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The End is Near Unfortunately, When do you go dark?

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Posted (edited)

Just shut down show right now 9PM Chicago IL time.

Edited by Dennis Laff

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already dark, started tear down New Years Day.

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Posted (edited)

We went dark on the 2nd, had a few people that wanted to check it out. Started tear down today, we got about half done. All six controllers brought in. All the spt cords coiled up to each tree or prop. All the other extension cords coiled up and in the garage waiting to go into storage bins.

I have the inflatables running in the garage to dry them out, we had a rain the past couple days... We also have a bunch of stuff to fix, partial strings out and what not.

 

already bought and received some new stuff for next season too!

Edited by rcktpwrd
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UPDATE….

I never bothered to go all static, music still running. I'll go dark after tonight (12th Night), but wife wants in-laws to see show NEXT SUNDAY! So I'll fire up one more show on demand.  I guess everything will come down the following 3-day weekend over President's Day. I sure hope the weather holds. They're calling for possible snow tomorrow and possibly 65 by THIS weekend.  I hope it holds for the following weekend. Historically around here, President's Day weekend tends to be the first of the really cold days, through mid February.

And a couple of neighbors were still lit as of last night. Maybe I am a good influence. 

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UPDATE: We ended up ending the show early. Planned to go through tonight (Epiphany/3 Kings Day) but the weather was so nice yesterday that we started the tear down and our last night for the full show was Saturday January 4th.  I will keep some of the lights coming on each night - mostly static - it is technically a "show" but its just the icicles fading back and forth from all white to multi and back.  There are a few lit swags and wreaths as well.  I've set the pixels that are still up to just be a single color.  We usually keep at least some lights until mid/late January just because it is so dark and sad when we stop.  January near Chicago is not particularly pleasant - dark and cold - and the lights just help a little :)  We will probably just take them down bit by bit as the weather cooperates.

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE: I did manage to get everything down that was left from the Dec. 30th 2019 take down start.  Blow Mold Candles, RGB Controllers and Lights all managed to get down on Dec. 31st 2019.   Fortunately the "hard rains" we were going to get came a lot later in the very late evening.  So I was fortuante enough to beat the rain since I thought those hard rains would be here by late afternoon.  So I lucked out on that one.

Of course after I finally went full dark after everything was taken down, a couple of my neighbors then took their static lights and inflatables down as well.  There are still a few hold outs that have their lights and inflatables still up and turning them on.  But seems the majority of the neighborhood has started taking their lights down or have started the process of taking their stuff down and out of the yard.

I figure within the next week or so, it'll look like the normal boring neighborhood again.  At least until Late October{have a few that decorate for Halloween} or after Thanksgiving in November 2020 for the Christmas lights.

 

Edited by Orville

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25 minutes ago, tlogan said:

I'll go dark after tonight (12th Night), but wife wants in-laws to see show NEXT SUNDAY! So I'll fire up one more show on demand.

I've done that too.  My sister lives in Colorado, and came out to visit our father (and other family members here in SoCal) in mid January a couple years ago.  I asked her if she wanted me to leave the show up so she could see it.  Ran a Show on Demand for her one night that she was here.

This year, last Friday was closing night and I got some stuff taken down Saturday, but Sunday I had a higher priority project, so most of the show is still up.  I will take it down next weekend.  Weather is supposed to be nice.

 

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Here in Wisconsin I have to deal with the weather.  By new years day traffic slows down enough not to justify continuing the show beyond the 1st.  This year setup was a pain with snow on the ground and temperatures in the low 20's.  Other displays in my area were delayed starts for the early frigid temperatures.  Take down this weekend we were in the upper 30's so no gloves necessary.  No snow to melt off anything either, and all EMT pipe mounts came out just pulling on them by hand.  In all the years doing this it was the best I can remember for the tear down.  The somewhat warm temperatures during the show run kept electrical maintenance to a minimum but the rain we experienced increased GFI trips.  Mud was an issue but no major wind events like last year. 

