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Mike C.

~~~ Calling upon the LOR Gods - community newbies ~~~

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Hi there my name is Mike C.

I’m a newbie to the game, and will easily go down as the biggest newbie In LOR history. In fact if you look up newbie in the LOR-Wikipedia you’ll find a picture of me. I’ve been trolling the forum since last year around december. I’ve been Trying to read up as much as possible, watching every bodies videos and the how to videos on the LOR website. I think I got the basics, so I think.



Before I continue I would like to warn you of my gratuitous use of CAPS, smiley faces :) , exclamation points!!!!!!!!, and my spelling/grammar are not the greatest.



Quick history run down, I live in the small city of Eastvale California next to the domain of the infamous Cracker in Riverside Ca ( picture below). Last year around Christmas time I was surfing YouTube and ran across Kevin’s (aka KJ92508) this is Halloween video. I was in a WTF! Moment throughout the whole video, thinking to myself how is this possible? No freaking way! That must have taken for ever to set up. This guy must be a rocket scientist or something, and so on. I quickly called over the wife and kids to show them the video and they had a similar reaction. My kids bless their little hearts put me on the spot saying “daddy can we do that next year?”



I paused, and told them yeah I think so, at that point my wife had “the look” on her face. You know the look when they’re thinking “here we go”. I did some digging and found my way to the LOR website and forum. I would consider myself a moderate DYI’r with no fear of the honey does list. I’ve always backed away when it comes to electricity; I had a wake up call when I was changing out a power outlet without shutting off the breaker. :shock:



I think I’m ready to give the madness a try and jump in with both feet.



But I have some if not a lot of questions. So here it goes.





1- Those each 16 channel controller requires a 15-20 amp outlet?

Or can I connect them to a regular outlet?

I was thinking about setting up shop in my garage and I think I have one 15-20 amp outlet there that I have my extra fridge hooked up too.

Can I run the fridge and the controllers off the same outlet?

I want to start off with two controllers this year, but I was wondering if I have to have some 15-20 amp breakers and outlets installed before I get carried away?



2- I read some where about the rule of 3, not to connect more than 3 sets of strings on a single channel. That would be because the max amperage per channel shouldn’t be more than 1amp for the first 14 channels and 0.05 for the other two channels. Is this correct?

So as long as I’m under 1 amp could I connect more than three (LED) sets?



3- I hear a lot about getting/having a Digital Amp Ohm Volt Meter to test the strings of light and display elements. This is to insure that we don’t exceed the max 1amp load per channel correct? I’ve never used one before.



4- Having plenty of extension cords is a big deal, but they could get pretty expensive.

So to run the power to the controllers would I need a 20amp extension cord for each?

Or can I use a 3 15-Amp Extension Cord for both controllers?

To run the power from the controller to the lights/elements I can use regular outdoor extension cords correct?

I’ve read about some members making custom length extension cords using stp-1 18 gauge cable, male vampire plugs and female sockets, is the way to go?

Are they pretty simple to put together?

Does anyone have any links on good deals or know of where I can buy in bulk?

Is there a big difference between stp-1 and stp-2 cable?



5- Once I get ready to order my controllers I know it’s best to get the starter package and just add the extra controller. I’m planning to upgrade to the advance license level, I figure I get that out the way and have it instead of upgrading down the road. Other than the starter package and the extra controller would I need any extra adaptors or cables for the second controller?



I’m going to stay away from DMX for now, it sounds scary. :)



I think that’s it for now and I’m sure I’ll have a ton of more questions to come.



Thanks in advance for all your help and for putting up with my nonsense.



:)

Mike C.



Attached files 314418=17161-eastvale.JPG

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1. What do you mean, "regular outlet"? The controllers can be plugged into a outlet like you have in your house. You just to to make sure of the amps you are pulling. I would not plug anything else into that outlet other than the controller.

2. You can have 8 amps MAX on 1 channel, max of15 amps per side, ie1-8 and 9-16, 30 amps total.

3. Go to Home depot, get a kill-a-watt, HD brand is reliance I think, plug in the lights and see what the amps are.

4. You need at least 14 gauge, I think, to power the controllers. SPT is the way to go for the lights. From the controller to the elements. The onlt difference between SPT 1 and 2 is the insulation is thicker on the 2. I buy mine from Skycraft sale and surplus in Orlando Fl, usually 10-11 cents a foot. Vampire plugs I get from Home Depot on line, they only have them once a year close to November if I remember correctly. I will look up the item number later.

