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About beeiilll

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  • Birthday 08/12/1952

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    Long Lake, NY
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    Rocketry, music, chilling with my animals
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LOR Software

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  1. Thanks all! I should mention that I started with LOR back in 2008 so am familiar with it and sequencing. Just got away from it due to health, income, and other issues back in 2014 so am out of date from there on. I have been on this forum for years as well but have not kept up with it either sadly. I had to sell my house last month so may just sell off all my stuff but unsure at this moment. I just wanted to get "clear" on the newer adapters and network stuff for this. I built all my controllers except for 5, one from LOR in the beginning and then 4 from another person who had trouble with them and I bought them and repaired them. Mine are all CTB16K Delux units that I built up for the max of 40 amp at the time with two 12 ga power cords and 12 ga dongles for lights and heat sinks. I got a great deal on a couple dozen outside weatherproof plastic boxes that were from a cable company that was replacing them for the controllers. The boards fit perfectly in them and they have a clear cover so I can see the red LED.
  2. I am behind on the newer Enhanced Network stuff as I have not run my show since 2014 but wanted to ask about this as well. I have 21 older controllers (Gen 1 and 2) for stuff and will probably end up selling them this year but I thought that I saw an answer somewhere in here about being able to run both a regular network as well as an enhanced network together so that it is possible to run both older controllers and newer ones together? I thought I read that you just would have to run 2 networks to do this? I "assume" that would mean running maybe one of the newer "red" adapters for the enhanced network along with an older black adapter for the older controllers (I understand that the red adapter can run any controllers)? I would appreciate any clarification on this, please.
  3. I use this to repair and modify my LED strings. Not sure if it will help but will post it for the FYI factor. This is part of a pdf that I found years back on modifying LED strings but the forum here won't let me post the pdf. LED Calculations 1. Peek Voltage - Peek voltage out of the full wave rectifier from 120VAC RMS equals 170V minus the voltage dropped by the diodes. This would result in about 167V. a. Rounded voltages, 120VAC *1.414 = 170V. b. 170V - 2.8V = 167V 2. LED Voltage and Current a. Voltage varies by manufacturer and color for LEDs. The most common current is near 20mA. You must look up the specifications for your LED string. b. In my examples below, I’ll be using: Red = 2.0V, 17mA or 0.017A 3. Resistor Calculation (Example using a shortened string of 26 Red LEDs.) a. Calculate voltage drop of LEDs i. 2.0V x 26 = 52V b. Calculate peak voltage minus voltage dropped by the LEDs i. 167V – 52V = 115V c. Calculate Resistor(s) needed to drop remaining voltage i. Ohms - 115V / 0.017A = 6.764KOhm (Use next higher standard value, for example, 8.2KOhm) ii. Watts - 115V * 0.017A = 1.955Watt (Use a minimum of 2 watt resistor) 4. Rectification – You will need 4 diodes per string to make the full wave rectifiers. a. I use 600V/1A diodes. Mouser part number 821-1N4005 5. Here is a link to a handy online calculator which I use: http://www.horrorseek.com/home/halloween/wolfstone/Lighting/litlec_LEDCalc.html Limitations: This example does not utilize any voltage doubling circuits. You are limited to using the number of LEDs that add up to or just below 167V. For example, I could build a string using a maximum of 83 Red LEDs which drop 2.0V each. This would utilize 166V of the available 167V. Other LED colors drop higher voltages. For long strings, you must divide the string in half and build full wave rectifiers for each section. Tip: When purchasing resistors, you can use one or more. Rather than just using the one 8.2KOhm resistor, you could