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ANOTHER NEWBIE ON BOARD!


Kim Hatfield
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Okay guys and gals!

My name is Kim and i live in Carriere, MS.

I have been reading and researching for over a year and this board is totally awesome. But the more i read the more overwhelmed and confused i get.

This will be my first year to set up a huge static display and i was planning to buy the lor system and get it going. But from reading the forum i see it is better for me to do my first year just static so that i know where all my lights are going. Great thought! Besides i hear there is a new software that you can see a pic of your house and lights in action.

Secondly i am planning on the small 16 channel unit to not get in over my head since i am NOT A COMPUTER PERSON! I know just enough to get by. The demo was very confusing to me and i cant say that i have gotten anywhere with it. Just when i really started trying to figure it out i had a total crash and burn of my old dell xp unit. Now i have Vista on my new computer.

Not sure if i now need a different software program. Also i am seeing some topics of this S2 that it is supposed to be really user friendly. That sounds like something i need! LOL.....

I have no clue where to start. There are two different 16 channel units, one with one plug and one with two plugs. Which one should i purchase. I am also planning on running this application from my PC so what software do i need?

Gosh....the more i read, the more knotts i get in my stomach. I am so overwhelmed that i will not be able to get this LOR System up and going.

I also read that this software is getting ready to go up in price. I am in this on my own. My husband says he is out of it. First of all, he knows less about computers than i do. Secondly, all this decorating is not his thing. He rather be off hunting. So i am depending on all you great people here to guide me along here.

I cannot image how some of you are running these mega systems! My hat is off to all of you and i have watched all of the videos on here so many times that i know them by heart. My blood gets to pumping and my heart is literally beating out of my chest with excitement each time i watch them.

I am determined to do this if it kills me!

Sorry for rambling....just my nerves get so bad thinking of diving into unknown waters.

Any and All advice will be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Kim

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Kim Hatfield wrote:

Okay guys and gals!

My name is Kim and i live in Carriere, MS.
Kim, Welcome. To help others later would you mind updating your profile to show your location. That will make you searchable if someone searches for people in your area.

I have been reading and researching for over a year and this board is totally awesome. But the more i read the more overwhelmed and confused i get.

This will be my first year to set up a huge static display and i was planning to buy the lor system and get it going. But from reading the forum i see it is better for me to do my first year just static so that i know where all my lights are going. Great thought! Besides i hear there is a new software that you can see a pic of your house and lights in action.
Crawl, Walk, Run. Take it at a pace that your comfortable with. The important thing in my book is to PLAN PLAN PLAN. Oh did I say you should Plan? With LOR you will need to know what your load is that your connecting to each channel.

Secondly i am planning on the small 16 channel unit to not get in over my head since i am NOT A COMPUTER PERSON! I know just enough to get by. The demo was very confusing to me and i cant say that i have gotten anywhere with it. Just when i really started trying to figure it out i had a total crash and burn of my old dell xp unit. Now i have Vista on my new computer.
Suggest that you purchase the software soon. The newest version when the license is activated will cost more. Dan has told us that already. Also, if you have the software and go through the migration when the license version is activated you will get the highest level for software. The current purchased version will support Vista.

Not sure if i now need a different software program. Also i am seeing some topics of this S2 that it is supposed to be really user friendly. That sounds like something i need! LOL.....

I have no clue where to start. There are two different 16 channel units, one with one plug and one with two plugs. Which one should i purchase. I am also planning on running this application from my PC so what software do i need?
Which controller you get, whether the one plug or 2 plugs depends on your planning of what you will be plugging into the controller. Personally I have purchased all Deluxe boards and I can configure them for whatever I need.

Gosh....the more i read, the more knotts i get in my stomach. I am so overwhelmed that i will not be able to get this LOR System up and going.

I also read that this software is getting ready to go up in price. I am in this on my own. My husband says he is out of it. First of all, he knows less about computers than i do. Secondly, all this decorating is not his thing. He rather be off hunting. So i am depending on all you great people here to guide me along here.

I cannot image how some of you are running these mega systems! My hat is off to all of you and i have watched all of the videos on here so many times that i know them by heart. My blood gets to pumping and my heart is literally beating out of my chest with excitement each time i watch them.

I am determined to do this if it kills me!