5. Start with the advanced license. If you are getting the PC type controllers, whick I would highly recommend, you also need the adaptor, crap, can't remember the number, something 485, I think the starter kit comes with it.

Getting more coffee, will let somone else pick up where I left off. Welcome to the madness!!!!!

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Mike C. wrote:

Hi there my name is Mike C.



1- Those each 16 channel controller requires a 15-20 amp outlet?

Or can I connect them to a regular outlet? (yes, but consider the power draw if you use regular incan lighting and you have 3-100 mini lights connected to each channel of your controller and you fully energize those lights, so that would be 48 strings of lights fully energized at one time. as stated get a Kill-A-Watt meter.
And if you go LED (highly recommended) your power consumption is reduced dramatically, you will pay more for the upgrade to LED's but you will save electrical costs.

I was thinking about setting up shop in my garage and I think I have one 15-20 amp outlet there that I have my extra fridge hooked up too.

Can I run the fridge and the controllers off the same outlet? (Not recommended)


I want to start off with two controllers this year, but I was wondering if I have to have some 15-20 amp breakers and outlets installed before I get carried away? (Highly recommended using Ground Fault Interrupter Circuit Breakers rated @ 20 Amps
if you not comfortable with electricity and you want to be safe get a licensed electrician to give you an estimate on your power upgrade requirements, you will be amazed on the amount of good nights sleep you will get because you had your electrical work done by a professional )



2- I read some where about the rule of 3, not to connect more than 3 sets of strings on a single channel. That would be because the max amperage per channel shouldn’t be more than 1amp for the first 14 channels and 0.05 for the other two channels. Is this correct?

So as long as I’m under 1 amp could I connect more than three (LED) sets?
(Yes, read the boxes that the lights come in, it gives you the max amount on the box and remember you rate your electrical consumption by all lights on all controllers fully energized, this is where incan vs. LED comes into play)



3- I hear a lot about getting/having a Digital Amp Ohm Volt Meter to test the strings of light and display elements. This is to insure that we don’t exceed the max 1amp load per channel correct? I’ve never used one before. ( A volt meter is good for checking electrical power to your controllers, and other continuity checking, here is a link to Kill-A-Watt its the 2nd easiest thing and the safest thing to do)



4- Having plenty of extension cords is a big deal, but they could get pretty expensive.

So to run the power to the controllers would I need a 20amp extension cord for each? (no, read below)

Or can I use a 3 15-Amp Extension Cord for both controllers?

To run the power from the controller to the lights/elements I can use regular outdoor extension cords correct?

I’ve read about some members making custom length extension cords using stp-1 18 gauge cable, male vampire plugs and female sockets, is the way to go?

Are they pretty simple to put together?

Does anyone have any links on good deals or know of where I can buy in bulk?

Is there a big difference between stp-1 and stp-2 cable? (SPT is the way to go, yes they are simple, by far it will be the easiest thing you will do in getting started in synchronized lighting, there are plenty of dealers of electrical supplies you can search on-line, or look around in these forums or what I do is I go to my local electrical supply store and purchase from there, I save shipping and they always gave me a great price).

SPT1 - lamp cord basically, is good for household items like lamps, clocks its rated at 300 volts @ 7 amps

SPT2 - has a thicker jacket than SPT1 and and is better for long runs and commercial uses, and you can get 10 amps @ 300 volts

SPT1 vampire plug will not work on a SPT2 jacket, don't mix and match.





5- Once I get ready to order my controllers I know it’s best to get the starter package and just add the extra controller. I’m planning to upgrade to the advance license level, I figure I get that out the way and have it instead of upgrading down the road. Other than the starter package and the extra controller would I need any extra adaptors or cables for the second controller? (Cat5 cable is the easiest way to connect your controllers)



I’m going to stay away from DMX for now, it sounds scary. :) (If Kevin said that he never would have had a viral video get to know DMX/RGB/CCR, kidding DMX will be waiting for you and you will love it)



I think that’s it for now and I’m sure I’ll have a ton of more questions to come.



Thanks in advance for all your help and for putting up with my nonsense.