use two resistors, one on each end that adds up to at least 6.8KOhms or just over that value. I’d also recommend purchasing resistors in bulk where you can. I calculated the resistor sizes needed for each of my strings based on the number of LEDs and voltage differences based on color. I then purchased resistors with a value common to all of my strings but within the closest range of my requirements. This allows me to use the same resistors for most strings, and I commonly only use two different resistor sizes. For example, I have purchased both 3.6KOhm/2watt and 2.7KOhm/2watt resistors for all of my strings. I may use one, two, or a combination of these values depending on my needs. LED Colour Forward Voltage Vf Forward Current If White 3.2 V to 3.8 V 20 mA to 30 mA Warm White 3.2 V to 3.8 V 20 mA to 30 mA Blue 3.2 V to 3.8 V 20 mA to 30 mA Red 1.8 V to 2.2 V 20 mA to 30 mA Green 3.2 V to 3.8 V 20 mA to 30 mA Yellow 1.8 V to 2.2 V 20 mA to 30 mA Orange 1.8 V to 2.2 V 20 mA to 30 mA Pink 3.2 V to 3.8 V 20 mA to 30 mA UV 3.2 V to 3.8 V 20 mA to 30 mA
  4. Easiest "option" is to take somethink like a popscicle stick and make a "dummy" heat sink with say three holes in it to line up the triac with the holes in the heat sink. You can use the stick to make sure the triac in lined up to solder it in place and then assemble the heat sink after soldering is complete. I use this method myself and it works great. I actually made up a piece of aluminum with three holes in it to act as an alignment tool. I stick screws in the new triac and the ones on either side of it unless it is on the end just to hold the new triac in position while I solder it in. Then clip the leads off the new triac and put the heat sink back on. If you are going to cut the leads and not remove the old leads from the board, this also allows you to get the holes lined up when you cut the new triac leads and will hold the traic while you solder.
  5. The "easiest" way is to snip the leads and remove them one at a time. Then use a solder sucker or solder wick to remove all the remaining solder from the holes. A small dab of flux doesn't hurt but depends on your solder as well. I use 63/37 and have replaced probably a dozen triacs over the years with no problems. You want a nice clean tip on your iron with just a touch of solder on it to remove the leads. Your soldering iron will determine the amount of time it takes to remove and resolder connections. I use a solder station that is adjustable so I can use bigger tips or more heat if necessary in situations but a common old 40-watt "radio shack" style of soldering iron will work just as well as long as you pay attention. Your biggest "worry" is that you might lift a trace on the board and it is something to watch out for. As long as you don't hold a big chisel tip iron on the point for long though, you should be fine.
  6. HA - Ya, I said that there are those who live in better climates than many of us do who would be able to use hot glue without much trouble! I just wanted to throw out an observation on how some adhesives work in "less than desirable" conditions for people to make their own decisions on what to use. When I was doing my tests, I contacted several companies about using potting compound on electrical connections. I got some very favorable answers on it right up to the point where they said that it would only work "correctly" if applied under some pretty tight conditions (read in a factory environment here)! Plus potting compound is pretty much applied and forget about making any changes with the stuff! I used a lot of it during my time in the Air Force and still have it around for my own projects but would never recommend it to anyone who is not ready for some involvement with using it! I also found hot glue to be messier than silicone especially on a ladder fixing a connection in the winter. Much like anything, it will work only as well as the prep work and detail to using the stuff correctly. Or in other words, "Done right, it is perfect - Done wrong, it is a nightmare". We all use whatever we can get our hands on at times and that is why I was interested in how different kinds of sealants would react to weather in our "hobby" type of use.
