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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.

Al Saunders

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Al Saunders last won the day on August 1

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About Al Saunders

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 04/12/1971

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Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    Christmas Vacation
  • Location
    Brooklyn Park,MD
  • Biography
    Married to a wonderfully supportive wife, no kids.
  • Interests
    Blinking Christmas Lights! LOL Also into Football, Orioles Baseball and motorsports.
  • Occupation
    Marine Insurance Underwriter
  • About my display
    Everything is handmade. We are currently using 80 channels of LOR animation on about 10,000 lights and two CCR's.

Recent Profile Visitors

843 profile views
  1. Just starting

    Hi Droptop306, If you are running a basic LOR show and don't immediately plan to jump into the use of many LOR Cosmic Color devices and/or pixel props a basic laptop/desktop will work. I would think anything made within the last few years should be fine. I would check with the LOR site as to their recommendations for system requirements to be sure. You may find that S4 would be a better start than the new S5. As for license level that is really up to you as far as how many controllers are you planning on having. Look over their license comparison so you can see which will work best for you. I can tell you most of us find that the basic level gets obsolete VERY quickly. Hope this helps and welcome to the addiction! Al
  2. Hello!

    Hi Christmaswolf12, Welcome to the addiction! Glad you are here. Al Saunders
  3. New to animation

    Hi Dchackert, Welcome to the addiction err uh hobby! I would say the cheapest, easiest thing to do would to buy one LOR 16 channel residential controller and 2 or 3 LOR sequences and maybe see about anyone on the LOR forum under sequence sharing section willing to share a 16 or 32 channel sequence with you. The LOR sequences will be done in the 4X4 grouping they talk about on their website. Basically you have groups of 4 similar items. Like they suggest 4 roof sections, 4 upper windows on a two story house, 4 columns and 4 sections of lights on bushes. using this example you have 16 channels. The current LOR sequences are using 64 channels plus RGB elements but don't worry about them being there. If you only have one controller only the first group of 16 channels will be used. A lot of the sharing done As for licensing, if you are going to stay small for two or three years you can use the basic software license. But if you think you will be expanding rapidly (and most all of us do) you may want to go ahead and get the advanced license. No need for pro yet unless you really take off and start venturing into pixels quickly. The other piece of advice for starting small and easy is to put up some static lights that will not be animated and then have your 4 groups of 4 do the animation. Trust me, your family and friends will love the whole sequencing the lights to music thing and visitors will like it two. It's not about how many lights you have and if they dance to the music and it's not about how many channels you have doing the animating. And, it's not even if you did the actual programming/sequencing the lights to the music. What's important is putting smiles on faces, especially children and making life long memories. This is what is told by the great Chuck Smith. What we do is important, it's making life long memories that families will remember and especially children will remember that will grow up and talk about that "one house" that did this cool thing for the community and that house is yours. Christmas is a magical time, the average viewer won't know you are only running 16 channels as opposed to 32. Just doing it and spreading Christmas cheer is what it's all about. Go get a controller, the USB adaptor, software and some sequences and enjoy making people happy without worrying about light count or channel count. Later, Al
  4. Moving- all for sale and give away

    Hi Glenn, Sorry to hear you need to downsize. I'd be interested in most of the free items and maybe some of your for sale items. I am moving to Centreville from Brooklyn Park. And I am going to a much larger yard so need to expand. Please PM me so we can discuss more details. Thanks, Al
  5. So who's going to the Expo?

    I'll be there! This will be my third one. Been going every other year starting in 2013. So looking forward to it! Later, Al
  6. thinking of getting LOR but nervous

    Sure, In the tools at the upper left of the sequence editor is a tab called play. Click on it and at the very bottom is an option for speed. Drop down to speed and hover over it and you'll see the default of normal and slower and faster options. I use this all the time especially trying to find beats. Hope this helps. Later, Al
  7. thinking of getting LOR but nervous

    I love LOR. It's a bit of a learning curve but you can easily start with either free or better yet LOR sequences and have a few premade ones to use this year. If you use LOR sequences and if other ones either bought or free are programmed to the "LOR" way/layout then they will work and look great. Look up on their website about the approach in decorating. I know some people are like the "4X4 doesn't work for me or my display." And I get that for someone that has 5 trees or 6 bushes but since you'd be just starting out you could layout your display to follow the 4X4 way of setting up the channels and the LOR sequences will look great because they are programmed/sequences based on that principal. The most important thing is to have fun and make life long memories for your viewers. Later, Al
  8. Expo 2017

    Hey Ralph, I'll be there and Paul Glancy said he'll be there Friday and Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it! Later, Al
  9. 10th Annual Virginia mini

    Hi VA folks, the Yankee from MD will be at the mini again this year. I'll be sure to bring my BBQ meatballs again. As for the pixel topic in relation to LOR I can help but I'm no expert but will be glad to try and answer any questions to the best of my ability. Looking forward to seeing everyone! Later, Al
  10. Christmas Expo Lebenon Tn

    I'll be there Wednesday until Sunday. Really looking forward to it. My wife and I love Tennessee! She'll be exploring while I'll be in classes. Can't wait to see what the vendors will have on display for us. See you all there there. Later, Al
  11. Which LOR package for move from Regular to pixels?