:)

Mike C.

Remember you need to have your lights heard, so you need either a PA sound system, or a FM Transmitter, and a nice video camera to record your work for us to see

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If you're using LEDs, you are over thinking the cords and power problem.

I've got my whole display plugged into one regular 15amp outlet on the front porch.

Using 15 controllers (4 of them DC controllers), again, plugged into one outlet. Didn't have a problem and didn't dim the interior lights during the show.




Attached files 314422=17162-House lights 2011.JPG

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PMC wrote SPT1 - lamp cord basically, is good for household items like lamps, clocks its rated at 300 volts @ 7 amps

SPT2 - has a thicker jacket than SPT1 and and is better for long runs and commercial uses, and you can get 10 amps @ 300 volts

SPT1 vampire plug will not work on a SPT2 jacket, don't mix and match.

Not to doubt you sir, but I just looked up SPT1 and 2 and it states they are both rated for 10 amps. Is this wrong?

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shfr26 wrote:

PMC wrote SPT1 - lamp cord basically, is good for household items like lamps, clocks its rated at 300 volts @ 7 amps

SPT2 - has a thicker jacket than SPT1 and and is better for long runs and commercial uses, and you can get 10 amps @ 300 volts

SPT1 vampire plug will not work on a SPT2 jacket, don't mix and match.

Not to doubt you sir, but I just looked up SPT1 and 2 and it states they are both rated for 10 amps. Is this wrong?

Here is my source

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I'm not a LOR God by any standard, but I'll answer what I can. First, let me commend you on your trolling and research thus far.

Second, welcome to the insanity. Sounds like you know what you want to do, so make a plan to get you to your goal.

Last year was my first year. I started planning in January, sequencing in March. Since it was my first year, I had a lot of prep work to do. It kept me busy every weekend.

1- Those each 16 channel controller requires a 15-20 amp outlet?

Or can I connect them to a regular outlet?

No special outlets required, unless you need more. You've probably got an outlet somewhere on the outside of your house already.


I was thinking about setting up shop in my garage and I think I have one 15-20 amp outlet there that I have my extra fridge hooked up too.

Can I run the fridge and the controllers off the same outlet?

Probably could. But I would say no, just for the sake of your controllers. The fridge will probably trip the breaker when it kicks in, if you run your lights off of it as well.


I want to start off with two controllers this year, but I was wondering if I have to have some 15-20 amp breakers and outlets installed before I get carried away?

Not necessarily, but I think most of us installed, or had installed extra outlets. If you're using LED's, then you'll only need 1 15/20 amp outlet for your 2 controllers.

If you're going to go all out, then by all means, install more outlets, you'll definitely need them. I had a 50 amp RV outlet installed and I built a portable sub panel with 12 outlets that I plug my controllers in to.

Maybe Denise is trolling. If I remember correctly, she is running 50K LEDs off 2 20 amp outlets. I just finished switching all my controllers over to 1 plug.

2- I read some where about the rule of 3, not to connect more than 3 sets of strings on a single channel. That would be because the max amperage per channel shouldn’t be more than 1amp for the first 14 channels and 0.05 for the other two channels. Is this correct?

So as long as I’m under 1 amp could I connect more than three (LED) sets?

Not sure where you read that rule. If you're using LED, then that rule doesn't apply at 0.04 amps per string. I think it's 25 strings to equal 1 amp, connect away my friend.

3- I hear a lot about getting/having a Digital Amp Ohm Volt Meter to test the strings of light and display elements. This is to insure that we don’t exceed the max 1amp load per channel correct? I’ve never used one before.

Kill-a-watt meter at HD or Lowes, for like $15. Plug it an outlet and your lights into the meter and it will show you how many amps you are using.



4- Having plenty of extension cords is a big deal, but they could get pretty expensive.

So to run the power to the controllers would I need a 20amp extension cord for each?

Or can I use a 3 15-Amp Extension Cord for both controllers?

Using LEDs that should not be a problem as long as you don't exceed the 15/20amp breaker limit.

To run the power from the controller to the lights/elements I can use regular outdoor extension cords correct?

Not sure what you mean by regular. Regualar outdoor cords will get expensive. SPT1 or 2 (lamp cord) is the way to go.

I’ve read about some members making custom length extension cords using stp-1 18 gauge cable, male vampire plugs and female sockets, is the way to go?

