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Everything posted by Surfing4Dough

  1. I disagree... Had he drove the fence post 2' into his roof I doubt it would have fallen over.
  2. I usually change out my wires every 3-4 years in case they are getting brittle from the brutal cold, though have never had one break. I suspect since the center post anchor that I use supports about 4' of the tree pole that even when very windy there is still minimal movement in the pole, thus minimal added strain on the guy wires.
  3. He never would have had a problem had he used a T-fence post for anchoring his tree pole.
  4. Looks like all the "clutter" provoked some official communication from LOR after all... Will be interesting to see what the new software brings to the table. They have a tough price point to beat with the competition that is already out there. Hope LOR comes through on this one.
  5. I use turnbuckles on my guy wires as well. Sure makes it easy to adjust/balance tension. It is surprisingly easy to remove the T-shaped fence post. We here in Ohio deal with tons of clay. Some years the ground is frozen and some years it is a soggy mess. Either way, the fence post removes easily. Since it is so rigid, it doesn't bend when you rock it back and forth (unlike other metal posts or re-bar that I have more difficulty getting out since they bend). Therefore after doing that a few times, you can lift the post out without much effort. With regards to the tree pipe piledriving into the ground, since the pipe is clamped tightly to the fence post, it can't slide up or down, and therefore doesn't sink at all into the ground. This year we stayed above freezing all December and had tons of rain instead of snow and even with that soft of ground it was not a problem. If you don't clamp the pipe to the fence post (and instead slide the pipe over the fence post as you mention) you have no means to secure the pipe from rotating, and also likely to have a little wobble in the pipe since it likely won't be a perfect "fit" (ID of the pipe compared to the diameter of the fence post). If it was snug enough, I would think it could be difficult to remove the fence post from the pipe (especially after temperature changes).
  6. Pretty sad when a LOR Forum Administrator (whether paid or not...though he is a LOR Partner) considers paying customers' discussion about the company's future software release "clutter", in a thread that is about that topic no less (in the LOR Software section of the LOR forum). His post is the one that stands out like a sore thumb in my opinion. Not sure where in this post he felt there was "complaining about the lack of communication" anyway. Well, I guess the fact that he considers that lack of communication from the company a "problem" is a start though. So who gave this sneak peak presentation at the Austin mini? (John, too bad you didn't have one of these.)
  7. Though the above is possibly better/easier than the portable hole, I prefer my approach. Several years ago when first starting off, I was planning on using a portable hole for my mega tree base. However, I was worried about storing the portable hole, and figured it would kill the grass during the winter. Plus seemed like more work than was necessary. Therefore, instead I went with using a T-shaped 6' fence post to anchor the pole (about $7 at Lowes/HD). Drive it about 2' into the ground (can use a level to ensure you are driving it in straight if desired). The fence post is very rigid, so you can tap it in with a sledge, and it would go through small roots easily. I don't think you could bend it if you tried. The post is T shaped, so the mega-tree pole rests nicely in one of the sides of the T. I used 3 or 4 hose clamps to attach the tree pole to the fence post. That way you could tighten them nicely. Since the T-Post has studs on the one edge, there was no way that the clamps were going to slide (not that they could since you can screw them pretty tight). Therefore about 4' of your mega tree pole is supported. I can't envision a scenario that could even cause the tree to come down. My 20' tree (mega tree/Spiral tree combo with 104 stings of lights) doesn't budge a bit. Multiple times in the past 5 years it has sustained 60mph gusts in storms without any visible movement. Some years the ground is just soggy and some years it nearly freezes -- doesn't make a difference. Always seems just a secure by the end of season as it was the first day of installation. The tree pole is guyed in the middle and from the top (with green vinyl coated wire clothesline -- few bucks at Walmart), just to keep the 20' pole from bending. Use dog ground anchors to secure my guy wires. Easy to install, and easy to take down and store. No permanent hole/concrete in the ground. And much cheaper. Keep it simple...
