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Everything posted by MichRX7

  1. And, of course, I bring the arch in the house, plug it in and all the light strings fully light. I tapped and pressed on bulbs and could not get any to go out, so I just shrug my shoulders and go set it up in the yard. Everything is now up except the candy cane clocks, and the door wreaths which I put out last since we walk in and out a lot while wiring.
  2. Ok, one last thng. Not a Prop and not New to me this year, but this is what I use for hanging my controllers. And the best part is if you make two or more they can double as a ladder ball game in the summer if you have a drill, some old golf balls and some elastic bungee material or rope! Pretty straight forward, 1" PVC (yes, from Home Depot), 6 PVC T's and 2 elbows. I don't even glue it together, because I take it apart for storage. The one's I put on the porch are free standing, the one's I put in the yard I do stake down by running wire over the bottom rung. For summer fun, take the elastic bungee type material and measure to a length that will wrap around a rung at least twice, plus a little more for the distance of two golf balls and knots, cut 8 equal lengths. Get a drill bit the diameter of your bungee material and drill through 16 golf balls, thread the bungee material through and tie a few knots on each side of the golf ball hole so it won't slide back out or down. Tada, summer fun without spending another $30 at Walmart to buy their version of the game. We like the bungee material because it adds a bit more excitement and challenge to the game. For hanging the controllers, if I have two (or more pairs) I run a bolt through the top and bottom of two controllers so they are back to back on a rung, then put a nut on and spin it "loosely" tight. If I have one I use a U and a bolt and let it hang below the rung. I also wrap hanging wires around the lower rungs so they are off the ground.
  3. Just hit my first snag in the setup. One of my arches has 1 strand out of 7 that is only half lighting. If that's the worst of it this year I'll be pretty excited (knock on wood). The only items I have left to set out are two big bulbs that go under the two outside arches, the arch I have to fix (which, of course, is why I can't hang the bulbs yet) and my two candy cane clocks. Then the wiring commences this weekend. Fingers crossed on that one.
  4. Just a note, I'm going to give these ends a try. It'll be nice if they work with just the heatshrink gun and I don't have to solder 72 ends and then heatshrink them. Electriduct Heat Shrink Solder Sleeve Crimpless Butt Connectors I'll give the results here after they arrive and test one out.
  5. The 22ga would be easier to work with and I believe that is the gauge on the actual strips themselves. And I, at most, would be going about 10'.
  6. I've only had one issue (knock on wood) with a controller. It was purchased by a vendor and LOR was very prompt and even sent me a replacement part overnight since it was late in the season and did not require me to send in my part first. I was extremely pleased with the service. They did take a CC#, but that was expected in case I didn't send in the malfunctioning part. It really was great as I was quite stressed that I'd only have half a show that year. But the piece went in, the controller came on, and I smiled all the way to the New Year.
  7. I find holding on to this thought is what keeps me trudging through the muck setting things up. I just know the look on my grandkids faces when it lights up for the first time will be amazing, and it'll bring a big smile to me and others as well. Keep up the good fight!
  8. It's dark and dreary here today and some of the snow is melting making the yard a bit slick and mucky, but it will be over 40 degrees, so my hope is to get at least two of my four arches set into the ground today during my lunch break. If I can get the other two and a couple of other items during my lunch break tomorrow I'll be feeling pretty good.
  9. Thank you both, I just noticed when I was doing my 9-volt testing that you can power from both ends. The soldering each side alternating like that is a good idea. I don't need to solder mine this year (knock on wood), but would not have thought of that without your input when I do.
  10. Wow, now I feel like I didn't get as much done as I thought I did... Interested in the Zara Radio, do you just stream info on it before your show starts using your laptop and FM transmitter? Do you shut that off when the show starts?
  11. Hello All, first year hear with some dumb rgb lighting and wondering what others use to connect from the box out to the light strip. I put two full strips on my wife's pontoon boat that connects to her phone via Bluetooth and lets her change color in and outside the boat and I used 4-wire 18 gauge I bought from (Yep) Home Depot. But this seems like it is much thicker than the ends on my LED strips and will be heavy and hard to manage in a cold Michigan winter and so I was wondering what others used. Thanks!
  12. Thanks, I wanted to paint the wood to match the house, but I didn't want to wait for it to dry as I'm feeling the pressure to get things done and wired. Here's hoping your HD is close enough to get to today so you can finish those last lampposts. I missed the first half of yesterday's game, but, eh, its the Lions. I knew how it would go. This morning I finished replacing my final last set of incan lights that have been in my display. They were on the star in my home-brew mega tree. I got them all on and will hang the at lunch. It's a simple one, when I first did this I drove some nails into a tree to hold the star and right below it I screwed in a huge hook. I know, some day I'll have to replace them as every year I have to adjust the nails for the star from tree growth, which also mean I must be getting a more vertical tree than I did when I first started. But no change this year. That guides me on the three artificial trees I use and where to put the arches our front and then I'll be ready to wire and fire it up. Good luck!