Absolutely, I use SPT2, but 1 will do the job.

Are they pretty simple to put together?

The cord lays in the socket and you slide the cover on to make the connection. Doesn't get any simpler than that.

Does anyone have any links on good deals or know of where I can buy in bulk?

Is there a big difference between stp-1 and stp-2 cable?

UV protection. The insulation is thicker on SPT2, so make sure you get the correct vampire plugs, or you'll have problems with your cords.

5- Once I get ready to order my controllers I know it’s best to get the starter package and just add the extra controller. I’m planning to upgrade to the advance license level, I figure I get that out the way and have it instead of upgrading down the road. Other than the starter package and the extra controller would I need any extra adaptors or cables for the second controller?

Good move going with the advance license. You'll need Cat 5 cable and one of the USB adapters to connect the controllers to your computer and to each other, or get the easy linkers for wireless.

I run my show from my desktop in my office, so I use the linkers to connect to the outside and cat 5 to connect the controllers to each other.


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Santas Helper wrote:

If you're using LEDs, you are over thinking the cords and power problem.

I've got my whole display plugged into one regular 15amp outlet on the front porch.

Using 15 controllers (4 of them DC controllers), again, plugged into one outlet. Didn't have a problem and didn't dim the interior lights during the show.



I think I found the Photo I'm using for my 2012 Christmas Cards :)


Attached files 314427=17163-House lights 2011.JPG
  • Like 1

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PMC wrote:

shfr26 wrote:
PMC wrote SPT1 - lamp cord basically, is good for household items like lamps, clocks its rated at 300 volts @ 7 amps

SPT2 - has a thicker jacket than SPT1 and and is better for long runs and commercial uses, and you can get 10 amps @ 300 volts

SPT1 vampire plug will not work on a SPT2 jacket, don't mix and match.

Not to doubt you sir, but I just looked up SPT1 and 2 and it states they are both rated for 10 amps. Is this wrong?

Here is my source


I see, this is where I got mine.

http://www.awcwire.com/Part.aspx?partname=SPT-1-18/2

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The "rule of 3" is not about controllers, it's about incandescent light strings. The idea is to not have more than 3 strings plugged into each other in a single "line".

I would suggest that the first thing you should do is fix the layout of your display. This will give you an idea of how many extension cords, controllers, and lights you will need. Once you know the number of lights you need, you can calculate your approximate power requirement.

Also, normally each outlet in your house is NOT a 15 amp circuit. If you are planning to use your existing power outlets to run your display, you will need to determine what is on each circuit in your house. For example, if you shut off the breaker that controls the power to your garage outlet, do any other outlets in the house go dead? If they do, you need to know the current power use at those outlets, in addition to the garage use. Say the current draw on that circuit is 6 amps, you will only have 6 amps (using the 80% rule) available to run controllers.

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shfr26 wrote:

PMC wrote:
shfr26 wrote:
PMC wrote SPT1 - lamp cord basically, is good for household items like lamps, clocks its rated at 300 volts @ 7 amps

SPT2 - has a thicker jacket than SPT1 and and is better for long runs and commercial uses, and you can get 10 amps @ 300 volts

SPT1 vampire plug will not work on a SPT2 jacket, don't mix and match.

Not to doubt you sir, but I just looked up SPT1 and 2 and it states they are both rated for 10 amps. Is this wrong?

Here is my source


I see, this is where I got mine.

http://www.awcwire.com/Part.aspx?partname=SPT-1-18/2

Lets go with 8.5 Amps :)

I can amp test these 2 cables at work and see what it can handle before meltdown

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Sounds good to me.:)

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PMC wrote:

Santas Helper wrote:
If you're using LEDs, you are over thinking the cords and power problem.

I've got my whole display plugged into one regular 15amp outlet on the front porch.

Using 15 controllers (4 of them DC controllers), again, plugged into one outlet. Didn't have a problem and didn't dim the interior lights during the show.



I think I found the Photo I'm using for my 2012 Christmas Cards :)

I like it Paul. And it's fitting with your last name too. :) Christmas Carroll

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Guest Don Gillespie

So far no one has mentioned if you are going to add outlets to your home make them GFI outlets, saftey first. :)

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Don Gillespie wrote:

So far no one has mentioned if you are going to add outlets to your home make them GFI outlets, saftey first. :D

Sure Don, start that battle of words again! Way to go.:D

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PMC wrote:

Mike C. wrote:
Hi there my name is Mike C.