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Everything is down and packed away. The house looks so boring now. We always run late into the night on New Years Day and that is the end. Lucky weather has been good here, I think my grass has designs on starting to grow again, but incoming snow tomorrow night. Hopefully I get all the spaghetti, I mean extension cords, boxed up before that time. It is the last thing I have to do. I pull them all into the back yard and sort them by length before boxing them up. Next year I go all vampire wire. Did all of my new props that way this year. That is so much nicer and I'll do much better cable management. Already started the early planning of adding smart rgb for 2020.

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SPT wire and vampire plugs make everything so much better! Run exactly how much wire you need to each location, then mark them somehow so they stay with that prop. Makes setup go so much easier next time too!

We use the pink surveyors tape to label everything, its cheap, easy to write on and easy to tear off small pieces to wrap around the wires. Every plug is labeled for which controller and outlet it goes to. Makes connecting everything very simple.

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58 minutes ago, rcktpwrd said:

SPT wire and vampire plugs make everything so much better! Run exactly how much wire you need to each location, then mark them somehow so they stay with that prop. Makes setup go so much easier next time too!

We use the pink surveyors tape to label everything, its cheap, easy to write on and easy to tear off small pieces to wrap around the wires. Every plug is labeled for which controller and outlet it goes to. Makes connecting everything very simple.

I started using spt and vampire plugs this year. On many of the props I numbered the plug and zip-tied the cord right to the back of the prop when I put it away. I expect to cut my setup time in half on my current props. Of course, it can't be another Christmas without adding more to my setup, and who knows how long those new pieces will take.

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Posted (edited)

💡 I bought a kit of 4" colored zip ties from Amazon. each cord gets 'numbered' (IEC color code. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_color_code#IEC_60757 , LSB towards) the connector. end (usually only 1 used, as 16 is the highest outlet on a controller and mine are all dispersed)  BTW Dip / paint the part that contacts the vampire prongs with Dielectric Grease)

I found Sharpie marks faded pretty fast, which is why I switched. Flag ties tend to snag (but I still use some). I also mark footage (Sharpie) on the plug side of loose cords. (dedicated cords get a Flag marked with use).

I just took 2 heavy totes of SPT to the storage. Now I am working on 2 more of the heavier gauge, pre-made  cords that supply power to the controllers. I must have 300lbs of AC cords 🙄 .(my 3 and 4 core DC cords may have topped 100 lb this year. Warning: they multiply in the dark. Leave your lights ON 🙃)

Edited by TheDucks

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8 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

I bought a kit of 4" colored zip ties from Amazon. each cord gets 'numbered' (IEC color code. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_color_code#IEC_60757 , LSB towards) the connector.

I don't have colored zip ties, but I do have both colored electrical tape and heat shrink tubing in all 10 colors of the electronic color code and mark cables with one or the other (depending on the situation).  I can definitely see places where doing so with zip ties would be nice.  I did a search on Amazon and did not see a complete kit.  Do you have a link to the kit you bought?  To return the favor, here is a link to the heat shrink tubing I use:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M6B95ID/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also have specific colors in other sizes too (specifically including red, green, and blue).

 

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14 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

I don't have colored zip ties, but I do have both colored electrical tape and heat shrink tubing in all 10 colors of the electronic color code and mark cables with one or the other (depending on the situation).  I can definitely see places where doing so with zip ties would be nice.  I did a search on Amazon and did not see a complete kit.  Do you have a link to the kit you bought?  To return the favor, here is a link to the heat shrink tubing I use:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M6B95ID/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also have specific colors in other sizes too (specifically including red, green, and blue).

 

I cheated, I mostly stole the kit idea because I had about 4 of the colors in bags (all my HC cords look similar, so 3 core gets Orange, and 4 core gets Yellow. I later got smarter and moved them up onto the connector with the color to keep it from sliding down the cord).

Roll your own expansion boxes (most I found elsewhere only adjust across :( ) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HHZ2YTS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I keep some flag ties in the other slots

https://www.amazon.com/Lenitech-Multi-Purpose-Cable-Assorted-Colored/dp/B06XJJDJ21/ref=sr_1_19?crid=W9JO4HK8RFRQ&keywords=zip+tie+assorted&qid=1578411475&sprefix=zip+tie+asso%2Carts-crafts%2C196&sr=8-19 allows for 2 - 7, most of us have WAAAAy more black ones.

