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How Are You Coming Along for 2008?


Rick Hughes
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Wondering if anyone cares to share where they are versus where they'd like to be at this point?

I'm a bit behind but not so much that I can't get back on track ... I hope.

This weekend I finalized my music selections ... 13 instrumentals and 13 vocals plus Auld Lang Syne to close the evening. A total of 90 minutes of audio if it plays straight through (which I do on Wednesdays - other nights have a song repeat every 3rd song to move people along). I've been listening to CDs in the car for months, but even so it was much more time-consuming than I expected to narrow the selection to a group which work well with each other and which I could envision lights dancing to. It's a surprisingly cohesive mix with everything from Peggy Lee to TSO to Carpenters to Wham!

My channel configurations are (hopefully) final - about 220 channels in use (spread across three houses) with a few spares. I haven't done the calculation of amps yet, but my arrangement is quite similar to last year's with just a little expansion which I hope will not require any major adjustments. My display is almost entirely incandescent C7s so power availability and balancing is always a challenge. Perhaps next year will begin the transition to dimmable C7 LEDs. Tripping GFIs was a problem which I'm trying to be more aggressive in resolving.

I have some new things to make, plus haven't started checking everything from last year to be sure it's in good working order (intentions of doing that last January evaporated sometime around Easter). If there are any surprises lurking, that's where I expect they'll be.

Mini-trees have been on the drawing board for a couple of years and remain there. Perhaps 2009 will be their debut.

I hope everyone else is doing well. Christmas is enough for me to tackle -- those of you who also do Halloween have my utmost respect.

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I am actually fairly surprised at how far along I am. This is my second year of animation, and last year I basically spent from January to November designing and implementing the show. I was beat in December. I decided after I took everything down that it was time for a break. I really didn't look at anything until I heard the LOR sale dates were set. Then I started and actually sat down and designed everything. I laid out how many new channels I needed, set away some...ok a lot...of money for LED's and purchased all my controllers.

So far I have switched my current mini trees to all LED's. I still need to make 6 new mini trees. I have built the 2 mini mega trees I have planned. I have built a motorized trolley. That was a whole new adventure for me, as I have never done anything with motors or movers. Lets hope it holds up outside. I also got an awesome wireframe from Valerie and wrapped it with the lights.

Still to complete are a few of my sequences. I have 14 songs this year, not including the intro and closing. 10 of those songs are fully sequenced. I still have to order my announcements from Kevin. I also am planning a light stick with MR 16 LED's in it that I need to build. That should only be a one day project though. I also need to make about 30ft of track for the trolley, again, should be a challenge like the trolly itself. I also need to do a little work on my mega tree and its base for this year. Not sure where I am going with that, but it needs to be done. I also got an awesome wireframe from Valerie and wrapped it with the lights. I also need to redo my radio sign. Last years was nice, but it didn't hold up in the weather. I am going to get one professionally made.

Other then that, I am happy where I am with the display. You can always find all my current projects and how-to's on my site.

http://www.freewebs.com/manorchristmas/currentprojects.htm

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Rick Hughes wrote:

Wondering if anyone cares to share where they are versus where they'd like to be at this point?



I hoped to be done with wiring up the controllers by now, but it has been so hot I can't concentrate in the garage, so I have been working on sequencing.
I have 3 songs done (the hardest 3) and 7 left to go.

I would much rather be in Hawaii...

Scott
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Rick Hughes wrote:

This weekend I finalized my music selections ... 13 instrumentals and 13 vocals...

Rick, unless you're a sequencing master, you may be further behind than you think :)

BTW - I hope you know I'm just poking fun. I'm new at this stuff, and if I had 26 more songs to sequence I wouldn't be done 'till the Forth of July.

2010. :shock:
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I won't claim the Master title, but this is my 5th year with LOR so I have at least rudimentary skills (though, I've never been able to use the Tap Wizard successfully). Even unsuccessfully was mostly a bust!

Quite consistently it takes me 1 hour to do one minute of song so I pace myself using that guide to be done by the end of October with sequencing. The first two weeks of November are reserved to "watch" the show and tweak it before disassembling to move it outside.

Though ... it's been known to happen where one (or more) song(s) disappear from the intended show without warning.

I now return you to your LOR Sequence Editor.

