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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.

chuckd

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About chuckd

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    Norman, Oklahoma, USA
  • Occupation
    Retired
  1. Great Christmas Light Fight

    I'm not sure how the Loyas got away with that, I don't believe the rules changed in this area from last year. For those of us that were on this show and truly build our own displays, this is disappointing. However, it's great to hear Randall is going to be on. He advised me a few years back when I first set up my twin 70 foot trees. But Randall, I can't believe you tried to RGB your tree though! That's way too much work for me!
  2. Set Your Dvr's

    Nope, I can tell you that for us, and for quite a few of the others, we followed the rules to the letter. That means no professional help, no paid programming, nobody paid for anything, ever. In our case, our family sets up the display and takes it down, every year without exception. I personally do 100% of the programming from scratch; that means laying down the beat track, and sequencing every single flash-able effect in the display. I am a bit suspicious that nearly everybody's RGB tree seems to have exactly the same programming effects (Brian Brudurer's work perhaps)?
  3. Set Your Dvr's

    That was our display. We didn't pick that song, the producers did.
  4. Set Your Dvr's

    I've been sitting back watching all this, and thought I'd throw in my two cents on the Lincoln Lights list. I'm sure my ideas aren't shared by all, but that's what makes America great! 1. I do agree with two categories of display: static and synchronized. They're very different, and need to be judged accordingly. 2. These are supposed to be the greatest displays in America (I know quite a few huge awesome displays that aren't on this show, and that's an unfortunate thing). So to me, budgets go out the window. If the Osborn Christmas display still existed privately, it should have been on this show. These are supposed to be mind-blowing displays. 3. If you're good, you're good. I'm not sure what winning a prior show had to do with this particular, but I really don't have a problem with the Lynch house winning, or winning every single show every year for that matter. It's up to other people to beat him. 4. The lack of charity mention, and the magnitude is disappointing. It seems that the guy who's raised $100 for the local animal shelter is equal to the guy who's raised $250,000 for Cancer, or something else. I do think that a community effect is important for these displays. 5. The rest of America doesn't want to see all the light setup that we nerds do. Frankly, the viewing public gets a little tired of us in about 10 minutes and wants to see something else. Yes, that's a lot of 'cutting room floor' footage. 6. I like this idea, but in effect you were selected as a top 20 display in the US, which should be some kind of reward in itself. 7. I'm skipping this one..... LOL 8. And this one too.... but you did make a submission video that every one of them saw. 9. They do need to put in extra effort to make the synchronized displays be 'in-sync' with their music. You're absolutely right that most of the synched displays look stupid due to this problem. 10. That's all about the money! If LOR paid huge bucks to ABC, you can bet those labels would be shown. One thing that jumps out at me from watching is that this hobby seems like 'fish tales' .... everybody exaggerates the number of lights and size of their displays by a HUGE margin! The Larsen house looks awesome, but no possible way he has a million lights! Everybody should have had to prove their claims. Maybe they're counting every pixel of their projector.......
  5. I run over 4000 strands of LED's, and can definitely say NO, they do not pay for themselves. Not really that reliable, either (I lose about 50 strands each year, mostly half-strand outages). Electricity usage is way less, but it would take years to pay the difference. I originally thought the reason I wanted LED"s was for the reliability. Can't say that's been my experience. However, in my opinion, LED"s look far better than incandescents, so I'm staying with LED"s for sure.
  6. Best Fm Freq In Okc

