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Free LED Message Sign: Newbies Only


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After spending the day working to organize my garage after teardown, I got an idea to make someones day brighter by giving away a scrolling LED message sign for free to a Newbie on the Planet Christmas board....Kind of a Pay It Forward gesture...Who knows, maybe this will start something...If you have a Christmas display-related item you aren't using, how about giving it to a new PC member?

I originally purchased this sign a couple of years ago from Geeks.com. It is made by GM Light and is Model #952. It has 26 message locations (A-Z), can hold up to 250 characters per location, can display 11 colors, has letters, numbers, and symbols, scrolls, etc. Comes with the remote control as pictured and that is what is used to program the messages. The LED area is about 2 feet long and 2 inches high. I ended up purchasing another unit that hooks up to my computer serial port, so this one didn't get used.

If you're a Newbie to the PC boards, and would like to own this LED Message Sign, please post a reply below and include any relevant information about why you'd like to have the LED sign...Introduce yourself, your display, tell us what you'll use this sign for in your display, anything you think would be relevant. On Sunday 1/11/09, at Noon PST, I'll choose the most interesting / entertaining post (in my opinion) and send that person the LED sign, remote control, and DC power pack...

May the most creative person win!!!!!

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What a great idea! I am new to planet christmas and just got my priveledge to post here after reading forums into the wee hours of many mornings trying to understand all the lingo and gleening great ideas from the posters.I have always tried my best to go all out decorating our house for Christmas, even before kids. But with 2 children and my obsessive personality (and this site), I am determined to make people remember going past our house during the holidays. I have always put up a decent static display that is usually one of the best in our rural Ohio area. Usually, after risking life and limb at extreme heights, i wonder how the kids will react to seeing the lights and am always ecstatic at the reaction from them the first night we drive by our own house and the looks on their faces. I want them to recall with great sentiment and passion of how we made it special at our home. I want them to reminisce when they are adults and even when I am gone. I was intially interested in animated displays by the Miller commercial and wanted to do something as outrageous as that, but was disheartened by the fact of the expenses involved and technical know how. But, nonetheless, I made my wife watch every you-tube video of christmas displays I could get my hands on to watch some of the hard work and determination of people. I have her hooked on the Holdman displays. His how to's and everything just helped immensely. I told her of how many channels people were working with and the cost of the LOR units. I kind of pushed my dreams of an awesome display into the "if I hit the lottery" corner. I am glad I made my wife watch these videos however. She got me a Gemmy 12 channel for Christmas!! I didn't even know about these. I had my heart set on a LOR, and didn't even look at other options because I thought I needed a bazillion channels. Well needless to say after I recieved this gift I opened it with much glee, but at the same time figured there would be a lot of limitations, so I didn't get my hopes up. Boy was I wrong!! After testing the unit out with lights I had, I was impressed. In fact, I went the next day to purchase another in case I blow mine up or need a backup.Then after searching planet christmas and seeing Jason Rose's display with the Gemmy I was astounded. I was been determined. I hit all the LED sales after Christmas and got a good bit (not as much as I would have liked), but I did clean up on mini's, I got 30 boxes of 100 mini's, 12 boxes of multi colored 25 light c9's, a 7 foot spiral tree,some lighted snowflakes, 6 more 150 net lights, and 5 sets of 200 clear minis. I took the advice of members here to haggle the percentage off of after christmas sales. My old static display contains rope lights to outline the roof of our colonial, c9's for 3 6 foot christmas trees, net lights for 6 bushes, icicle lights for the arched front door and round top window on the garage, the mini's that are on preset controllers (i dont know what they are called) on 3 5 foot pines, and 3 spotlights for the house. It doesn't sound like much, but I add every year, and with this years addition it should be fantastic (to us). I will get the Belkin transmitter and mod it, and hopefully with some advice from other members have a sweet display (for our area, not compared to other members here). I was going to Etch some glass and make a sign box with rope lights inside similiar to the 2007 Holdman sign to let people know what radio channel to tune to, but a LED message sign would be even better! Or even use it in a different capacity. I think this thread got me the nerve to write my first post on planet christmas. I do KNOW my kids are going to go ape this christmas even more than before and look forward to picking people's brain here throughout the year. Regardless, I am pretty sure I am an addict!!!