  8. No sense reinventing the wheel here, so read these posts below. Here are some posts that I have made on the topic: http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/20218-sprial-tree/#entry192103 http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/19130-mega-tree-or-sprial-tree/?p=177832 (follow the multiple replies it this thread for more details) Here is the construction guide referenced in that thread (also mentioned above): http://forums.lightorama.com/uploads/imported/258676=14280-SilverdaleLightsSpiralMegaTreeConstructionGuide.pdf Here is the spiral calculator George referenced: http://www.lightsonsixth.com/stuff/spiraltreespreadsheet-97.xls Other posts on the topic of my spiral tree construction: http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/22263-mega-tree-rings/#entry212248 http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/19130-mega-tree-or-sprial-tree/#entry177896
  9. I am not sure I see what the big deal is (especially since it appears that your display managed to weather the storms just fine). If the show starts when you aren't home, and heaven forbid that a GFCI trips, then so be it...you get to it when you get home. If part or all of the display isn't working, life goes on. If a viewer complains, then offer them a refund for their admission price (if they are that desperate to watch your show in a "gully washer", then I guess they will just have to be content with what they get). If the show is worth watching, then they will be back another day. Yes, I am all for taking reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of a GFCI trip, but I am not going to alter my coming and going because of that. Just sayin'...
  10. A bit too blinky for my liking. Make sure you hear all of the song rather than just the lead beat. Much like a song uses background singers or instruments to add "depth" to the sound, you need to do the same with the choreography of your channels. Try to use some of the lights that are off to add some accent or depth to the lead beat lighting with the use a fades or decreased intensity lighting. This will also help cut down on all the dark spots in your display. If you turn off the sound to your video, you start to notice that every sequence starts to look the same otherwise -- just a bunch of blinky lights. A couple sequenced floods might look nice on the dark space of your garage doors and possibly the right side space by the window behind the mini trees. 1 color per channel. A couple of colors of incandescent floods (1 color per channel) would suffice but RGB foods would look great.
  11. George, maybe you need to post step by step instructions for Orville on how to play mp4's. You seem to relate and speak his "language" per se, so it might work.
  12. Why are you needing to add more circuits if you are running all LED? Your display likely will use less electricity than when it was static - when animated rarely will all the lights be on all at once. You can plug more than one controller into a single circuit (either use 3-way splitters or convert your controllers to a single power cord version). As long as you don't exceed the amperage capacity of the outlet/circuit (usually 15 or 20 amps) and controller you will be fine. It is difficult to exceed these limits with just LEDs. A Kill-a-Watt is a cheap tool to measure all this. http://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electricity-Usage-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU Can use this free software utility if you want to be very accurate tracking this for each sequence. http://t2lights.com/christmas/lorutility.html Another great addition are custom voiceovers by The Demented Elf, a member here. He is awesome. Great help when advertising a food drive and help with crowd control. http://www.thedementedelf.com BTW, always expect to go over budget, especially if you have reached your budgeted amount this long before the season and your first year. Add about 50%. Feel free to post screenshot video of your visualizer playing one of your sequences for additional constructive feedback.
  13. Download VLC Player and all your problems should be gone. Once you can watch MP4's, maybe the quality of your posts will improve, as well as your ability to answer questions here on the forums. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
  14. I didn't realize that Orville did drugs. That explains a lot.
  15. Just tested it, though have never tried lower than 1/2 speed (may need 1/4 speed once I get old like you George ), but 1/4 speed worked just fine. Dell XPS 8500 Intel Core i7-3770 @3.40GHz 12GB RAM Win8 64bit LOR S3 v3.8.2
  16. I certainly hope, for Dan's sake (and your reputation), you are are joking. Sadly, I don't think you are. And I am sure you will "take offense" by me pointing out a few of your recent posts for why I say such things (read below for your words, not mine). However, to answer you question, I highly doubt that Dan meant "this season" to mean this Winter or Spring, but rather "this 2014 Christmas season."
