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jfuller8400

Starting to Set Up This Year's Display

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Hey All,

Well, it's finally that time.  I'm going to start setting up my display this weekend as I like to get up on the roof before it gets any colder and the snow starts to fly!

Hard to believe!

 

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We put out some stuff the first weekend of this month! :blink:  We don't have to worry about the freezing cold and snow around here too much... Most of our display consists of lights wrapped around trees in our yard and we are changing how we do things this year. So we wanted to get a feel for how long the new setup will take. We are 'permanently' mounting the lights to plastic fencing material instead of wrapping the strings directly around the trees, this way a few bungee cords will hold the lights to the tress and make setup and tear down in the coming years quicker and easier hopefully!

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Still too hot around here to want to start now.  Two or three weeks from now I'll put the lights up on the eves because they get used for Halloween (along with the year round landscape lighting), and then the first two weekends in November to essentially all of the Christmas stuff up.  That gives me a week and a half of testing time after everything is setup before opening night on Friday the 24th.

Only thing I'm doing this weekend is setting up my new show computer (retiring the ancient XP computer).  No more than an hour out in the garage data cabinet to get it physically set up and on the LAN, then everything else is done remotely from the comfort of my family room.

 

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Still twisting superstrands this weekend. Hopefully will finish where I can start Halloween setup next weekend. Can't wait!!

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I'm painting the outside of my house and doing some remodel. Hopefully,  I'll have my Halloween show up and running this year. Albeit a smaller show due to all the work in doing:wacko:

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Well, I had a good first day.  Got the roofline up and done but then got rained out on Sunday.  :(

Next weekend is supposed to be perfect both Sat. and Sunday so I hope to get the majority of the deck completed.  I'm also doing a time-lapse video of the setup this year so that should be fun!

 

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Don't have to worry about cold and snow here.  Not doing anything for Halloween this year so won't start putting up Christmas lights till the weekend after.  Hopefully it will cool off by then.

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I'm thankful I live in southern VA, not real cold when I put mine up the week of Thanksgiving. Mine go up in about 3 to 4 days, my brother and two nephews come and we knock it out.  I'm a channel hog, all my stuff with mini lights have R,G,B,W LEDs.   Added 12 dumb RGB snow flakes for the roof this year. 15252672_1398342863533911_5866848515216988168_o.jpg?oh=ce103e130f06883914e8dfaa58433be9&oe=5A3A69C1

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I haven't set anything up yet, but have been buying more outdoor LED lights/decor, extension cords, & triple-tap adapters.   I've used a non-LOR setup in the past so I already have a lot of this stuff.  But this will be our first Christmas using the LOR (48 channels) so I'll need more of everything lol.  I've made a few mini-trees and will start installing permanent hooks/anchors in the mortar of our brick exterior.  I'll need more power and outlets this year, so I'll have an electrician install all the needed outlets on the front of our house.  My goal is to have everything setup, tested, and working by Nov 18 (the weekend before Thanksgiving).  I usually like to wait until Thanksgiving evening to turn on our outdoor lights for the first time, but I might get too impatient and excited in anticipation of using a LOR for the first time and will probably light up a few days early lol.  Can't wait!  :D

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Put our 16x50 RGB display up yesterday with the daughter since it acts as a simple Halloween decoration.

Today I'm going to start getting stuff out of the Christmas Shed. Wire frames and mini-trees get left out for a bit so rain can wash off any cobwebs and mouse "stuff". Then I'll grab the megastrand tubs so I can start replacing burned out lights(yep, still mostly incandescent here). Will probably put the roof lights up today since it's nice out and there's a possibility of my work not cooperating with my regular display setup schedule(as in all of November). :(

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I've had really bad luck with the weather this year.  It always rains at least one day on the weekend (when I have time to put things up) and is nice during the week (when I have to work).  I'm taking some vacation time in a couple of weeks, so hopefully the weather will cooperate.

 

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I started building the PVC frame for the new GECE lights that will line my roofline peak.  They will be used along with the GECE lights on my eves for Halloween.  I expect to finish that project next weekend.

