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Richard Hamilton

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Everything posted by Richard Hamilton

  1. I wish I could find a decent clip for mounting my bulbs on my block retaining walls so I do have to force a nail in the cracks to hang the strings.
  2. I haven't used the green cables in a few years. Maybe they have changed. At the time, they were really good quality and never failed except that up where I live with very high UV in the clear skies and 5,000 feet, the UV was making the cable sheathing very brittle and cracked, then they failed. I also started getting white cables (less heat absorption) with UV protection and have no problems since.
  3. I wouldn't recommend that. It's asking for trouble. GFCIs are there for a reason. As Jim said, find the source of the problem. I'v been using GFCIs outside for my lights for over 20 years now and never a single trip that I can remember. When things are set up properly, there shouldn't be a problem and still be safer. Yea, I realize this is an old thread from last year, but if you had trouble last year, it will probably resurface again this year. ? Who hangs out in the middle of a light show? Nosey kids that love the display. Let's hope it isn't raining when they are there after you replace the GFCIs.
  4. You might be surprised to find many other LOR users in a city like Topeka. Perhaps yo u can find a couple on here and get together to share ideas and get local help.
  5. Agree with others. I leave my own during the Christmas season, but speaking from an electronics engineering perspective, I don't leave them on all year. Especially up here where it can get to 105 on some days in the summer, I don't want to generate even more internal heat in the units, nor want any unnecessary voltage spikes going into the units during the rest of the year. Heat is the #1 enemy of electronics. Power up and down is second. The amount of wattage drawn from most of these devices is barely even noticeable on an electric bill. I installed 120V outlets up under the eves of the house, and the CCR controllers are near by. All I have to do to power them up in for the season is to step on a short ladder for a few steps and press the reset button on the GFCI outlet. End of season, I hit the trip button.
  6. Yea, been there done that ? Zip ties for most anything outside has been a problem for me as well so I stopped using them a few years ago.
  7. Maybe your ribbons were exposed to the sun directly ?? I've mentioned elsewhere that I put mine up under the eves and they still look good and not discolored after several years. I live in the high desert at 5,000 feet so the sun UV is intense up here.
  8. I'm using ribbons inside my arches and use S5. For me, S5 provides a fast and easy way to add lot of nice effects without needing to use SS. I guess it is just a personal choice thing.
  9. Just a quick thought here. On the eve's I remember seeing someone on this forum say they zip tied their CCRs to a small PVC pipe and that made it easy to just put the pipe up on hooks or nail and then take down easy. I thought that was a good idea. For me, I installed my CCR strips permanently under the eve to stay there year-round, yet not able to see them unless they are on. Much less work for me to not put them up and take them down every year. The only other things to install is my tree and lower landscaping CCRs.
  10. Yup, I also ditto all you said. I love S5 and would never want to go back to S4. The integration and use is so much easier once I got used to the changes. It was definitely worth the investment in time for me. Part of what took me longer to learn it is the current lack of documentation on S5. Good documentation could have probably saved me hours of experimentation. Hopefully that is coming soon so I can learn even more tricks. Thanks to the dev team for making a big improvement. It took me about 20 hours of time to get all my sequences set up properly in S5. Importing was easily. Reassigning things the way I wanted it and adding more effects is what too the extra time. I'm all set for the season now.
  11. DevMike, wow. That is a GREAT amount of detail and information. Thanks for taking your valuable time to put this together. Much of it I already knew, but I learned some new important facts !!! Oh, and a mention about use of ELLs would be nice. I've found that I can't use ELLS in my CCR networks as there is too much lag at that speed. I run cat5 instead.
  12. Well, I was in shock to see that I got my stuff within a couple weeks of the TFF order. But then again, I placed my order on the first day of the sale. Last year, I placed my order near the end of the sale and didn't see the stuff until end of October.
  13. Jim, you may disagree as you seem to run a Christmas show biggest enough to be seen from the space station. From my experience, it doesn't require much of a powerful computer to run a light show with LOR. ?
  14. Yup Jim, you are the Christmas Ninja. Good idea of refurb. Also might wait for black Friday. Last year I updated my really old Win 95 computer with one from Best Buy that was really powerful and during black Friday, the normally $475 was $280. I was surprised. ?
  15. Well it is just my one man's opinion. I've done it both ways. Like most folks, I used to wrap my lights around the pipe or-zip tie them to the pipe and it seems like every year I was damaging something while setting up or putting away. More importantly I really like the smooth look of the glowing pipe. There are a lot of videos out there that explain how to construct them and where to get the pipe. Some other members on here have also done the same thing. I just wish I had done this years earlier. For the last 3 years, no damage to my arcs while setting up and taking down.
  16. Yes that is a great question and I am not sure of the answer. Maybe someone else knows. Mine are only 16 feet long (formed in a semi-circle) and they are plenty stiff enough to survive the high desert mountain winds. In my case, I have a retaining wall about 4 feet high and I lean my arches against the wall and attach the lower part to the wall to keep them from falling over. Even when I didn't have the wall at my prior home, they were still enough to stay in place with a single support pole in the center. You might know that there are various thicknesses available so I expect you could get a thicker pipe to withstand that length.
  17. Have you considered getting translucent high density polyethylene tubing and putting the lights inside? That's what we have done and really like the effect. Plus, the lights don't get damaged with installing and putting away each year.
  18. Agree, I was a bit lost at first, but after playing with S5 for a few hours, I began to understand it, and frankly like it a LOT better than S4 even though the documentation doesn't really exist yet. I'm sure they will have something better on documentation at some point.
  19. Good points about having the power company do the install. I did not have that option. I bought a whole house unit for about $100 and installed it myself. Fortunately one of my neighbors is the local building inspector and came to check out my work. I wish there would have been an option to have the power company do it at the time. It would have saved me some work, but I guess now I don't have to pay a monthly fee. They sure do work nicely and I haven't had any electronic device failures in the last 10 years.
  20. Quote from above "My opinion is that using pixels looks more traditional Christmas and using ribbon makes it look like a carnival attraction. " Yes, I tend to agree with that statement. I also like k6 "hopping effect" with bulbs. Ribbons do tend to look carnival like, but I think it depends on how they are used. In my case, I put ribbons up UNDER the soffit of my house so they are not visible to the street. And since they are flat, I can leave them there all year long with no one seeing them and they are not exposed to the sun. Come Christmas, I just turn on the controller. The effect I get is that the ribbons reflect off the house with a smooth blend of color instead of looking at little dots of carnival light. Sample video in link below. Yes, it is a little crappy video and out of focus at first. I took it with the iPhone. Yet, it is just to give you an idea of what the eve's look like with ribbons up under the soffit. That's Brian's nice CCR tree sequence version of Psy on the left. Nice job he did. http://HamiltonWebusa.net/Christmas/Psy.mp4
  21. Well, a mention of PF always gets my attention since they sure paid my way for a couple years. Glad to see that at least someone does a PF sequence.
  22. yea, I see that this is last year's thread, yet just to say I created a sequence for use with all CCRs and RGB bulbs to the tune of "Electrical Light Parade". It was fun.
  23. As with dibblejr, I certainly have no trouble running LOTS of CCRs on same network. Like K6 says, network speed is probably the issue with looking crappy. And I hope you aren't using ELLs for that.
  24. This is a GREAT time saver and was easy to implement when I tried it. Although, I noted that my star effects didn't seem to match what I was seeing in the LOR S5 motion effects generator. When I changed the "Max circuits" from 150 to 300, then it matched perfectly. S5 sure makes things easier in many regards.
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