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Mike C.

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

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Mike C. wrote:


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

Or could be and, Last year I did both with a headphone slitter... Why make a decision.. just buy both! ;p

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.

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I use an old portable stereo that has lasted 3 years so far.

It is loud enough that you can hear it from the sidewalk but not once you go past my place.

I would worry about blasting the same songs over and over and over and over again every night.

It is so cold here that my neighbours don't hear the music because we all have our windows closed so its not an issue.

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PaulXmas wrote:

I use an old portable stereo that has lasted 3 years so far.

It is loud enough that you can hear it from the sidewalk but not once you go past my place.

I would worry about blasting the same songs over and over and over and over again every night.

It is so cold here that my neighbours don't hear the music because we all have our windows closed so its not an issue.

+1 use both and old radio and an FM transmitter also look in to the Mini director i find it very useful.

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I currently use speakers only. Noise is not an issue for me. Rummage sales are a great place to look for cheap speakers and show computers. If you do Halloween, get big speakers and a good amp. Thunder is murder on speakers, plus you can get away with more noise for the trick o treaters.

A show computer doesn't need much horsepower to run and could be run from the garage. Your sequencing computer does need plenty of ram and a beefy graphics card for the timing to be right. Duel monitor is also highly recommended.

Don't be afraid to have your controllers outside closer to your elements. There are plenty of ways to mount them securely and out of sight. Cords can get pricey if everything is homerun to a central location.

Welcome aboard!

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eurbani wrote:

Mike C. wrote:

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.



funny you say that like i said earlier i need to do some reseach on it. I don't want to open up a can of worms if i say or pick the wrong one. :(

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



that could be an option, i could same me some cash and buy more controllers.



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.

Back in Feb. when we filed our taxes my tax lady told me about the state of CA. giving some type of tax exemption when you buy tools for the home. So two weeks later i went out and bought like $600 bucks of tools i always wanted and have been slowly buying since.

eurbani wrote:
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.
I don't have a business sponsorship i wish, i have to learn to crawl, walk and then run with the big boys. :)

l0chte wrote:
Mike C. wrote:



Or could be and, Last year I did both with a headphone slitter... Why make a decision.. just buy both! ;p

Ha ha i could do that. :D



MCas4380 wrote:
PaulXmas wrote:
I use an old portable stereo that has lasted 3 years so far.

It is loud enough that you can hear it from the sidewalk but not once you go past my place.

I would worry about blasting the same songs over and over and over and over again every night.

It is so cold here that my neighbours don't hear the music because we all have our windows closed so its not an issue.

+1 use both and old radio and an FM transmitter also look in to the Mini director i find it very useful.



thanks every body for the feedback.

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so yesterday i took a peek inside my control panel and it looks like a have enough space for six more 20 amp breakers(picture 1). It would of been nice if the builder would of put in an extra 200amp breaker in there for future upgrades (picture 2) but that would of be asking for to much. The nex two picture (Picture 3 & 4) i really can't decipher the chicken scratch some i can make out but most are like WTF?

Attached files 314679=17182-panel 4.jpg

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Mike C. wrote:

eurbani wrote:
Mike C. wrote:

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.



funny you say that like i said earlier i need to do some reseach on it. I don't want to open up a can of worms if i say or pick the wrong one. :)


Quite honestly, there are only a few people on the forum that seem to be bothered by the passionate support for EDM. Reason for that passionate support is, its a good product, and with the high number of satisfied users, the data speaks for itself. EDM isn't the only good quality FM transmitter out there, but the real caution is, there is a lot more junk floating around on ebay and similar sites than there is quality.

But you're the one who has to make the cost versus quality decision, based on your budget. Make your decision and don't worry about having to defend/rationalize your purchase to anyone else, its time better spent building and sequencing.

Regarding your breaker panel, yes, it definitely looks like there is room to grow, but based on what you describe as your experience working with electricity, please please please enlist a licensed electrician to do the work.

Good luck!

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Mike C. wrote:

It would of been nice if the builder would of put in an extra 200amp breaker in there for future upgrades (picture 2) but that would of be asking for to much.
That would most likely not have been allowed. Your service is probably 200A, so multiple breakers would have the potential to exceed that.