 

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On 10/8/2017 at 1:51 PM, Speedster said:

..... I'll need more power and outlets this year, so I'll have an electrician install all the needed outlets on the front of our house.......

Friendly advice - electricians like to daisy chain because they don't realize you're gonna use all the receptacles at the same time. Even if you're all LED and don't really need the horse power, I would tell him/her separate circuits please. Even if opting not to go to expensive of separate circuits, at least all rcpts to be GFCI recpts. That way it splits up your show onto multiple GFCI circuits. Since they trip on total leakage, splitting controllers up has less of a chance for nuisance tripping your show off. Yeah - you don't have that many controllers this year - you are now bitten - so thinking a few years down the road and you won't want to have to hire the electrician again.

Good luck with your project. 

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29 minutes ago, Mega Arch said:

Friendly advice - electricians like to daisy chain because they don't realize you're gonna use all the receptacles at the same time. Even if you're all LED and don't really need the horse power, I would tell him/her separate circuits please. Even if opting not to go to expensive of separate circuits, at least all rcpts to be GFCI recpts. That way it splits up your show onto multiple GFCI circuits. Since they trip on total leakage, splitting controllers up has less of a chance for nuisance tripping your show off. Yeah - you don't have that many controllers this year - you are now bitten - so thinking a few years down the road and you won't want to have to hire the electrician again.

Good luck with your project. 

Great advice there. I just added 4 more GFCI 4 outlet receptacles. All have their own 20 amp breaker. That brings me to a total of 12 outside receptacles. 

The only thing I didn't do and will do before Christmas is remove that small section of drywall that I cut and replaced and install 4 Timex Timers to the circuits so I don't have to unplug stuff daily or leave the controllers running all day. I used to install Timex timers on hot water heaters and its the same principal only for outlets. Real easy job and I should have thought about it while installing my sub panel and outlets.

JR

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We'll been doing tiny bits of work where we can (due to a very finicky HOA), but we're right on schedule. Right now our emphasis is on wrapping up sequencing, followed by slowly putting chunks of our show out in the yard. A couple of weekends ago we had the bright (pun intended) idea to innovate for ourselves. We took all of our existing extension cords and laid them across the lawn. (We're working on making everything even easier to install each year.) After assessing what we had, we made groupings of the cords. Each grouping was for a group of props we had -- we took about 30 strands of extension cords and zip tied them together. Each props grouping now had all of the extension cords we needed in that area. So now, when we go out to plug the lights in, all we have to do is plug one end in, unravel the roll, and plug the other end into the controller based on the labels we made.

Sure it was a little extra effort - in the end, it'll save us setup time for when we hit any snags on new equipment being added. Information and pictures to come when the site is updated for the 2017 season.

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5 hours ago, Mega Arch said:

Friendly advice - electricians like to daisy chain because they don't realize you're gonna use all the receptacles at the same time. Even if you're all LED and don't really need the horse power, I would tell him/her separate circuits please. Even if opting not to go to expensive of separate circuits, at least all rcpts to be GFCI recpts. That way it splits up your show onto multiple GFCI circuits. Since they trip on total leakage, splitting controllers up has less of a chance for nuisance tripping your show off. Yeah - you don't have that many controllers this year - you are now bitten - so thinking a few years down the road and you won't want to have to hire the electrician again.

Good luck with your project. 

Thanks for the awesome advice, I'll mention all this to the electrician, who will be putting in a new/dedicated breaker specifically for the outlets used for the lights.  Not sure if there's room in the breaker panel for additional circuits, but in your opinion, would one dedicated circuit provide enough power for about 750 watts worth of LED and incandescent lights on 48 channels (3 CTB16PC-ReadyToGO light controllers)?

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2 minutes ago, Speedster said:

in your opinion, would one dedicated circuit provide enough power for about 750 watts worth of LED and incandescent lights on 48 channels (3 CTB16PC-ReadyToGO light controllers)?

Yes.  A dedicated 20A circuit is good for about 1900 watts continuous load.