Sorry for rambling....just my nerves get so bad thinking of diving into unknown waters.

Any and All advice will be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Kim


I am more than willing to offer you guidance via the telephone if/when you need it. Just drop me a Private message on here and I will provide you with contact information.

Chuck
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The current software you buy is LOR 1. It is the same as the demo. This is immediately upgradable to S2. The fundamentals of this software have not changed. If you are struggling with the demo, don't expect S2 to be a huge relief. It does add many nice new tools (including the photo of your house for the animation window). That being said, the more you play with this, the easier it gets. You will need this software to control your lights (along with the show and schedule editor - included).

As Chuck said, order now to avoid the price increase. You should order the basic started kit (software plus adapter and cat 5 cable.) Indicate on your order that you will be puchasing the controller later. They will send the software and hold the rest until you order the hardware.

As for the controller, I am assuming you are looking at the PC series (a good choice by the way). As for the 2 plugs or 1? I would suggest 2 even if you don't need it right away. It will be there for upgrade. The basic difference between the two is how many amps you are going to supply.

Since you already have your display, if you could summarize your lights we could provide further information on your power load.

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Dave,

Thanks for clearing up the one plug and two plug units. So the only difference is that the two plug is to allow for another unit or 2 or 3 or 4 down the line. Gotcha.... I will have to get my starter package right away before the increase takes effect.

As far as the lights and loads. I probably wont know that exactly until i get my static up this coming xmas. I know basically what all i have but not sure exactly what will be on each channel. I am definitely not doing mini tree, mega trees or leaping arches. My little starter unit is not big enough for all that. Icecicles on eaves, leds stars on roof, mini light wreaths and garlands, some light wrapped posts, hanging stars and snowflakes and then lighted reindeers, trees and giftboxes. I dont think i will be pulling hard on any one channel except for the mini icecicles on the eaves. I will have to calculate that to be sure i am under the amps. The are regular not Leds.

Thanks so much to all of you for the help!!!!!! I am sure that i will leave a long lasting impression on you all buy the time i get this up and going. LOL

Kim

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Kim Hatfield wrote:

Dave,

Thanks for clearing up the one plug and two plug units. So the only difference is that the two plug is to allow for another unit or 2 or 3 or 4 down the line.

Ah, no. Sorry, let me explain.

The PC controller (the one with the enclosure) is capable of handling 30 amps of power. That is 15 amps to each side of the controller. As such, this controller requires 2 power cords, one for each side (the power cord is only capable of handling 15 amps). If you electrical needs were such that the entire controller handles < 15 amps, you can use just one power cord to supply both sides of the controller (there is an internal jumper).

You can still have many controllers, just need to have electricity to run them.

I would recommend taking a look here. http://www.planetchristmas.com/FigurePower.htm This will allow you to ballpark you power needs.

Remember, each channel is capable of 8 amps subject to a maximum 15 amps per side.
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Kim,

Not quite. With the "one plug" assembled version, then you are limited to the output of a single power socket for the unit - 15A. With the "two plug" version, the sixteen channels of the controller are split in half - eight channels per plug, which allows you 30A for the unit (15A for each group of eight channels). On both occasions, you need to keep to a maximum of 8A per channel. There are spreadsheets arround that will allow you to calculate your load per channel, I'm sure there will be others that can suggest where this is found. As you have said you are using standard light sets (rather than LEDs), you will need to pay attention to the load you are trying to put on a channel / a controller.

Regards,

Alan.

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Let me see if i follow this. So i am better off to have two 15 amp breakers one for each side of the controller instead of one 30 amp breaker? I have the room in my panel for the breakers. Just have to get the electrician out to do the work for me.

The two plug enclosed unit is what i need then. You guys are the professionals and what you recommend is what i will do.

First off is to get my software and get comfortable with it. That is what has me so flipped out.

I am on the mailing list for the spring sale to get the controller. Just wanted to know from you guys what one i should buy.

And yes, i am going to have to crash some numbers on the amps for the channels. Those little LED's are so high. I had a choice to use the regular mini's this year and be able to buy my LOR or buy mini's and wait another year on the unit.

Hmmm....easy decision! LOR here i come!

You all are the best! I dont know much about this unit or the software buy i am mostly going this route because of all the wonderful people here. The way you all help out each other is the bomb!