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Randy this a great idea. When I collected Hotwheels we would do something like this except it was by complete surprise. I know I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how I can make a nice "Tune To" sign for next years display and can't really come up with any good ideas, other then LED (too expensive for me). This would be a great addition for next year. This year, which was my first, I only had 8 channels and about 6000 lights to work with, but since the holidays are over now I am working on at least 64 channels and trying to push the 20000 lights barrier. I have to say one of the best things about going animated for me was watching my 2 and 5 year old run outside everytime they heard the music and start dancing in the yard. That right there made it all worth while. Anyways this would be a great addition to my display for next year. Thanks alot Randy for doing this. Who knows maybe I can find someone who needs a bunch of C7 lights and send those to them.

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Hello, I am Rich Lammers of Omaha, NE I have been decorating my house for 2 years now and just joined PC this last fall. I Just went to LOR this last year and loved it. I plan on adding another 48-64 channels in '09. I would love to win this sign and use it to display my web address and also the total toys I have collected for Toys for Tots, which is my pet project for this next year.

Thanks for this awesome chance.

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You're right, Newbie is a hard term to define...I thought about different criteria at first, so many posts on PC, join date, how many years have you had a display, etc. but found that there are "loopholes" in almost all of those criteria. Maybe someone joined PC several years ago but has only been lurking, and will do their first display in 2009...So they've been around awhile, but are a newbie when it comes to an actual display...

My intent was to give a helping hand to someone who might be relatively new to our hobby because, as you know, there are a lot of items to make or buy the first year or two or three with a new display or perhaps a static display going animated.

I don't want to exclude anyone from the "contest" who wants to participate, so if you think of yourself as a Newbie or even a "Newbie-at-heart", by all means go ahead and write up a reply. I'll consider the most interesting / entertaining posts and try to be as fair as I can with determining a worthy winner.

By the way, the original price for this sign a couple of years ago was something like $79 + shipping, so hopefully it will make a nice addition to someone's display....

Thanks, Randy

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Randy,

Great idea and gesture! I will want to monitor this just to see the entries. When do entries have to be complete by? I might push a few people over to this thread.

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Thanks,

I figured I'd take a look at the entries next Sunday 1/11/09 at noon PST, make a decision on the winner, and then get it shipped out within the next few days....

Best of luck to all.....

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Awesome Idea,

i am a newbie to the whole Animated light show.

Name is Nick in Tenneessee,

I Started with my first LOR 16 Chan. controller in Late October.

i think i did rather well being my first year n all. Wife thought i was nuts at how much i spent. i didnt even realize how expensive it got till i started buying lots n lots of extentions cords......an now just reading that, ....i see lots more cords in the future for 32 more channels lol.

Planning on adding 2 more controllers for next year and have a few plans in mind to start in the summer. cant wait to start.

But i have to say i couldnt of had done it all without the help of everyone here at PC. very helpful and patient members. (Thanks to all)

I have bought some extra lights others couldnt get their hands on and shipped them out to a few memebers. Just my lil way of helping that i could do.

Next year with 48 channels, wish it could be more, but you know how the money thing goes. But i got lots of ides and lots of sequencing to do. didnt realize how hard and time consuming that it is. But makes for a wicked show. Plan on adding 2 or 3 leaping arches and either a mega tree or the fadeing back n forth roof idea, not sure yet.

i sold all my regular lights after i took them down this year, plan on going all LED. see how that works out :)

Haveing a sign like that in a display would be sweet.

Thanks for the ear :)

Nick

Edited by GaMeR
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Yes, I am planning on covering the shipping of the sign as well....I wanted to make it a total gift from start to finish...No strings attached...

It sounds like we have a few entries so far, and hopefully many more by the weekend....

Thanks, Randy

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Google defines newbie as:

Newb , noob , and n00b , (the central characters in the latter term are zeroes, visually suggestive of a pair of wide eyes) are commonly used short forms. Noob and n00b are sometimes used to indicate a newbie who has unwarranted confidence in their knowledge and/or abilities.

Can I enter? :D

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Hi Regal,

My Google definition search for Newbie reveals:

newcomer: any new participant in some activity

Since you've been on PC for just 1 year, I'd say you quality....Please submit a writeup and best of luck.....

Randy

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Iam a newbie, just joined this past Dec. This is the first year that I used lor and loved it, now Iam totally addicted. I started out small and am planning on adding several things this year, have already reserved two 32" blowmold toy soldiers for this year and would love to add the sign for Countdown to Christmas. I do it for the enjoyment of my neighbors, and my 18 month old Granddaughter. She likes to stand in the driveway and dance to the music. Iam the only house in my neighborhood that goes to the christmas extreme. I live in Sellersburg, Indiana. Just north of Louisville Ky and plan to attend plus 2009.

