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  • Christmas 2017 countdown has begun. Most people reveal their displays the day after Thanksgiving. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.


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About vkjohnson

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 03/27/1989

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Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    Helping my father put up lights when I was a child.
  • Location
    Paxton, east central Illinois
  • Biography
    Small town guy with big ideas.
  • Interests
    Extreme Christmas Decorating, woodworking.
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    140,000 mini-lights and C9s on 336 channels of LOR. Still all incandescent and always will be.

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  1. SPT help

    Yep, do this, specifically the female one of you have voltage in the cord itself. Sometimes when the plug cap slides on it can push the wire and bend the vampire prong over so it doesn't make contact.
  2. SPT help

    There are online tables you can look up for AWG and ampacity at a maximum voltage drop. I think it is recomended at a max around 5-10% for a steady load like a light bulb. Anyway.. At 2 amps I estimate you should easily be good for 150 feet. Try to find those tables though. What exactly is the problem?
  3. SPT help

    Depends entirely on the number of amps the load is. 18 awg or 16 awg spt?
  4. sorry..

    There are plenty of ways you can still earn money. Many folks this time of year probably need help cleaning up their yards or would pay for snow removal later this winter. You could even offer to put Christmas lights up for people. Anyone on the forum who does seek donations does it to raise money for charity. There are a few who have started earning money from Christmas displays but they have done so by turning their hobby into a career where other people will pay them for their services elsewhere, aside from a personal display.
  5. Wrapping trees

    yank 'em tight. If that doesn't work I guess you could cheat it with a staple gun. I can see it being a bigger problem in Florida with the sun and warmth, the wires may expand and slip. In the cold, dead north you can wrap them on a warm day in November, and the cold temps later keep them tight.
  6. Guide Wire Size

    I use the galvanized stranded similar to what you are looking at. I use 1/8" instead of 1/16. You're talking a difference of 100 lb strength vs. 340 lb. In all likelihood the 1/16 would hold fine, but I took the insurance and went with 1/8" Still disappears at night. Heck.. I think you can even order it in black if you want. Most failures tend to be in the pole or in the anchors. I like steel water or gas pipe and mobile home anchors.
  7. Question on Value

    Used controllers go often for $150-$175. Basic software I think is $60. It's been a while since I've been on the LOR site, but they do have sequence packages for sale you can compare the value to. Combine that with whatever a used laptop ma be worth and you could probably come up with a number somewhat close to that. I've never found great appeal in plug-and-play sequences. They don't account for what your display layout may be, and learning the process of sequencing allows you to get even more creative with things. As you get started you can always take someone else's sequences and edit them as you wish.
  8. roof light frame

    I have used 1/2" strips of plywood, primed and then painted black. Staple gun an zip ties hold the C9s on. A set of 25 ft strands takes three 8 ft pieces. You can splice vampire plugs on to the end of each piece, but I just ran all three pieces together and added zip ties to the ends of the plywood to secure the wires and fold them up like an accordion. Once on the roof I unfold them and secure to shingles every 3 feet with a shingle clip and zip tie. Obviously, for a shorter run you can just cut a piece short and shorten the strands. I have seen others talk about using vinyl J-channel and drilling holes in it just large enough for the bulb bases so it rides between the socket and the bulb when you screw the bulb in.
  9. Newbie Help

    Yes, to reiterate what Big J said, vampire plugs will only work on the older style c9 or c7 strings that have screw type sockets. You can buy retro fit LED bulbs from online vendors to fit in those strings which is common practice among some, but so is using normal store-bought LEDs that you can't cut to shorten.
  10. Newbie Help

    If you're using standard lights in a series circuit where removing one bulb causes them all to go out, you can just double back the strand on itself. If you use strands that use a parallel circuit like a C9 or C7 string with screw bulbs you can cut them to fit and place vampire plugs on the end. Same process is used to make custom length extension cords. That topic is covered extensively on this forum as well.
  11. What is your location? I'm guess the pictures are just a small sample of everything.
  12. Where to sell new Christmas light sets ??

    I guarantee people would be interested in purchasing the whole lot, the drive distance just has to be economical. If you were anywhere I might be headed in the next couple months, I'd be interested, but Kansas City isn't one of those places unfortunately. This forum is a great place to get interest. So is one of the facebook groups like LOR users
  13. Mega tree hook heads

    Lighting up Paxton guy was just about to say it's a good setup with washers. Lol. That being said, next time I'd probably predrill the PVC head and epoxy on some nails or hooks. Pulleys are a must though.
  14. Mega tree hook heads

    Doubling or tripling up on the hooks would be a common practice. With the larger heads I see them being too wide so your tree top wouldn't be quite as pointy. It's a give and take, but either would be fine. I have fit 96 strands on a 16 hook head. It gets crowded but it does fit.
  15. LED's that look like Incandescent

    Some of the full-wave vendors used to offer a color called "warm candle white." Creative Displays may have been one of them. I don't think they offer it anymore though. I never used them myself, but they were advertised as a bit warmer than standard "warm white." IMO, warm white seams just a touch too cool, but not by much ...it probably has more to do with the intensity and brightness of the LED than anything. I find mixing warm white and incans outside still works alright, but I put warm white inside on a tree and the effect indoors was much to bright and cooler in color than the incan appearance. 2017 vendor links... http://www.highcountrylights.com/christmas-resources/pre-sale-info.html