  13. The weather finally rose above freezing today, so I only had to tromp through about 7" of mushy snow. So, I started really getting items up on the house today. The only house props left are the two giant candy cane clocks on each side, so straightening and then the wiring. Next weekend is supposed to be even nicer, so hopefully all gets done by then. I didn't put up the canes because we are supposed to get quite the rain soaker on Thursday evening. I'll get the yard props up during the week before the rain, hopefully. Here's where I am at so far.
  14. Hahaha, at least I bought mine at the end of August. The looks were less insane.
  15. So the post covers are coming along nicely except I ran out of 6d finishing nails 10 nails short of finishing the last and final post. My posts are 5'5" all, I have snowflake lights hanging down across the front near them, so I decided to do around 5'. So, I bought four 1x8"x6' boards and trimmed them down to 5'2" (yes, with my Ryobi battery powered circular saw). Then I measured the boards one inch in so I'd have room to drive a nail at top and bottom to affix them to the current posts. From there I measured every 8.5" which is close to even. I marked each of those as they are my main starting points for starting each section of lights. From there I measure 2 1/8" which gave me pretty close to even measurements between the 8.5" section and mark those off all the way down the board doing all the marking on both sides. From there I start driving nails at each mark. After the nails are done I take 3 strings of bright white and 4 string of red (100 lights) and 1 white and 1 red (50 lights). I start at nail number one and slide the light string over the nail and move up to nail #5 (main 8.5" point) on the other board, then I wrap the lights up each side (5 nails each side), then wrap around the 4 prime nails, and continue wrapping to fill in as much as possible. Then I switch to the other color, start at nail #5 on my starting point (which already has my first set of lights around it) and repeat until I put the 3 strands of white and 3 strands of red (100 lights) down the board. Then I take a 50 string of the next matching color and do the ends. On one side you only use one nail and 5 on the other to fill in the bottom and top small sections. Plug the whites in together and the reds in together and I have my two channels of lights ready to set to my post. Now to finish the other 3 (if I can find 10 more nails somewhere). Here is what that first post looks like. At viewing distance they fill in quite nicely.
  16. Thanks, your place looks awesome, can't wait to see the 2019 videos (since I'm not crossing Lake Michigan on a Ferry in December to see them in person).
  17. Just wanted to give a shout out in this thread to @jfuller8400 and his thread on building a RGB Tester (which I will be doing before next season). You can get the link to his youtube video in his thread here: http://forums.lightorama.com/topic/50511-hand-held-dumb-rgb-tester/ And then I want to smack @tlogan for freaking me out that my "r's" looked like the bends were too tight. After having my neighbor craft some of his tools into a way I could test my strips with a 9-volt battery I am happy to say, yes they are tested, and yes Merry and all the individual letters of Christmas do light up. When I tried to do it myself with a 9-volt and some wires and the word merry (which is using a full strip) didn't come on, I about threw all my stuff in the garbage, lol... But reason won out and after my neighbor cobbled together some of his tester wires I did get all rgb channels on all of them to come on. Now I wait for my delivery of home depot wood so I can finish the front porch pole lighting.
  18. Dear @jfuller8400, I apologize for freaking out and hijacking your thread. Now I for sure want to watch your video and make the tester box. Thanks for the assist all, my neighbor who does hvac concocted a simple 9v tester for me and I am ecstatic to say all my letters actually do work.
  19. Yeah, I see that now. Too late and out of budget to back out this year. Either I abandon the Merry Christmas letters or get it fixed in the next two weeks. I'm hoping I can do the letters without breaks because it looks really good with my sequencing in the visualizer.
  20. I may have hurt the wire ends when I was pulling them through the vinyl tubing (crosses fingers) Then I won't have to restring, just cut back a bit of the tubing and fix the wires.
  21. And now to search through a million posts to find that one where it tells me which soldering iron/solder I need to order from Amazon. I have plenty of strips left over to fix any that I may have (did) screw up. Just no way to solder wire to them, lol...
  22. My wife has some led string lights that use 3 AA batteries. I wonder if I can chop the box for that and wires off and use that, because then I can heat shrink it back on.
  23. On my spelling of Christmas each of the letters are wired individually. I can get some to light up, but not others. Of course the plug ends seem cheap and some might be bad so I need to strip the wire back a little to test. The worst is the letter I was most worried about lights. Letters I felt good about I'm struggling with, but it is too hard to hold two wires to a battery and get them to touch the led wires. I'm scouring the house now to see if I have some old toy that has that 9-volt clip and wiring on it. I was going to make everyone unsafe and rip apart one of the smoke detectors, but the battery snaps into those so it doesn't have the clip-on end. I tried to see if they sold that at home depot, but I get a million responses searching 9-volt and I don't know if it has a real name.
  24. Ugh, that means I've got letter trouble.
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