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2009 Progress Report

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well.... now that halloween is over & the haunted house that i am part owner of is officially closed its time to get that torn down and get christmas up. i am cheating alot this year... as the haunted house is sort of a professional set-up at a city park, i went and got all my extension cords, lights, fog machines..... everything but the structural stuff (the house was about 10,000 sq ft this year & we had about 1200 guests visit this year over 10 nights of operation. so i will take a few days and get most if not all the christmas stuff in the next few days and then go back and finish at the haunt. someone remind me.... why do we do this? it seems every year i say i will choose one or the other. the haunted house used to be a 1 day project! oh well..... back to work.

chip

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I went all out with Halloween this year. As I tore it down over the weekend I thought why did I go so over the top.

A lot of it was just to see what I could do with my additional unit and spread things out. So in a way it was a test run for my Christmas show. However after I got through tearing it all down I told myself I am not going to this extent for Halloween again. I guess we will see. It gets in your blood and you just can not let go! More lights More channels it is an addiction that will not go away.

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I suppose Halloween is entirely a matter of location, location, location. Our trick-or-treater count has been declining for the past few years in the part of town where we live. I was going to do some stuff for Halloween including sound effects and strobes to scare the bejeebers out of some of the candy goblins, but got too busy with Christmas stuff and didn't get around to it in time. Turns out we had a total of eight trick-or-treaters. Makes me glad I didn't waste my time... but the good news is that I'm still on track to have everything up and to be in full-scale test mode by the end of the weekend!

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I do not know how many kiddies came to our door. I do know that we went through 20 pounds of candy. If my wife had been passing out the candy it would have been 40 pounds and I would have had made a trip to the store for more candy.

It was a fun weekend event. However I do not think I will be doing as much next year. I will be spending more time with preparation for Christmas.

I have been frustrated with the lack of effort with our towns Christmas display so I am high jacking the committee this year and taking it over. I am going to animate our city's displays as soon as I can get the city council to approve the funding. It wont happen this year but I am hoping that I can get a budget for it for Christmas 2010.

Ah, the things I can do with other peoples money. This years city's budget is only $1000.00. Most of those funds are already committed to things this year so there is not much I can do to effect things this year.

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ny_yankee_25 wrote:

I see alot of people are alrighty setting things up! I'm a newbie who will be doing his first 32 channel display. I still have to hook up my controllers to my computer for the first time. I thought if I start now it would be to early. than I still have to figure out how to do sequences. Well I need to figure out how to edit them to work for me. I have a felling I will not be ready for this year.

Don't give in so easily. I had a 48 channel show with about 8 songs sequenced in less than 6 weeks, all lights up and the show running!

You can do it to!

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Finally a dry day in England! managed to get a few lights installed and wired up in the remaining hour of sunlight after rushing home from work.



Get in!!:dude:

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Jeff Millard wrote:

I hate to whine, but this isn't one of the better days I've had in recent history... I have the flu while on vacation, it's cold and I still don't have the furnace installed in the house, the worst possible canidate in history is now Governer Elect, and the Phils are second in the World Series. At least the Yanks can afford the parade...

Jeff,

Sorry to learn that you're sick and cold - definitely a bad combination. I do admit to being a bit surprised to learn that you're unhappy to be getting rid of one of the most corrupt governors ever elected. I would have thought that would be reason enough to be celebrating. As for the Phils being second in the World Series, I can't say that I have even one iota (or fraction thereof) of compassion for you. At least they're the best team in the National League. Unfortunately, being the best team in the National League isn't nearly enough this time around. As Jeets said last night, the Commissioner's trophy is where it belongs! What more is there to be said?

