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Everything posted by etherealone

  1. I thought a wet sweeper was something you had to pay extra for at the gentlemens club? Then again, maybe thats just because of the sheer amount of interstitials in my wallet?!?
  2. I have a set...used them one year...they are incand NOT LED, but you could re-string them if you wanted....nice lil set...I decided after last year to not do Halloween anymore, so mine are just sitting in storage...wanna save some money and buy mine? They are in perfect condition. Used less than a week and stored in climate controlled storage since. Lemme know.
  3. 40-50 songs....2 hours almost exaclty per "show....2-3 shows a night... Too short a show and people get bored, it gets old and repetitive...I like the "come by several times a week repeat customers".... But honeslty, this is such a subjective thing that it truly is just a matter of "to each his own"....
  4. For my xLights setup I have 2 LOR universes and them a bunch of E131 universes setup for an RGB tree...I have TWO(2) CCRs setups as arches... All I am getting from my CCRs currently are the first 6 groups of (3) pixels when the sequence runs...basically the first third of the string only lights up... Any ideas what I need to change? Should I be running everything as DMX to my controllers? FYI: I have my CCRs as the last two units in one of the LOR universes...unit 9 and unit 14...with nothing in between to ensure that there is not channel mapping overlap. Again, anyone else experience a similar issue?
  5. Just to be sure, go into the Media location setting and browse and re-select the associated audio file...ezpz.
  6. For an even more recent example...ask John Storms (aka the 2012 Gangham Style sensation house) what a seemingly innocuous lil local media report that suddenly gets picked up nationally can do to your display...They had to shut down mid season last year and although he is decorating this year, he isnt doing an official public show to music at all any more! As cool as it sounds to be "famous" and as much as well love the idea of everyone getting to enjoy the fruits our labors, it simply isnt practical for 99% of us that live in residential areas to accommodate the amount of traffic the harsh media spotlight brings...
  7. Simple and short answer...no. Only because it will probably be more time that it is worth...
  8. Why not buy one of the singing faces from HolidayCoro and start with that? At the most, they use 8 channels....heck there are even some sequences David sells that are already programmed for them...
  9. That would be the absolute easiest....just have the "lights on" by creating a LAS that you schedule to run continuously during the gaps of your musical sequences....you can schedule Zara to come on and off during those exact same times as well...Ive also seen people create a very simple all on sequence that is the exact length of time you need....then really all you are doing is adding that sequence to your schedule as opposed to having a shorter one loop. I use Zara to run a 24/7 radio station whenever the show is not running....it cuts off 15 secs before the show starts and comes on 3 mins after the last show of the night....I have about 500 ripped Xmas songs on the hard rive that Zara randomly runs through....I use radio bumpers and time/temp bumpers from Kevin(demented elf) that promote the display and give it a "real' radio station sound... My neighborhood really looks forward to having their own personal holiday radio station!
  10. I beg to differ...I run a 2 HOUR show that consists of 50 or so distinct songs and audio drops....it is broken into groups of about 4-5 songs with a cute sequenced audio drop narrated by Kevin(demented elf) in between....the annual funny Top Ten list that Kevin puts out every year acts as the half way marker give or take... Show runs twice a night, three times on Fri/Sat...there is a 3 minute gap where the lights go dark and the announcement indicates the next show will start in approx. 3 mins. We get lots of repeat customers because the variety and amount of songs for not just the one timers but also even for the locals who tend to swing by and catch a song or two...I publish the set list and so they know when to come to catch portions they may not have already seen! The bumpers or drops that separate the song groups act as a natural "move along" time as well for those folk just looking to catch a couple songs... WARNING: You have to be committed to traffic management if you run a show of any length like this....We are outside every night interacting, handing out candy canes, making sure the street is passable, etc...
  11. Actually I think he said its an engine lift from a shop....
  12. etherealone


