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Planning my system LOR sound


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I'm working on planning a system for next year, been reading a lot but just trying ot make sure I'm not way off on my thoughts

I'm leaning towards the Ramsey FM25B for sound $140 or so

For lights I'm thinking of DIY & building & adding on as I go
To start (2) 16 channel CTB-16KS 16 channel - high power heat sinks $149 each
I only need 1 board as a Director? (deluxe) or is that a PC function?

SPK-ST starter pack - $99

Am I totally off & missiing something?
So for less then $600 plus other parts I can get going?
I figure this will give me a good start & then I can decide how many more to add

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If you are going to run it from the PC then there is requirement that you have a deluxe card. I personally like deluxe cards because the the Unit ID switches and standalone posiblities for other projects that can pop up.

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LightORama wrote:

If you are going to run it from the PC then there is requirement that you have a deluxe card. I personally like deluxe cards because the the Unit ID switches and standalone posiblities for other projects that can pop up.

There is? I thought if you ran it from a PC you didn't need a deluxe model?
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I used the Ramses broadcaster this year and it was great. I strongly recommend it. Now that the holidays are over I use it to broadcast my Sirius radio throughout the house.

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2006 was my first year with 16 channels of LOR and a Ramsey 25B. Everything was perfect. The Ramsey worked well. Only added a dipole antenna. Good reception within a good range. Got it from Big Ed through eBay. Prebuilt and tested.

One thing you should take into consideration when preparing your budget is extension cords. Depending on your layout, you may need many of them. I spent more on extension cords then I did for lights.:laughing: That might be a stretch, but not too far off. Haven't gone back to compare the individual component pieces.

One other thing is time. If you sequence your songs, plan on at least three hours of programming per minute of song time. And the more you get into it, the more you may want to do, so start early. I know the first song I programmed wasn't as "fancy" as the later ones, because I learned as I went on. The last and fifth song I programmed was just over 3 minutes long and took 9 hours 25 minutes to sequence.

Good luck and have fun.

Tim

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I bought a Ramsey 30, will have to build it
I have over 1500' of extension cords, and I know I will need more
I will be running outside outlets out into my gardens for the lights this summer
I have too many projects to finish this year to get "too" involved
I had a broken rib this past summer so for 2007 I need to finish:

10 x10 pool cabana
6 x 10 (3) season front porch
Dormered the back 1/2 of the house **priority #1 per the wife**
Greenhouse

Then I need to start the garage/addition & of course landscape where the foundation was poured & wrecked the entire side yard

I will be happy for this year if I can:

Get the music playing & setup
Get the mega tree built & tested w/LOR
I have a lot of planning to do, which I may be able to do this winter

Oh, and I'm starting a business out of my house too :laughing:

and did I mention my son just turned 6 months old?

I am REALLY looking forward to this year, I will find the time!!

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timdks wrote:

2006 was my first year with 16 channels of LOR and a Ramsey 25B. Everything was perfect. The Ramsey worked well. Only added a dipole antenna. Good reception within a good range. Got it from Big Ed through eBay. Prebuilt and tested.

One thing you should take into consideration when preparing your budget is extension cords. Depending on your layout, you may need many of them. I spent more on extension cords then I did for lights.:laughing: That might be a stretch, but not too far off. Haven't gone back to compare the individual component pieces.

One other thing is time. If you sequence your songs, plan on at least three hours of programming per minute of song time. And the more you get into it, the more you may want to do, so start early. I know the first song I programmed wasn't as "fancy" as the later ones, because I learned as I went on. The last and fifth song I programmed was just over 3 minutes long and took 9 hours 25 minutes to sequence.

Good luck and have fun.

Tim



Tim,

This is what I have done to help in the extension cord department. Whenever I visit Home Depot or Lowes I look in the wire area sometimes you can find mistakes or cut-offs on cable that may be marked down. (Our local stores have a special bin) I can usually find anywhere from a 20' to 50' piece I buy the connectors in buld so I get a bit of a discount there. I usually average about $3 per cord (depending on length)



greg
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Thanks for the tip Greg. Since I'm planning on a mega tree this year, I need all the savings in the extension cord department that I can get.

Tim

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Scuba Dave,

Take it from one who has a hectic work and personal life as well. Set your priorities, plan your time and display, and stick to it. I can not stress this enough. You will go all over the map wanting to do this and that. Start small and take small steps.

I upgraded my display this to include LOR. I never made my goals for lots of reasons. I had one song programmed, and a "static" display. The family, friends and neighbors all loved what I did have, because it was more than they had seen before.

You will need more than you plan on, regarding time and extension cords. I suggest using SPT1 or SPT2 and vampire connectors. This will help with custom connections and lengths. Keep an eye out at Big Lots or something like that. They will have 6-9' on sale for a buck or less. Get all of these you can, cause you will use both ends eventually. Get the demo software asap and get familiar with it now. The only thing you can not do with the demo s/w is control the actual lights.

Moral - whatever you do will be fine, cause it's better than last year. Try not to get overwhelmed, plan, plan, plan. Stick to a budget, cause your original $600 did not include all the esoteric items, zip ties, extension cords, misc items etc...