Kim

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You may be able to run the controller off of 1 15 amp breaker, that's were the calculating load comes in. You need to understand your power needs starting from the lights and working backwards.

As to what controller? For non DIY and non-commercial use, the PC boards are the way to go. They come in 3 flavors: plug and play, some assembly required, full assembly (including soldering the board).

I would recommend either plug and play or some assembly required.

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Kim,

Do not feel overwhelmed just yet. This was my first year for a LOR display and once you start it is really easy to pickup. After you do you first sequence with the software and watch it run on your display it all starts clikcing. There is stil a ton of more advanced things that I have to learn but I have got the basic jist down for '08 and '09 should have more and more intricate and interesting details on the display. I am going to attach a link at the bottom here to show you what I did my first year with 48 Chan. Also, LOR has a pretty big sale in and around March/April for controllers. That is when I got mine last year.




If you should have any questions since I ama first year and close to your level let me know and maybe I can explain it as well.
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Oh My......I cant thank all of you enough. My attitude seems to be getting much better about taking the plung with all of you behind me. I sort feel like that cellphone commercial with all the support team there with you.

Dont worry i am sure i will be picking away at you for info and help to get this non-computerized brain into gear.

Just as you mentioned i am sure my first show will not be anything fancy or high tech. But the thrill is all the same.

I am going to purchase my starter kit so that i can start finding my way around and seeing what i can do with it.

Keep the info coming guys it is greatly appreciated!!!!!

Kim

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Kim,

I'm another newbie here - I've been watching the forum for awhile, I too am taking the plunge this year...

My plans are for using LOR for Holloween & Christmas lightng in 2009.

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I see where there are several LOR owners that are putting together halloween and even 4th of July shows.

More power to you and you may as well go all the way with it. I will be lucky to get my little christmas show going. Surely once i get the feel for it and learn how to use the system i will also be looking to do much more with it.

Please keep us posted and definitely drop us some links to your videos!!!!

Isnt this board awesome!!!!

I dont feel so alone with all of you here with me. Also glad some of you other newbies are joining me here.

This is like one big family on this board. Most people dont want to share their work, successes and secrets with others. But not here....its all on the table with these wonderful users. Okay i have to stop before i get all mushy! LOL.....

March on everyone! keep the shows rocking......

Kim

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Kim:
Don't be overwhelmed with this. It isn't as hard as it might seem once you get in there and start to play around. This was also my first year and the only mistake I made was not getting started sooner with actually working on the controller. We have always had 20,000+ light static displays and always will. What we do with Lightorama is on top of the static display. I had my brother in law rip all my 42 of my songs from CD to MP3 at the required 192 Kbp. He and My wife worked on this while I was still putting up the 8000 lights we plugged in to it. The plan was for them to start with setting up songs etc so I could still work on the lights. They convinced themselves you had to be a rocket scientist to do this. Once I had the chance to get into it and my wife looked on she found out how wrong they had been. Of course with my delay what I ended up doing was getting sequences from other members to or the sequence site to match my music. For this year some of them I left alone and some I made some adjustments to to match up better with my lights. I ended up with 12 animated songs and played those in sets of 6 at a time with a dozen non aninmated in between those. I just added Disney's Believe in Holiday Magic so going in to next year I have 13 songs I can start to set for my soon to be expanded display. I'm going up to 64 channels from the 16 and then plan to add 32 more after that the next year. Hanging lights is the easy part though time wise. But I did find the easiest way to play around and get a "feel" was from these shared sequences. Get in in there and turning off a box if you don't want that channel on at that time or copy and pasting a sequence you liked on one channel to another one or different one all togehter. I think the hardest thing to probalby do is get that initial beat tracK set which IF you upgrade to S2, beat wizard does for you. By the way most on here can't empasize enought that you'll need to have plenty of extension cords. And an easy to remember on usage with regular minis, is 100 minis is 1/3 of an amp so 300 is a full amp. Most icicle lights are 150 so they are 1/2 amp each so pretend you have 8 strings, would use 4 amps.

Good Luck!!

Lenny

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Hey Lenny,

Keep the info coming. I am sure once i can get hands on it will not be so bad. The really hard part also is that i have a hubby here that does not want to even hear about my new venture.