I want to start off with two controllers this year, but I was wondering if I have to have some 15-20 amp breakers and outlets installed before I get carried away? (Highly recommended using Ground Fault Interrupter Circuit Breakers rated @ 20 Amps
if you not comfortable with electricity and you want to be safe get a licensed electrician to give you an estimate on your power upgrade requirements, you will be amazed on the amount of good nights sleep you will get because you had your electrical work done by a professional )




I did mention GFI's..... but I'm waiting for the mention of what FM Transmitter he's going to use. :D

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Santas Helper wrote:

PMC wrote:
Santas Helper wrote:
If you're using LEDs, you are over thinking the cords and power problem.

I've got my whole display plugged into one regular 15amp outlet on the front porch.

Using 15 controllers (4 of them DC controllers), again, plugged into one outlet. Didn't have a problem and didn't dim the interior lights during the show.



I think I found the Photo I'm using for my 2012 Christmas Cards :D

I like it Paul. And it's fitting with your last name too. :D Christmas Carroll

kinda funny you mention that, I do have the URL

http://christmascarrolls.com

it's 24/7/365 Christmas Music

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PMC wrote:

Santas Helper wrote:
PMC wrote:
Santas Helper wrote:
If you're using LEDs, you are over thinking the cords and power problem.

I've got my whole display plugged into one regular 15amp outlet on the front porch.

Using 15 controllers (4 of them DC controllers), again, plugged into one outlet. Didn't have a problem and didn't dim the interior lights during the show.



I think I found the Photo I'm using for my 2012 Christmas Cards :D

I like it Paul. And it's fitting with your last name too. :D Christmas Carroll

kinda funny you mention that, I do have the URL

http://christmascarrolls.com

it's 24/7/365 Christmas Music

Now that is cool :cool:.

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Santas Helper wrote:

PMC wrote:
Santas Helper wrote:
PMC wrote:
Santas Helper wrote:
If you're using LEDs, you are over thinking the cords and power problem.

I've got my whole display plugged into one regular 15amp outlet on the front porch.

Using 15 controllers (4 of them DC controllers), again, plugged into one outlet. Didn't have a problem and didn't dim the interior lights during the show.

 

I think I found the Photo I'm using for my 2012 Christmas Cards  :D

I like it Paul. And it's fitting with your last name too. :D Christmas Carroll

kinda funny you mention that, I do have the URL

http://christmascarrolls.com

it's  24/7/365 Christmas Music

Now that is cool :cool:.


+1

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Mike C. wrote:


2- I read some where about the rule of 3, not to connect more than 3 sets of strings on a single channel.  That would be because the max amperage per channel shouldn’t be more than 1amp for the first 14 channels and 0.05 for the other two channels. Is this correct?


Welcome to the best hobby in the world.

The "rule of three" is a hold-over from incandescent lights. Most sets have a fuse in the plug. You can connect the sets end to end, but the sets state to not plug in more than 3 sets together.

For example a set of 100 incandescent mini lights uses about .34 amps. If you run three in a row, you are just over 1 amp. A channel of a controller could easily handle that. You could put a 3-way splitter on the controller dongle and plug 3 sets of 3 strings each and you would be pulling a little over 3 amps if you used that channel at 100%. That is no where near the 8 amps limit per channel if you have the heat sinks installed in the controller.

Caution: while you can plug 8 amps of lights into each of the 8 channels on one side of the controller, but you cannot turn all 8 channels on at 100% at the same time as you would be drawing 64 amps on that side of the controller and blow the fuse in the controller (and possibly damage the controller).

You will see the 80% rule quoted here often. 80% is a safety margin. So, if you have a 15amp circuit that is dedicated to only LOR, you shouldn't plan to use more than 12 amps on that circuit. Where possible, apply the 80% rule to cords, channels, outlets...anything that has a limit.

Have fun and watch your budget. It is too easy to get our of control.

