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About bschwotzer

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  • Location
    columbus, oh
  • Occupation
    law enforcement

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  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    searching the internet
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?
  1. bschwotzer

    Light Show Theft/Vandalism?

    I secure my controllers. I use an idea that I got from Family Handyman years ago. Take a two foot piece of schedule 40 pvc pipe 3" in length with a threaded coupler end and plug. I dig two feet deep, and I drive a piece of rebar deeper into the ground. Place schedule 40 pipe into the hole with the top level or below grade and pour concrete into the piece of pipe stopping short of the top. While the concrete is wet I sink a eye bolt with a nut and washer and leave only the eye portion visible. The plug keeps water and dirt out of the pipe until I need a security point. I paint the top to blend through out the year. I blends and I can run my mower right over it. here is a link http://www.familyhandyman.com/home-security/how-to-stop-thieves#13
  2. bschwotzer

    So just curious... who here is still old school?

    I just moved 2 times in a year. Last Christmas was spent in an apartment, it drove me nuts! All of my lights were in storage. I have no ccr or anything other than LED lights. I and my wife loves blow molds and they are all incans. I have no plans for upgrading at all.
  3. bschwotzer

    Stop sign

    I can tell you that in Ohio it is a illegal. No if and or buts. It is illegal to hang anything on a traffic control device or sign. I know that ppl hang garage sale signs on speed limit signs, no parking signs, and stop signs but it is a violation of law in Ohio. I would stay way from the stop sign and keep decorations at least 5 to 10 feet from it. If you obscure the stop sign in any way and there is a traffic crash you will be held liable. Any sign that is for traffic control in the State of Ohio is posted in the easement of the property it still belongs to the State. It may be on your property by pin markers but it is owned and controlled by the State.
  4. bschwotzer

    How can I improve?

    I made three arches with five channels each. Each section was about a foot long. One controller with a left over channel. Just a thought?
  5. I did static lights for 8 years. The last two years were with Mr. Christmas. The second year I burnt up two Mr Christmas within one season. I was looking for way to repair the Mr Christmas when I found LOR. I have never looked back. I have been phasing out all of my old incan minis. I keep my blow molds to keep a part of my old display. I have replaced most of the lights in the blow mold to leds. I have not replaced all of my older incan lights but each year the number of incan lights go down.
  6. bschwotzer

    GFCI trips

    My second year I had one GFCI trip and I still do not know why. My first year I was having all kinds of problems with GFCI trips. I tried plastic bags, plastic containers and found that making sure that the female end was pointed down on every connection and on the end were the female end was not plugged into to anything was off the ground and pointed down. I also made a point to have the where the extension cord plugs in to the prop that it was zip tied to the prop and the female end was point down. The mini trees I cut pieces of 2" pvc plumbing to 2" lengths and have 4 per mini tree. I use two plastic stakes per tree to keep it from falling over. I found out that my biggest problem was candy canes and I had a lot of them. I ended up zip tying the electric cord up the side of the candy canes about a 3/4". The only draw back is that it makes a great trip wire at night! Face planting in front of someone watching the light show I'm sure would have won me an entry into the Americas funniest home video if they had been videoing the light show. Needless to say the candy canes were gone the following year.
  7. bschwotzer

    Groups versus Tracks

    This was my first year. I programed 10 songs on track 1. George if I were to use your system for expansion which I plan to do, the sequences on track 1 is that going to be effected when I copy to another track? Which track will the controller follow or does the other tracks over write on the master track.?
  8. bschwotzer

    Newbie 1st Year setup experiences

    This was my first year as well. I had a horrible time with GFI trips this year. I quickly learned to keep lights and plugs off the ground. If you want light to look like they are on the ground use the plastic stakes that are light holders they are cheap and with stop the hair pulling when searching for that GFI trip. The mini Christmas tree built with tomato cages needed a 4 two inch pieces of pvc pipe cut to isolate them from ground faulting. Plastic anchoring stakes are better to help isolate props, using metal stakes when need for strength. The older the prop the better the chance of ground faults. I had 30 candy canes from my static days of Christmas decorating that I used, and they were one of my main culprits for the GFI trips. I found that the simplest fixes are the best, do not over think solutions. The wire between the candy canes when on the ground was almost guarantee to get a GFI trip. I zip tie the wires up the side a bit so the wire was held off the ground. Take time to zip tie the last open end of the string of lights facing down so water will not accumulate.
  9. bschwotzer