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Yes, Jeff, you're probably right that this should be in a different thread, but we're here now so we might as well duke it out. I agree with much of what you say regarding corruption in politics. And not living in NJ I'm in no position to disagree with your assessment of who's more crooked - that seems more endemic to NJ than to most other places, although its something I could never get used to. But what boils my sap is hearing people crying over how much the Yankees spend and how its so unfair to everyone else. That's just about the biggest crock of BS going. (Editor's note - I'm originally from upstate NY and have been a Yankees fan since I was six years old. Mickey Mantle was my boyhood hero.) I now live in Minnesota and all I hear is the crying and moaning from Twins fans. They rail against the Evil Empire in NY but turn a blind eye toward (the late) crooked Carl Pohlad. According to Forbes, Pohlad was agruably the wealthiest man ever to own any major league sport franchise. He could buy and sell George Steinbrenner many times over. Why then was he sucking on Steinbrenner's teat for so many years all the while crying poverty? Shouldn't it have been the other way around? Why didn't he use the revenue sharing and luxury tax money that he was pocketing from Steinbrenner to improve his own ballclub when that's what the money was supposedly for? Why are the residents of and visitors to Minnesota footing the bill for his new stadium? We're paying for a billionaire's new building in which he'll employ millionaires to make even more billions. Is it just me or is something not right with that equation somewhere? The reason why the Phillies are former champions isn't because the Yankees outspent them - didn't that occur last year also? Convenient excuse for crybabies is all that is. The reason why the Phillies didn't win was because they made too many mistakes and didn't get the timely hits when they needed them. Let's not make it any more complicated than it is.

PS - glad to hear your dog is doing better. Amazing how resilient those beasts are, isn't it?

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Jeff Millard wrote:

If they didn't have the money, all the best players wouldn't be in one place.

Actually, all the best players aren't in one place. I think the Yankees would do well to pick up Chase Utley - I like his style of playing and unlike Robinson Cano he isn't afraid to get his uniform dirty. And Jayson Werth would be a definite upgrade over Nick Swisher in right field. I need to send a memo to Brian Cashman...

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Oh goodie...a thread I can enter, after my unexplained absense over the past year (my problem is I have too many hobbies, and never commit 100% to any of them!).

Phillies: I was hoping. I was dreaming. I was waiting to see if Ultey could top his post-World Series speech from last year. But at least we can say we were repeating National League Champions, if not World Champions. Where I work (I'm a 'hated' state employee), there are many Yankees fans along with us Phillies fans...and a few (snicker) Mets fans (snicker snicker). Thus, they've been very happy over the past few days!

Corzine/Christie: I think Corzine decided to pick the wrong time to become Governor. He was the first governor in decades to reduce spending from the year before. He managed to balance the budget without a whole lot of one-shot gimmicks. That said, he had to manage the state during the worst economic period in 70 years. He raised the sales tax, applied it to more items, and took away the property tax rebates for many. The campaign against him included stuff he *didn't* do - such as the 800% toll increase he proposed. If anything, one of the most iconic images of his governonship was the infamous motor vehicle accident where his vehicle, estimated to be driven at 91 mph in a 65 zone, hit a guardrail and an unbuckled Corzine was thrown about the vehicle, nearly killing him. I'm not happy about our new governor either. He's presented nothing in his campaign (other than killing off, er, I mean laying off, state workers) that will help the state in the next 4 years. Heck, his whole campaign ran on the theme of People Hating Corzine. In any other time period, he would've failed miserable.

BTW, which WS game were you at Jeff? I had a small season ticket plan this year shared with my parents, and was fortunate enough to have tix to Game 3 - the rain delayed game that we eventually lost.

Oh well...Eagles/Cowboys thread anyone??

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A sunny weekend in England meant the roof is all finished!!

it only took about 20 hours!!! its not even that big.

still is suppose its better to take your time and do a good job than to rush it and look shoddy.

and i didn't break any roof tiles. Happy Days! ;)


Attached files 185618=10532-IMAG0026.jpg

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Well, Yesterday I got all my new cords made, got all the lights up and checked, moved everything over to the show computer. Hooked up controllers and ran my shows, everything worked fine. Waited till dark , double checked all shows and sequences. All looked GREAT!! No problems at all. Went in had a nice dinner with my family, and sat back and relaxed.