    I would suggest watching the tutorials on LOR's website about using Superstar and PE and see which one seems easier to pickup. For me Superstar was pretty easy but then again I've taken a few of Brian Bruderer's classes at Christmas Expos. I also took the Pixel Editor class at the 2015 Expo and it seems not to bad to pick up but again the programs have their pluses and minuses. Superstar, for me, is a better sequencing tool but it is a bit harder to get some effects to work and look good. The PE is real good for effects but it isn't a sequencing tool, more of an effects generator then you drop that effect where you want it. Since you already use and know LOR , I'm thinking Superstar may be the way to go. As far as the LOR license levels are concerned, for Superstar you just need the advanced level but for PE you'll need the Pro level. Hope this helps. Good luck, Al
  12. Which LOR package for move from Regular to pixels?

    Hi Carsonsig, I would suggest the advanced license and add Superstar. My opinion is that even though Pixel Editor (PE) is a powerful tool it has a bit more of a learning curve. Both Superstar and PE can do a lot of the same effects and control the same kind of lights. You might find more CCR/DMX sequences using Superstar than you will programmed by PE. Also, Superstar is more of a "sequencing" tool whereas PE is more of an "Effects Generator" similar to X-Lights. If you have a grasp on LOR sequencing using Sequence Editor I'm pretty sure you'll find Superstar a bit easier to learn. PE isn't as hard as X-lights but it still relies on creating effects that you then drop in the timeline at whatever point in time of the song you want. This is just my opinion in using Superstar quite a bit, some in PE and dabbling in X-Lights. I hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know. Thanks, Al
  13. Help w/Pixel Editor or Superstar

    Hi Dclark6623, Sorry for just now seeing your post and getting back to you. Both programs are very useful. I currently use Superstar but have dabbled in the Pixel Editor. One piece of advice I can give you is my opinion is that Superstar is a better "sequencing tool" whereas Pixel Editor is a better "Effects tool." What I mean by that is Superstar seems to be better at creating beats to the music and shorter effects in sync with the music as it changes. Pixel Editor is more like X-Lights in that you create effects like spirals or bars or snowflakes and then drop the effect into the timeline of the song. So that you end up with snowflakes falling starting at X point in the song and going for whatever length of time you choose. As with Superstar I feel it is better for doing actual "Sequencing" with where you have sections of your prop doing something based on the beat maybe and then another section doing something else based on maybe lyrics that are going on. From what I know and have learned either and both programs can be set up to control your entire display/show. IMHO it comes down to do you want an effects generator like X-Lights or do you want a sequencer like the rest of the LOR tools? Both have a learning curve and both once mastered can create fantastic shows. I hope this helps some at least. Later, Al
  14. Mega Tree Insights

    Hi Lazy Chris, Welcome to the insanity! Since you use the "ready to go" sequences I would think the easiest thing would be to have a mega tree using only 8 channels. The newer LOR sequences are 64 channels and include RGB. On the 4th controller/unit are two sets of 8 channel mega trees. These sequences incorporate these mega trees into the whole sequence building onto your original 32 channels. So you could use your same 32 channels, buy another 16 channel controller or just an 8 channel if you don't think you'll be expanding any for a few years. Then buy whatever sequence you want, use the first two controllers-skip controller #3 and use controller #4 for your mega tree. Since the sequence is set up using two 8 channel mega trees I doubt it would look good to use all 16 channels on one mega tree. I would think not many effects in the sequence would chase from one tree to the other. I would think it wouldn't look too smooth and in unison. Check out the videos of the newer sequences in the LOR sequence store and see their channel layout to see what I'm talking about with the 2 mega trees. I hope this helps. Later, Al
  15. Lor software questions

    Hi Thebug, When you say animator are you referring to the LOR Visualizer? They do have a program called animator but it is a very old program that not many people still use. If we are talking the Visualizer, after you draw your lines/arches etc. on your background image you save it as whatever name you want it to be. Then you can open it along with the LOR Sequence Editor and as long as you have the control Visualizer tool checked you can see how your lights will look as you sequence. This is done sequence by sequence and is usually used to see your sequencing work as you are programming your sequence. I've never tried to view it while playing a whole show of several sequences. Maybe someone else can answer that part for you. I also have never done or drawn a spiral tree. I think there probably visualizer files shared in the Visualizer section of LOR forum for spiral trees. Hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know and I'll try and help best I can. Later, Al