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Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • 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.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. 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.

Long Lake Lights

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About Long Lake Lights

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 08/12/1952

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.longlakelights.com
  • Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/longlakelightsdisplay/
  • Twitter
    https://twitter.com/beeiilll

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    I took my mother with me to go cut down a Christmas Tree the year before I graduated high school and enlisted in the Air Force. She trudged along through a foot and a half of snow with me for about 45 minutes before we found a really nice tree that she liked. I cut it down and we dragged it back to the car and home. Set it up the next day and decorated it together.
    I really think that it was the best Christmas I ever had being able to do that with her.
  • Location
    Long Lake, New York, USA
  • Biography
    Self employed electrican/plumber/carpenter. Living 2 hours away from the nearest "big city" means that I get to wear a lot of hats to make a living. But it keeps life interesting and there is always something new to learn.
  • Interests
    Electronics, decorating, computers, and high powered Rocketry
  • Occupation
    self employed electrician/Carpenter
  • About my display
    It will just never be big enough !!!

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  1. Great write-up, qberg! This should be a "sticky" note for those who use LEDs. I made my own rectifiers for a few strings that had bad rectifiers on them but that GBL06 looks like a great alternative. I built 10 mini trees using LEDs with G12 bulbs and love the darn things. Getting tough to find them as well. I also have some G20 bulb ones that I used for bushes and they too are harder to find so repairing strings is a "big deal" to those of us with a pretty good investment in these things! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all as well.
  2. The short answer is it depends on how the string is wired! There are many different ways and means to how light strings are or can be made. Voltage divider or double circuits, multiple branches, and more all add to the "fun" of just trying to replace a burned out bulb at times for sure. Take a look at Betty's Christmas House light list. There are 2.5, 3.5, 5, 6, and 12-volt bulbs listed on there alone! I have some that take 12-volt bulbs, some with 2.5-volt bulbs, and a few with 6-volt bulbs in them. I think sometimes that there are people who engineer these things that really try to "think outside the box" and make it a bit tougher on those of us who know Ohm's law but wonder how in the heck did they do that (or maybe WHY in the heck did they do that)!
  3. Well, it has been a while since I walked the halls of Planet Christmas for sure! Sadly now, I am in the position that I have to sell my house and probably won't be doing a display anymore due to health issues and not really knowing what is going to happen in the coming future. I have around 160 blow molds now (some are even still in the original bags!). Most all of them are in good to excellent condition as I have always strived to take care of them. My biggest problem is "Where can I go look up some of these and see what they might be worth?". I don't want to give them away but I am also not going to try and charge an arm and a leg for them. I have a lot of the same type (ie, I have 25 of the TPI trumpet angels with 4 of each color), 16 of the drummer boy, and so on. I just want to be fair to buyers as well as to myself as the sale of my display is going to be my retirement at this point! Thanks for any help you can give or point me in the right direction. I won't be ready to sell any till later on in the spring as I am in the process of moving my things out of the house now and doing the sale of it first.
  4. You might want to go look at the DIY Christmas forum and see if there are some options you might like. http://doityourselfchristmas.com/ There are many people on there who have or are doing just what you want to do. If you want to get into using pixels then you are pretty much going to have to go with some form of sequencing software to make them do what you want. Whether it would be Light_O_rama, Vixen, xLights, or another sequencer, it will pretty much be the way to go for future changes and improvements as you might want to do more later on. Of course, if you are talented in the construction and design stages of stuff then you might want to build your own controller and light strings. There are a few other options such as on AliExpress for controllers that can control a bunch of pixels without having to do a lot of programming as well.
  5. Sad indeed! I have accumulated around 170 or so molds over the years and this is another reason I want to hang onto mine longer now. I made a large display with them and have many of the same types such as drummers. angels, trumpet angels (have 25 of these in different colors) choir people! I want to replace all the C7 incandescent bulbs in them with dimmable C7 LED bulbs in some and pixels in some others but with my back problems I have not set up my display for the last couple of years. I was thinking of selling some stuff but still have the idea that maybe I can set up some things so I hold out hope on a display yet! Now I guess I will have to keep things just so they will not disappear entirely. Especially when I see some molds sitting on the side of the road for pickup by the trash collector! That is sad when many times the molds justs need some TLC and taking care of to bring it up to looking just fine. Times change as do all things I guess and certainly business is business but can be sad to see an era going away.
  6. Hey Kevin, Welcome to the Planet Christmas forum! There are a lot of people that have done repair work on blow molds so hang in there and let them get a chance to see this post and respond. I have repaired a few myself as well as repainted so I understand your desire to take your time and "do it right", especially with some great old molds like these. Too bad that someone stole the camel and baby Jesus from this set. But keep an eye out and you may just find ones to use with these for a complete set. I know that there is one fellow who had Bonners take a set of these and repair and repaint them for him for a church display that he sets up. You would have to sit down to see what that costs but the molds were "professionally" restored and look wonderful. As far as repairing them, there are many ways to fill in broken sections using milk carton plastic and a torch, heating up metal knives to melt the plastic in place, hot air guns, etc.. I have a hot air and an iron plastic welding kits that I use. The biggest problem is knowing the type of plastic that you are working with to get a good repair, otherwise, you run the risk of burning or getting the plastic too hot or not hot enough to "stick"! But the use of milk carton plastic