    I've used 107.1 since I started. The nearest station that transmits on 107.1 is a weak station out of Ardmore, so it should be fine.
  7. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    I can tell you this year, that not only will the V3 controllers NOT fade my existing CDI LED strands properly without terminators, I'm finding that on many of the longer runs I actually need TWO to work properly. Effectively, I'm needing roughly 22K, 2 watt resistors to make the V3 controller fade my LED's properly. Of course, every manufacturers LED's may or may not work differently. Unfortunately, it's trial and error.
  8. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    Ralph, I replied to your PM, but in addition here, I always put my terminators where I can easily get to them. Just for fun, at the bottom by the box, put in one of those three way plug adapters and stick three terminators there to see what happens. It certainly won't hurt anything. Most of this stuff is trial and error anyway. It's also possible that your strings are of a design where they can't be dimmed. How well does it work for single strands?
  9. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    I noticed nobody had responded to you about this (I haven't been on this forum in about a year... sorry about that). For 230V, I'd be using a two watt 47K resistor. In your case, you're asking the resistor to dissipate over 1.1 watts, so we jump up to 2 for safety. Here's a link: They're slightly larger than the 1 watt version, so it might be a tight fit in that plug. If it doesn't lay down nicely, you could stand it up a bit above the screws (there's a lot of room in that plug housing).
  10. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    Wow, I haven't looked at this thread for awhile, and it seems to have drifted away from what I had originally intended. Let me throw out a few things I've learned since my first post here. 1. Most of the popular LED strings (CDI, Holiday Creations, etc) are helped dramatically by the addition of a resistor load (snubber). However, there's no way to know about other brands of LED strands like are found at Home Depot, Wal Mart, Target, etc. Slap a Glade plug-in on one of those before you dive into building anything. 2. The Leviton plugs mentioned in the post are still 65 cents apiece if bought in any type of quantity. 3. If I only had 32 channels or so, I wouldn't be too concerned about how much they cost. I'd probably grab them from Home Depot or somewhere else. However, I have over 1000 channels, so keeping that cost down is a consideration. 4. This is a solderless, wire strip-less method that is very, very quick to implement. If you only have a few channels and happen to have a lot of cut plugs laying around and enjoy soldering, have at it. Most everybody can use a screwdriver, and that is pretty much the only tool needed (wire snips too) to build these. 5. You can put these anywhere in the channel. At the end, the middle, the beginning, soldered directly in the LOR box, whatever. Generally put one per channel. If your strand is exceptionally long (perhaps 40 or 50 LED strands end to end), you might need two, but I'd doubt it. 6. If your LED's benefit from these resistors, then the more strands you have hooked together end-to-end, the more you'll need one of these snubbers. 7. A 47K one watt power resistor like specified will not burn up, or create a fire hazard. This is normal and recommended use for a resistor of that size. If you get some other value or power rating, things can go up in smoke (literally). 8. The last few of these I made I didn't bother using silicone sealant. 9. Many people think their LED strands are dimming fine without resistors, but are often amazed at the difference when a resistor is added to the strand. Fades are usually far more linear with resistors. 10. Building one of these types of snubbers takes far, far less time than soldering resistors inside the LOR box, or soldering a resistor across two stripped wires or plugs. I can build one in under 30 seconds if I really try to be fast.
  11. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    One terminator per channel. Doesn't matter where you put them in the strand.
  12. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    I found if you pop the box of plugs in the oven at the lowest temperature over 100 that you can dial up (mine is 110 degrees), those caps get really flexible and pop off quite nicely. Don't be afraid to muscle them, I haven't broken one yet. And, if you have a double oven, pop in some toasted ravioli in the other one and have a snubber making party! Invite some friends!
  13. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    Again, I'm not the guy who invented this concept, but rather found some cool plugs from Ace Hardware that make them really easy to make. I perhaps did a bit more footwork with scope traces and all, but I'm not the inventor here. I too spent the first 10 years of my career as an electronics designer. The last 15 I've been primarily in software, so I'm admittedly a bit rusty with my hardware skills. However, a true 47K resistor of the proper wattage (1/2 watt or higher) across 120V is a perfectly 'correct' thing to do engineering wise. If your resistor is bad (some weird value), then all guarantees are off, but that holds true for anything else as well.
  14. hey im new to this site and was wondering how to put that light o rama thing on the bottom of my post thank you for the help

  15. Easiest Terminators/Snubbers to make

    There's still head scratching here. A 47K resistor across 120V will only pull about 2.5 ma, unless it's defective. There's just no other way to pump in more juice. So I still give a resounding 'Hmmmmmm'. Also, can you explain your dimmer tests a bit more? When you added LED's to your strand, you were actually able to dim more effectively? This is opposite of what we see here with strands today. Can you elaborate a bit on what size these bulbs are, and what makes them up circuit-wise?
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