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mgrant8163

Ready to Buy- have nothing, need everything

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Actually, I was just thinking, its probably easier for me to simply use a receiver out in the garage, rock speakers or similar along with the fm transmitter. The only wires would be the speaker wires. With the amp in the garage, no need to worry about rain and etc.

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Get a cheap boombox from Goodwill, place it under a mini-tree or in a present in the yard.. set the volume low enough so you can hear it standing on the sidewalk but not across the street. Put the boombox inside a couple gallon-size freezer bags, or inside a Hefty trashbag.. the heat from the radio should keep condensation/moisture out too.

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TJ Hvasta wrote:

set the volume low enough so you can hear it standing on the sidewalk but not across the street.

I have found that standing on the sidewalk next to a display is WAAAAY to close (makes it difficult to see the whole display and the LED's are just TOO bright...not to mention you might get hit by a falling mega tree)..so I HAVE to have it loud enough to be heard from across the street...it's a safeety issue... :)

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LOL, lets hope the megatree doesn't come falling down!

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You know , you dont have to jump in with both feet at first and drown while doing it. When I started, I started with just a 2 controllers and used the standalone feature and animation only for the first year. I have added to this every year with music, computer run show, etc....
Just my 5 cents worth. Good luck and mainly....have fun with it.

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jimswinder wrote:

TJ Hvasta wrote: 
...not to mention you might get hit by a falling mega tree)..so I HAVE to have it loud enough to be heard from across the street...it's a safeety issue...  :)


BWAhAhAHAHAhAHAhA!!! I am sooo reminded of the Farmers insurance commercial with the guy winding the jack-in-the-box.. thats crushed by the falling spacecraft..

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rmturner54 wrote:

You know , you dont have to jump in with both feet at first and drown while doing it. When I started, I started with just a 2 controllers and used the standalone feature and animation only for the first year. I have added to this every year with music, computer run show, etc....
Just my 5 cents worth. Good luck and mainly....have fun with it.


A Texan telling me not to go big? Im impressed and you are very wise. I just tend to lean more and have more fun if I dive in instead of walk slowly into the shallow end.

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Yeah, but by you diving in, you tend to get us all wet, then we have to jump in and save you.

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I would say.....go medium. Based on what I have seen, I thought anything less than 4 controllers (64 channels) was too small.

For me with a managable timeline was:

2x 8 channel (miniMega Tree)

4 Leaping arches with 8 channels on the same controller (so uses 8 channels)

8 Mini Trees

That right there is 2 controllers.

Then the rest of the lights I already put up every Christmas would be another 32 channels (2 controllers).

But 4 controllers = $325 for the first one with SW, HW, and shipping.

Then $250 (fully assembled) or $205 (DIY) plus S&H.

So just around $1000 for the LoR HW for 4 channels.

Now add in PVC, bolts, wire frames etc I have spent about $100 for the above mentioned props.

Also, most of the sequences you can find out there for free are at least 32-64 channels.

I posted above just to give you a scale of what $500 will get you :-)



Also you should think about putting in an electrical supply subpanel or run dedicated 15 amp outlets from your existing breaker (if you have room).

I put in a 12 slot 125 Amp subpannel for about $150. I did all the work myself, so this is just materials. If you have mostly LEDs this should be less of a problem, but I have about 50/50 so i needed it.

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I promise that you dont have to jump in unless you are in the mood to get wet. Part of learning via the sink or swim method is the realization that ultimately you are on your own.

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TJ Hvasta wrote:

There are many that need to remember that last sentence..

Life IS Good...:P

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As a newbie myself and looking forward to my first show this coming season, I'm sort of jumping in with both feet. I'll have 5 controllers, 32 channels will get used on a 15 foot mega tree, 16 more channels on two arches and all the rest on the house, 16 mini-trees and so on. I've sequenced 18 tunes so they are ready. I've bought and received the EDM transmitter and doing wireless speakers for the outside, first show only of each night. I am probably going to do formal speakers (rock types) with a connection to a real receiver for additional sound without going too loud. I don't have an extra channel to toggle the start of the first show manually therefore inviting whomever to see the beginning but oh well...timing it to start at a particular time will work too. Sure hope I don't mess something up or forget something critical or worse and the megatree falls over!

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I wanted to do a multi color mega tree, but getting the Red/green/blue lights would have been a big additional cost my wife nixed (heh). So I stuck with using the lights I got on clearance from Home Depot which are all white/multi. white for the tree and multi for the arches...

Next year though......(insert evil chuckle).

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Yeah, I'm doing the multi on the tree and white on the arches. I'd love to do CCR's but that's a lot of $...maybe down the road a bit.

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Looking back now I see I was SUNK from the start.. All in and every year adding more. Plenty of yard to work with so wife will get mad again this year.. Take advice from everyone in here and go slow. Add a little each year if not you will have 30k in it so quick it would make your head spin. Now I can say it was worth the pain and hours when you fire it off with a crowd waiting and see all the smiles !! Keeps me doing it another year.