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Thanks everybody for guiding me in the right direction. Silly me I was over analyzing the power requirement of the controllers. My home was built in 2010 and I’m sure I have GFI outlets through out the house. I have one outlet in the garage that’s not being used. I need to take a peek in the control panel and see what the amperage is for that particular outlet. I have a second outlet in the porch area that I could use but I want to keep my controllers inside. I want to keep them dry and away from the 5 finger bandits that might think it’s there for the taking.

Like I mentioned before I want to start off with just two controllers this year, but I’m sure once the bug kicks in I’ll want to add more controller as the years go by. That’s why I mentioned about adding more outlets in the garage.

I have a buddy of mine who is a licensed electrician. I will get with him about my power upgrade and go from there.

Once I iron out the details with the controllers I know I have to make a decision if I go wireless or use cat5 from my desktop to the controllers. Most likely I might have to buy a decent laptop or easy light linkers for my set up. My desktop is upstairs and I don’t think the wife will let me run cat5 from the second floor to the garage.

I’m planning to slowly switch over to 100% LED’s and adding RGB’s and CCR’s in the future. I just want to be up and running by this years Christmas with the lights and display elements a have now.

Once I get into RGB & CCR would it be better to look into buying The Deluxe DC Board CMB16D-QC to run and power them?

Also I don’t know if I’m going to buy an fm transmitter or just buy a couple of outdoor speakers and run the sound from the desktop/laptop. At the same time I don’t want to [Foul Language Used] off my neighbors by having the music playing through out the evening and night. Decisions Decisions.

Correct me I’m wrong but a typical set up would be:


A - A computer to run the show with the appropriate software

B – A pair of speakers or an fm transmitter connected to the computers soundcard to play the music

C - A USB485 adapter that connects to the computers USB port using a cat5 LAN cable

D- A cat5 LAN cable from the USB485 adapter to the controller
If I would go wireless I would connect a easy light linker to the converter and the easy light receiver to the controller

E- From there it’s just connecting the strings of lights to the controller
It all depends on how many controllers I have and add in the future. I could just either connect them via cat5 cables or by easy light linkers.

Yes I need to buy a new camcorder the one I have now uses mini DVD’s.

Thanks for sharing the picture of your display and the links for the SPT1 cable. I will defiantly go out and buy a Kill-a-watt meter. I love buying new toys especially when I can write them off on my taxes.

When I mentioned regular outdoor extension cords in the past I would go out to HD or Lowe’s and just buy 25’ 50’ extension cords.
Now that you guys have shown me the way of the Jedi I will just make them from this point on.

Thanks for clarifying the “rule of 3” for me, and you’re right I have to sit down and draw out the layout of my display. This way I can determine how and what light string will go to which controller. The outlet I want to use in my garage is connected to the outlet in my porch area. I found out last year when I had a jumper for the kids plugged into the porch outlet and I tried plugging in a popcorn machine inside the garage and the breaker tripped. The kids inside the jumper got a little scare LOL.

I really don’t know what FM transmitter I’m going to use but I want to do my homework (here and on the web) before I make a rookie mistake and say the wrong thing or buy the wrong one.

I will keep in mind the 80% rule, and yes I have to watch my budget. I could get carried away before I get started, she might lay me smack down and shut me down before I get started.


I haven’t had a chance to download the trial version of the software to start playing with it.
Once I get going I’m looking to buy S3 advance with the superstar add-on 2_CCR for the auto sequence, and when I’m ready I can buy a couple of CCR’s.




Like I mentioned before thanks to all for the feedback and warm welcome,



Mike

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Mike C. wrote:

Thanks everybody for guiding me in the right direction. Silly me I was over analyzing the power requirement of the controllers. My home was built in 2010 and I’m sure I have GFI outlets through out the house.

You probably have GFCI protected circuits on the exterior, anywhere near a sink (kitchen/baths) and unfinished areas of the home. Caution, some builders put one GFCI for the entire home which could severely limit the current available.

I have one outlet in the garage that’s not being used. I need to take a peek in the control panel and see what the amperage is for that particular outlet. I have a second outlet in the porch area that I could use but I want to keep my controllers inside. I want to keep them dry and away from the 5 finger bandits that might think it’s there for the taking.

Like I mentioned before I want to start off with just two controllers this year, but I’m sure once the bug kicks in I’ll want to add more controller as the years go by. That’s why I mentioned about adding more outlets in the garage.

I have a buddy of mine who is a licensed electrician. I will get with him about my power upgrade and go from there.