    Over the top

    all I have to say is that is the Christmas is all about. That has to be the best post I have seen on any on forum. I loved it.
  10. bschwotzer

    Good riddance to mini incans

    This is my first year. I found an auction in May that was selling Christmas item and lights by the crate. I bought a standard crate 4'x4'x4'. They were "unsaleable items" some were broken and some were just fine never opened. There was some trash in the crate as well I just threw out. Spent a good part of the year going through light strands. All of them were GE lights. But I have about 5000 leds in my Christmas display and I spent $350. I still have a lot of light strands to go through. The only problem with this approach is that you can not control color or size, but there was enough for me to get what I wanted/ live with. The only incans I have are from my static display days that I like candy canes and blow molds. Check out auctions but remember "where is as is" at least in the state I live in
  11. bschwotzer

    the wife has snapped the wallet shut

    Well my wife and I have been talking the last few days about the show. She ask how I was going to get the music so people could hear it. I told her that I had planned on buying a fm transmitter and use a radio that I had picked up at a garage sale (no harm in a $2 radio dyeing if it gets wet). I told her that since I was not allowed to spend any more money I had been thinking how I was going to be able to get the music heard. I told her I found in the basement an old stereo system that had an audio in and was going to find some old speakers and just broadcast the music. I knew that the stereo was hers from long ago and the speaker that I was going to use was hers as well. I told her that I was trying to think of a way to keep the stereo from getting wet in our screened in porch where I have plans to put my mp3 director. About two days later she ask how much a fm transmitter was, and where there any on amazon. She said that she had been hiding the amazon card for college school books, but was willing if the balance of the card would cover the fm transmitter. So I showed her the one transmitter I would like to have on amazon. The next day she said the fm transmitter was going to been her Monday. So I guess I could say I have support, but the pennies are being pinched. By the way I think that my wife is starting to get excited but is trying not to show it.
  12. bschwotzer

    the wife has snapped the wallet shut

    My wife has been understanding to a point. We were at a sale and got over $200 in lights. I got cases of lights and she was the one that bought the controller! I work second shift so she was the one who got the controller on the mad grab sale. So I can't say that she was unsupportive.
  13. I don't know if any of you have had the same experience. This is my first year and we bought a controller and the software. I have been programing like mad, and have 10 song done. The day before she snapped the wallet shut, I told her I wish that I had another 16 or 32 channels, an fm transmitter, and I still had to buy stuff to build a tree. I told her that I'm not sure I have time to program another 16 channels and build the props I have planned. I guess I should have kept quiet. I have been told that we need to seriously watch our spending. She has been supportive but the line has been drawn. I have all the light strings I need, just got pulled back a little short of where I wanted to be for the first year. Have any of you run into this or have I fallen in too deep to this hobby? After the first year did your spouse become more or less supportive?
  14. bschwotzer

    Backing up sequencing files

    Thank you for taking the time to lay out the steps I needed to take. I was thinking that there was a way to back up the file from inside the LOR programs. I found all of the sequences in My Documents in the LOR folder and was able in seconds back up the work I have done. Now that you let me see out of the little box I was trying to force myself in it was so simple. Thank you
  15. bschwotzer

    Backing up sequencing files

    I have looked through the threads and everyone says back up you sequencing. I am new at this and not super computer literate. I play around on the computer but am not very knowledgeable . I read lots of help files. I saw the thread on Robocopy, and sending the files to dropbox but it just did not make sense to me. Feeling kinda of stupid to ask, but here I go. I have sequenced a number of songs and saved them in the sequencing file area of LOR program, but I cannot seem to figure out how to get the sequences saved to the thumb drive as a backup, in the LOR sequence editor. I have tried searching the help files under back up and saving to thumb drive with no success. I would hate to lose my first year to a computer crash. I don't have plans on something huge just 16 channels and will build from there. Other than the sequence editor I have just used the LOR visualizer and the simple show builder. With the show time builder and have built a show with the songs I have completed, saying I was using a dcmp3, which allowed me to save to a thumb drive.