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Last night was the last show. We watched from across the street, watched the show twice and I all I could think about was what I could add next year, how much work it was and I cant wait to do it again.  The rain was a real PIA this year and plan on doing some water proofing as I pack it all away. I have already bought a bunch more lites at 50% and 75% off here and there, LOWES was 75% off very early .   Gota love SPT1 wire and vampire plugs, only used two big green ext cords this year, will get more SPT1/plugs spring sale, along with a controller kit or two . I have built all four of the controllers in use ,two in one weekend.

My husband gets nervous when at 70 years old I get on the roof, which I will do next weekend to take down the big snowflakes.   When I was putting them on the roof, John yelled up don't fall off the roof ya haven finished the laundry yet.

Life goes on !!!!

David

 

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1 hour ago, DLH lites said:

We watched from across the street, watched the show twice and I all I could think about was what I could add next year, how much work it was and I cant wait to do it again.

 

I know the feeling. The whole time packing stuff up I was like, well won't be using these lights next year, then trying to figure out if I could use them some place else. Just got off the phone with my son-in-law where we talked for an hour about next year. Now feeling a bit overwhelmed since I'm thinking of doing a ton of smart pixels. And somehow I've already blown my budget in January.

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE to my UPDATE:

Snowing here today, could get up to 3 inches. Wife wants pictures with snow on the ground, so there MAY be one more show tonight!

 

Interesting diversion...yesterday I got one of those "last year memories" reminders from Facebook. It was a picture of my setup last year with snow on the ground and the caption that it FINALLY looks like Christmas. That was 1/6/2019. Maybe because it's leap year EVERYTHING is day later this year.

 

Edited by tlogan

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42 minutes ago, MichRX7 said:

And somehow I've already blown my budget in January.

I sure understand that part!  I am up to about $1500 spent since Christmas.  Fortunately I am getting a bunch of overtime at the moment, so that helps - a bunch.

 

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1 hour ago, tlogan said:

UPDATE to my UPDATE:

Snowing here today, could get up to 3 inches. Wife wants pictures with snow on the ground, so there MAY be one more show tonight!

 

Interesting diversion...yesterday I got one of those "last year memories" reminders from Facebook. It was a picture of my setup last year with snow on the ground and the caption that it FINALLY looks like Christmas. That was 1/6/2019. Maybe because it's leap year EVERYTHING is day later this year.

 

What? I might have to go mow the lawn it is so green here in Michigan.

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7 minutes ago, MichRX7 said:

What? I might have to go mow the lawn it is so green here in Michigan.

My trees and shrubs were supposed to be treated today by TruGreen, it's been so green here. Until today, anyway. Federal Government here closed at 1:00pm.

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Alas, this is Michigan, and today my yard is completely white.

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1 minute ago, MichRX7 said:

Alas, this is Michigan, and today my yard is completely white.

Mine is today as well! We got about 3 inches. Most of it froze overnight so some rough roads this morning. Supposed to be even colder tonight and tomorrow but could hit mid 60 by Saturday. Go figure. Trugreen was rescheduled for today so I doubt they'll be out.

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33 minutes ago, MichRX7 said:

Alas, this is Michigan, and today my yard is completely white.

You're welcome to it.  It was 75 here yesterday.

 

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9 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

You're welcome to it.  It was 75 here yesterday.

 

Now you sound like my snowbird father in Florida. Except he'd be bitching that was cold and I should keep it up here.

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On 1/4/2020 at 4:51 PM, Speedster said:

Spent 5 hrs tearing down & storing almost everything today.  But I've decided to leave the Nativity scene and icicle lights up for one more week, which I haven't done before.  Many around here leave their static displays up until about mid-January, so I decided to do a mini-static display for one week.  I guess I wasn't ready to go totally dark yet because I feel sad every January after tear down.  The forecast for the next week looks decent; no major snow accumulation, and temps will be warmer than usual for us in January.  So I'll wait until next Sat to put away the Nativity scene & icicle lights, which should only take about 45 min.

We've got snow in the forecast tonight & tomorrow as well as strong winds.  So after tearing down the majority of the lights, props, & LOR controllers on 1/4, I took down the mini-static display (Nativity scene & icicle lights) today.  So we're officially dark on 1/10.  Our house & yard look dull, lifeless, sad & boring now.   :(

Edited by Speedster

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