The nex two picture (Picture 3 & 4) i really can't decipher the chicken scratch some i can make out but most are like WTF?
When I replaced my (old, unsafe) breaker panel last year, I decided to save myself trouble in the future finding out which breaker controlled which outlet, so I went through each breaker and labeled each outlet and switch with the breaker number.

C - A USB485 adapter that connects to the computers USB port using a cat5 LAN cable
Technically, it connects to the computer's USB port using a USB cable.

If I would go wireless I would connect a easy light linker to the converter and the easy light receiver to the controller.
There's actually no such thing as a "easy light receiver." If the easy light linker (ELL) connects to the computer, it needs a USB485B (with booster) to power it.

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.
The experience of many here says that the thieves are more likely to steal blowmolds and LED strings (because they are flashy) than nondescript gray boxes that look like sprinkler timers. There are also many techniques for securing them that could save you big money in extension cords.

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DonFL wrote:

Mike C. wrote:
eurbani wrote:
Mike C. wrote:

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.



funny you say that like i said earlier i need to do some reseach on it. I don't want to open up a can of worms if i say or pick the wrong one. ;)


Quite honestly, there are only a few people on the forum that seem to be bothered by the passionate support for EDM. Reason for that passionate support is, its a good product, and with the high number of satisfied users, the data speaks for itself. EDM isn't the only good quality FM transmitter out there, but the real caution is, there is a lot more junk floating around on ebay and similar sites than there is quality.

But you're the one who has to make the cost versus quality decision, based on your budget. Make your decision and don't worry about having to defend/rationalize your purchase to anyone else, its time better spent building and sequencing.

Regarding your breaker panel, yes, it definitely looks like there is room to grow, but based on what you describe as your experience working with electricity, please please please enlist a licensed electrician to do the work.

Good luck!

Thanks Don for stopping by I'm not much for spending money wastefully. So if there's a product that is far superior than others i rather spend the extra cash and buy that one(EDM) than having to double dip. I still have a long ways before i pull the trigger on the controllers and the FM transmitter so i have time to troll and do my homework.




Steven wrote:
Mike C. wrote:
It would of been nice if the builder would of put in an extra 200amp breaker in there for future upgrades (picture 2) but that would of be asking for to much.
That would most likely not have been allowed. Your service is probably 200A, so multiple breakers would have the potential to exceed that.

The nex two picture (Picture 3 & 4) i really can't decipher the chicken scratch some i can make out but most are like WTF?
When I replaced my (old, unsafe) breaker panel last year, I decided to save myself trouble in the future finding out which breaker controlled which outlet, so I went through each breaker and labeled each outlet and switch with the breaker number.

C - A USB485 adapter that connects to the computers USB port using a cat5 LAN cable
Technically, it connects to the computer's USB port using a USB cable.

If I would go wireless I would connect a easy light linker to the converter and the easy light receiver to the controller.
There's actually no such thing as a "easy light receiver." If the easy light linker (ELL) connects to the computer, it needs a USB485B (with booster) to power it.

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.
The experience of many here says that the thieves are more likely to steal blowmolds and LED strings (because they are flashy) than nondescript gray boxes that look like sprinkler timers. There are also many techniques for securing them that could save you big money in extension cords.


Steven i know what you're saying but just knowing someone might walk away with a controller will problaby keep me up at night. I'm sure i'm not the first newb to worry about such things. :)

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I'll probably get b*tch slapped for this since most on here are EDM fans.

I bought my transmitter from HLLY. I got the 1w transmitter, which is WAY too much power than what anyone needs. The .5w is more than enough and has great sound quality.
http://www.hllyelectronics.com/fm-transmitter/0.5w-fm-transmitter.html

I also bought some cable locks for my controllers from Home Depot.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202311744/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=cable+locks&storeId=10051

Wrap them around my trees and bushes. If anyone wants to cut down my trees to get my controllers, then cut away. I hate those trees and bushes anyhow.

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David Rise wrote:

If anyone wants to cut down my trees to get my controllers, then cut away. I hate those trees and bushes anyhow.


I actually LOL on that one.

And I'm an EDM fan for sure. I like EDM because it's been good for me. I say use what works for you.

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I have been using the EDM for about 4 years now. Really have like it, but am starting to have some range issues that I need to get resolved.

