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About radioguy1007

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  • Birthday 06/25/1954

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Caledonia, WI
  • Occupation
    Electrical Engineer

More About Me

  • Interests
    Love music - from the 50's through the 80's.
  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    Saw the Carson Williams video - the rest is history.
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?

LOR Software

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  1. radioguy1007

    The variety of music in light shows is interesting

    A lot of the visitors to my display are families with small children, or those with older parents and buses from retirement communities in the area. My songs include kid favorites like the Chipmunks and sing alongs like "Must Be Santa". Yes the traditional favorites are all included. But then I like to go a bit outside by using songs that are not Christmas tunes but have been resung changing the lyrics to Christmas ones. Examples of that type are "Taking Care of Christmas" (Taking Care of Business - Bachman Turner Overdrive), "Toy Sack" (Love Shack - B-52's), "Dueling Jingle Bells" (Dueling Banjos), "Mr. Santa" (Mr. Sandman - Chordettes), "Decorations" (Good Vibrations - Beach Boys), and "Yabba Dabba Yuletide" (Flintstones Theme). I never understood why some shows use songs that had absolutely nothing to do with the holiday season.
  2. radioguy1007

    NOOOOOOOO, not street lights!!!!!

    Although I am far from the nearest street light, it was an old sodium type for the last 9 years I have lived here. This spring the HOA updated them due to failing of the old ballasts went to a new LED design - and they are BRIGHT. So my solution is to make my display BRIGHTER!
  3. radioguy1007

    DUMB RGB window frames

    I 100% agree with Jim's suggestion to use PEX. The effect is great. A couple years ago I built a fan using dumb LED strips inside 1/2 inch white PEX, folding the flex strip inside the tube so I had lights 180 degrees apart filling the inside of the tube (the width of the flex strips was just about the same size as the ID of the PEX tube). Advantage to this approach was I did not have to drill a hole for every pixel, and the finished tubes were sealed on both ends to eliminate moisture. This was not my idea - I saw it here some time ago by another member. The 12 volt flex ribbon I bought could be broken at 3 inch spacing if needed, so you could make segments at just about any length you need. I used a nylon screw at one end where it looped around in the tube so to not cut through the flex circuit traces. I bought the RGB LED strips from China, and they were under $10 for a 15 foot length (which made 7 1/2 foot tubes). The one downside is PEX is more flexible than PVC, but with proper support it is workable especially around a window frame.
  4. radioguy1007

    Singing Faces How to. What do i need?

    I saw Brian's tree "Brandon" many years back and used the idea to create "Douglas Fir". I also started with the simple open / closed mouth concept, but then added an "O" configuration to the mouth a couple years later and that adds to the visual without adding too much to programming. I used rope light in the construction, and could be cut at 18 inch spacing which worked out great for everything.
  5. I just bought one to replace an old incandescent one I had for years. Bulbs had faded and was just too much to rehab. I am impressed with it too - very bright and I know the colors will not fade with time. Thanks for the heads up!
  6. radioguy1007

    Low voltage AC/DC Adapter

    AC means alternating current and has a frequency that it changes, specified in Hertz. The US standard line frequency is 60 Hertz. DC (direct current) has no frequency component, it is constant potential. The only way to make a frequency from DC is to use an inverter that chops the DC into pulses. As members above have stated, many small motors are universal type - they will have a commutator and brush assembly. DC motors will have brushes - with the exception of stepper motors where the magnetic fields are electronically rotated about the rotor to make it spin. I am an electrical / electronics design engineer with nearly 40 years of experience.
  7. radioguy1007

    Low voltage AC/DC Adapter

    Please keep in mind the current rating - 4A may be to small for a bunch of landscape lights. The 25A version you linked to from Radio Shack would probably be OK. As to your comment about a bridge rectifier turning DC into AC - the laws of electronics make this impossible. The + side of a bridge has 2 cathodes connected to it, blocking current flow to the ~ terminals. In a similar fashion, the - side of a bridge has two anode connections. You need a DC to AC inverter to get AC from a DC source.
  8. radioguy1007

    Low voltage AC/DC Adapter

    The CMB24D is specified at a maximum 30 VDC input. From personal experience hacking some LED wreaths, the input regulator without a heat sink gets burning hot at 29 VDC. And if his lights are 12 volts, anything much above will be an issue.
  9. radioguy1007

    Low voltage AC/DC Adapter

    OK I have to ask. You are actually running a 12 volt transformer into the CMB24D? Not having a schematic, it is likely there are protection diodes for the input power to the chips and voltage regulator because the board can either be powered off the supply terminals or an aux power jack. There are some big filter capacitors in the board photo. So it may be working because the circuit is being powered off of a half wave rectifier. Now for the mosfets - is your lighting all LED? They too may have protection diodes that convert the incoming voltage to DC. As Jim said, they SHOULD NOT have AC across them or they will release the magic smoke. But you may have got lucky that the lights with polarity diodes are providing protection for the mosfets. A diode anywhere inline would convert the AC from the transformer to DC - but it would be a half wave DC. Your lights are likely not as bright as if they were being driven off a pure DC source.
  10. radioguy1007

    "Lights On" in two weeks!!!

    I have to say this has been the most challenging setup in the 12 years of doing LOR shows. Halloween setup was great - temperatures in the 70's working in short sleeves. Takedown of Halloween completely different story. Got out 11/3 (Friday) and took some stuff in. Next day rain - all day making yard mud. Halloween finally down on the 5th and start on house same day. Last weekend rains Saturday all day. Sunday OK, but yard is mud. Was able to do some things during short daylight after work and fixed a few loose connections. Still have neighbors yard to do - 3 large props. Tomorrow more rain or possibly snow. And cables coming in today from China to finish up 4 hacked LED "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" wreaths from Menards. This is cutting it close - black Friday (I like to call it LIGHTS Friday) has been the traditional start. I do turn on my host, "Douglas Fir", as a tease early. First few nights just sleeping, then wakes every 30 seconds and looks around going back to sleep, 2 days before wakes, sees a simple chase around the yard and smiles.
  11. radioguy1007

    Oldest Sequencer Here?

    I turned 63 this year. Been doing this with LOR since 2004 after seeing the Carson Williams video. I had an animated display since the mid-80's that used 8 bit microprocessor controllers custom built to flash lights in patterns. This year I am mentoring a neighborhood boy to sequence a song for my Halloween and Christmas shows. So when I'm ready to hang it up..... Naw!
  12. radioguy1007

    10w 8-pack RGB floods

    I am going to go with Mr. P's response. I too have a 2 story home that previously was lit with 3 each red and green 90W floods. Three of the 50W floods do a fantastic job of lighting the whole thing. I also have the 10W package - but I aim them at the viewers. I can make them any color strobe I want - and I like red blue flashing to get some attention!
  13. radioguy1007

    Opening song.....opinions

    Yes, that is the full version of the FOX theme which is almost never heard on TV. I did an audio edit in my version that made it the same as what is heard typically on football. And I don't mind hearing it over and over this year - GO PACK!
  14. radioguy1007

    Opening song.....opinions

    This is from a few years back, but you get the feel of the sequencing.
  15. radioguy1007

    Opening song.....opinions

    I've used a 30 second edit of the FOX sports theme since I've began doing synchronized shows. It's familiar to most adult viewers (especially NFL fans), and lends itself to some very powerful sequencing turning on blocks of lights at each "beat".