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Oliver Blatt

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Everything posted by Oliver Blatt

  1. I do this exact thing with pumpkins that have c7 bulbs in them. I created a background sequence using four channels and it works like a charm. Remember that people can’t focus on every pumpkin at the same time, so you don’t need a lot of circuits to make it look really good.
  2. Elation just released an outdoor rated moving head, but I would expect they will be pretty pricy. As GRG said, pretty much any moving light needs some sort of protection.
  3. How old is your computer? For a number of years I was running my show on a very old Win XP machine. All ran well until one night the show started sloooowing down. A lot. Everything stayed synced but the songs were slower, to the point that my show was running 5 minutes longer, due to hardware failure of the computer. Hopefully a reboot prevents the issue from reoccurring.
  4. I don't believe you actually stated if this was the case, but is this happening only for loud sections? A possibility is that with the advent of digital audio, peaking of the files (if you were looking at an audio meter) sounds terrible when played back. When you converted your files in Audacity to a constant rate MP3, are you sure you didn't accidentally bump the volume or add an effect that would push things into the red? Newer songs are mastered with so little head-room that just "sweetening" something with a touch of reverb could push you too high. If the file is peaking, it won't matter h
  5. Same here! Just started the first show of the season...minus a few props that are being rebuilt this weekend, we're off!
  6. It’s still blowing like crazy here with the worst of it coming tomorrow. I just got home from a holiday jaunt with the family and when I last looked outside, everything is still standing. I’ll check again in the morning, and hopefully when I get home from work in the evening, we’ll be good to go with soft opening.
  7. I guess I'm late to the party! I started set up today, and unless something crazy happens, I'll finish tomorrow. I will probably soft open tomorrow night, and go live officially Thanksgiving night or Friday night, depending on if I have any issues!
  8. Right there with you guys. I just put up my spiral tree (it looked like today was the only nice day for the next few weeks) and they are calling for gusts of 40 mph. According to physics everything should be fine, but we all know how that works out!
  9. To be honest, I don't truly understand all the nuances of setting everything in the servodog. When I designed my Halloween bird last year, I remember tweaking range of motion for the servos, but I don't think I messed with anything else. The servodog has been rock solid for me, so I would suggest getting into the servodog utility and taking some time to make sure everything is set correctly. There are a lot of settings, and it's pretty easy to miss something. But the good news is that you made progress getting the servos to move! I never thought about the kind of servo, I just grabbed som
  10. Just to help pinpoint the issue, unplug the transmitter and plug in a pair of known working headphones or speakers. See if you get sound that way. I know you said you got sound when running the sequence editor, but while the show is running, try and narrow it down to an issue with the computer, or an issue with a cable or the transmitter. Also, something to check. Does the transmitter work if you use another application on the computer that would output audio, such as windows media player, etc?
  11. Ok, I had a few minutes to pop into lightorama and create a test sequence. I know you may have done all of this, but here is what I did and my servodog worked. Apologies in advance if this is old news to you, just attempting to help you! 1. I opened the hardware utility to search for my servodog. (I had forgotten which device ID I had assigned to it!). It was assigned device ID 2 2. I opened sequence editor and created a new sequence. Once open, I right clicked on the first channel (Unit 1.1). 3. In the popup list, I chose "add device" and then chose servodog, with device ID 2
  12. I think I you have a servo that does 360 degrees, totally off and totally on would still rotate it. Try setting a ramp up to see if it moves. With a servo, even if you have a full “on” command (setting the channel to full) it still takes a half second or so to complete the move. I’m still thinking the issue is in the network assignments. I really will try and find time today to set up a new sequence here!
  13. This doesn’t sound like a sequencing issue, because adding a “ramp up/ramp down” command in the sequence editor should move the servo. I have to start making sure Christmas is ready for this year. When I’m looking at that, I’ll try and create a dummy sequence with my servodog and see what I did.
  14. I designed my Halloween show very carefully for this reason. Everything was tucked against the house or placed in a way that would not get in the way of kids taking a short cut across the lawn. We had over 120 trick or treaters, but the display was set up that I only had one kid that I even got remotely nervous about what they were doing. I agree though that there can be that one "jerk" parent (or kid) but luckily for us we live in a neighborhood where that seems to be a rarity.
  15. I feel like I had this issue when I first started using servodog for my Halloween show. If memory serves me correctly, you need to make sure you're adding the servo dog channels correctly to your sequence. I think there is a choice to add a servodog as opposed to just generic channels. I could be way off base here as I'm not in front of my show/sequencing computer at the moment, but try that, and see if you can get it to work in your sequence. Once I had all the network stuff set up correctly, the servodog has been a great little piece of hardware.
  16. One less expensive option if you don’t need to have it move would be to use a pin spot. These are usually used to light mirror balls. You’d have to check if they are dimmable or not. These won’t give you the hard edge, but they will give you a focused beam of light...much more focused than a flood type of light.
  17. Let's talk theater lighting for a moment. If you want a spotlight, something that would have a defined edge as opposed to something you'd see with a flood light (a diffused edge to the beam) you want what is known as an elipsoidal reflector spotlight. It gets its name from the shape of the reflector in the lighting fixture. The problem with these is that they are usually big, are power hungry, and are expensive. But, if you want to deal with a cheaper DMX controlled moving light, you may be able to get the effect you want for less money. The nice thing with one of these moving lights is that t
  18. Quick question to diagnose this. Are you using variable rate MP3 files? This may cause the symptom you are describing.
  19. Exactly. I should have clarified that I never just click the color, but always look at the light performance to set R B B values. As a lighting designer I'm just used to doing this routinely, so I should have included this in my previous post! Absolutely +1 on not going by what your screen tells you, but how the light actually behaves in the intended environment!
  20. Interesting that Orville has issues getting a good purple (no offense Orville!)...I am currently lighting my house in purple and green and I'm very happy with the purple that I get when I put the blue and red channels both at 100%. But, since I'm not trying to match the color of a strand of lights, it's probably much easier for me to be satisfied with the purple color I'm getting. I have video from our Halloween lights in the Halloween sub-forum if you want to see the color purple that I'm getting.
  21. Another option is a number of online video editing programs. I've always used Adobe Premiere, but got tired of waiting for rendering to happen. Just to try it, I subscribed to a service called wevideo.com. It's basically a dumbed down version of Premiere, but they take care of the rendering, and it's great for banging out quick videos that don't require lot's of complicated transitions. I think I spend $30 for the year to output 30 minutes of video. That may be an option to get your video editing done as well.
  22. I believe the green cable you a referring to is a standard cat 5 cable, available at many different stores. If this is not the green cable you a referring to, can you get us more information?
  23. The music was written and recorded specifically for the show....one of my real life jobs is composing and recording music. Hopefully you enjoyed the audio track for the show!
  24. I'm surprised at how many train folks are here! My other hobby includes working at a full-sized tourist railroad. I'm qualified as a brakeman, conductor, and engineer...which keeps me busy the 10 months out of the year I'm not setting up my light show at my house!
  25. Hopefully you’ve figured it out, but be aware, that if the issue is somewhere in the DMX chain, it may not be at the malfunctioning unit. DMX can get funny when there is something wrong with a signal chain; sometimes the issue isn’t even near the fixture that is giving you grief.
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