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What would I need?


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Would like to try computer animation but have no idea where to start. I would like to have maybe 16 to 32 channels and be able to transmit fm music . what would I need? Is it best to buy the pre programmed songs or do it yourself? any advice would be of help Thanks ,Eric

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Hardware wise you would need the 16 or 32 channel starter packages that you can get from LOR. This is under the "showtime" products. This includes the hardware, software and one way to hook it up to a controller.

As far as an FM transmitter, I'm using the Belkin tunecast II with the mod done to it and it works pretty good. Others use the ramsey fm25b. I will eventually get the ramsey, I just didn't have the money this year to get it.

This was my first year doing LOR and I did all my sequences and it was pretty fun to do. If I were you, I would go to the LOR website and download the demo version of the software and play with it. If you think you can do it, then go ahead and start. You can do everything in the demo version except control the lights, which without a box you can't do anyways so it wouldn't matter. If you want some sequences to look at go to: http://www.lightoramasequences.com/ You can download sequences that people put up there free of charge and you can see how they do it and get ideas of what you would want to do yourself.

If you have any questions or would like to see a sequence I did you can PM me. I also have videos up if you want to see some.

Rob

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Hi Eric...

As a first-timer, there are several things you'll need...Rob mentioned a couple of items above, but here is a list to give you more of an idea of some of the other things you'll need...I did it in one year starting at about this time last year, and my display came out pretty well this year. You'll need some or all of the following, depending on how complex your display will be:

* LOR Boards
* LOR Software
* RS485 Adapter/CAT5 cables to connect the contrllers to your computer
* Approximately one dedicated 20amp circuit for each LOR board (depends on load)
* If LOR controllers are outside in display, you'll need one large electrical extension cord to feed the controller, and then smaller cords to go from each output channel to the lights
* If LOR controllers are indoors, then you'll need a shorter large electrical cord to feed the controller, and longer cords to go from the output of each controller channel to the lights
* Some sort of FM transmitter (Belkin, Ramsey, etc.)
* A sign of some sort to let folks know what FM station they can hear your music on
* Antenna for transmitter
* Optional stereo receiver/amplifier and speakers in display so that walk-ups can hear the music as well
* Lots of lights
* Lots of Design thought
* Song choices that reflect your personal choices
* Perhaps some editing on the songs to keep them to 2-3 minutes (longer songs are harder to program and the audience can lose interest)
* Lots of programming time for LOR sequences
* Optional announcements between songs (I higly recommend Kevin - aka The Demented Elf - www.thedementedelf.com
* Visit www.lorsequences.com for ideas that others have posted
* Optional security camera(s) to guard your investment when display is up
* Other miscellaneous items
* It will take 2- 3 times the time and effort you think
* It will probably cost double what you're thinking

I hope that helps....Please let us know if you have more questions....

Randy

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It was mentioned by Randy, but just to say it again, you need EXTENSION CORDS. Trust me on this one, I learned this being my first year, if you think you have enough, YOU DON'T. I had to go buy more when I was putting up the display because I had to connect several together to reach the length needed. If you can find a place to buy extension cords in bulk or if you ever see them go on sale, BUY THEM. You will need every inch of extension cord, plus what you think.

Rob

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Eric,

All input above is great advise, I will add just a bit more color on 2 items.

Extension cords. Agreed. You will need more than you think ever possible. I suggest a mix. If you can get anything at a buck to $1.25ish, buy it. Take the whole lot if possible. This give you options. I then suggest you look to either Action Lighting or Creative Displays. They will offer SPT1 or 2 wire and vampire plugs. This will allow you to create custom lengths and connects. You may have several items at different intervals to connect to a cord that commercial ones can't gve you.

Sequencing. Take Randy's lead. Start now. You will need a lot of time to get this accomplished. I failed in this respect this year figuring it was going to be my first year and a small start etc... I ended up with 48 channels, work, life and mother nature got in my way and I ended up buying a musical sequence from LOR and modifying it to my display. So I had one song, but the display, even so, with LOR was more than any of my neighbors expected. I did create a "static" animation sequence, and while I was disappointed everyone else raved about how cool it looked. READ - YOU WILL NEED A LOT OF TIME HERE.

Lastly, my input, plan, plan, plan. Did I mention plan? Get a spreadsheet from one of the users on this site to start getting an idea of your circuit loads etc... Email me I will share my modified one. Get an amp meter to assist you in this effort, it is one of the best investments you will make. There are several available on the web. PLAN. I suggest either with paper and pencil, or with CAD software, you create a schematic layout of your house and your intended display. This will help with, (did I mention planning?) that extension cord issue. This will change a lot, and in Sept or October (yes you will realize you have to start early) it will change yet again, but you have a better idea of what to work with. You are starting now, and this puts you ahead of the game. Watch this site for vendor sales that will be in the spring, take advantage of them. Buy lot's of long and short zip ties, both black and white. I suggest also getting some colored duct tape. THey make it in all colors, not just grey. You just never know. Oh yeah, and plan.

PS - Paruse this site, search topics, review videos, reseach links, look at pictures etc... I was scared at how many hours I spent on PC, but it paid off. You can literally spend days here. The quality of people and ideas is awesome. OK one last item, if you can, go to PLUS 2007. I hope to meet you there.

Mark - Zman

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I might suggest, sketch out a plot-plan of your front yard, copy it several times, and draw several plans of how you might want your light layout for your yard display.

Include what devices you want in the display - trees, stars, blow-ups, etc.

Carefully number or identify the devices, so that you can enter them into the sequencing editor program.

Make special note of "chase" sequences, if numbered oddly can create problems in the sequencing editor.

Look at a large number of displays on the INTERNET & select what is best for you.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for all the input, as I start gathering what I need ,I am sure I will have more questions. Hopefully I will have a video on here in 2007. Thanks again, Eric

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