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How long did it take you to set up your Christmas display?


Speedster
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This year I decided to keep detailed records of what I did and how long it took me to do what I did.  Altogether it took me about 47 hrs to setup our 2018 Christmas display.

Date

Event

Hours

     

Various

Made 3 8-channel firesticks

6.00

11/4/2018

Mounted firestick supporting hardware to front of house

1.50

Various

Made 16  1-ft sleeves with multi-colored lights for 2 leaping arches

4.00

Various

Located outdoor décor and tested lights

1.00

11/8/2018

Created 64-channel test sequence in LOR SE

0.75

11/10/2018

Drilled new holes in 8 snowflakes

0.25

11/11/2018

Retrofitted window for audio & CAT5 cables

0.75

11/11/2018

Light setup: Attached 3 firesticks, family room window, bathroom window, north kitchen window, living room picture window, horizontal icicle lights, net lights on bushes

2.00

11/11/2018

Reassembled & tested spiral trees

0.60

11/12/2018

Loosened male SPT1 plug covers

0.60

11/13/2018

Loosened female SPT1 plug covers

0.40

11/15/2018

Light setup:  Icicle lights & snowflakes above kitchen window, window decorations, tree by driveway, rose bush, front porch.  Made & attached 8 ext cords to firestick 1 and triple-tap adapter. Connected channels 1 - 8 on LOR controller 1.

4.75

11/15/2018

Made 8 ext cords for firestick 2

1.00

11/16/2018

Made 8 ext cords for snowflakes and attached them to triple-tap adapter. Attached ext cords for firestick 2 to triple tap adapter. Made ext cord for angel light. Attached controllers 2 & 3 to stand. Connected controllers 1, 2, & 3 with CAT5 cable. Connected triple-tap adapters to controller 3 channels 1 - 8. Connected 4 living room snowflakes to controller 2 channels 13 - 16.  Connected lights on left side of house to controller 1 channel 8.

4.50

11/16/2018

Made 8 ext cords for firestick 3.  Connected CAT5 cable, audio cable, & power cord to ShowTime Central box.  Assembled all 16 sleeves on leaping arches.

1.75

11/17/2018

Made elevated bases out of wood for spiral trees and attached stands.  Attached tree bases & screw eyes.  Spray painted the elevated bases and tree bases.

2.50

11/17/2018

Attached 8 ext cords to firestick 3 and controller 3 channels 1 - 8.  Attached 8 spiral trees to bases and connected to controller 1 channels 9 - 16.  Attached triple tap ext cords to controller 3 channels 9 - 16.  Placed Santa, Mrs. Claus, & 2 candle blow molds by left tree.  Set up 2 leaping arches.  Set up manger (no Nativity scene figures).

3.25

11/17/2018

Made 8 ext cords for leaping arch 1.

1.00

11/18/2018

Connected 8 ext cords to leaping arch 1 and triple tap extension cords for controller 3 channels 9 - 16, & zip tied cords to back of leaping arch.  Connected ext cords to 4 blow mold figures and controller 2 channels 9 - 12.  Wrapped blue/white lights around 3 birch trees and connected to controller 2 channels 13 - 15.  Set up tomato cage trees & hooked up left tree to controller 2 channels 1 - 4.  Made 4 ext cords for right tomato cage tree and hooked up to controller 2 channels 5 - 8.  Set up Nativity scene blow molds and attached ext cords.  Set up outdoor powered speaker.  Made 8 ext cords for leaping arch 2.  Connected 8 ext cords to leaping arch 2 and triple tap extension cords for controller 3 channels 9 - 16, & zip tied cords to back of leaping arch.

6.50

11/21/2018

Spray painted boards for Nativity scene animals and nailed down loose manger roof boards

0.50

11/22/2018

Setup large white spiral tree on side of house and attached to controller 1 channel 8. Secured blow mold candles to wooden stakes.  Tied spiral tree frames to metal stakes.  Put child-proof outlet protectors on exposed female plugs.  Attached outdoor speaker mount to brick mortar.  Put landscaping bricks under extension cord connections.  Attached outdoor timers to Nativity scene and outdoor speaker.  Performed final testing of lights.

2.00

11/23/2018

Spray painted white cords of 4 blue led snowflakes.  Put plastic bags over extension cord connections to protect them from rain/snow and prevent GFCI trips.  Misc checks.

