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airborneSRT

How early do you start for Christmas?

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This is my first year of 32 channels of lights to set up, I am wondering more and more as I read these forums if I shouldn't start the beginning of October. I decorate normal for Halloween too! As for you more experienced and further in the addition how long does it take you to setup you monster displays? Here is a design concept of what I plan on doing.house2.thumb.JPG.3261155422e36b1e98e7f62da6b21f7f.JPG

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I start January 15th, by then I know what I didn't like or didn't work on the previous show plus what I want to add to this years show.  Do a mockup in the sequencer and start a "wish list" for parts.
 

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what about the actual physical setup part? when does that start?

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Halloween - October 1

Christmas - November 15th

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The great thing about pixels is they can be used for Halloween and Christmas.  I start on house outline, windows, etc in mid September usually.   Halloween display comes down November 1st and its 200+ hours setting up Christmas display.   Thanksgiving night the show begins

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That looks like a pretty basic setup.  Shouldn't take long to do.  I on the other hand start about Oct 15.

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I install the GE Color Effects pixel bulbs on my eves and roofline in mid October.  They get used for Halloween.  Nothing goes out in the yard until the first weekend after Halloween.  My goal has been to be essentially completed with setup by the end of the weekend a week and a half before Thanksgiving.  That gives me time to test and tweek anything that needs it.

 

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Well i start on the first Weekend in November and every weekend and some days until December, plenty of time to set-up and check for problems

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I am starting now.  Just finished a (dumb RGB 94 ) Star of David/Cross/Star (outline) Single color per type: Blue, Red, Green. A lot of splices at every juncture. If I did it again: 135 (est) smart lay flat and a bit of programming .

My LOR Spring Grab arrived, just finished swapping a Pixie 4 for a Pixie8 (the box also has a CMB24), adding 4 more HC pigtails. I have a new CG1500 mostly ready for the Pixie 4)

Finished a Smart RGB string of lighted beer (ping-pong) balls.

(Anyone else notice that how ever much you get at the Spring Sales, you run short when you start building stuff. [plan, what plan?] )

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Started in 2009, never have stopped. Always working on something for Christmas

Thomas

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I appreciate all the replies. I was thinking to start right after Halloween when I take down those decorations. But I think I'll start lining windows and maybe the roof, get the controllers setup before then. I will have to trim light strings and such, so I might at least get a head start this year before Halloween. I'm sure next year I could start after, cause then it's pretty much just hang lights run wires. (until I realize I started adding another controller and more lights...ahhhh let the fun times start!)

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Posted (edited)

I usually start setting up mid September and I set up the bulk of Halloween and Christmas and only turn on the Halloween stuff first. Starting November 1st I tear down the things associated with Halloween, webs, monsters and ghosts and set up the last things which are only associated with Christmas, mega trees and things. This worked out good last year as we had rain the entire month of November except for maybe five days. If I had to tear down Halloween and setup my entire Christmas show in November i would have been screwed because of all the bad weather.

Edited by Mr. P
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1 hour ago, airborneSRT said:

I appreciate all the replies. I was thinking to start right after Halloween when I take down those decorations. But I think I'll start lining windows and maybe the roof, get the controllers setup before then. I will have to trim light strings and such, so I might at least get a head start this year before Halloween. I'm sure next year I could start after, cause then it's pretty much just hang lights run wires. (until I realize I started adding another controller and more lights...ahhhh let the fun times start!)

First year you say - start real early. Little things can really bog you down. Like you said - windows and roof early. Then you can test your method of controlling the show out, PC, laptop, mp3 player. It's one thing to "it works!" in the house - sometimes another in the yard... If broadcasting your sound, check your FM transmitter out early too. & check it's channel setting at the time of evening/night your show would be running. Being in NY, I don't know when your bad weather starts, but early means not being on a ladder in the snow too...

Side note - good clean visualizer you have going. It might not bug you now - but as ones show grows, so does the black from all the names of the props. I'm over 300 a/c channels now and you can't see anything with the names showing except black. So, if it bugs you, especially now that I drew it to your attention, turn them off. I'm not 100% sure how to in S5.2.4, but in S4 - the top right side - the block next to Name - uncheck it.

Good luck....

 

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29 minutes ago, Mega Arch said:

First year you say - start real early. Little things can really bog you down. Like you said - windows and roof early. Then you can test your method of controlling the show out, PC, laptop, mp3 player. It's one thing to "it works!" in the house - sometimes another in the yard... If broadcasting your sound, check your FM transmitter out early too. & check it's channel setting at the time of evening/night your show would be running. Being in NY, I don't know when your bad weather starts, but early means not being on a ladder in the snow too...

Side note - good clean visualizer you have going. It might not bug you now - but as ones show grows, so does the black from all the names of the props. I'm over 300 a/c channels now and you can't see anything with the names showing except black. So, if it bugs you, especially now that I drew it to your attention, turn them off. I'm not 100% sure how to in S5.2.4, but in S4 - the top right side - the block next to Name - uncheck it.

Good luck....

 

wow I know the shows can get up there in channels, I was looking at my 32 channels and thinking "wow that's a lot". Then you have 10 times that! I couldn't imagine where to store the stuff not to mention how long to set it up! Thank you for the tips, I imagine there will be a lot of first-time bugs to work out and I will have to start sometime in October. Yes the weather in NY is unpredictable we could have beautiful weather until January...or nasty cold wet stuff in late September. It's a hit or miss here. I didn't even notice the words of the prop names until you said something, along those lines it bothers me now, so I'll get them off so if...excuse me...when I expand, it definitely won't bother me.

