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BRAND new to handing Christmas lights, as well as computerized lighting.

Just ordered the LOR 32 channel kit, and I can't wait.

Very basic questions (I apologize for being so basic), but hopefully I can get some help to save some time and typical learning mistakes.

I intend on hanging all my lights in advance, while waiting for the LOR to arrive, and have all the lighting cords seperated by channel so I just have to plug them in, install, and start working some things out.

Basic question: What is the best, and easiest way to hang lights on eves that do not have gutters? Also, how to secure lights on the roof w/o damaging the schingles? I know the typical "Clark Griswold" staple gun would work, but I see that damaging the roof.

To prep for the LOR, I want to set up the lighting. My garage is detached from the house (roughly 30 feet away), and I was intending on having hanging icycle lights, as well as trim lights for the roof peak and edges. Would it be a good idea to start at the top of the house and keep all lights in channel order (i.e. keep house roof, and garage roof in channel order 1-2-3, etc...or finish house all in channel order 1-2-3,etc..., and then the garage after 8-9-10 )?

Sorry for sounding confusing, but I am just looking for some insight to have a nice display.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!

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Hi, and welcome to PC.

First things first -- we encourage everyone to fill out your profile with at least a city and state. Many decorating questions have location-specific answers (where do I buy... can I use this outside... etc), and it helps save time answering questions.

Also, we encourage everyone to sign their posts with their real first name, if your're comfortable with that. Some people aren't comfortable right away, and that's ok. It's just more comfortable for many here to know you as "Jim" than as "hondaguy". Not a big deal, but you'll win bonus points from some here if you do that.

Anyway, now to the real questions:

1) I use a clip by Adams called Universal Lighting Clip or something like that. They work on gutters and shingles, and several other applications. They slight right under the shingle and hold pretty well. I agree that you shoudn't be using a staple gun for many reasons, roof damage being one of 'em.

2) The LOR software abstracts you from the physical channel numbers, so it really doesn't matter how you wire things up. In your sequence, adjacent rows can map to completly differnet units, much less adjacent channels. It might be easiest to lay things out if you do it in order, but this isn't a requirement.

Hope that helps, and welcome to the fun world of LOR and animation!

-Tim

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tfischer wrote:

we encourage everyone to sign their posts with their real first name, if your're comfortable with that.

You never told ME that! :)

- Charlie
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One other thing you need to take into consideration is the number of watts and amps you will be drawing with each circuit, and then the total amps you will be pulling with each 8 bundled circuits, not to exceed 15 amps. Being a newbie too, I didn't take the total amperage issue into consideration, and later found I was way out of balance with my second 8 circuits, (only using 16 my first year out) so I had to switch some from the first 8 circuits to the second 8 and vice versa, and also eliminate some strings of light to get under the 15 amp max. There is a great article on this issue at http://www.planetchristmas.com/FigurePower.htm that you might want to check out if this issue hasn't already been considered.

Have fun with your new setup. It has been a blast for me and you can learn a ton from this website that will make your life easier.

Tim

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Thanks for the positive input!

As for where I live...that is left blank and will remain. Signing, I will sign my name this time...sorry for offending anyone.

What do you guys do when you have a few feet extra of lights that you do not need? I would think that you just cut off the extra and close the light circut with the remainder.... ?

Thanks again,

PHIL

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hondaguy929 wrote:

As for where I live...that is left blank and will remain. Signing, I will sign my name this time...sorry for offending anyone.

Hmm. Can you at least list a state?

It wastes both our time if I tell you to buy something at Menards but you live in Florida, or if I tell you not to use CFL's outside because the cold will kill them, and you live in California.

The more info people are willing to reveal about themselves, the more time folks here will take to answer your question. I don't want this to sound mean, but if I see someone repeatedly asking questions, but they won't even open up enough to let us know what STATE they're in (like someone's gonna track you down...), I usually just stop answering. And I know I"m not alone (I'm probably just the only one blunt enough to say why)...