  7. I would like to throw in my experience with hot glue here just as a YMMV kind of thing! I ran tests on several different types of sealants back in 2012 through 2013 to see how they would work for sealing strips and electrical connections. I ran the testing outdoors for just under 9 months. I found that hot glue was the second worst thing to use as it failed within a couple of months into the testing (acetic silicone was the worst). It got brittle and/or just didn't grip well enough to prevent moisture entry into strips or connections. It also got too soft in the warmer days and would start to creep away from the joints it was supposed to seal! I live in upstate NY so the tests got a very large range of cold, hot, wet, and dry days to see what would happen. Hot glue failed worst in the colder days for sure but it still failed. The best sealant I can across was an electrical silicone that is neutral (no acidic properties to cause problems) and was the best "overall" for not only sealing but also to be able to be removed if any repairs were necessary. I imagine that hot glue might work well for people who live in areas that are warmer year round but up here in the North, it doesn't cut it. I will say that I am sure that there are newer formulations of hot glue out now that probably work better as well. This was one of the better electronic sealants at the time I ran my tests: https://www.altex.com/GC-Electronic-Grade-Silicone-Sealant-Adhesive-3oz.
  8. Greetings! I remember you as poestenkillights from "back in the day!!! I too live in upstate NY (45 miles from Lake Placid) and remember you on the forums when I was also doing shows. I had to stop due to health and income issues back in 2014 myself and sadly now am having to sell my house so pretty much the shows are over for me (at least for now). I have been trying to get back into sequencing and understanding the different things with pixels for the last year till a month or so ago when it I just had to realize that I had to move and sell. I downloaded the new S5 software and have played with it some but am not at all up to speed with it. I still have 21 controllers myself that are 1st and 2nd generation that I would like to use once I get moved and settled in (I'm staying right here for now although we just got 12 inches of snow yesterday and places like Arizona are looking very nice to me right now 😂)! I would say get the new software and go with the full Pro license so that you can use all the capabilities. Then just start asking questions as you come across problems. I have gotten a lot of advice on here so far that has helped me get back up to speed with things. You can find people who will send you props that will help "explain" how to set things up as well. I got a prop for my mini trees that made the light bulb go on for setting up stuff! Once you grasp the basic concept of the new stuff, it falls into place pretty quick. One thing with the new S5 you will find is that you will have to set up things in the preview for stuff but you will probably have to anyway as you now have a different house and display layout. You can "probably" import your old sequences though and still use any that you might want too. The new software will run our old controllers just fine as far as what I have found so far. There is a new adapter that will run at a higher speed (red adapter) that you may want to look at and will need if you want to run an enhanced network with pixels from what I gather. Anyway, welcome back! Good luck and happy holidays to you.
  9. Nice collection there Orville! Very nice of you to share them with folks too. Great to be on a forum with folks like you.
  10. I started doing my animated lighting display in 2008 because our little town (approx. 1000 full-time residents) had almost no Christmas lights out during the season and I wanted to restart things if I could for all of us. As it happened, a family with a little girl was coming almost every night when I first started. It turned out that she was terminally ill and they had spent all their money and savings on her health costs so they couldn't afford to do much for the holiday. I made a special Christmas show just for her and it was the best thing I have ever done. Made all the work worth the effort. It worked for the town as well and the next year there were quite a few houses with at least some static or random blinking lights around. I did my last show in 2013 due to health issues making it almost impossible to put the lights and display stuff out. I had a few people offer to help but never seemed to show up so I couldn't depend on the help. Sad but it happens and I certainly understand that we all have lives other than lighting or doing things for others. I can understand Orville's "plight" all too well. I just can't climb on the roof, raise my mega tree, or even haul the display stuff around the yard by myself anymore. I spent a week in 2014 trying to get some things out without much success before I just had to give up and not do the display. Being is such a small town has the disadvantage of not having a lot of people around who can help with things as well. I miss the display and still have all my stuff to do it but now am in the position of having to sell my house since I am on SSI and can't afford to keep it. Not really sure what I am going to do with stuff though.
  11. You folks that live out there in the big world are lucky! Our post office is only open for 7 hours a day Monday through Friday and 4 hours on Saturday! We consider it a miracle if we actually get a package at the PO (no deliveries here) on the day that tracking says it arrived! Have been seeing delays of a few days lately with new people working at our PO since our postmaster retired a few months ago. Well, it is the price we pay for living in the middle of a Forever Wild, six million acre park I guess but it is not fun when you expect a priority first class overnight mail of meds and they don't show up!
