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Free LED Message Sign: Newbies Only


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Hi Randy,

My name is Travis and I live in Carson, Wa. in the Columbia River Gorge.

Even though my status is "Senior Member" I am a newbie to the animation world, Ask MarkZ (Zman) he will agree, LOL !.

2008 was to be my first year animating our display.

Last year 2007 we had a small statice display.

For 2008 our display has doubled in size.

My wife and I put a lot of heart and soul into the design of our animated display.

during last summer we had some major medical issues come up and we put the animation portion of the display on the back burner and were not going to animate for 2008.

Christmas is my wife's and mine most favorite time of year.

My wife love the beauty of christmas decorations and the creativity that goes into them.

With our LOR plans put on hold and lacking quite a few items to be able to animate for 2008 it was surely not going to happen.

My family consist of my Wife Teresa, my son Jared and my father Jerry.

we all love this season and spending time with our family and remembering the real meaning of CHRISTmas.

Well October came and my wife woke up one morning 89% blind and she fears of losing her vision totally.

Doctors have done countless test to figure out why she is losing her vision and to this day they can't figure out.

My father Jerry that lives with my wife and I is termanly ill with cancer and we take care of him.

With all that being said, in late october a few PC members in my local northwest area talked me into at least doing something with the display items I had, and there for the LOR animation was set forth as a go.

I struggled franticly to order a fm transmitter, SPT wire and the other items needed to get the show up and running with a really (LATE) start.

With my wife's condition she was affraid that she would lose her vision totally and would never be able to see that hard work that her and I put into the animation display that her and I spent all last spring and summer to design.

So it was my mission to get the animated show up and running so that my wife could see our display animated at least once before if in fact she does lose her vision forever.

I tried so hard every day to get the display up and all wired and running in hopes to have it going with in the first week of december.

Well we were hit with a major snow fall for numerous days with a accumolation of 5 feet of snow on the ground.

So that put a huge delay on getting the display up and wired.

I spent more time shoveling snow off my roof, shoveling the car out etc.... that took away from the work that needed to the display.

Then with the bad weather still dumping 12 inches of snow each night I thought that there was no hope in getting the display running.

Then we had a couple of days of decent weather and the snow started to melt, so things were starting to look good and I was able to do some more work on the display adn I set my light up target date for Christmas Eve/Christmas day.

Well we got hit with another 2 feet of snow and then it froze solid with freezing rain on top.

For some reason God gave me the strength to keep trying.

Christmas came and went and the display was still not up and running, so I set my next target date to New Years Eve/ New Years Day.

Well again, we got hit with another snow storm and it dumped on us again.

So here it is now January 5th and I finally have 85% of the display up and wired, minus two major decorations that my wife requested and wanted in the display the most, which is four leaping arches and eight 2 channel 2 color mini trees.

My neighbors think I have fallen off my rocker because I am still hanging lights and working out in our yard with 4.5 feet of snow.

I don't care how rediculous it looks putting up a christmas display in january, I set forth on a mission for my wife to be able to see this animated display at least once to ease her fear of never being able to see it and I will get it done.

I was short two LOR controllers to animate our entire display and a fellow northwest PC member that my wife and I hold dear to our hearts loaned us two of his spare LOR controllers to use.

He even gave us a rope light bethlehem star that needed to be fixed, it is now fixed and fully lit 20 feet above our roof, my wife now calls the star "The Star Of Hope" and the person that loaned us his controllers and gave us the "Star Of Hope" so choses to reveal himself he is surely welcome to, I know he will read this.

Also when my wife and I had put the animation on hold we had not done any sequencing yet, and due to the situation and the late start, another PC memeber offered me every sequence that he had created for me to use.

As of today, our display is almost done and ready for its first official light up and run the show.

Here is a photo of our 2007 small static display.

The second photo is the design of our animated display that my wife and I put our hearts into creating and is almost complete.

I will post some pics and hopefully get some video of our display onces it is up in running.

Randy, If I was to win your LED Sign, you can rest assure that it will be in our display next season with a message of the real meaning of CHRISTmas and it would be front and center for all to see.

Thank you Randy for your kind offering.

Travis

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Edited by Travis
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Hi Regal, Since you've been on PC for just 1 year, I'd say you quality....

Thanks for the offer but I only found PC a year ago which does not coincide with my first animated display - I muddled through my first animated display on my own after researching the Carson house - at that time, I did not know PC even existed. :eek: Gave out/created many sequences for many people over the past year, there is no way I could really "apply" for it - there are many here who are more deserving...