1.00

     
 

TOTAL

46.60

If do the exact same setup next year it will only take me about 25 hrs because about 22 hrs were spent doing things I won't have to do again (creating firesticks & leaping arches, making extension cords, making bases for the spiral trees, etc).  But I'm sure I'll end up spending more time making new props since you can never have enough lights lol.

 

Edited by Speedster
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Always takes me longer than the average person to get my stuff up due to vision and other medical issues that I can't work outside in the sun, and have to try and do most things either very early morning or just as the sun starts setting, and having to do it in little light makes it a bit rough for me, but thus far I have always managed to get it all up in time.  

So for my little display this year after not having one for almost 6 years, took me about 2-3 months as I started in September for Christmas, so my RGB lights were all up and operational by Halloween and used for Christmas so that saved me a little time getting them up early.  But the actual Christmas stuff came out Nov. 1, but I don't really have a big display, but still takes me a bit of time. 

I couldn't even break it down into a time schedule or dates, and if I including the sequencing that would add a ton of hours and months to everything as well.

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We do it all over T'giving weekend.  This year we lost a day because of rain, so we did it in three days.  Probably about 16-18 hours of total work time.  But that's only a partial display.  If we had set out ALL of our lighted animals, it probably would have taken closer to 20-21 hours.  Not bad, all things considered.

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I did mine in fits and spurts so I have no real clue. I also cheated, I just changed the colors assigned to the Ridge RGB  sections that I used for Halloween  (I did add and Move a Controller. The Chimney now has a RGB Controller on an Antenna Mount for the roof props. installing that and rerouting prop and RS485 cables took about an hour (and way too many ladder trips 🙄 ) )  1 AC controller moved to the  MaxiTree location, the yard RGB (no lawn) stayed in the same place, just non-flood props changed.

I guess I spent 14 Hrs total and another 2 fixing failed strings and wrong port connections .

Take down is longer, because it needs to be done in order of storage (cords used generically, go here, Xmas there), same for props. And all things wet, need to dry out)

BTW one of the first season tasks, is to mark underground pipes as a 'No Stake Zone'  (💡 I take photos of all my sprinkler open ditch work. Sewer and Gas are under the driveways , so they are 'safe')

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Taking a lot longer than normal. Added 4 CCB strings to my mega (16 now) along with a new RGB star for the top and 4 singing C9 Bulbs. Work has been hampered by the smoke from the CampFire in No Cal and then the last several days of much needed rain. So for the heck of it this year, actually tracked my time and have just over 43 hours in it so far, not including sequence modifications for the new props. Estimating I have about 6 hours left, so total time will be close to 50 hours

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8 minutes ago, jfuller8400 said:

This year I think I got it all done in about 12~13 days (so about 130 hours or so).

Yikes!  I'm guessing you are retired.  That's about 6-7 weekends for a working stiff like myself.  I won't let my display get any bigger than two weekends to put up at the most.

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1 minute ago, B.Y.R.G. said:

Yikes!  I'm guessing you are retired.  That's about 6-7 weekends for a working stiff like myself.  I won't let my display get any bigger than two weekends to put up at the most.

Unfortunately not yet (but I wish).  I start the 1st weekend in Oct and then I took a little over a week off from work in early Nov.

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16 minutes ago, jfuller8400 said:

This year I think I got it all done in about 12~13 days (so about 130 hours or so).

 

2 minutes ago, jfuller8400 said:

Unfortunately not yet (but I wish).  I start the 1st weekend in Oct and then I took a little over a week off from work in early Nov.

Woah!!!  With my limited free time I would have to start setting up in early Sep in order to be on time for the first light-up on Thanksgiving day.  I usually take 3 half-days of vacation in Nov to ensure I'll get everything done in time, but if I had 130 hrs of setup time I'd have to take 2 full weeks of vacation between Sep and Nov!

Just out of curiosity, how long does it take you to take everything down and put it all away?

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It took us about 6 days to setup our display this year. We both work full time so it's mostly limited to weekends... In the past it took us a lot longer to set everything up, but with a lot of prep work last year the setup and tear down go much quicker now.

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8 hours ago, Speedster said:

 

Woah!!!  With my limited free time I would have to start setting up in early Sep in order to be on time for the first light-up on Thanksgiving day.  I usually take 3 half-days of vacation in Nov to ensure I'll get everything done in time, but if I had 130 hrs of setup time I'd have to take 2 full weeks of vacation between Sep and Nov!

