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Newbie's First Year


Cray Augsburg

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My first year goal wasn't to have the biggest or the brightest display, but rather to make the most of the display I had. In any case, what I did for 2009 won me First Place for the neighborhood competition -- it appears the judges had never before seen synchronized lighting. Now if I could con the wife into letting me remove that display-spoiling Pin Oak tree . . .

Mannheim Steamroller: Joy to the World http://vimeo.com/8472099

Burl Ives: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer http://vimeo.com/8472507

Celtic Woman: Carol of the Bells http://vimeo.com/8473229

Jingle Bells Techno http://vimeo.com/8471313

Nat King Cole: The Christmas Song http://vimeo.com/8472560

Yes, I know there is a hint of R. Holdman here. His display was the first I saw, and it became the inspiration for my current addiction.

Cray

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Good jub on the sequencing. Not that I would ever help fuel someone elses addiction but are you planning on adding more channels? That front yard is crying out for a 12' mega tree and a couple of arches!!LOL

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Good morning

Cray

i vote for Celtic woman

Great job

hey Sawyer --- if you look close yo can see the

wheels spinning about expansion at the right side of

the display

awesome first year

louisville is not far from columbus check out the 2010 LUO (light up ohio)

in another post

welcome

Frank A.;)

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I agree, and yes . . . looking to add at least 64 channels next time around (to include four arches). The mega tree will probably be in two years, but after seeing that spiral megatree over in the General section of the forum, who knows?

Thanks for the comments.

Cray

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Yeah, Frank, the gears are turning about the right side. Just gotta give that oak tree some kind of terrible disease that'll warrant having to remove it.

Thanks fer the comments, and I'll go check out LUO.

Cray

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Good job Cray. It isn't how many channels a person has but how they're used. If you figure out a way to get rid of the tree, let me know. I've got one just like it and right now I'm the only one who wants it gone and out of the way.

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George Simmons wrote:

Good job Cray. It isn't how many channels a person has but how they're used. If you figure out a way to get rid of the tree, let me know. I've got one just like it and right now I'm the only one who wants it gone and out of the way.

Ummmm..Dido!! I have a Pecan Tree Right smack in the middle of my yard that forced me to do two small Mega trees instead of one big one. I would of already had it removed if it wasn't for the fact that it is on the west side of my home and provides great shade in the South Texas Scorching summers.
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Great display Cray.If you can`t get rid of the tree why not just use it.I used a tree in my back yard and loaded it with led lights.33 foot strings, and what i did was take some number 9 wire and made hooks and then taped them on the end of the lights.A 10 foot step ladder and a 25 foot pole and i just hooked each set and let them hang and wrapped them around the base of the tree.I put about a dozen of them and it is very cool.All i had this year was a couple of gemmy light show controllers.next year i will start with 128 lor channels and dive into the craze.

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George and sawyer1206:

So if I hear you correctly, it's not the size of your pencil, but how you write with it that counts. My wife tells me that, too! :D

To me, the number of lights is less important than the number of channels (ie, the finer the control of the existing lights.) I'm pretty happy with what I did this year, but next year with an additional 64+ channels . . .

Or maybe that's the addiction talking (hmmm).

As for the tree:

It seems the more I "kid" about wanting to cut it down, the more she "kids" about "you have to go to sleep some time, buddy boy." So I think it's gonna stay. The problem is that it's a Pin Oak and it's huge. Furthermore, in this region, Pin Oaks don't lose their leaves until sometime in March. So the tree blocks the left part of the front of the house, and then some. A solution (no, it wasn't bourbon!) occured to me last night to make the tree a part of the display: place five or six each of white, red and green floods IN the tree, and let them (under LOR) highlight it (could possibly use LED floods). You know, make it look like fancified landscape lighting. I think it might work.

Cray

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wallleyes:

Not a bad idea. I have no problem putting or having the lights on the tree. In fact, it wouldn't even be an issue (and would be pretty awesome) except that the leaves are still on the tree. It's hard to see the lights that way. I did come up with an idea, though, that may work. See my response to George and sawyer1206.

And thank you for the compliment.

Cray

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Cray Augsburg wrote:

George and sawyer1206:

So if I hear you correctly, it's not the size of your pencil, but how you write with it that counts. My wife tells me that, too! :D

To me, the number of lights is less important than the number of channels (ie, the finer the control of the existing lights.) I'm pretty happy with what I did this year, but next year with an additional 64+ channels . . .

Or maybe that's the addiction talking (hmmm).







That has pretty much been my philosophy for Christmas lights since I was a teenager putting lights on my moms house. A few lights installed correctly will always look better then a display with a million lights just strung about in static displays.


Same applies to animated Christmas Lights. A few lights synchronized well to the music(like yours) will always be more interesting then a lot of lights randomly blinking while playing some music.


A perfect example of this philosophy is the Holdman House....Not a lot of lights for the size of his house, every thing is neat, straight, well thought out, and synchronized VERY well. Hence his EXTREME popularity here.


More channels will help ensure more accurate synchronizing and will make will hold the audiences interest longer. Just my 2 cents.
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For the Kentucky Derby Festival here in Louisville each year, we have a huge fireworks display (called Thunder Over Louisville). Millions of dollars worth of fireworks are deployed. And the "great claim" is that they are "synchronized" to music.

NOT!

They play music clips of about 10 seconds each. And with each new audio clip, they fire off a barrage of a few hundred (or even thousand) fireworks. BUT THEY DON'T MATCH ANYTHING GOING ON IN THE MUSIC.

The whole thing lasts a half hour or so. I've watched it on TV each year to see if it actually works. It doesn't. Never been. Probably never will.

For me, it is SO important to have events in the music mirrored by a change (color, intensity, whatever) in the lighting. Yes, it was Holdman's display that really grabbed my attention. That guy is one creative dude. Another one I like a lot is Crook's Christmas. Great to watch because the lights and music blend so well.

On my own display, I'll add new elements. But not solely for the purpose of increasing the number of lights. Available power is always an issue, and I'll continue to explore alternatives (LEDs).

Soapbox aside, thanks much for the compliments.

Cray

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Cray,

Just go ahead and buy more controllers, If the Misses gets mad, just say "I'm sorry honey", and send me the new controllers. That will make her and me happy. You probably won't be thou. Isn't it better to make two people happy than just one??:P

And if you don't want to ship them to me, I will come and pick them up and not even charge you for my trip.:D

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Pete:

It's good to know I have support in my addiction! ;)

Actually, I think the better half thought I was crazy when I purchased the two controllers I have. Then she saw what I did, the enjoyment I got from it, and the smiles of joy on the kids (especially our four grand kids) faces.

So I have a little allowance, as long as she doesn't think I am going too overboard too quickly. And hopefully I'll add the four new controllers this year.

But If she gets too peeved and kicks me out, I'll remember your offer to help her (and yourself).:)

Cray

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Only tyring to help!!

Maybe going to Georgia in next week, will stop by and pick up anything you can not have!!!

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Pete:

I could be wrong, but I don't think Kentucky is on the way from Florida to Georgia. So that means you'd be willing to go out of your way to help out. Man, that's what I call a friend. :)

Cray

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