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First, I would like to say I am relieved to know that there are so many people out there that are into their Christmas lights as much as I am, and obviously many are even more, and that is cool.

As a newbie to LOR, (OK, so I don’t have any LOR controllers yet, so maybe I am a no-LOR-bie, but I do have the demo-software) I find the amount of work ahead of me for next years display overwhelming. There is so much to do and only 9 ½ months to do it.

For me, it all started several years ago when I had the idea of connecting all of my chaser lights to a central controller so that the whole house would be doing the same thing. I spent a month building my first controller from scratch. You could not believe my excitement in the middle of summer when on the floor of my garage I had 12 strands of 4 channel chaser lights all doing the same thing at the same time. I brought the wife and kids to see it and they said, so the lights flash and they went back into the house. It took the next 4 months to measure the house, custom fit the chasers and install the wiring, but when it all came together that Christmas you could see the excitement in my daughters’ eyes and maybe even my wife liked it.

Since then, I have built other controllers, including one last summer, which has six channels that would change the colors of 13 of my bushes in sequence (it took 64 extension cords). Last Christmas I was switching 22 channels. It was my crowning glory.

Then after Thanksgiving 2005, I was emailed an AVI of a house dancing to TSO’s Wizards in Winter (I have had the CD for a couple years). It was Carson Williams house and I was truly amazed. Searching the Internet I found Planet Christmas, LOR and people like me who love their lights as much as I do. You guys have some very cool displays and realized that every thing I had done in the past was over and it was time to start anew. I got the LOR bug and got it bad. :waycool:

I was originally planning 32 channels, but now realize I will need 48.

I have already purchased and assembled the Ramsey FM25BFM transmitter and the TM100 antenna.

On the To Do List:
Design and build a Megatree.
2 more 20-amp GFI outlets outside.
Build sign to advise of FM transmitter frequency.
Convert the original house chaser lights wiring to connect to LOR.
Purchase and put together 3-16 channel LOR controllers in water tight enclosures.
Install Video surveillance to capture video of anyone who steals my stuff (it happened last year).
And a lot of songs to sequence, almost done with one and 9 more to go.

I just feel like there is so much to do and not enough time to do it.

And then, after all this, what if my sequences stink and people start booing.

I guess I am just hoping for words of encouragement from the guys who have done this before.

Thanks for listening and yes, I would like some cheese with that whine.

Bill

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gremler wrote:

[sNIP] I spent a month building my first controller from scratch. You could not believe my excitement in the middle of summer when on the floor of my garage I had 12 strands of 4 channel chaser lights all doing the same thing at the same time. I brought the wife and kids to see it and they said, so the lights flash and they went back into the house. [snip]

That made me smile. It reminded me of my first experiments with computer control of my Christmas lights. I had been in my basement for a long time getting things to work, finally had a proof of concept where a bunch of lights were blinking on and off,,, Ask Mary(my wife) to come take a look. now this was many years ago but I believe that her comment was something along the lines of "You spent all this time to do that" and she reached to her right, and started flipping the light switch on the wall on and off and said "a switch would have been a lot less trouble"
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Yep.. i am nother no-LOR-bie for 2005... and my wife is about the same.. told her I was going to buy the 2005 DVD and she asked why.. After explaining I am looking for ideas and effects we both like she seemed to come around... Although I do doubt that she will watch any more of the DVD than the couple of minutes I show her...

May have to watch it at my fathers since he has the 46" flatscreen... compared to my measly 32" tv...



hmmmm.....

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Bill,

I have spent the past 25+ years doing some sort of Christmas display, but in that period of time, it never got the attention that it has the past 4 years. Since I started computer control 4+ years ago, I have had more traffic than all of the other 20 years combined. Plus I have gained a wealth of knowledge, and computer control has brought a renewed energy and interest to my hobby of Christmas lighting. I owe it all to Dan and many others on PC, and you will never find a better place to hang out. Sit back, read some posts, and get ready for the sleigh ride of your life. lol ;) Have fun!

Bill

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It can be overwhelming. I first decided to do an animated display around christmas 2002. By Feb 2003 I had a digital IO card and was using it to control a test bank of relays. My plans for that year were big, and ultimately I had to scale it back some. Only had three songs then, but I was using visual basic - I had not found tools like LOR so songs took a LONG time to do.

Sounds like even if you pull off half of what you have planned it will be a great display. Don't worry, I can't imagine anyone booing at your sequences. The average person seems amazed by almost any lighting animation. You will likely be your toughest critic.

I know how you feel. After three years of animated displays, you'd think things would be getting easier. But no. Now I'm seriously considering adopting not only the LOR software, but maybe even some controllers. I hate not being able to fade with my relays. I'm also planning to add strobes, new homemade trees, and 6 new songs. I guess I just need a constant challenge.

Good luck this year, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Scott

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Hello Bill,

Welcome aboard.

I too have been overwhelmed and still am. With many plans for the future, it's hard not to be.

I understand exactly what you posted. Will they like it? Will they boo at it?

I highly doubt it. Dancing Christmas lights is great any way you see them and people travel all over the place to see them. And lots of them aren't even sequenced. So keep the positive look and go get em.

I too am a newb but just received 2 LORs a week or so ago. Before then, I was doing exactly what you are doing now. Getting a game plan together and sequencing music.