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Hmmm, not sure on that one. It is a valid Windows app. Most of us run it on XP, me included. I might try to grab the software once again, maybe something happened in the transfer. I know that to happen from time to time.

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Hmmm, not sure on that one. It is a valid Windows app. Most of us run it on XP, me included. I might try to grab the software once again, maybe something happened in the transfer. I know that to happen from time to time.

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Greg, good tip on the wire. I'll keep my eyes out
Funny, extension cords aren't an item that normally go on sale. I bought over 4 dozen this year JUST for the lawn decorations & existing lights. I'm tripling my light count this year, but a large number of them will be on the mega-tree.
I'll have to check around, and check out Big Lots more often. There is a dollar store but their prices were more then HD
I think next year I will be walking into HD & buying a few cases of extension cords
I also have a 250' spool of black 18-2 wire, so I can run some custom lengths

I plan on having the controller near the mega tree, as that will be the bulk of what I will be controlling. My wife doesn't like animation/flashing lights. I installed a big picture window flanked by 2 other windows which looks out on the front yard.
So the show will be on the side yard
In addition to the mega tree I have 18 soldiers/nutcrackers to control & 18 mini trees
That's all I plan on for this year

I will have 43 100 ct green strings & 43 100 ct red strings
The "plan" at present is to control 1 mini tree & 1 soldier at the same time as they will be side by side. With 3 boards I would have 48 channels, so 30 channels left
A "Merry Christmas" sign will take 2 channels
That leaves 14 channels for each color on the Mega tree
So I would control 3 strings per channel =42 - 1 channel will have 4 strings
I intend to put a blow mold Angel on the top

But, if the sale is pretty good maybe I will buy 4 or more boards this year

The $600 is just a ball park to get going
Waiting until April sale (?) will let me save some money up :)
Plus give me more time to plan
I have a Architect program that I can layout my yard & start design work
I'll be hanging out here until it's warm enough to finish shingling the side of my house

Thanks!

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For the beginners or as some of you might say "Newbies":} There is a qoute here on PC that goes like this " crawl, walk then run " Take your time in getting into the field of animation. If you think that buying some premade controllers then plugging the lights in it is all you have to do....You are so wrong. Animation takes time. Plan on spending a min. 1 hour for every minute of music in your show. :shock::shock::shock: Work what you have in your display to match the music. Sometimes you can have too much animation if it is all going at once all the time. I started out with 48 channels. I am now to a point to where I feel somewhat comfortable with it to add another 48 channels this year. I have seen a lot of post from "Newbies" saying that they bought 100, 200, 300 channels and now "NEED HELP". Take the time to learn it and you will enjoy it even better in the long run.

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Scuba Dave!

I think you might need an XP utility for the demo. I remember having to update
something before it would run.

Now as far the whole crawl, walk, run deal. I put up 100,000 lights and 250 channels
my first year. BUT I don't have a real job. I also tend to be very anal about organizing
everything. By April I knew where all the lights were going to go. I also had all my
power requirements figured out by June. I only had two guys help me for two days.

I won't recommend what I did to anyone.

One aspect I did underestimate was the time required for sequencing and trouble
shooting. I think you need about one hour sequencing per minute of song per 32
channels. So that means I should have planned about 20 hours per song.

You can buy pre sequenced songs now but you still to manipulate them.

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At present I just plan to stick with 32-48 channels
I will "only" be animating the Mega tree, the mini-trees & matching soldiers, & Merry Christmas sign. Keeping it very simple for the 1st year to play with it & see what works/looks good
I do not plan on sequencing the music to the light show (this year)
I just plan on playing Christmas music

I'll be sticking with the 46,000 lights I have
I put up somewhere over 15,000 this year. 10,000+ of the new lights will be on the mega tree. The rest are a combination of decorations (icicles, trees, signs) that are fairly easy to setup.

With a week between Thanksgiving & Dec 1st (night I light up) I should have enough time to setup. I do plan on walking before I try to run
I think I will have my hands full with what I am planning - but it's do-able based on my setup this year (by myself)

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I started off my first season this past year with a C.Crane transmitter and although the power was good, the stereo separation and quality of the signal was disappointing. I'm sure I was a bit picky about this, but I immediately ordered a Ramsey FM30b kit and managed to get it assembled before most of the traffic started showing up. The quality of the signal was superior and although there is no power tweeking mod like the C.Crane has, my signal strength was just as good using the antenna that came with the unit. I was able to pick up the signal in my front driveway with one of those portable fm headset radios without a problem which I couldn't do with the C.Crane. The stereo separation was as good as any FM station in the area. A decent car radio could pick up the signal about a block away with little interference. I did have a small amount of hum when using the AC adapter that came with the unit, so I found a 12volt gel-cel from a computer UPS that I had setting around and used it to power the transmitter. That took care of the ground loop or whatever the hum problem was. I just charged the battery every couple of days and placed it back in service.

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So much for sticking with 32-48 channels

With 3 colors on the Mega tree, & 2 colors on the minis I need 72 channels already

It's going to be a busy year

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