I asked him several questions in regards to our power panel and breakers, that was like talking to the wall. he just walks away when i even mention decorating much less doing this LOR system.

As we speak i am stringing light on huge wreaths, bows, garland and things to save time for later in the year. I am marking each decor with a tag of where it is going. We have a partial two story home which has vinyl siding on it. I am intending to hang a 5' lighted wreath, bow and garland on that section and i dont know how to go about it. Trying talking to him about it and he walks off on me! Grrr.....lol.

Well i will just have to hire a handyman to help me out i guess. But i am bound and determined to do this!

Maybe with this little extra info you all can understand the depth of my stress knowing i am in this alone! All the decorating, planning and computer work is all on me.

I will probably be the true test to you all if you guys and gals can keep me sane through doing this show. Hahaha.....

Thanks to you all!

Kim

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Kim Hatfield wrote:

Hey Dale,

Do you have any details to when and where exactly yet? I am only 60 miles north of N.O. and i can surely make plans to attend!

thanks for the tip!!!

Kim


Where: The host hotel - the Chateau Holiday Inn.

Times: Social on Friday night -- from whatever time you get there to whatever time the last person goes to bed. The hotel has an abundance of patio space that can be used to hang out and discuss Christmas decoration techniques.

On Saturday, our meeting will start about 8 am or so and last until 5 pm or so. Then there will be after the meeting discussions of Christmas decoration techniques in the meeting room and on the patios until we get too tired.
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Kim I hope you went out after Christmas and purchased your decorations for the 2009 season.... The day after Christmas is as important as the LOR spring sale... Purchasing LOR equipment is only about 1/3 the cost. Lights are a little over 1/3 the costs. And extention cords is 1/3 the cost.

So for me I purchase as much of my next years decorations at after Christmas sales. Then hit the LOR spring sale and last thru out the year look for extention cords on sale. Look at Yard sales and flee markets for these too.

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Hey Dale,

I am so looking forward to this meeting and i am bringing a very very good friend of mine that is quite computer savy. But we wanted to make sure this is not an advanced course of LOR, we need the LD course (LEARNING DISABLED!)!!!!

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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For the 1/3 of the cost that's extension cords, you can save a lot by making them yourself if you don't have enough on hand. And it's a whole lot easier than you might think. Just buy the wire, plugs and sockets in bulk, cut the wire to the lengths you need, snap the plugs and sockets on, and you're good to go.

Bulk wire can be purchased from Creative Display's preorder:

http://talk.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?t=28915&highlight=sessel

LED Holiday Lighting is also having a preorder (details to be published this Wednesday):

http://www.ledholidaylighting.com/2009-LED-Pre-Order-Event.aspx

There's probably other sources of wire at good prices that'll pop up through the year, and some folks find good deals at local stores.

The plugs and sockets most of us use literally just snap on. You don't have to do anything more than make sure the wire has a clean cut, lay it in the open end of the plug/socket, and slide a cover over.

We'll talk ya though it if you choose that route.

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I'll be ordering wire from Creative Displays or LED Holiday Lighting. CDI's is $85 for 1000' plus shipping. We'll see on Wednesday what LED Holiday Lighting's price is.

You'll find lots of threads discussing types of wire and what the designations mean. I think CDI's is "SPT-3". I'll use whatever I can find, though, especially when I run out.

Gotta run to a meeting... catch y'all later.

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Kim:

Yep by myself on this as well. My wife who is actually the computer person in our house said from what she sees it's a lot more time than she has with a new baby to take care of so the lights and pretty much everything else was by myself this year.

Next year the munchkin will be almost a year and a half old and hopefully she can keep herself occupied for awhile and Karen can come out and help out with the easy lights at least. Now that I have a decent feel for the system and she has watched over my shoulder she's more comfortable with it to maybe try sequencing a little this summer.

I'm putting in a preorder for a couple thousand feet of cord, plugs, sockets, etrc along with a couple dozen curtain strobes once the other pricing comes out on Wednesday. Right know I'm looking at CDI, though they don't have the C9 attach on sockets for the curtain strobes.

We bought about 10,000 more lights last week, mostly Green, Red and White minis although that does include about 20 sets of red and green C6's. As for minis, Walmart has tons left over up here at about $1 a box.

As far as your wiring problem, luckily I do my own so I'm good to go there.



Lenny

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