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I too am a newbie, and am in the same boat with the cost of this hobby! :) The wife thinks i am nuts and after putting out 48 extension cords for my first time 16 channel display i must agree. At nearly $10 a pop. I am looking to do a donation box this year and think this would be a great way to promote this. I really hope to get at least 16 more channels this year but i still need to convince the wifey. I am honored to be among such generous people on here and really do look forward to learning as much as possible from all of you. My name is Brian, and my Display is in Jacksonville, NC

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I am a certainly a newbie as I just joined the forum October 2008. I never had much of a display until this year when I decided to sequence the lights to music. I went the do it yourself route trying to save money. I thought starting in October would give me plenty of time to get done by Thanksgiving weekend. Boy was I wrong. Even with purchasing the pre-made boards I was overwhelmed by the amount of electrical finesse needed to complete the process. I had to call in reinforcements. So I enlisted the help of Mr. Bumble Yeti (My Dad)----THE SUPER NEWBIE. Despite being 68 years old, he is as handy as they come. At first, he thought I might need to seek professional help. However, his manly man instincts took over and he dove head first into the project. He really went to work and without him there wasn't a chance of finishing in time. He helped me wire the boards, put them in enclosures, make two arches, hang lights on the roof, and make lighted enclosures for my "tune to" signs. Man, did we have fun!!!!! It reminded me of when we would build my cars for the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby. We would joke about the numerous home projects that needed to be completed, but THE LIGHTS COME FIRST!!!!! My father's extreme work ethic made me work harder and I would program sequences into the wee hours of the night. I was shocked to find how much time it took to do the sequencing. I was relieved to find sequences that I could adapt to my 64 channels, but it still took a long time. I had the idea of trying to garner donations for charity, but making a vandal proof drop box and another lighted sign proved to be to time consuming. Also, I didn't feel the display was Griswald enough to attract the masses. However, this year I plan to add more mini trees (do it yourself type), candy canes, a mega tree with strobes, and mr16 lamps. I plan to add 72 to 96 channels. I have the supplies that I purchased at 50% off or more. (I am glad for all the help from the forum to find the sales) My wife even got invoved buying lights ( I am sure some guys are jealous of that ). The LED sign could be really useful in raising money to support a charity. My wife and I have entertained several but Teen Challenge seems to be in the lead. The sign, with the underlying force to pay it forward, would drive me (and SUPER NEWBIE) to build a great show and make some money for a worthy cause. Plus, I would love to see my father's expression when I tell him I got it for free!!!!

Edited by Bumble Yeti
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Part of my post was destroyed by fat fingers and a lack of typing skills. My name is Brett, I live in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and I am a newbie and a light addict. I am fortunate to have had the unique experience of having this years light display draw me, my father (SUPER NEWBIE), wife (Donna),and kids Sophia (3) and Ryan (5) closer together and get involved in my new found hobby (borderline obsession).

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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness..."

-- Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities

While I cannot be considered a noob to the lighting community, I sure would like to have that sign. When I moved to my neighborhood, there were few that shared my spirit for Christmas lights. 3 years later we have 11 of 16 houses that light up. Well, I decided to kick it up a notch like only a hardcore lighting technician can do. We're officially changing the name of our street to Christmas Court for 2009. All 16 neighbors have agreed to decorate.

We will be collecting food, cleaning supplies and cash for the local animal shelter. As some of you may or may not know, they are overwhelmed with dogs and cats due to the economy. When people have to choose between feeding their family or their pet, the pets always lose. Another contributing factor is the foreclosure rate. People losing their homes often move in with a friend or relative that will not let them bring their pet with them. In these troubling times, it's nice to be able to help those who cannot help themselves.

Your sign is more than a sign to dogs and cats in Indiana. It is a beacon of hope. Through your generosity, we would be able to explain where and why we are decorating. I'm located on the entrance to the court and people could see this sign coming and going from the court. I'm not looking for a handout and I would be more than happy to pass this message sign along to a worthy candidate the following year. This message sign could be a traveling trophy if you will to homeowner's who have a message to share with the community. While you may not pick my story as a worthy one, I hope you will at least consider it.

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