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4 minutes ago, airborneSRT said:

…. I couldn't imagine where to store the stuff not to mention how long to set it up! ….

I store it everywhere.... Storage units, both garages - hooks hanging trees from the ceiling is my favorite place....

Normally I setup roof and house mounted objects starting late Sept. Then Halloween in the yard first/middle of October. The day after Halloween - Christmas yard props start; arches, fans, firesticks, mini trees, floodlights, luminary cans, candy-cane spinners, strobes - you know - just the typical yard clutter stuff.... Try to be done for Lights On Thanksgiving. Just moved last year - so got started in August - it's a great way to meet the neighbors as they all want to see/meet the guy getting a sunburned playing with his mega tree.....

6 minutes ago, airborneSRT said:

…. I didn't even notice the words of the prop names until you said something, along those lines it bothers me now, so I'll get them off so if...excuse me...when I expand, it definitely won't bother me.

Yep - bothers you now was my intent.....

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14 minutes ago, Mega Arch said:

I store it everywhere.... Storage units, both garages - hooks hanging trees from the ceiling is my favorite place....

Normally I setup roof and house mounted objects starting late Sept. Then Halloween in the yard first/middle of October. The day after Halloween - Christmas yard props start; arches, fans, firesticks, mini trees, floodlights, luminary cans, candy-cane spinners, strobes - you know - just the typical yard clutter stuff.... Try to be done for Lights On Thanksgiving. Just moved last year - so got started in August - it's a great way to meet the neighbors as they all want to see/meet the guy getting a sunburned playing with his mega tree.....

Yep - bothers you now was my intent.....

so I only have version 4.4.4, so yup box unchecked! thanks

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3 minutes ago, airborneSRT said:

so I only have version 4.4.4....

I must have been looking at Jim’s version instead of yours.  🥴

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Just now, Mega Arch said:

I must have been looking at Jim’s version instead of yours.  🥴

nope, I just changed it, I guess when I made the profile it had that auto selected. When I opened my visualizer to uncheck that box, I saw the version I had.

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10 minutes ago, airborneSRT said:

nope, I just changed it, I guess when I made the profile it had that auto selected. When I opened my visualizer to uncheck that box, I saw the version I had.

well glad it's correct now. When asking future questions, most of the great people here that will answer you will look at your profile to try to give the proper answer for software version being used. 

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Posted (edited)

Well before actual setup begins, you need to sort out how much power you need, where to get it and how you are going to get it to your controllers.Similarly. where are your data runs exiting the house, and where do they need to go. I put my controllers close to their props, (even more important with pixels) to minimise the length of the multiple output cables, but it does mean longer primary power feeds. Buy a lot of three way AC taps, you'll need them.

Edited by PhilMassey
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1 hour ago, airborneSRT said:

wow I know the shows can get up there in channels, I was looking at my 32 channels and thinking "wow that's a lot". Then you have 10 times that! I couldn't imagine where to store the stuff not to mention how long to set it up! Thank you for the tips, I imagine there will be a lot of first-time bugs to work out and I will have to start sometime in October. Yes the weather in NY is unpredictable we could have beautiful weather until January...or nasty cold wet stuff in late September. It's a hit or miss here. I didn't even notice the words of the prop names until you said something, along those lines it bothers me now, so I'll get them off so if...excuse me...when I expand, it definitely won't bother me.

Your still thinking (like I did) old, Plug into the wall strings. I will just make those blinky 😕

Then you will see the benefit of (dumb) RGB. Wait, Hang once, Orange and purple for Halloween, Then Green and Red and White for Christmas, Red,White and Blue for the 4th

Wait, If I go Smart, I can run chases around the yard/windows/roof line

Seriously down hill once you start on this path

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   I set up for Halloween. I put out my singing monsters and drummer, guitar player. Make things easier for me. I put my singing trees and guitar player dancing Santa in the same place as my Halloween displays. Hoping this year make it even easier. Instead of running 8 extension cords to each prop. I spent Money $$$ and bought 16 conductor cable and quick disconnection plug..  Put a plug on each display and run the one cable to each display instead of 8 extension cords. Make it easier to move displays around and clean up after season.

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I am a newbie, in that i only got into doing the LOR options 2 years ago.   I was really lucky the first year and got things setup in a couple of weeks.   For regular lights, i started putting things out on Thanksgiving.   This last year, I did a lot of prep work, making sure lights worked, and arranging some new songs, but didn't start putting up the show until Thanksgiving.   Except that people knew about my lights from the year before were already driving by.   I had to do a lot of quick work, and managed to get the show up and running in about a week but it took some long hours.   Mind you, my display is spread across 2 acres so its not a 10 minute job (64 channels last year).  This year I bought some additional equipment and i have at least already started planning.  I also plan on starting on a lot of the outside work earlier this year to not have to do in quite such a rush. 

Stop by my facebook page and check it out
https://www.facebook.com/Magnolia-Musical-Christmas-317089092476816

 

 

 

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Pick a date. Then start about two weeks before that date as things are bound to go wrong. Ex: I picked Oct 15 to start last year. Well, it rained every friggin day it seemed like. Put me way behind and I never recovered. If I had started Oct 1 I think I would have been ok

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The more that you can do in advance, the better.  I did a major rebuild on my pixel tree last year.  Took FAR more time than I expected.  The result was that I did not have the pixel tree (the centerpiece of my show) up until the Monday before Thanksgiving and my Tune To pixel matrixes until four and a half hours before my opening night (the Friday after Thanksgiving).   Two new props simply never got done at all.

 

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