I noticed you live in Broken Arrow. With us only being 1 1/2 hours a part (I live in Oklahoma City), maybe we can hook up some time. There are several of us looking to get together, visit, talk and just get to know each other and make LOR and our displays just a little less painful.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and hope to meet you some day. If you have any questions or what ever, just give me a shout.

Tom

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Tom

That would be good, always willing to meet new people, learn and share Ideas.

I have been lurking here at PC for over a month, reading everything I can and didn't want to post a question that has been asked a thousand times before.

You guys are great and I have been learning alot.

Bill

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I guess this is the page for newby's from Broken Arrow. Like you Bill, I have ventured to the realm of making my Christmas display come alive and dance. It gives me a satisfaction and fullfills a creative part in me. I am glad to share it with the neighbors. Because I am a beginner my hopes are to be able to create a light and music show. With the help of others I hope to achieve this like you. I want to know about FM transmitters and LOR and working with the LOR program. So much to learn, so little time. :laughing:

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One Lite Shy wrote:

With the help of others I hope to achieve this like you. I want to know about FM transmitters and LOR and working with the LOR program. So much to learn, so little time. :laughing:


If you haven't done so yet, take a moment to look throught my LOR FAQ. It might answer some questions you have, and some you don't know you have.

Also, PLEASE, if you see something that should be on there, please email me and let me know! The address of the FAQ is in my signature.
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One Lite Shy wrote:

I guess this is the page for newby's from Broken Arrow. Like you Bill, I have ventured to the realm of making my Christmas display come alive and dance. It gives me a satisfaction and fullfills a creative part in me. I am glad to share it with the neighbors. Because I am a beginner my hopes are to be able to create a light and music show. With the help of others I hope to achieve this like you. I want to know about FM transmitters and LOR and working with the LOR program. So much to learn, so little time. :laughing:
About where in B.A. do you live, I'm at about 129th and 91st. If your serious about doing this, which I most certainly am, maybe we could share ideas and I could demonstrate my new FM transmitter. And don’t buy any Cat5e cable; I’ll hook you up within reason (I traded a case of Coors light for a 1000 ft roll of Cat5e cable). I'm not sure if that was a good trade, let's see, beer vs. wire, hum, it's a toss up. :P
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Yea Bill, but if use the whole box of Cat-5 you won't be tossing anything up, whereas if ya did that whole case of Coors you might well be! :laughing:

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Bill - it is overhwelming at first. Once you've done a couple, you will be amazed at how easy it gets. If you haven't found the "export channel configuration" and Import channel configuration" yet, that helps a lot with setting up the start of a sequence. I first purchased LOR for the 2004 Christmas Season. I just learned of these options in November of 2005 - wow does it make life easier. You can also find some places where there are some shared sequences (look in the forum on Christmas radio/music/videos/etc.) to help you get started. I sometimes come to Tulsa for a bowling tournament around the first part of December. If I come to the tourney this year, and you have your lights up and running, I'll try and stop by and check them out. It's only 4 hours or so from here (Little Rock) so not too bad a travel.

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sysco wrote:

Mike can you explain what they are for export and import just looking at this wondering what it can do thank you blair

I'm not Mike but will try to explain, once you have the configuration and animation for your sequence how you like it, go to edit on the task bar, then export channel configuration, type a name and click save. It will save a ***.lcc file in the sequences subfolder. Then when you start a new sequence Import the same file and your configuration and animation will be imported.

Saves alot of time.:waycool:
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sysco wrote:

Gremler can you post a picture of you fm transmitter and the steps you used thank you blair

I'm a bad boy right now, checking PC while at work, so cant take a picture. I bought the Ramsey FM25B and TM100 antenna, It took about an hour to put the antenna together and 3 hours to put the transmitter together. heres a link to Ramsey http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&key=FM25B

Hope it helps

Bill
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I don't have too many ideas to share but am willing to learn. I live very close to your area. Between Elm and County Line on 131st. This could happen ... two X-mas displays in less than a mile apart!!!! I am not only intrested in computerizing and FM transmitting my Christmas lights but am looking for ways to make displays.(Like the tree in the Carson video). Maybe high hopes but I figure I can work on it all year.

:cryingsong:

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Gremler explained it perfectly. Using the import/export feature of the software keeps you from having to set up the channel configuration for every sequence you do. Unfortunately, since I didn't find out about it until November of 2005, I set each of mine individually except for maybe 2 songs. Save yourself some time, use the import/export for channel configuration. If you also setup the animation grid, it will import with your channels (it prompts you first and I always say yes now).

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gremler wrote:

(I traded a case of Coors light for a 1000 ft roll of Cat5e cable). I'm not sure if that was a good trade, let's see, beer vs. wire, hum, it's a toss up. :P

I just bought a 1000ft roll today for $94.00. So, only if the price of Coors has jumped up with the gas prices, then I'd say you got a great deal... (Unless it was partial) :D
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EAB wrote:

gremler wrote:
(I traded a case of Coors light for a 1000 ft roll of Cat5e cable). I'm not sure if that was a good trade, let's see, beer vs. wire, hum, it's a toss up. :P

I just bought a 1000ft roll today for $94.00. So, only if the price of Coors has jumped up with the gas prices, then I'd say you got a great deal... (Unless it was partial) :D
And I got to help him drink it, win-win situation.:D
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