If you ran your static display last year and didn't run into power constraints and plan to do the same display this year, you will probably be using less power as all of the lights won't be on at the same time for a majority of the show.

Once I iron out the details with the controllers I know I have to make a decision if I go wireless or use cat5 from my desktop to the controllers. Most likely I might have to buy a decent laptop or easy light linkers for my set up. My desktop is upstairs and I don’t think the wife will let me run cat5 from the second floor to the garage.

I’m planning to slowly switch over to 100% LED’s and adding RGB’s and CCR’s in the future. I just want to be up and running by this years Christmas with the lights and display elements a have now.

Once I get into RGB & CCR would it be better to look into buying The Deluxe DC Board CMB16D-QC to run and power them?

CCRs have their own controller. RGB can be done with the DC Board or DMX.

Also I don’t know if I’m going to buy an fm transmitter or just buy a couple of outdoor speakers and run the sound from the desktop/laptop. At the same time I don’t want to [Foul Language Used] off my neighbors by having the music playing through out the evening and night. Decisions Decisions.

If you decide to go FM, do some homework. The EDM users here are very vocal about using the EDM transmitter. Read a lot here and make your own decision.

Correct me I’m wrong but a typical set up would be:


A - A computer to run the show with the appropriate software

B – A pair of speakers or an fm transmitter connected to the computers soundcard to play the music

C - A USB485 adapter that connects to the computers USB port using a cat5 LAN cable

D- A cat5 LAN cable from the USB485 adapter to the controller
If I would go wireless I would connect a easy light linker to the converter and the easy light receiver to the controller

E- From there it’s just connecting the strings of lights to the controller
It all depends on how many controllers I have and add in the future. I could just either connect them via cat5 cables or by easy light linkers.

Sounds correct to me.

Yes I need to buy a new camcorder the one I have now uses mini DVD’s.

Thanks for sharing the picture of your display and the links for the SPT1 cable. I will defiantly go out and buy a Kill-a-watt meter. I love buying new toys especially when I can write them off on my taxes.

When I mentioned regular outdoor extension cords in the past I would go out to HD or Lowe’s and just buy 25’ 50’ extension cords.
Now that you guys have shown me the way of the Jedi I will just make them from this point on.

Thanks for clarifying the “rule of 3” for me, and you’re right I have to sit down and draw out the layout of my display. This way I can determine how and what light string will go to which controller. The outlet I want to use in my garage is connected to the outlet in my porch area. I found out last year when I had a jumper for the kids plugged into the porch outlet and I tried plugging in a popcorn machine inside the garage and the breaker tripped. The kids inside the jumper got a little scared LOL.

I really don’t know what FM transmitter I’m going to use but I want to do my homework (here and on the web) before I make a rookie mistake and say the wrong thing or buy the wrong one.

I will keep in mind the 80% rule, and yes I have to watch my budget. I could get carried away before I get started, she might lay me smack down and shut me down before I get started.


I haven’t had a chance to download the trial version of the software to start playing with it.
Once I get going I’m looking to buy S3 advance with the superstar add-on 2_CCR for the auto sequence, and when I’m ready I can buy a couple of CCR’s.

Do the trial software now. If you have a picture of last year's display, you an use that in the visualizer to help set up your display. When you do a sequence in the sequence editor, you can get an idea of how it looks on the house.

Yes, buy the advanced license.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe there is any benefit to purchasing the superstar software until you have the the CCRs




Like I mentioned before thanks to all for the feedback and warm welcome,



Mike

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You might want to look into a mini-director, it does away with the need of a second computer to run the show.

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Mike C. wrote:

...Thanks for sharing the picture of your display and the links for the SPT1 cable. I will defiantly go out and buy a Kill-a-watt meter. I love buying new toys especially when I can write them off on my taxes.




Ok now I have a question... How do you write this off your taxes?

I am in Canada so our laws are different.

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PaulXmas wrote:

Mike C. wrote:
...Thanks for sharing the picture of your display and the links for the SPT1 cable. I will defiantly go out and buy a Kill-a-watt meter. I love buying new toys especially when I can write them off on my taxes.


 

Ok now I have a question... How do you write this off your taxes?

I am in Canada so our laws are different.


It has to be a legitimate business expense. So, if he has a company and the company sponsors his light show for advertising, he might be able to do it.

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