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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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boarder3

I want to learn how to make my own controller

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Please help me undersatnd whats the difference between ssr box and an olson board. I dont get it been reading and still cant find proper instructions on what it does and what else i need. Please dont tell me i should just buy new because i want to learn how to do this. Ive taken on things alot harder than this with lots of reading and a little wasting of money i usually learn how its done. Im an electrician and have a wiring backround just need help with pcb and need to learn what i really need to build. I want at leat 32 channels and want to sync to music not to concerned with dimming yet. HELPPPPP THE NEWBEE you where one once too. Now let the dumb comments begin

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Ok. I may be able to help. Try looking at the Icicle forum in DIY control. This is capable of controlling the lights for not to much money but it can not currently sync to music. It may be able to in the future. Otherwise you may have to buy something.

Hope this helps

Jake

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Let the dumb comments begin? Uh, ok...

We are here to HELP you. We are not here to do it for you. Nobody here is a paid instructor. There is plenty of information here, on the main planetchristmas site, and at www.computerchristmas.com which I already pointed you to in another thread where you basically asked someone to build a controller for you.

There are plenty of good books on electronics at your public library, which will cover things like what a SSR is, how digital control works, and the like -- things you NEED to understand before attempting your own controller. I checked one out when I was a newbie, which you so elloquently reminded me that I once was, becuase I planned to build my own. I also lurked around here for awhile before becoming a poster, and learned much. At no point did I ever say "I want to build XYZ now will someone please spell out the entire recipie and hold my hand through the whole process".

Learn enough about the subject to ask some intelligent questions. You've been given some good advice in the other threads by several different people, yet you dismiss it as "dumb comments" and insist you know what you're doing while at the same time asking for our help.

Sorry for being snarky, but please do a little homework before asking the same question repeatedly...

-Tim

EDIT: OK to answer your one specific question:

An Olson board is a particular light controller designed by Peter Olson and posted on www.computerchristmas.com -- the site I referred you to before. An SSR box is a collection of SSR's which are electronic relays (switches if you will) to turn on and off lights. The olson box needs SSR's to control the lights, and an SSR box needs some type of intelligent control (like an olson box, a DIO board or parallel port on a computer, or a LOR controller) to make it control the lights.

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boarder3 wrote:

Please help me understand whats the difference between ssr box and an olson board. I don't get it been reading and still cant find proper instructions on what it does and what else i need. Please don't tell me i should just buy new because i want to learn how to do this. Ive taken on things alot harder than this with lots of reading and a little wasting of money i usually learn how its done. I'm an electrician and have a wiring background just need help with pcb and need to learn what i really need to build. I want at least 32 channels and want to sync to music not to concerned with dimming yet. HELPPPPP THE NEWBEE you where one once too. Now let the dumb comments begin

Boarder3, you have spent a lot of time asking questions and wanting a quick fix to control your lights. The question you need to ask yourself is would you rather control lights or learn about electronics? When I need to go to the grocery story I don't ask how to build a car so I can use it to drive to the store. That would be ridiculous and take too long!

What I have seen you ask for are quick fixes. You can go learn all about electronics but the solution that would best fit you is a prebuilt board ready to go out of the box. This can be accomplished by buying an LOR or AL unit or by looking in the 'For Sale' messages. Once you know what using a computer to control your lights is all about, then you can delve deeper into the subject and explore other options of control.

Spend your time learning and in the future you can build once you learn the skills necessary to put together your own board. For now spend time learning about what's already out there. Spending time asking for a instructor is pointlessbecause everyone is busy tweaking their own displays.

I would go with LOR if you ask me. It simple to use, program and understand.

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I would suggest starting with something simple. I started with x-10 and controlled it with the software that came with it. While the x-10 was doing it's thing I started reading up on different control methods and decided on paralell control. It took me a few months over the summer to master it. The next year, I had 3 channels of paralell. This summer I learned how to write my own program with help from this site and now I have 8 channels controlled by a program written by me. Next year I hope to build the Olsen 595 controller to use with "Comet". Diy was not easy, but it sure was a good accomplishment for me. I would start small and work your way up.

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