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Everything posted by rwertz

  1. It's time to come clean. You used the auto-sequencer to win, didn't you?
  2. Those types of shows have never really been about reality. The displays, elements, people, events have all been chosen and embellished to attract viewers. I try to keep that in mind when I watch the show (since my wife turns it on every week). But it does depress me to see the hobby presented this way. That Facebook post blatantly states what the show has been implying for years. The whole "go big or go home" attitude about Christmas lights really pisses me off. Personally I enjoy seeing every single house that's decorated. I used to think those shows promoted decorating. But [Foul Language Used] like that is going to make people feel ashamed to decorate.
  3. No matter what you do, you'll want to get the PC clock as close as possible if it is responsible for controlling the timing. There are various programs out there to do that. I used to use a program called Dimension 4 on XP. I've played around with Meinberg NTP in WIN7. But since the Windows time service does it for you once a day I haven't really worried about it that much. http://www.meinbergglobal.com/english/sw/ntp.htm#ntp_nt_stable
  4. We had a loose neutral in our meter base. It caused the interior lights to blink pretty strongly with only 15 amps of animated Christmas lights. I found it by switching a hair dryer on and off and monitoring the two 120V legs at the panel. The neutral was moving back and forth 5 to 10 volts (one side increased when the other side decreased). But having said all that, I'm not sure that would cause the panel box to hum.
  5. I'm running that many LOR channels on a similar PC with no issues.
  6. I've had issues when I disconnect the LOR USB adapter from the PC and reconnect it. Sometimes it doesn't work or comes up on a different port number. If I reboot the PC and reconnect the adapter all is well.
  7. Busting on WIW is kind of a given right among animated decorators (even though most of us use it). You'll probably find yourself doing it in a few years if you stick around. Let It Go… (that's another one)
  8. Yep, Comcast probably isn't letting the emails through. My notices stopped about a week ago. When I went through this a few years ago (with Planet Christmas I believe) Comcast refused to be helpful. They insisted that it was the sender's responsibility to address the issue with them. I specifically asked if there was any way I could indicate that an email I wanted to receive should be delivered. The response was no. I'm sure I'll miss a few forum replies in the future since I'm too lazy to bother jumping from one email account to another anymore.
  9. I'm not sure I understand where you're headed with "sequencing for regular LOR controllers, but apply them to plug and play pieces" (maybe you're not either). The discussion of having pixel elements and generating the effects using superstar certainly is a way to get a good 'canned' show going. But you can quickly end up with channel counts in the thousands using technologies that are far from simple (just look at the post where someone has E1.31 data leaving his house and hitting his ISP). There are display elements like wire frames that have built in animation that would start automatically when you applied power to the device. I'm thinking of a waving Santa. But maybe there are more elaborate elements like carousels out there. The dripping icicle lights generate a lot of activity and all you do is apply power. A lot of my slower songs have the icicle lights on for the whole song. I've also seen several examples of displays that only had a few arches or a mega tree with 12 to 16 channels of one or more colors. With an assortment of sweeping type effects they look pretty good. You could reuse the effects as long as you stretch the timing to match the music. A few arches and a tree or two backed up by some icicle lights and maybe some strobes could come off looking pretty nice without a lot of intense sequencing work.
  10. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to stay within your comfort zone. If you enjoy pushing the limits of your time, skills, and technical ability then more power to you. But if going that direction turns this hobby into a burden then it's a mistake to do it. Personally I lean fairly far towards keeping things simple. I'm responsible for keeping a lot of things running at work. I don't want all that stress at home.
  11. We shoot for starting the show the first or second weekend in October. Since Halloween setup includes a lot of the infrastructure for Christmas I've been putting out controllers and hanging obscure stuff the last couple weekends. This weekend we'll start wrapping scrubs with lights and maybe move on to the more visible stuff like blow molds.
  12. Stay away from the media unless you want to risk uncontrolled growth and possibly get shut down due to unhappy neighbors.
  13. Any chance they are actually AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters)? I've heard of some strange issues with those tripping from RF noise, motors, etc.
  14. I sneak out around the upper corner of my garage door seal. I think others have gone out a window using a little foam or something at the jamb to fill the opening.
  15. Would it be acceptable to combine the stereo tracks for your music into a mono track on one channel and use the other channel for your vocals? Or maybe there's a way to use the Windows Command in the sequence to shell an audio player that could use a different sound card or surround channels. Edit: If the vocals occur at distinctly different times from the music you could use a channel to flip a relay to send the audio to a different set of speakers.
  16. I was in a discussion about this a while back. Someone was commenting that the sequences they created directly in LOR for their pixels ran fine while people with similar channel counts, software, hardware etc. seemed to have issues. The speculation was that the issues might be related to sequences that were developed in other software and exported to run in LOR. Is it possible that other programs are creating fade effects as individual (DMX type) step intensities and the program fails to translate it as a single fade effect when it exports for LOR?
  17. I use 16 night lights and the hardware utility. I'll do a couple slow fade up / down commands along with a chase. The flickering you're seeing might not be a controller issue. If you're using LED strings you might want to search the forum for 'snubbers'.
  18. The new controller should accept the commands from LORVis fine. But it's possible that the LORVis plugin doesn't work well with newer versions of Windows or Windows Media Player. Were you able to get a solid light using the LOR hardware utility?
  19. Al, that sounds like autofocus trying to respond to the animated lights. Check to see if you have a manual focus option.
  20. Also, don't forget that you will have timing issues if you use a VBR (Variable Bit Rate) mp3 audio file (common with mp3s purchased from Amazon etc).
  21. We hang a CCR from the soffit to color wash the doors. The cars in the garage don't come out in the winter. So we do a pair of large arches in front of the garage.
  22. It's hard not to be a little blinky with 16 channels. But as you add channels you start adding elements that use multiple channels. Then you start can do spins and sweeps that start to get away from so much flash (unless that’s the effect you were going for). Even with small channel counts you can add fades to take the edge off the effects or dedicate one channel to keep certain lights on all the time (like the roof edge).
  23. The ability to turn on any channel for verification while you're out in the display setting up is a big plus. LOR has never published their communication protocol and I don't believe there are hooks to access the hardware utility functions externally. So doing something like the hardware utility might mean creating a sequence / show on-the-fly that turns on the circuits you desire. If the display uses DMX there are probably some examples for sending those commands on the web.
  24. rwertz

    Windows 7

    You pretty much need to create an animation sequence with all the channels turned on the whole time. If you just want to check the lights you can run the sequence from the sequence editor (don't forget to choose 'Loop at End'). If you want yours lights on every night when your show ends you need to create a 'Lights On' show and add it to the schedule.
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