Don't mean to be harsh. Welcome to PC...

-Tim
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timdks wrote:

One other thing you need to take into consideration is the number of watts and amps you will be drawing with each circuit, and then the total amps you will be pulling with each 8 bundled circuits, not to exceed 15 amps.
Tim


Another source of calculating lights, channels, banks and controllers for the Light-O-Rama controller can be found here:

Controller Calculator

Email me if you have any questions.
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Not displaying my town has nothing to do with being tracked down...more so worried about not having the display I am hoping for, and having people realize where I live...kinda a dumb reason to try to be anonymous. Anyway- I have updated my profile to show where I live.

I spent the day measuring, calculating and putting up the light clamps. (Man...this is alot of work...LOL) Think I went a little overboard with clamps (spaced about 9-10 inches apart)...but we get alot of ice here so I wanted to make sure they are secure.

I just wanted to thank everyone for the help so far...the little suggestions have already paid off so far! THANKS!

Phil

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hondaguy929 wrote:

Not displaying my town has nothing to do with being tracked down...more so worried about not having the display I am hoping for, and having people realize where I live...kinda a dumb reason to try to be anonymous. Anyway- I have updated my profile to show where I live.

I spent the day measuring, calculating and putting up the light clamps. (Man...this is alot of work...LOL) Think I went a little overboard with clamps (spaced about 9-10 inches apart)...but we get alot of ice here so I wanted to make sure they are secure.

I just wanted to thank everyone for the help so far...the little suggestions have already paid off so far! THANKS!

Phil

Phil,

I really appreciate it.

Nobody's going to think less of you as long as you put up something :smile:. We've got folks here who put up not much more than few strings on the bushes, and we've got folks doing hundreds of thousands of lights. Although looking at the number of posts on computer control makes it sounds like EVERYONE is doing it and has huge displays, you'd be surprised how many people just do a relatively 'normal' static display.

And see, now I know I can tell you to look at Menards. :(

-Tim
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Welcome to PC, Phil, I'm your neighbor to the North. Tim answered your questions so I don't have much to add except that universal light clips can be found at Menards and just about everywhere else Christmas lighting is sold.

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I'm new to LOR, and tried sending a stand-alone sequence to the controller, but immediately upon testing the "sequence on", the circuit tripped. Even though the sequence doesn't have any of the channels all on at once (it was even adjusted after running tests thru the hardware utility), whenever I try to turn the sequence on, the circuit trips again - immediately.

In order to troubleshoot, I unplugged 2 of my channels (#1 and #16), and then the sequence ran. So I then adjusted the start of the sequence (10 seconds worth), where no channels were "on," but it still tripped with #1 and #16 plugged back in.

]Note: #1 and #16 tested fine (even when both were on at the same time) during setup.]

Does the stand-alone sequence run a quick "all" channel check at the beginning of the sequence? If so, is that what's causing it to trip?

[line]

Also, perhaps it's just my model (CTB16D - ver.3), but I don't have the option of changing the lights on/off time. I only have the option of "run when power is on" and then a couple of "input" options. There doesn't seem to be any documentation that indicates that I shouldn't have this feature, so any ideas? And if it is the model, anyone have any good ideas/products on how to switch both plugs on at the same time?

Hope these aren't too stupid of questions - as stated, it's my first year - just found LOR about a month ago and I'm only 3 days from my first premiere.

Thanks in advance for your help.

- Mark in N. Canton, Ohio

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CHRISTmas LIGHTs wrote:

Also, perhaps it's just my model (CTB16D - ver.3), but I don't have the option of changing the lights on/off time. I only have the option of "run when power is on" and then a couple of "input" options. There doesn't seem to be any documentation that indicates that I shouldn't have this feature, so any ideas? And if it is the model, anyone have any good ideas/products on how to switch both plugs on at the same time?


That functionality is not available with just the board. I don't recall the reason, but it was left in the software, and the functionality was either removed, or never made it to market.