And then I woke up, looked outside, chuckled ,and went out and got started on my first string of lights. Aren't dreams a good way to put a smile on your face?

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This was a good weekend. Great weather an a lot of progress. I got the roof completed and FM transmitter up and running. All window lights on and 3 of my 6 foot trees done. All above hooked up and tested all is good.

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Jeff Millard wrote:

If they didn't have the money, all the best players wouldn't be in one place.

Hmmm...I believe the best player in MLB is right here in Seattle...Ichrio. And it's amazing how many GREAT players have come and gone thru Seattle..

A-Rod
Randy Johnson
Griffey Jr
Raul Ibanez
Omar Vizquel

and I am sure I am forgetting a few...

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jimswinder wrote:

Jeff Millard wrote:
If they didn't have the money, all the best players wouldn't be in one place.

Hmmm...I believe the best player in MLB is right here in Seattle...Ichrio. And it's amazing how many GREAT players have come and gone thru Seattle..

A-Rod
Randy Johnson
Griffey Jr
Raul Ibanez
Omar Vizquel

and I am sure I am forgetting a few...


Well if the Rangers had Yankee money they would kill ev1.

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Santabob wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
Jeff Millard wrote:
If they didn't have the money, all the best players wouldn't be in one place.

Hmmm...I believe the best player in MLB is right here in Seattle...Ichrio. And it's amazing how many GREAT players have come and gone thru Seattle..

A-Rod
Randy Johnson
Griffey Jr
Raul Ibanez
Omar Vizquel

and I am sure I am forgetting a few...


Well if the Rangers had Yankee money they would kill ev1.

they had A-Rod without the money...didn't help them any...
maybe players play BEYOND their ability when they are being overpaid. lol

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I finally got my LED radio sign made up!

took a week to make, over 1000 ultra bright leds, the size of a 50" tv and runs on 12v dc only 15 watts!!

without the front filter on, it lit up my neighbors house over 120 feet away!!

the sign has 10 strobing green leds and the 2 music symbols flash each side.

this should get peoples attention!




Attached files 188139=10622-Front Finished.JPG

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I like it!!!!!

Looks like I have a project for next year!!!

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jimswinder wrote:

I like it!!!!!

Looks like I have a project for next year!!!


Thanks mate.

You wanna see the back of the board! i've never made so many solder joints in my life! also used about 10 sticks of hot glue! all worth it in the end.


Attached files 188142=10623-Rear Finished.JPG

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After I had my sign made (sign shop made an adhesive stencil I put on plastic) I wondered what if I had to change the radio station frequency?!?!?!

Hope you never have to do that!! lol

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I did think of that as I was drilling away!

what I thought was I can always saw out a number and insert another piece of wood with the new number already made up. there are only 2 wires supplying the entire led network for each letter (or number)

and there is also a cloth filter infront too, so that will hide the bodge!!

But I hope I never need to do that. lol

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Finally Finished the display yesterday!!!!! :dude:

I lost count at about 12000 lights! not a bad amount for a UK display.

half of those are LEDs which I hand built since last Christmas.

with over 6000 leds, the power needed for a static run is under 300 watts!

with over 6000 regular (mini) lamps the power needed is 2550watts! :shock:

I think by next year I will have replaced all the regular lamps.

total power used (everything on) about 12.5amps @ 240v

so it could all be run from a single 13amp outlet, oh the joys of a higher voltage!

fingers crossed for dry weather on dec 1st, 6pm as we always have a croud of people waiting for the switch on.

that makes it all worth it all by itself.

Right, I better get back to writing more sequences.

Good luck guys, stay safe out there.

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I have just got permission from PRS (the UK's office for copyright music licencing)

to use copyright music FREE OF CHARGE!!

that has saved me so much money!

Its nice to know im not going to end up in court for not having a licence to play music

when all we are trying to do is bring some festive cheer to the season.

anyway with the money i saved, im gonna buy more lights! :)

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