    I would apply that $10k as a DOWNPAYMENT for some serious GlowVision Flex LED Curtains from Fabian's shop...now if I could only figure out where to come up with the additional $100-150k + it would take to wrap my house....guess I need to win a bigger lottery! http://www.gordonlights.com/?product_cat=glowvision-flex-led-curtains Or here is a brief link showing the setup he brought to the Academy this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC0Jw1NFBrE or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmyGJJZ4wRI
  13. Painters tape or "frog" tape...works really well....its easy to take apart and is just strong enough without pinching....I havent had luck with velcro cause it wears out when being in the elements and I still had a tendancy to over tighten, cause if I didnt make it tight, it would slip off my arches...
  14. Maybe I am missing something....but if you have a timing slice that encapsulates the portion of the fade that = the "perfect orange"...why not simply select that portion, copy and then paste it over and over again?
  15. Qualitatively you said it yourself, the more expensive strings are by design more robust/sealed...hence they are built to last and not need "replacement bulbs" per se...what you left out is that they typically come with a 1 year warranty...unlike the cheapos....if they fail within the first year, the will be replaced no questions asked... Guess you missed the part where I said that I had strands fail literally 5 mins after being added to a design element LAST YEAR....so I assure you it does indeed happen. For the record, I have 13 years experience doing this (7 years static, 6th year animated) using LEDs almost exclusively for the past 8-10 years...I indeed still have some store bought LEDs working in the display just fine (crossing my fingers on the two remaining legacy 8 channel LED arches that are chugging along using the big box lights)...so you are correct you can indeed get more than your moneys worth out of those cheaper units...also ALL of my net lights are off the shelf units...mainly because after talking with a lot of the vendors, they admitted to me that the quality difference wasnt enough to justify the costs for nets as opposed to other strands...I still lose on average 1/2 a set a year, but they are readily available... But since I switched over to high quality vendor sourced lights for everything else..and there is zero debate that the more expensive ones are indeed of higher quality...I have not lost a single one of those strands in 3+ years...I mainly switched to them for the major custom new elements I would build each year...these are elements where your sweat equity is much higher than just wrapping a tree or a bush, so any additional years of service save you not just money but time as well... The only exception I have seen has been lights that are "punished"...icicles get pounded just buy their nature...and I generally lose 1/2 to 1 strand every 2 years on average....WalMart or Lowes or Garden RIdge icicles failed at a rate of 1 1/2-3 strands a year...plus there are color inconsistencies with the off the shelf's...specifically with the color saturation of the darker hues (blues..some look purple, some more royal blue, reds like blood versus reds that look pinkish)....the off the shelfs just didnt withstand the wind and elements as well as the stress of the sequencing as well. Oh and I lost a drip tube last year in its first year of use...but the vendor had a new one to me within 3 days at no cost. So the moral of the story boys and girls: To each his own! My experiences may not reflect others or even your own...one of the best attributes of this hobby is that there indeed is no singular "right way to do things"...as you can see I have off the shelf "success stories" (my arches) and monster failures (icicles)...find what works for you and run with it!
  16. You get what you pay for as far as quality LED strings....buy from the bog box stores, sure thats fine as long as they are full wave and fully functional like others have said...but beware: buy a lot of them because they will fail quicker...sometimes straight out of the box...and I assure you that they will not be as pure/bright as the higher quality (see: more expensive) lights you buy from the dealers. Example: I added 8 channel singing faces last year (ones from HolidayCoro) and tried to go cheap on the white LEDS since I need soooo many of them....bad bad bad mistake....those were the high end, GE Profile brands from a big box store...I could show you the pictures of one face strung with them and one with high quality LEDS...its like night and day....they are made better, they last longer and yes they cost more...but again you get what you pay for. Plan now and make your order in Jan/Feb when most do their "pre-order" discounts...delivery is usually sometime early summer. Or like I said at the beginning, if you go the big box way...just be sure its on elements that are easily repairable and that you have plenty of spares to use on hand.
  17. Again MJ...its not about keeping the water from getting in as much as it is about "letting it out"... The best you can do is elevate(this is the best thing for snow) or shield your plugs/connections so that they are never sitting in standing water....as well as use GFCI so that your yard doesnt become one big electric fence waiting to happen... Beyond that, taping or wrapping your connections only does a really good job of not letting moisture OUT...they need to breath and allow for even condensation to evaporate...this is even true for "hard" boxes that people put power supplies and connections in...they will accumulate moisture...and should have a means for venting.... Oh and if its a hurricane...just turn off the display! :-)
  18. Adding to Kelly's last tip about marking your cords...here is an even better idea....considering that I custom make all cords to each element that literally are the exact length they need to be...when you are tearing your display down, take your time....bag and tag everything..... I literally have a huge baggie or container for each channel....if that is Channel 100, and it consists of several net lights on a single bush and has a custom cut power cord that runs to it...guess what....everything goes...lights, cords, any special connectors, etc...into its own labeled 20 gallon zip lock bag (you can find them everywhere, but here is an amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Ziploc-Double-Zipper-XX-Large-3-Count/dp/B003U6FMOK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381778259&sr=8-1&keywords=xxl+ziplock+bags) It takes a little extra time the first time you have to "bag and tag" everything and granted tear down generally takes a little longer than setup...but every minute you invest in January saves you at least 10 minutes come November! Just imagine how easy it is when it is time to setup...you literally have a self contained bag of "stuff" that you clearly know goes over by "that bush"...you can literally unpack and know that you have everything ready for that one element... Then again I am kinda OCD, but I say God bless to anyone who just has a barrel full of cords and has to go hunting for one that kinda works for the distance and type of element I am setting up that second...no thanks....I will take my organized solution over that mess any day!
  19. etherealone