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dgrant wrote:

I don't have an extra channel to toggle the start of the first show manually therefore inviting whomever to see the beginning but oh well...timing it to start at a particular time will work too.

dgrant, you don't need an extra channel to toggle the show to start. LOR controllers have inputs on them that you can use for that purpose, assuming you have the advanced license version of the software. Depending upon whether you have the PC version or the Showtime controller, you have either 2 or 3 inputs to use, respectively.

I'm going from memory, and am a little tired, so your best bet is to check out the user's guide for the hardware to see how to wire it up. The software user's manual will tell you how to change the options for your show to have it wait for a trigger to start the show. Look in the sections that describe the show editor and interactive shows.

This is exactly what I did my first show of my first year (last year) and it worked great. Super simple too. Just connect a switch across a couple pins on the controller board, set up the show options correctly when building your show in the show builder, and then press the button when you're ready. For me, I had the show start "running" at 5:15, hoping for a 5:30 button press, but knowing it would likely be later by the time everyone showed up. At 5:15, the scheduler started the show which was set to do nothing until I pressed the button. I pressed the button at 5:40 and the show came to life.

I've sequenced 18 tunes so they are ready

Oh, and by the way... 18 sequences already finished? I don't know how you did it, but it takes me a solid month to do a song. Working on it here and there, of course, but usually 10 - 15 hours / song. And haven't started on any for next year yet.

Good luck.

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asetti wrote:

I would say.....go medium. Based on what I have seen, I thought anything less than 4 controllers (64 channels) was too small.

For me with a managable timeline was:

2x 8 channel (miniMega Tree)

4 Leaping arches with 8 channels on the same controller (so uses 8 channels)

8 Mini Trees

That right there is 2 controllers.

Then the rest of the lights I already put up every Christmas would be another 32 channels (2 controllers).

But 4 controllers = $325 for the first one with SW, HW, and shipping.

Then $250 (fully assembled) or $205 (DIY) plus S&H.

So just around $1000 for the LoR HW for 4 channels.

Now add in PVC, bolts, wire frames etc I have spent about $100 for the above mentioned props.

Also, most of the sequences you can find out there for free are at least 32-64 channels.

I posted above just to give you a scale of what $500 will get you :-)



Also you should think about putting in an electrical supply subpanel or run dedicated 15 amp outlets from your existing breaker (if you have room).

I put in a 12 slot 125 Amp subpannel for about $150. I did all the work myself, so this is just materials. If you have mostly LEDs this should be less of a problem, but I have about 50/50 so i needed it.


If I can't do a deal for an entire display at a reasonable price then I might have to go new. If I go new I'll probably "go medium" as you suggested. I too feel that less than 4 controllers is a bit small, at least it is for my yard. The LOR starter kit with 4 controllers might be a way to go when it goes on sale and then start building props.

I've historically had power issues with just running the house and to my outdoor plugs. So I KNOW that I'll have to get someone out that knows what they are doing to evaluate and add breakers, etc.

Thanks for your input,

Mike

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trafficman wrote:

Looking back now I see I was SUNK from the start.. All in and every year adding more. Plenty of yard to work with so wife will get mad again this year.. Take advice from everyone in here and go slow. Add a little each year if not you will have 30k in it so quick it would make your head spin. Now I can say it was worth the pain and hours when you fire it off with a crowd waiting and see all the smiles !! Keeps me doing it another year.

Thanks Traffic. I AM starting to second guess myself...both from the $$ and the time needed to do this right. I have so many ideas in my head that probably need to stay there!

Anyone here every PAY people to help set up their displays? I'm already thinking of a temp agency that can send a crew over...LOL

Mike

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Great Idea.. Never used a temp crew !! Good Luck and let me know when you post a few of the video's!! Here is my little show so I am not to good with a camera.



Jeff

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I tried to use a temp agency to help with setup of the display. It was a company that hires out daily workers. Did not work out all that good for me.

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mgrant8163 wrote:

Anyone here every PAY people to help set up their displays? I'm already thinking of a temp agency that can send a crew over...LOL
Plenty of help to be found around any Home Depot / Lowes parking lot... :cool:

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TJ Hvasta wrote:

There are many that need to remember that last sentence..


Amen to that!!

TJ, I love the video of your view out the office window!

Way cool.

That really made me flash back to my military days when I used to fly all over the place. I wish I had stayed in the aircraft business but then I would only be on the ground fixing things most of the time I guess.
I sure do miss the ole days of flying and the beauty it holds.
You are lucky to have a good job that lets you see different places along with the beauty of flying and you dog - you get paid to do it!!

Nice and yes I'm jealous. HA

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LightORamaDan wrote:

We will have both sales this year. Because of production delays last year some things ordered then are just now coming in so we will have product for the inventory reduction sale and we will have our regular Summer Sale with no limits on quantities.

Dan


Hey Dan,

I heard a rumor you guys were going to begin introducing dumb RGB LED strips....is that true? Would they be available for the March sale ?

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DLTSLC wrote:

Hey Dan,

I heard a rumor you guys were going to begin introducing dumb RGB LED strips....is that true? Would they be available for the March sale ?

Keeping in mind I get zero information about is coming out ... I've not heard this rumor. Might I ask where you heard it from?

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