seems like the most common repair medium for most of us. Stripping and painting also get different reviews. I use a water based stripper (3M Easy Stripper) which seems to work very well on the overall. Less chance of damaging things as you might with a solvent stripper although the water-based can take a couple of applications to get all the old paint off. Best to work in small sections at a time on a mold doing the stripping and washing with clean water. A good cloth washcloth makes scrubbing pretty easy but the wash pads with a scrubber surface will help as well. Use caution if you use steel wool as it can scratch up the surface if you go too hard or use too coarse a grit. Very fine (0000) wool will take off the paint with the water stripper just fine with a bit of elbow grease work! Many different types and makes of paints out there also but I find that Krylon Fusion for plastic gets the best results for me. It sticks and covers very nicely. Although I use an airbrush for my painting work now, the "rattle cans" will work fine with some careful masking prep work. Use thin coats and build up the paint to avoid runs. Also be careful to not make the coats too thick or else the light will not shine through evenly. If you can find an old mold that needs work to practice on first would be a great place to start. Easy to find on eBay and the like. I would recommend you do as you have a very nice set of mold in those nativity pieces and you should take the time to restore them properly to do them and your grandparents proud! Mel Fisher is a great blow mold person who knows a great deal about molds and their history and construction. Carrie Sansing is a good person who has done a lot of repairs. Here is an article by her you to view - http://www.planetchristmas.com/blow-molds/ There are also several people that use to be on here that have way more experience with repairs and painting than I do as well. I only saw your post as the Tapatalk program alerted me fo this post. I don't hang out on Planet Christmas much nowadays like I did a few years ago. Best of luck with the restoration on these! Hopefully, I have given you some little bits of info that might help. Bill Ellick www.longlakelights.com
  7. I'm currently in the process of changing mine (160+) molds over to LEDs. With the pricing coming out of China on the C7 size dimmable bulbs, it just made sense to me to change. I am looking at using pixel nodes on some of the bigger ones to get better lighting in them in the head areas.
  8. Here is a shot of the big controller in my 2009 display.
  9. Yes 14 AWG stranded wire from the control boards to each outlet 12 AWG stranded from the power switches at the top to each control board 8 AWG stranded from the power connectors on the bottom up to the switches (each connector feeds 2 boards) I built the darn thing to be able to handle anything that I could think of for lights at the time. I think I could use it as a snow melt machine with enough bulbs plugged in - LOL. Also at the top right of the picture you can just see one of the two weatherproof Cat 5E connectors on the box as well. I did not have the interior Cat cables hooked up from them to the boards when I took the photo. The 4 slots at the bottom have plastic grommet edging around them for protection and is where I bring up all the wires from the tree to plug in. I have another of this size cabinet to use as well as one that is 24" x 24" than will fit 4 control boards but not the outlets. I have not figured how I will use them yet but looks more and more like they will house power supplies and some J1Sys controllers (P12R and P2R) for pixel stuff in the future. I also use a bunch of these single enclosures for controllers as well. I got a bunch of them off an eBay listing for a great deal and they work great. I mounted 12 - 20 amp GFI receptacles (each on its own circuit from a sub panel) under my front deck to get power for the display. I ran it all in conduit and weatherproof pvc boxes with covers that you can see under the single unit here.
  10. Sorry couldn't resist it. Here is my enclosure for the 4 LOR controllers for my mega tree. I am proud of it to say the least.
  11. Easiest thing is to go to a dollar or thrift store and buy some storage totes. Then you stick the controller on the cover of the tote, put the tote over the controller and put a weight on it so it won't blow off. Then after the season you use the tote to store lights, cords, and whatever in for the off season. Dual purpose usage and fairly inexpensive! That tote under the arch has 2 controllers under it! Been doing it for 3 years this way with no water or GFI trip problems at all.
  12. I think that most everybody has had some form of trouble in the last year or two it seems. I know that I have been pretty depressed over a lot of things as well as I have artithis, tendonitis, and a bad back that is really getting to be almost unbearable some times. Also the bad economy has taken most of the home building work out of the area I live in so finding jobs is a very tough prospect now. There are quite a few of us (at least those who have not moved away yet) that are fighting for the little jobs that come around not often enough. Seems like we barely make enough to pay even a few of the monthly bills and then a new month starts up and we are still behind. I have been giving more and more thuoght to selling my display to pay things but I really hate too. The people here have come to really enjoy the shows in December as a "winter break" and I like to do it for them as well. But it seems like things don't really improve much here even in the summer when this little town goes from just under 1000 full time residents to over 5000 summer people. Plus this area is the middle of a forever wild park that has a lot of restrictions on building anyway. Another thing is that my town is an hour and a half from a city of any size (ie - 30,000 or more people) and that does not help much. So you see, things may not be so bad for you after! There will always be someone who is worse off than you think you are (and I know because there are younger peopler here with a couple of kids that are worse off than me). I scrape by and make do without a lot to try and survive but I do believe that I am on a "lost cause" due to a lot of things as well as my health. Only time will tell. So hang in there and count your blessings. Things can always get worse but we can make them better if we try. Hey, I woke up and it does not look like a bad day outside so bonus - it's a winner so far !!!
  13. Make sure that you tell your wife to be careful when she puts in the driveway that she doesn't interfere with the display setup - LOL.
  14. Take care of yourself. Pneumonia is nothing to play around with. Glad you found out what it is and have it in control now. Feel better.
  15. I'm with Cory on this one. Welding Aluminum is not for the faint of heart or untrained. It takes skill and practice to do a good job, both of which I lack in this case. I have a MIG welder and do some steel work with it but I have used the Dura Fix to repair some aluminum things and it works very well. I would recommend it for this type of project for sure.
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