    How to start?

    Others have given you really good "starter" tips...let me add: "You get what you pay for"....some folk are steadfast believers in using off the shelf lights and such...I still have lots of things in my display that indeed were bought at a local big box store of some sort (Wally world, Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby, HD or Lowes, etc.)....But I very quickly realized that if you have failures or have to worry about half wave versus full wave LEDs, then what am I really saving? Buy good lights...design your show early and work with the vendors out there...most of them put their orders for the year way back in January, with delivery sometime in the early summer months. Will you spend more per string...yep. Will you see the difference in quality as well as most lights having at least a one year warranty...yep. Another tip: simply remember that there is no wrong or right way to do something..thats the beauty of this hobby...dont be afraid to ask questions and to crib from others...get creative...think outside the box. Lastly, and I would say most importantly strive to "find your displays voice". By this I just mean that every house and display is different...its not about the channel counts...I have seen absolutely garish houses with extreme channel counts that cant hold a candle to a tightly done, well orchestrated 48 channel show...dont over extend in a rush to just add elements...be measured and thoughtful in your approach to design....find the proper look and feel for YOUR display...if you can find that "voice" and let it shine, then you will truly have a display that is both unique and amazing!
  20. What you are missing is that does little to really keep moisture out...but it does a really good job of keeping it in...
  21. etherealone

    Light question

    If you are looking for "dumb" lights....there are several options of lights that will cycle through a preset number of colors out there....but they usually have some limitations (i.e. they are not dimmable/you cant do effects with them per se other than 100% on or off).... Here is an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tNl9GgglRc I have dabbled with using some of these in years past for static elements more as an accent (candy cane fence post header accents for example).... In LOR you would simply have a channel that turns them on or off...but that would be about it...
  22. I had to disable my Norton firewall and viral suite for 15 mins then the download ran perfectly....before that I had the exact same issues everyone else was having...IE, Chrome...didnt matter.
  23. Well Matt you have very similar elements to some of mine...so there are plenty of things to crib from in the rest of the sequence I shared with you! Im looking at the list tonight to prioritize the other songs I still need faces done for! :-)
  24. I can personally attest to the quality of Matts work...I am the "Chris Dodd" who has been working with Matt over the past week to get that song sequenced and all I can say is he nailed it folk! This song screams "sequence me" if you have faces incorporated into your design... As someone who knows how much art there is to this, it isnt enough just to get a mouth to open and close at the right time...its the nuance of having (in the case of the sequence Matt did for me) 4 faces, all working in concert, telling a story....blinking their eyes.... The devil is in the details so to speak and Matt gets it! I have a few more that I hope to get Matts assitance with (my show is only 2 hours long and consists of over 40 songs)...none as hard as this one was...I will be sure to post followups as those come down the pipe! -Chris
  25. Are you using LEDs primarily? If so, frankly you arent going to be pulling much across the entire display....I pull less than 20-25amps total...its just crazy how lil juice those guys use...that being said...I spent a good deal of money several years ago putting in dedicated, 20amp circuits (4 of them to be exact...I was still running some incand lights that have slowly been phased out) and I spread the controllers across those as equally as possible....
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