R.

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Hee hee. That's good to hear, Rick.

This is my first year. Judging by what I'd read in this forum, I decided I'd need around 3 hours to sequence each minute of music.

Boy, did I overestimate my newbie abilities! My first song (about 4 miniutes) took me over 30 hours to sequence! Then, after finally receiving my new LED's, I had to go back and rework all my fades and intensity settings, adding about another 4 hours labor.

My second song only took me about 18 hours. So, I guess I'm getting better.

Give me another 20 seasons and maybe I'll get my time down to 1hr/min. :)

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I'm doing great on my props. Almost done. But my Sequencing is lagging behind. I'm hoping to knock out a bunch of it when my wife goes away for a week. (it's much easier to sit at a computer for hours on end w/o the wife around!) I have 2.5 peices of music done and about 5.5 to go.

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I have 4 songs sequenced. Probably will do 2 or 3 more. I have to build 2 pc kits and 4 arches. I also have to get power to the additional kits from my breaker panel. Everything else is pretty much set up, which I plan to start on right after Halloween. I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at compared to last year, which was my first year of LOR. Last year I added a controller that I built on Thanksgiving night which changed my sequencing. Everything last year was the first time. Transmitter, sign, mega tree, mini trees, extension cords, power. Wow! This year feels a lot easier.

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George Simmons

As much as I'm looking forward to seeing everything flashing and fading and shimmering for the first time ever this year, I think I'm almost looking forward to next year even more. At least then I'll be able to do other things during the spring and summer.

Before y'all touch your bow strings to your violins and begin playing your sympathy dirges, I freely admit that I created my own monster. It began with deciding between 32 and 48 channels. Then it went to deciding between 48 and 64 channels. Then it went to deciding between 64 and 96 channels. So far, I'm up to 144 channels and still trying to think of a way to convince my sweetie that I really, really, really need 16 more. (Hey Dan, if you're looking for a poster child to warn others of what happens all to easily once a newbie gets bit by the LOR bug, I'm your guy!)

Despite having my life plunged into chaos, I actually think I'm pretty much on schedule. (And if I'm not, please don't anyone tell me that.) I've got everything made that needs making except for a few arches, a few extension cord bundles and the "spinners" that I need to pick up some orange and purple Haloween lights for. I've got twenty songs sequenced and another twenty in various stages of completion. Now if I can only avoid adding more stuff, like the strobes I just got from Darryl and aviod making any more changes in the layout, it should all come together by November first. Then it's down to tweaking, tweaking, and more tweaking I guess.

Balls... now I'm getting depressed thinking of all the little details still needed like voice-overs, collection box, handouts, warning signs, radio-tune signs, etc. And why am I sitting here reading these forums with so much still to do??? Gee, thanks Rick...

George Simmons

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Now I just need to figure out how to turn all their lights off when I run that chase sequence.... X-10?

Jeff


I have motion activated security lights that I use in my front yard. I use a N.O./N.C. relay with 110 coil connected to 1 channel of the LOR. When I power the relay it disconnects the power to the security lights and powers the FM transmitter/tune to sign. Then, when the show shut's down, it kills the "tune to" light and powers the security lights. This also helps any viewers watching at shut down time to know that the show is done, time to go home!!!

Mount it in a rain tite box and add a couple of extension cords and your good to go. Assuming the load is less than 40 amps (20 amps per contact)

Scott
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(6) new controllers - Built, tested, but not mounted in custom box. Still figuring on box design to mount 5 of them in for century tree. :?

Arches - Built, tested ;)

Century tree- Built in my head :D

Sequencing - 4 minutes done out of 20 :(

Gee, thanks for the reminder of how far I'm behind. Weel at least it's going to rain all day here.

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Richard Hamilton

We post all of our information on our web site, and communication on our message board. Most of the message board is is viewable to guests, but several items (like LOR sequences that we post) are not viewable unless people join. This is to keep out the undesirable regbots from clogging up the message board like we started seeing last year from China and India. Fortunately we blocked it quickly.

Link below...

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It's difficult to say. I'm building during the daytime, sequencing at night, and buying every payday. I think I'll be okay, but anything can happen.

I did this in 2005 and 2006 (took 2007 off), and I never got the display operational on time. That's my #1 goal - get it up and running before Dec 1.

