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About jfuller8400

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    Bloomington, MN
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  1. "Lights On" in two weeks!!!

    That really is the best feeling to see the excitement in the kids (of all ages).
  2. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

    Belated Happy Thanksgiving to All (I ate too much yesterday to reply) and good luck to all of us who are lighting up this weekend!
  3. Newbie with controller issues (LOR1602W)

    Ok, so it sounds like you've got one controller working, correct? So that would say that your PC, USB, 485 adapter and Cat 5 to the controller are all good. So far so good. Let's try this: Make sure your USB and 485 adapter are plugged into your PC and open up the LOR Hardware utility. It should open without any errors (i.e. it should connect to the correct com port). Note that we haven't connected the cat5 cable to any controllers yet. Now power up the non-working controller (if you have two power cords make sure both are plugged in). Do you see a flashing led (it will be either red or green depending on the age of the controller). If you don't have a flashing light then the controller isn't receiving power. There are two fuses at the bottom of the board. Check each of those to insure they aren't blown. If the fuses are good and you've verified that the outlet is working then I would suggest opening a help desk ticket with LOR as there's a problem with the board itself. If you only have one power cord, there are a pair of jumper wires for the hot & neutral lines on the board that connect the A side of the board to the B side of the board. Check those jumpers to make sure they are installed/working along with the fuses. If that all checks out, then open a ticket with LOR. Ok, so if none of the above applies and you have a flashing light, plug in the cat5 cable into one of the RJ45 jacks on the board. Within a couple of seconds the light should stop flashing and turn solid. This indicates that the controller is talking to the Hardware Utility software on the PC. If the light doesn't go solid try plugging the cat5 cable into the other RJ45 jack. If you get a solid light now, it means that one of your RJ45 jacks is bad/damaged. A common problem to look for is bent pins/wires within the3 jack itself. Otherwise, the jack may need to be replaced. Sill no solid light? Try replacing the cat5 cable from the 485 adapter to the controller. The first one should have worked (especially if it worked with the other controller) but there have been cases, and its an easy thing to test. If you still don't have a solid light, you could try powering up the controller that is working, plug the cat 5 cable into it (where you should get a solid light) and then use an Rj11 phone cord to connect between the working controller and non-working controller. If you don't get solid lights on both controllers, then open a ticket with LOR as you've got a sick controller. Otherwise you've got a pair of bad RJ45 jacks (unusual but it can happen). Let's say you do have a solid light on the controller, you should be able to use the HU to turn on the channels and control your lights. At this point do you have all channels working, no channels, some channels...?
  4. Zara Radio temperature announcement

    I'm glad you got it working. I've updated the config file to remove the characters that were causing the confusion so hopefully it's a little more clear now for anyone else.
  5. Zara Radio temperature announcement

    Hi Wayne, I'm glad it looks like it will work. If you have any problems, please let me know. Joel
  6. I'm always amazed by your work with this. I know how much time and effort I put into my show - I can't imagine trying to co-ordinate 34 houses.
  7. Time-Lapse Setup Video

    I had fun creating one of those time-lapse videos of the display setup this year. I'm still learning how to use my video editing software (Lightworks) but hopefully I'm getting better. Let me know what you think!
  8. Zara Radio temperature announcement

    I've reworked my program to now use a parameter file, so for anyone who would like, you can get a copy of it from here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1v3bbitid775alk/AABNMXFA3JMBETh_euA5WKi5a?dl=0 It's just a basic console application that retrieves the current weather conditions for your area (identified by zip code) and writes them to a formatted file that Zara can use. It also displays the data on the console screen. It's not pretty, but it gets the job done. Make sure to read/follow the instructions in the ReadMe.txt file to get all of the parameters set. You'll need to get an API key from OpenWeatherMap.org, but that's easy (and free). Instructions are in the ReadMe. I've done very limited testing (I know it works on my PC) but let me know if you run into problems and I'll see what I can do. Also let me know if you have suggestions for improvements. Joel
  9. Rebroadcasting?

    I second using Zara. I play Christmas music during the day (via Zara) and then switch over to the show music at about 5pm. It's all automated so I don't have to do a thing. I keep the volume low on the outdoor speakers (so I don't annoy anyone) and the neighbors love it. They like the music during the day when they are out for walks.
  10. FM transmitter

    I'd also check the cable between your audio source and the transmitter. I was getting a lot of distortion on my transmitted audio one year that I narrowed down to a bad cable.
  11. Song Volumes

    I used it's defaults and ran it against all songs in my show. That way they're all at the same (relative) volume level.
  12. CMB24D RJ45 burns out USB 485 Adapter

    The only picture I've got is the one I added on a previous post. The PS was mounted from the bottom so I have no idea of what grounded inside it. I just know that when I took it off the mounting plate, the problem disappeared so I made sure to use shorter screws when I put it all back together. The pic does show the wiring from the PS to the board, though.
  13. Zara Radio temperature announcement

    I ended up writing my own C# program to pull the current weather from a data source (I forget at the moment which one I used) and format it for use in Zara. It's not pretty but it works.
  14. Continuous or Not?

    Continuous as well. I've also got different playlists for early and late shows coupled with an A, B, and C day shows. Keeps the exact same songs from being played all night, every night (and driving us all crazy).
  15. "Lights On" in two weeks!!!

    I'm actually running a bit ahead of schedule this year (after taking 8 days off work). Everything is up and tested - I just need to create the actual shows in Show Builder. Then it's lights on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.