That being said, I am really curious about the HLLY.
How does it compare as far as sound quality, distortion, range and anything else I am not thinking of at the time?

What kind of range do you get with the 1 watt?

Thanks

John Bradley
Sanger, TX

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I don't have an EDM to compare the sound quality.

But at half power, I had static, but could still hear it 3 miles away.

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Mike-

Be careful you don't stray too far south - past the 91 - or you might end up in my neck of the woods(domain):P

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jbrad627 wrote:

I have been using the EDM for about 4 years now. Really have like it, but am starting to have some range issues that I need to get resolved.


take a good look at your antenna and cable connections. High vswr = reduced range..and while the EDM is very tolerant to high vswr, it can't overcome a bad match from a performance standpoint.

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Dr. Jones wrote:

Mike-

Be careful you don't stray too far south - past the 91 - or you might end up in my neck of the woods(domain):(

Good to know you're close by this way i can bug you when i have questions. Haha i really don't travel to far into Corona, once in a blue moon we'll go to Island's (love their fish tacos) on Magnolia Ave. Most likey you'll catch me crusing down Hamner Ave down to Baja Tacos in Norco. I have thing for fish and shrimp tacos. :P

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we have a roach coach at work that has baja style fish tacos on friday - 4@ $5

When you venture towards DMX - I have a wealth of knowledge - a lot is professional practices other is stuff that cannot be discussed on this forum -as it would be a conflict of interest

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And if you head too far North, you stray into my little world in Fontana.:}

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I'd love to be able to talk to you guys out there. I'm going to be out there next week, continuing there for several days. I grew up on the edge of SBD/Rialto and worked next door to LAX for 25 years. Anyway, I'm coming out for my Dad's Birthday next weekend but I'd sure be interested in talking shop and asking tons of questions. I'm setting up for my first show ever this year. 96 channels this first time out.

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Dr. Jones wrote:

we have a roach coach at work that has baja style fish tacos on friday - 4@ $5

When you venture towards DMX - I have a wealth of knowledge - a lot is professional practices other is stuff that cannot be discussed on this forum -as it would be a conflict of interest


:}
Deal. for know i'm not going there the first time i seen the word DMX i thought everybody was talking about the rapper. :D


magish01 wrote:
And if you head too far North, you stray into my little world in Fontana.:}


I've been there once or twice, you guys have a El Gallo Giro there. (al pastor tacos)


dgrant wrote:
I'd love to be able to talk to you guys out there. I'm going to be out there next week, continuing there for several days. I grew up on the edge of SBD/Rialto and worked next door to LAX for 25 years. Anyway, I'm coming out for my Dad's Birthday next weekend but I'd sure be interested in talking shop and asking tons of questions. I'm setting up for my first show ever this year. 96 channels this first time out.



:shock: 96 channels wow! man you're doing it big for your first year. Good luck and post plenty of vid's for us.

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Thanks. Yeah, 16 mini-trees, all the static lights before which are now sequenced, plus a 15 foot 32 channel megatree with strobes and two arches, both FM transmission and outdoor speakers(first show only). Just finished my 23rd tune today, in this case, Music Box Dancer. First show, I'm inviting everyone and will let one of the neighborhood kids trigger the first show. Probably hand out hot-chocolate and brownies, cookies or whatever. There's only one other home that does this and they spent supposedly a $1M on their display but its across a river from me. This area is loaded with very nice and fancy homes but for unknown reasons, only some of the homes even decorate. I'm ratcheting things up for sure. The past two yeas, I did a large static display. This last year, more people here put up lights than the first year I was here so its having an effect.

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Just a quick update

I didn't want to start a different threat so I figure I'll bump this old one.

So I finally got around to building my two 16pc kits and I'm excited to get

started. I wanted to ask if looked right before I power it up for the first time.

the black line from the power cords to the hot input (1-8) & the other for (1-9)

the green ground line from the p. cord to the ground post one per side

the white neutral from the p. cord to the neautral bank one per side

after that is just running the ground lines to the ground post

the neutrals to the neutral bank

and each black line to it's numbered channel post

the black lines for channels 7,8,15 & 16 didn't reach so I had to move the power

cord to make it reach.

maybe next year I'll take a crack at the full DIY kit.

any suggestions or pointers would be appreciated

post-10104-0-49760100-1366571424_thumb.j

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