  17. I have no idea where you are coming from with this personal rant. Both "conversations" I quoted had to do with this topic (new LOR software). I think if you re-read my post, it had very little to do with you.In fact, it contained some of your same reasoning. Nor was it intended to contain any BS. I stated the fact that this claim of new software coming for managing pixels better started long before just this past few months. We were told it would come last year. Now we are told we would hear more details a few weeks ago. We are all standing in the same line, and I am fine with that, but like the OP, I just want to know approximately how far back are we in line? (Have you ever stood in line not thinking it was a very long line, and then you finally move ahead in line around a corner and realize you are nowhere near the front and still have a long way to go?) That is what the frustration is. We have no idea how long the approximate wait in line is going to be. 2-3 months? 6-9 months? 1-2 years? Nor do we have any idea what we are even waiting in line for. Can you imagine waiting 1+ hour in an amusement park line without even knowing what ride you are waiting for? I doubt it. Especially when you can see that there is no line for the other really cool nearby rides. If I wasn't "waiting patiently" I would have left the line long ago. So no need to take offense. Nor do I think there is any need to close this thread due to negativity that wasn't even there. We are all just asking simple reasonable questions that I would think LOR is willing to answer (and even said they would "in a few weeks" in January).
  18. The problem there is that many of us have been waiting a lot longer than you have even been a member here. Note the date (2012): So what I fear, based on a31ford's logic above, is that LOR simply can't make it work, assuming they have already been working on this the past 1 1/2 years (honestly, they should have seen this coming 1+ years prior to that, but that is another issue). Or worse yet, based on Dan's statement at the end of January (below), is that they just recently started working on this (which means it could still take 6-12+ months to even see if they can make it work). So to many of us, this is much more than a "wanting to know feeling," but rather decision time about whether we are electing to continue to fall further behind the rest of the lighting community that has already chosen to move on to other sequencing software (and losing ground by the day), just because we want to stay loyal to LOR. In my opinion, in the past LOR always managed to lead the way with regards to sequencing software. Sadly this past year has proven otherwise. So the question is, can LOR (and therefore can I) catch up? Surpass? I have too much time and money invested in this hobby to lose ground much longer. I don't think many expect specifics with regards to exact timeline or exact software features, but I think it is only fair to request some ballpark estimates with regards to both timeline and improvements/problems that are being worked on.
  19. Well I am glad that over the past month (since you became a member) you have clearly gathered all the knowledge that you plan to need in this hobby since if you keep up your current approach I highly doubt you are going to get much assistance from many of the trusted members here otherwise. Wish you luck Sir (especially with that Instant Sequencer).
  20. So you don't even own SS yet, but carried on like that above?
  21. You must not visit other forums very much. Pixels dominate the discussion on many of them. And to be honest, not many of those users that previously or still currently use LOR visit here any longer. So that is why you only see a few of the same names. There has unfortunately been a steady exodus from LOR for this very reason. I worry that that will increase steadily. You are exactly right. And currently LOR's tools for sequencing anything pixel-related are lacking (and over-priced to top it off, compared to other offerings elsewhere), which makes it all the more of an overwhelming task to complete with their currently available options.
  22. Could probably piggy back about 10 controllers on one circuit if using all LEDs. The boards themselves require very little juice. So the limits are purely based on what you put on each channel...which means a boatload of LEDs. If planning to still use some incandescents, make sure to use a Kill-a-Watt meter to make sure you don't exceed limits. Don't forget that only what is sequenced to be turned on at the same time counts towards this limit. If you are going to be cutting it close, use the LOR Power Utility to make sure none of your sequences exceed the limit.
  23. What I don't get is that they added E1.31 support, but haven't really developed anything further to support that path. If they are only wanting to limit LOR users to 100% LOR displays, then whey did they add E1.31 in the first place? I honestly wonder if they regret adding E1.31? The hobby is changing (maybe faster than they/many anticipated) so LOR has to decide if they are going to follow the tide or stick with their niche of what has become "entry level" animated lighting. I feel that this is a hobby where most try to eventually mimic the latest and greatest displays (or props) to some degree, so I worry that if LOR decides to stick with their present niche that they will find most customers may start with LOR and then move on to something bigger and better. In a nutshell, is LOR willing to become the next Mr. Christmas box (that many started with but fairly quickly moved on to something greater/more capable)?
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