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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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  • Interests
    Rocketry, music, chilling with my animals
  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    Through forums and research into animated lighting
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?

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  1. beeiilll

    Get caught up to speed...

    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.
  2. Nice collection there Orville! Very nice of you to share them with folks too. Great to be on a forum with folks like you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. beeiilll

    To ground or not to ground your mega tree

    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.
  6. beeiilll

    building a design

    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.
  7. beeiilll

    You Need These Pliers

    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!
  8. beeiilll

    New to LOR and pixels

    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.
  9. beeiilll

    New to LOR and pixels

    Thanks for our response to this JR! I need to learn how to add pixels and controllers for them to S5 myself at some point. I will follow this and other threads to see. Also interested in any videos for those of us who have never played with pixels yet to help bring us up to speed on adding controllers and basic things with sequencing?
  10. beeiilll

    New to LOR and pixels

    I am just getting back to using LOR after being out of things since 2014 myself. I have not sequenced in S4 even though it has been on one of my computers since it came out (I tried to keep things updated). I am learning S5 now as well although I don't have any pixels on my display yet, only LEDs so afraid that I may not a big help to you. You want to get a picture of your house in S5 first so that you can set up the layout of your display. Open S5, then Tools, Manage Previews. In the Preview list, make a new preview and name it (something like 2018, my house, etc), then modify it. In the lower right-hand side, you will see the background tab. Use it to set image and get a picture of your house into the window. Once you get the image in you can begin to make props which will be the pixels you will use. Use Create Prop to bring up the design window and then you give it a name for each prop (such as a door, window, tree, etc). Select RGB Pixel, then under the shape tab use predefined (such as a window) and put in how many pixels there will be in the window (top, left/right, bottom) and the starting position for control (the point your data will come into the prop). Then on the right side, you will assign the controller for those pixels in that prop. Then you drag the prop around the image to resize it to fit a window or whatever. Then save it. Then you just make another prop for the next window, roofline, door or whatever is next. I also do a save in the Preview Design window after a couple of props just to be safe and not risk losing work. I'm sure that there are people here who can help more with pixels but you should be able to start with this info. I know it is all greek to me as well after being out of things for so long but I have about 50% of my 288 regular channels stuff built up in the Preview manager so far so things are progressing pretty well for me at this point. I still have to set up groups for my props as the list is getting longer as I go and I rearrange my display in different patterns each year but all is good so far. I am looking forward to being able to add pixels to things as well.
  11. beeiilll

    WOW lights 64 channel set up

    I feel your pain! I did 80 channels my first year and am up to 288 now on most of my sequences. The first thing to do is think of this as a labor of love and not work. Trust me, it helps. Try to pick songs for sequencing that have a fairly easy tempo and melody to start out doing sequences with. Listen to the song over and over a lot before you even start to sequence it. You will start to "see" how you want your lights to react to the music as you listen to the song after a while. Use a beat track to help see the timing for your songs. The waveform helps as you go. Don't try and use every effect for things. Simple on/off and fades do a lot more than you think. You can always add in effects later on after you get a basic sequence done. I sequence by doing sections of my display at a time. Go through and do my roofline, then my windows and doors, then my mega tree, my mini trees, and then other props in the display. Usually, I have a very good idea of things once I get my house laid out in the sequence and the other props will not take all that long to add in. But it can also take a very long time to do sequencing depending on the number of channels, amount of different props, effects wanted, etc. so don't be surprised by it taking a long time either. If you get tired or frustrated, take a break for some time and then go back and pick it up again. We all get stuck at points in sequencing I think and it is really up to how much you want out of it. I am "assuming" that you are not using pixels for your display? They do add in quite a leap in the amount of work that it can take to sequence as well. I only have LEDs in my display but am thinking of adding pixels in at some point. You actually have quite a bit of time to sequence till Christmas yet and can get a lot done if you do a little bit on a regular basis. I sequenced 8 songs with 80 channels for my first year in a little over a month so I know it can be done. Everybody has their own methods for doing this and you will pick up on things as you get more used to doing it as well. Hope this helps a bit!
  12. beeiilll


    The closest place for me is 1/2 hour away in another town at a True Value dealer. Hence the reason I buy a lot of stuff online anyway! I'll have to check when I get over there and see. This is from the Krylon page: http://www.krylon.com/locator/ The solvent issue is probably the reformulation cause I would agree. I have 15 cabins that we take care of at our camp and used to use a great oil-based paint for them as we have to paint 3 a year usually. Now everything is water based and the paints are crap for trying to overcoat old oil based stuff as well as it just doesn't hold up as well to weather as the oil-based paint did. Also tough to get good paint on metal outdoor furniture and signs now but such is the way of change and "progress". Makes life a bit more challenging to try and keep things in good condition at the very least and sometimes very frustrating to have to try and prep older stuff with oil paint on it for the newer water based stuff! I use epoxy paint on a lot of stuff but it takes a very good prep job and careful painting to make sure it is right when you do it. Makes for a good tough paint job that will last quite a while though!
  13. beeiilll


    I guess they have changed the name! I have not bought any in a couple of years myself and still have a lot of it left yet! I see now they call it "Fusion for Plastic" from the looks: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Krylon+fusion
  14. beeiilll

    2018 Spring Sale

    Naw, I still have to eat for a bit before my next dole from the government! (SSI)
  15. beeiilll

    2018 Spring Sale

    I didn't get any chance to even try with this sale! We lost our power last night at 6:30 and just got it back on at 7 this morning! Probably a good thing for me though - LOL!