lag so this is one headache I don't have to worry about, at least for now.
  30. Some people are still rooted in the 60's, where we hung long strings of C9 and plugged them in from 5 to 9.
  31. Oh Mr. P shame on you, lol On second thought, may I borrow this line of reasoning. I always wanted a drone .
  32. 67 and it seems my best years are the ones I can't remember. I've seen photos that would suggest that may be true..
  33. Just got home ty for all the pics, jr or ceasar or what he is today is still travelling and chet and best half too. Praying they make it safe. Thank you all i got to go play with pups and lor lol
  34. I struggle to sequence 1 house, let alone a whole Street! Awesome effort Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk
  35. I hope I don't bore people with my light show contribution updates. Hang in there, we've only a few more days and my updates will be gone for another 10-11 months. Today after the mailman had made his delivery we hit a new Kolak Christmas Light Show donation record. Drum roll please.....yes that means YOU........come on, you can do it louder than that........we are now over $7,000.00. The mailman had delivered 8 envelopes containing checks ranging from $5 to $600. Just so you don't think I had made a typo, the checks ranged from five dollars to six hundred dollars. All appear to be from individuals and not a group or organization. I'm not a fan of the "share" feature everybody uses on Facebook as everytime you turn around somebody says share if you "agree" or "like". I'm asking you to share this because it is "good news". Visit kevinkolak.com or on Facebook at Kolak Christmas Light Show for more details about our cause this year
  36. Here is a link to the video of my display synchronized to Judy Pancoast's "Heroes In Blue" as a tribute to all of the men and women in law enforcement. Ron Lister www.ChristmasWonders.com 1642 Sunburst Way Kissimmee. FL 34744
  37. So I had been for about a year on whether or not I'd try to animate our lights. At the last minute I decided to do it for this year. When I say last minute, I didn't have a single thing planned, built. I didn't even place the order for the controllers until the week before Thanksgiving. It was the week of Thanksgiving that I realized that I would have to make all of the mini trees, arches, and figure out the mega tree to run the lights on. Of course, I had no idea how to go about building all of these items, so this and a few other forums became my best friend for 2-3 days. Knowing that I was short on time, I did take a shortcut and went with Wowlights package so that I would have at least a few animations that I'd be able to throw a show together right away. I also decided I probably wouldn't figure out the RGB or pixels in time, so I went strictly AC for the first year. In just 2 days I made all the mini trees, on the third day we figured out and made the arches, and on the fourth and fifth days we got the mega tree up and the LOR boxes came. I finished decorating the house and had the wowlight animations up and running by the end of the seventh day. One of the things that kept me from deciding on whether to do it or not originally, was simply the "Can I do it?" and "will it work" type hesitations that I have. But even a non-techie like me had no problem getting everything figured out and running. Now the RGB/Pixels... that I'm still not as sure about for next year. That is the one thing that Wowlights has going for them is the "works right out of the box" factor. All that to say... Thanks to everyone on these forums (and others). People like myself may not post much but we lurk and learn from everything you guys do. Here is my light setup for this year which is 48 channels with about 9000 lights total. The Santa face came with the package, everything else we just put together while we waited for the LOR controllers to come. (Hmmm... video displays full width on here and I can't figure out how to make it smaller. It was only shot with an iPhone)
  38. Santas Helper - you really have to quit posting those pics, show off.
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