  12. I am an electrician for 30 years so far and give this one note a big plus!! My electrical inspector is the biggest help to have. You can go by all the NEC and local regulations but inspectors have seen and know a lot of the "little things" that can make life easier, safer, and better. Being that they have "seen it all" in the trade, they are happy to help out homeowners and others with questions. I picked up so many little tips over the years from the inspectors that made things nicer for me and my customers. I had the unfortunate instance of having lightning strike my house years ago. It took out a lot of equipment and worst of all my server, 3 separate computers, and the loss of a great deal of data. I was in the process of updating a lot of records and getting a lot of old information put into digital (records, photos, drawings, etc) at the time and almost all of it was lost and unrecoverable by a data service! I was running a year-long test of different types of sealants for using with connections for this hobby at the time and lost all the data on that as well! I am now a "true believer" in having grounds and other means of protection against lightning.
  13. I have never tried the stuff but maybe look at some electroluminescent wire? Maybe something like this: http://www.elwirepros.com/ Since it can be cut to the foot from the looks, maybe it would be better suited to a prop like this? Just throwing out an idea. I have used rope light for a couple of props myself and used heat shrink to "hide" sections when necessary. Seems like there should be a newer tech way to do this though.
  14. I'm of the mind with Mike on this! I have the Hakko cutters and they are super fine to work with. I have tried quite a few various manufacturers ones over the years (I'm 65 and have been playing with and working with electronics since I was 11)! It really does pay to find good quality tools and pay a bit more (IMO) for the easiness and help that they provide. Also helps keep the fatigue down on your hands when you are doing a lot of cutting, stripping, or repetitious work. Although on the other hand, as long as you recognize that a tool is getting dull or doesn't work right and will throw it away and get a new one, then you can use just about anything I use both plain old mini strippers as well as a very expensive set of adjustable strippers (mine were over $200 when I bought them many years ago). Each has their place and time for me but I agree that many of the cheaper adjustable ones out today are not worth the trouble. They lose the adjustment or the blades wear out quickly and then you are "fighting the tool" and that makes the job no fun and frustrating. My adjustable ones (I have had them for a few decades now and don't remember the name as I am not at my house right now) have replaceable cutting blades and several adjustments on them to get them to cut true and right. I take time every few months to clean, adjust, lubricate, and overall inspect my tools to keep them working in top order. When I find any tool that bends, breaks, or just doesn't work up to the job, I pitch it and grab a spare one right away. I refuse to fight with a tool and I still enjoy sitting at my workbench stripping a few dozen wires at a time and making up cables and assemblies for projects! This DIY should be fun as well as having some challenge to it but using the right (and good) tools makes it easier to enjoy!
  15. Thanks. I have never used S4 at all even though I do have it on my show computer. I last sequenced with S3 back in 2013 (or so ) before I had to stop with things. Now I am getting back into this and have had others say to not even bother with learning S4 since I am starting out pretty much from zero with things. Although I do see your point in referencing the help in S4 so I guess I better fire up my show computer and take some time to see how that works somewhat. Right now I am building my preview in S5 and assigning channels in it for my "regular" AC channels and LOR working network to get things changed over to that. I have 288 channels with lots of blow mold props to build in S5 first and then I will take a look at pixels but since I am now retired due to health and forced to live on SSI, I may not get to using pixels anytime soon. I do have many thousands of dollars of LEDs to use though and can make a "relatively" good show with them for now. I am also the only person who is doing any kind of animated lighting display within 50 miles and the folks around here loved it when I could do it so looking to try and get it going again if I can! Plus I like to change my display layout from year to year to make things interesting. In S3 and the older LOR sequencing, it was not that hard to chop and change things for a new display. I can see that pixels will cause me a new set of things to consider with it although the groups function and making new previews has a great capacity to help with that once I get further into things with S5.
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