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Richard Hamilton

JimCanfield wrote:

With me being new I am not sure if I am behind or not. I am where I think I should be.


I think you've been doing it long enough that you are probably on track.

Just as a note for the newbies. The biggest mistakes I've noticed people make (and I made them myself long ago when I started) is thinking this stuff can be thrown togethter at the last minute.

I now make sure all of my design plans for the year are done by by August 1, and have the added equipment on order. Song sequences are done by Halloween.

Our display goes online Thanksgiving night, so we start installing it around November 15 when the weather is just a little warmer and the rain season hasn't started here in Northern California. We test it all a few days before Thanksgiving to make sure it works. If you have equipment problems, you don't want to be finding this out a couple days before going online. It will probably be too late to get replacements.

Lastly, avoid the tempation to tweak. I make tweaks on the timing and lights during the few days from Thanksgiving until December 1, and then I leave it alone until it comes down. Tweaking isn't worth the risk of screwing up things.
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Thank you for the words of encouragement Richarrd. All my songs are sequenced, I am just sequencing my voiceovers. I have to finish my tune to signs and assemble my roof grid still. I cannot start my roof grid until I get the LED's from Paul. However I have the grid drawn out on paper and in my mind so it shouldn't be that bad. Other than that I am just waiting until October so I can start setting up. Light up will be the Friday after Thanksgiving.

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Boy, I sure thought I'd be farther than I am. I may have bit off more than I can chew for my 1st year. Sorta sweatin' it as to if I'll be ready in time or not.

Rather than have 176 extension cords spread out over my yard, I decided to take the Jeff Millard route and make my own using SPTII and Molex connectors. It's working out great but it sure takes a while to wrap the cords.

I also decided to make a Richard Holdman Bethlehem Star. That went fairly quickly.

I wrapped 6 arches with 8 channels each (the Tater Twister was a life saver).

I made a Merry Christmas sign with rope light and control each letter with separate channels. Here's a similar sign, mine is in block letters instead of the script style they used.

In addition to the 10 assembled cards I got in the Feb secret sale, I also ordered one DIY CTB16PC kit to try my hand assembling it. It went together fairly simply but of course it didn't work after I was done. I had to send it back to LOR for repairs. Dan and the team are great!

Most of my sequences are done.

Still need to build my Mega Tree and wrap four trees in my front yard. Will probably do those next month (waiting for the leaves to drop).

The thing that I'm trying to concentrate on this month is getting those cords done (Jeff any suggestions for making the wrapping process go faster would be appreciated.)

So, I'm a little nervous... I'm afraid I'll be taking it right down to the... wire :)

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Hello,

I'm going from 32 channels last year to 112 this year.


  • 5 CTB16PC Kits assembled and tested. :D
  • 4 10' arches wrapped and tested. :D
  • 1 10' mega tree still needs to be built. :P
  • 1 Update my tune to sign so its lighted on two sides. :)
  • 20 minutes of music to sequence, I need to get going on that. :shock:

I'm behind on sequencing but will be ready for December 1st.

Rick

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Hi

I went from 16 to 48 channels. Plus my dad jumped in the animated game with a 16 channel controller that I am helping him with.

Controllers are assembled and need to be tested, sequences are going ok, I think I am on track with my schedule to be up and running by Thanksgiving.

What I still need:

Mega Tree parts & assembly, more sequences, voice overs, 2 more 30 amp receps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Being new this year as well, I think I am on track. I have created 18 sequences since late June. I remember using a laptop on road trips and vacations. Now I'm locked down in the garage. I've posted a few of my sequences. Would love some feedback.

October will be buying, building and testing. November is setup. Starting night after Thanksgiving.



Actually hope to have a few of my tests at 4 in the morning before Thanksgiving.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I haven't done anything as of yet. I'm either going to skip this year or be scrambling to get everything done in a month. It could go either way.

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Tim_L wrote:

I haven't done anything as of yet. I'm either going to skip this year or be scrambling to get everything done in a month. It could go either way.


For the love of God...literally, don't skip. I don't even know you but it is still disheartening to hear that a fellow LOR-er might not do a show! Remember the joy and satisfaction it brings? You can do it!!

Kevin
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