Just out of curiosity, how long does it take you to take everything down and put it all away?

Depends on the weather.  If it stays a little warmer I usually have everything put away by Easter.  Last year we had so much snow it was late May/early June before everything was done.  Some of the lights were out longer than they were packed away!

I did a time-lapse video of last year's setup if you want to see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVQPQ_yyWlU

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10 hours ago, jfuller8400 said:

Depends on the weather.  If it stays a little warmer I usually have everything put away by Easter.  Last year we had so much snow it was late May/early June before everything was done.  Some of the lights were out longer than they were packed away!

I did a time-lapse video of last year's setup if you want to see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVQPQ_yyWlU

It made me tired JUST watching your video with all the work going on.....oh and cold too!  Going to need some hot chocolate to warm up.

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Normally I put the lights on the eves and roofline a weekend or two before Halloween because I use them for Halloween.  That only takes an hour or two.  Then NORMALLY the first and second weekend after Halloween, I put up everything else.  Wild guess would be 25 to 30 hours (never timed it).  Teardown is one weekend - around 12 hours.

This year was NOT normal.  I made massive changes to my show, so there was a lot of construction tossed in there. 

The largest change was the rebuild of my 12 x 50 pixel tree into a 24 x 100 pixel tree.  Building the 24 strings - assembling the two 8 foot pieces of Boscoyo Pixel strip, stuffing 100 pixels, wiring pigtails to source end with connectors, and testing each strip - about 1/2 hour per strip or 12 hours.  Rebuilding the steel framework - 2 hours.  Custom building new top hook attachments for strings - 8 to 10 hours.  Assembling new box for two controllers - 2 hours.  Assembling new power supply box - 3 hours.  Putting it all together (in service) - 8 hours.

Then I built two singing face trees.  Build framing - 2 hours.  Drill an additional 250 holes per tree - 1 hour.  Stuff just over 1000 lights per tree - 3 hours.  Build frame for controller and mount controller - 2 hours.  Put it all together (in service) - 2 hours.

Built a P5 matrix panel and a P10 matrix panel.  That was mostly too long ago to come up with an accurate time, but likely 50 hours.   A lot of that was learning Falcon Pi Player and ColorLight card configuration.  Many firmware changes (I was in the Beta test for FPP version 2).

Still have to build enclosures for the matrix panels, and move the singing faces onto the roof where they are intended.  Also build 6 Coro Candy canes, but  can't install those until the singing faces get moved because the candy canes would block the view of the faces.  We'll see if I get all that done in the next couple weekends.  Show opened last Friday with just the P10 matrix in a temp location where it is weather protected and the singing faces just off the ground leaning against the house.
 

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12 hours ago, jfuller8400 said:

I did a time-lapse video of last year's setup if you want to see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVQPQ_yyWlU

Holy carp!  jfuller is The Flash!   :lol:   I would love to be able to move that fast in real life and get our entire display up and running in under 30 minutes instead of 47 hrs!

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Being disabled it takes me about 3 weeks to set up. I do what I can each day. Ladders are extremely difficult for me, I have to use crutches to get around and after 4 years of doing this I found ways to work smarter not harder. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Tom

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takes me about 2 weeks this in my second year of running lor system and my hardest thing is running cords so they don't look like an eye sore during the day but slowly but surly I'm learning quicker methods

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I started working on mine the weekend after Halloween and kept going every weekend after that 8 to 10 hour days plus Thanksgiving Day all total about 10 days of work and i still have some minor issues to fix, but the display was operational on Black Friday. 

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I usually take the week before and the 3 days of vacation before Thanksgiving. Usually there are a couple of days with rain or cold that I don't get much done.I also hang the roof and house stuff up a couple of weekends ahead of Thanksgiving. And usually in later part of October I test everything. This year took a little while longer as I changed the order of all of my controllers and made 2 networks. I don't have any help, so it takes me a little longer. I would say total of 7-8 days putting up.

Wayne

Edited by Wayne K
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takes roughly 6-8 weeks, I don't work every day, sometimes just a few hours here and there, usually work about 6-8 on sat and sun if nothing going on... this year took longer because we had so much rain, i couldn't get on the roof or a ladder for 4 weeks.  But I do our whole setup, my kids are young and wife likes the show but doesn't help with the setup so its just me and my almost 600 ac channels and nearly 7 miles of extension cords.

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