 

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8 hours ago, Speedster said:

Thanks for the awesome advice, I'll mention all this to the electrician, who will be putting in a new/dedicated breaker specifically for the outlets used for the lights.  Not sure if there's room in the breaker panel for additional circuits, but in your opinion, would one dedicated circuit provide enough power for about 750 watts worth of LED and incandescent lights on 48 channels (3 CTB16PC-ReadyToGO light controllers)?

Agree with Jim - yes - but I'd still request all the recepts to be their own GFCI recepts and not daisy chained back to one.

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10 hours ago, Speedster said:

Thanks for the awesome advice, I'll mention all this to the electrician, who will be putting in a new/dedicated breaker specifically for the outlets used for the lights.  Not sure if there's room in the breaker panel for additional circuits, but in your opinion, would one dedicated circuit provide enough power for about 750 watts worth of LED and incandescent lights on 48 channels (3 CTB16PC-ReadyToGO light controllers)?

I agree with what the others said about 1 receptacle per circuit as long as you have have incandescent lights.  once you switch to all led a lot less of an issue.  I run all LED's now and have 4-6 controllers per circuit, but those controllers are each pulling less then 1 amp per controller.  I have 25 controllers and my whole show pulls about 33 amps.  However, if your going to have him there doing the work take the extra circuits... you will need them later. 

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On 10/17/2017 at 1:13 PM, k6ccc said:

Yes.  A dedicated 20A circuit is good for about 1900 watts continuous load.

 

 

On 10/17/2017 at 9:27 PM, Mega Arch said:

Agree with Jim - yes - but I'd still request all the recepts to be their own GFCI recepts and not daisy chained back to one.

 

22 hours ago, ericm said:

I agree with what the others said about 1 receptacle per circuit as long as you have have incandescent lights.  once you switch to all led a lot less of an issue.  I run all LED's now and have 4-6 controllers per circuit, but those controllers are each pulling less then 1 amp per controller.  I have 25 controllers and my whole show pulls about 33 amps.  However, if your going to have him there doing the work take the extra circuits... you will need them later. 

Thanks all for the advice.  Out of the estimated 750 total watts that will be distributed between 3 controllers, less than 100 watts will be incandescent.  So this year I think we'll be safe running all those on their own circuit, even if the outlets are daisy-chained.  It's already going to cost a lot to have that work done, so I'll probably wait until I have more spare $ next yr to have additional circuits & outlets installed.  I know I'll need those if I ever want to add pixels & ribbons to our light show.

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Got the GECE lights up on the eves yesterday morning.  In daylight I can't really see if those lights are on, so could not test them until it got dark.  I  Had a few other LOR people over after the SoCal get together and ran my Halloween "show".  Found that one of the lights had come off the clip that holds it, and there was a minor config error in the SanDevices controller that resulted in the last light on two of the 10 strings was mirroring the first light on those strings.  Found that when I had re-arranged the outputs on the E682 a few day before in prep for adding five more strings of GECE lights on the roof,  I had set the number of channels on those two strings to 24 instead of 25 pixels.  Reset the config and power cycled the controller and lights (a requirement of the lights, not the E682), and tested again and it worked.  Today I'll put the one light back onto it's clip.

Gonna try to do some work on the new strings for the roofline peak, but it's supposed to be hot today and tomorrow, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done.

National Weather Service forecast for today:

Quote
Sunny, with a high near 93. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

National Weather Service forecast for Monday:

Quote

Sunny and hot, with a high near 103. Breezy, with a northeast wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Maybe I'll sit inside and get my MIIP configuration completed instead...

 

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21 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

 

Maybe I'll sit inside and get my MIIP configuration completed instead...

 

PM me if I can be of any help.

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18 minutes ago, PhilMassey said:

PM me if I can be of any help.

Thanks.  I did some testing with MIIP earlier this year on my landscape lighting, so I should be able to remember enough to get it running.  However if I run into trouble, I will keep you in mind...

 

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My matrix is up.  I'm working on the house outline,  windows and doors. Dang it's uncomfortably hot.  No wind is making it feel worse than it actually is.  Got my hat on with a cooling towel around my head that is somewhat helping from me completely giving up until tonight.... the show must go on!!!

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