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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 Flanigan

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 12/01/1962

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
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    Christmas in Equality
  • Twitter

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    The letters I get telling me how the display has made their Christmas better.
  • Location
    Equality, Illinois, USA
  • Biography
    Hey, I'm just this guy; you know??
  • Interests
    Anything that explodes or involves high voltage
  • Occupation
    RF Engineer
  • About my display
    112,000 lights with 50,00 as spares. Running D-Light hardware and AURORA sequencing software.
  1. So is it just me?

    Putting on The Suit and handing out candy canes tends to negate the Flight Instinct, but one tends to freeze their chestnuts off if out too long.
  2. Display/Show Name

    Just "Christmas in Equality". Calling the display, "Huge Computerized Light Show Done by a Talented Engineer in Equality" sounds a bit arrogant, and the URL would be way too long! ;-)
  3. Hadn't planned on doing a show again this year due to cash constraints. Then I got one of those "Casey Casem" PMed to me on the show's FB page. What can I say? I'm a sucker for stuff like that. So while the show won't be as large (just my yard instead of having it in two yards), and using sequences from the early days (2006-ish) it should satisfy the masses - at least a soon as I can find one of the two USB-RS485 dongles that have been misplaced. Shooting for a Saturday setup and going live that night - yeah, how many people have had anything like that go smoothly? LOL
  4. Christmas in Equality is back!

    After a three year hiatus, the show is coming back. Just got some good news that will allow enough cash to get 'er done. Of course, the show is "old school" tech, no DMX-y-z wow type stuff. But hey......
  5. Ring Roller Evaluations

    Looks like the pics didn't get embedded. Here they are.
  6. Ring Roller Evaluations

    Getting an 'early' start on this year's show (really should have started three months ago!), and found that the show was suffering from an iron deficiency. Yup wireframes. Pricing ready-built 6' wreaths and snowmen....well....you should know how that goes. Suffice it to say the tools and materials would have cost a fraction of that. So, already having a welding rig, vise, anvil and whatnot; it was time for the next tool purchase - a Ring Roller aka Band Roller. The old axiom, "You get what you pay for", still holds true . The first purchase, a roller from Harbor Freight, disintegrated after about 100' of 1/4" rod. I had misgivings about it to begin with after seeing it at the store - plastic, Plastic, PLASTIC. And where did it fail? At one of the many plastic high pressure points (hinge). Took it back for a refund. After wasting time and money on that debacle, it was determined to eliminate ALL plastic from the equation. The next step up from HF was from another company selling a pedestal mounted roller for $250. At this point I stepped back and did some studying. I didn't want a $250 tool purchased 1500 miles away breaking - or worse - not working worth a darn at all. Time/money was of the essence here. Some searches on a few DIY sites proved the design was sound and fairly rugged. I then priced the materials needed and time to build. Came out to be cheaper to buy the $250 China Roller. It was ordered and began the week-long wait for delivery. The next step up from these are the $1000+ rigs - no way, Jose! On arrival - along with an accusatory glare from the delivery guy (weighed in at 81lbs lol) I discovered that there was only very minor assembly needed, and it would be ready to rock. Or so I thought. Ahhh, gotta love the way the Chinese pack things. Yup - missing a pin. Off to the hardware store. Assembly is pretty straightforward - only tricky part is keeping the shear-pin in place while tapping on the drive handle hub. If you plan on permanently mounting to a concrete floor, get some decent anchor bolts, as the ones included are a joke. Everything was somewhat loose despite the use of lock nuts, so metric hex wrenches and box wrenches should be in your game plan. Time to start bending! ?!?! WTH?!?! That very nice knurling (the diamond pattern to help pull/push the work through) on the drive roller - was disappearing. I doubt that the metal was case-hardened after it was knurled. Sigh. Disassemble the drive roller, chuck it in the lathe (everyone has a metal lathe, right?) and add some coarser knurling, then some field-expedient case hardening with a MAPP torch. Reassemble. To be fair at this point, I was not not giving the rod any forward-assist - relying on the drive roller to drag the work through. For those of you who buy one, I'm certain that giving it assistance will prevent the knurling from wearing down prematurely. Let it be known that making circles under 3' in diameter is easy. Anything larger is going to be a two-person job. One to turn the wheel, and another to hold the bent metal straight so it doesn't come out looking like a broken coil spring; in addition to keeping some mild forward pressure to assist the feeding. I alleviated this a bit by cutting a 1/32"D x.25W" groove in each outer roller to keep the work feeding in straight, and putting a wire hook in the tree branch overhead to support the upper portion of the work.. This freed up a hand to turn the wheel, and to feed the rod with the other. A casual observer might think I was playing some form of demented Twister. But hey, it works out well. So far, have gone through 430' of rod (that's two 6' wreaths and two 8' snowmen, btw) and it hasn't had any issues. To save people some learning time, here are few of the settings for some circles. Do not take them as 'canon', but more as a rough guide as there will surely be some differences in manufacture. The entry/exit rollers have three positions.1st position is all the way in, towards the central drive roller, with the 2nd and 3rd positions being further out from the drive roller. Scale Diameter Roller placement 2.75 18" !st position 3.25 40" 3rd position 2.75 6ft 3rd position 4.75 3tf 3rd position Happy Bending!
  7. Looking To Wrap My Tree With Lights

    Friends don't let friends post while on a caffeine jag.
  8. Set Your Dvr's

    Was going to enter, but work for an ABC affiliate, which makes me ineligable. Wishing all the best to the competitors!
  9. My favorite christmas tune is...

    Pretty much anything Classical or Irish. I do try to include a rather large eclectic mix in the light show, however.
  10. I Can't Get Motivated / What Keeps You Going?

    What keeps me motivated? After stepping two piles of dog doo my neighbors, the Bumpus dogs, deposited in my yard today... Sheer bull headed Irish stubborness! I 'returned' the presents to their yard, btw.
  11. Christmas in Equality http://www.christmasinequality.com Yes, that actually is the name of the town.
  12. Whew! Bulk of the programming done for Christmas. Now just waiting for that slow boat from China to bring my RGB goodies!

  13. Your sequencing is SO bad.....

    Its so bad, Richard Holdman chucked his display and now uses a single unmodified Mr. Christmas! Its so bad, doctors now drive patients by to see if they're prone to seizures! Its so bad, Japanese B-Movie producers want to consult with you to see how you manage to get the audio out of sync with the lights! Its so bad, LED lights commit suicide even before being plugged in! Its so bad, the county assessor has lowered land values for your half of town. Its so bad you've been banned from Walmart - so they can't be accused of aiding and abetting.
  14. Hi Chuck! I'm in something of a quandry. The new poster ReindeerGames is releasing a "new" sequencer app. Problem is that it is Spectrum 2.0 - or would have been if Darryl Quinn hadn't fired the developers because it was worse than Spectrum 1.0. I can't really blame the developer for trying to recoup some losses, but this whole deal (despite the free offering) seems underhanded and just a bit dishonest. Why the secrecy? So, should I just turn away and say nothing, or risk inciting a nasty donnybrook. Thanks in advance for any input you may have.