Some people invest in timers to turn the controller on. The logic is on the right side of the board, so in theory, you only need to remove power from the right side to stop/start the animation.
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I didn't see anyone answer this so I thought I would comment.

hondaguy929 wrote


What do you guys do when you have a few feet extra of lights that you do not need? I would think that you just cut off the extra and close the light circut with the remainder.... ?

Do not just cut off the extra feet. I'm assuming you are talking about the mini-lights (50 or 100 lights per string). Each light in a "segment" should have their voltage add up to around 120. The most common voltage for a single light on a light strand is 2.4 or so (50 * 2.4 = 120 ==> 100 light strands are usually 2 segements of 50).

If you cutoff extra lights, you will be sending more voltage throuh the lights and risk burning them out. You could just double back to finish off the string or find a way to hide them.

I found this out the hard way during my Halloween test. I had some bats that came 6 on a string. Each bat had about 17-18 lights on them. I cut them up individually and blew all the lights out! I figured out that there were 3 segments of 35 lights (about 3.4 volt lights). I bought new ones and connected two bats together to make it 35 lights in one segment. This worked just fine.

The easiest way to figure out the segments is to take one light out of its socket. Any others that go out are part of the segment. I've used that method to cut a couple 100 light strings into 2 50 light stings (cheaper to buy 1 100 then 2 50's). Of course you would need some plugs for the second strand (I used old light strands that I was going to throw away).

This is also a good lesson to sort your spare bulbs by volts if you have different size segments in your display.
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Question about the controllers:

Does anyone know if the LOR1602W is weather proof so this can be left outside, or should I keep in inside? To save on extension cords I was thinking of mounting it inside a star for a light tree I am going to make (save on extension cords, and reduce the chance of having it stolen). Has anyone had any experiences with vandalism / theft of their displays?

Approximately what are the dimensions of the LOR1602W controllers?

This is getting addictive! (but its a good thing to be addicted to).

Thanks everyone for the help and support!

Phil

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Update on my newbie stand-alone sequence question:

The tripping going on when I initially try to activate the stand-alone show is a mystery to LOR. The sequence worked fine thru the show editor, and all the testing worked, so here's a work-around in case anyone else runs into this issue:

I unplugged 2 of the channels (#1 and #16 - for no particular reason other than to keep the "sides" balanced), uploaded the sequence, and it started to play. I then simply plugged those 2 channels back in and it keeps running:D

All I can gather is that upon initial activation of a stand-alone show is that there's some pull from the unit's computer or something that might pull extra and it was putting the strain on the circuit??? Who knows - I'm definitely not an electrician!

Thanks, everyone - Mark

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hondaguy929 wrote:

Question about the controllers:

Does anyone know if the LOR1602W is weather proof so this can be left outside, or should I keep in inside? To save on extension cords I was thinking of mounting it inside a star for a light tree I am going to make (save on extension cords, and reduce the chance of having it stolen). Has anyone had any experiences with vandalism / theft of their displays?

Approximately what are the dimensions of the LOR1602W controllers?

This is getting addictive! (but its a good thing to be addicted to).

Thanks everyone for the help and support!

Phil


It's weatherproof, but pretty heavy at about 15 pounds, so you'd have to have a pretty substantial light tree to support it.

Dimensions of the box are 10x11ish.

I put all my controllers as close to the lights as possible. In previous years, I just hoped and prayed -- this year I'm cabling/padlocking them down.

-Tim
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I was wondering if anyone else was worried about putting the LOR boxes out in the yard. I'm still not sure if I want to bolt them in the yard or put them up high and out of place. I getting the final diagrams drawn and will be calculating the last box of lights amperage tonight with Rick's spreadsheet. New recepticals on the front porch being put in friday.

I had to plug in my snowman and one tree last night just to have something out. Well it's almost time to leave work and hit the lights.

Good luck eveyone.

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