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Newbie here in Ohio! I'm in Mansfield, Ohio and I decorate for my kids. When I was a kid my Mother did not decorate because she felt that Christmas was too commercialized. We were not allowed to Trick or Treat and we were not allowed to participate in Easter baskets etc. I always felt left out when all my friends got Easter baskets on Easter morning and all kinds of candy on Halloween. My Mother was very religious and thought we should know the meaning of these holidays and not focus on gifts. There was no believeing in Santa when I was growing up. He was a bad word. Anyway, when I'd go to my Fathers (they were divorced) he would go out of his way to make up for it. When I was with my Dad I used to feel the 'Christmas Spirit' I guess. It was absolutely the most wonderful time of year. I wanted my kids to always feel the Christmas Spirit and I guess I just got carried away! This year was the first year my display had music. That Gemmy Light Show has me addicted. I am now saving for a LOR. Christmas display making and everything that goes with it has become my family's year round hobby/obsession. I hope my kids grow up and remember how special Christmas is and hope they are as crazy about it as I. I do it so they never miss what I missed when I was a child. I want Christmas and every holiday to be special. And there's no darn reason we can't have fun doing it too! In a way, doing the projects with my family and being together makes Christmas last all year long. We go all out for the kids. From personalized Santa gift tags to reindeer tracks made carefully in the snow with my freezing cold fingers. We are a Christmas Army. The older kids help now and get a big kick out of duping their little brother and sister. We have traditions and we have lots of time together at Christmas putting the display up, the lights, hot cocoa, Christmas Villages, music...we do it all. And my Mother was right somewhat....the best part of my Christmas is watching my kids faces light up on Christmas morning and seeing letters from Santa in their stockings. Baking cookies together is the best gift more often than not. Impromptu snowball fights while hanging Christmas lights make memories they will never forget. What better gift can you give then a happy childhood? Making their childhood Christmas memories great more than makes up for the Christmases we felt left out of as kids.

And Planet Christmas and all the great people here make it even better. It sure is nice to know I don't have to walk this earth alone in my obsessions.

Edited by Crazy4Christmas
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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?

That's a great idea Randy. My way to pay it forward this year was a promise to decorate two of my neighbors yards. The both commented that they wished they could decorate their houses. One is a single mom who has stuff, but can't put it up and the other neighbor doesn't have anything so she is getting a bunch of my decorations I haven't used in a while. I'm determined to get as many neighbors as I can to decorate. ::rolleyes: Hopefully this pay it forward thing will catch on. After I read your post an image of Bill Murray popped into my head. It's a scene from Scrooged when he says something like "Christmas is the time of year when we all act a little nicer, we-we-we smile a little easier, we-w-w-we-we-we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year we are the people that we always hoped we would be." Let's keep that spirit going. :D

Daren

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Thanks, Daren.....I hope to brighten someone's display next year....We've got several entries now, with more on the way I'm sure....I'll make the decision on Sunday coming up....

I can't wait to read more replies from folks.....If you're on the fence, please jump in and "go for it"....

< Bump >

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I think I count as a newbie so enter me, too. I can think of lots of things that I'd like to use the Scrolling LED for. I'm thinking it could update my sign that states the Radio station. It could display some information about our lightshow, the charity we are donating to, and also announce winners of my Christmas decorating contest that I also started this year in my neighborhood. I think my neighbors who win in 2009 would love to see their names in lights! I might even display some Christmas riddles for the kids. They love those cute riddles and it is all about the kids anyway.

I had so much fun this year with our first display. Lots of hard work, but so rewarding. I loved meeting the public every night. We were lucky to have mild weather most nights so we could do this.

I'm the kind of person tha jumps into a new project with both feet, so this was a daunting task for our first year, but we pulled it off, thanks to Planet Christmas and The Texas Christmas Light workshop we traveled afar to attend. We were featured in 3 newspapers. I even had the nerve to enter our first light show in some contests, dispite my comical camcorder skills. I think I fell off the ladder in one of the videos. OOPS! There is nothing like taking a video of your display upside down on the ground! Thank goodness for the anti-shake feature on the camera.

So after having spent most of my retirement on Christmas Lights, I'd love to add the scrolling LED sign. Thank you for the offer.

Darlene Pino

Albany, Georgia

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I guess I could be considered a Newbie still. So I might as well give it a shot.

I have been decorating since 2002 with a static display. Next year I am planning on going with 32 hopefully 48 channels of LOR and 30,000 lights. So I will be a newbie to animated lights. I don't need it for radio signs because I need to make 3 of these and I want them to be the same. But I plan to set up a donation box next year for the Weyauwega/Fremont food pantry. It is a small charity that doesn't get hardly any attention because we are a small community. I debated on even doing this in the first place but then I thought, I already do stuff for the community as it is, what is one more. So this scrolling sign would be placed above the box letting people know what it is for.

Thanks Randy and even if I don't win, I appreciate the gesture!

Shaun

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Thanks, everyone for your entries....In the interest of being as fair as possible, I'm thinking that it might be best to just have a drawing for the entrants next Sunday to see who wins. I could see some hard feelings developing if I continue down my original path of judging people's postings. I hope this change is agreeable with everyone. I've always said I want to be as fair as possible about choosing a winner...

Anyways, we're all at different situations with our lives and with our displays. Some of us have it easier, some of us have it more difficult, but we all share the same love of Christmas and Holiday displays. So I'm thinking that we'll do some sort of blind drawing out of a hat and make a video for You Tube so everyone can see who the winner is next Sunday...I hope that makes the playing field as level as possible....

So now I'll say may the luckiest person win!!!!

Thanks, Randy

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Randy,

Your pay-it-forward gesture exemplifies what this forum is all about; helping members create displays to spread the season's joy to many viewers.

This is my second season of displaying with some animation, and as my sig indicates, I used the GE Lights and Sounds controllers winning 1st prize in our local municipality's Holiday Lighting contest residential division. I expect to go the LOR route this year (if Obama doesn't cut my SS).

This year, I added a donation box to my display benefiting the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center. The results were beyond my expectations and hopefully, with the aid of your LED sign, I can raise much more this year. The emails and cards I received from my neighbors have encouraged me to make the display even better in 2009.

If my name happens to be the name drawn out of the box to win your sign, I authorize you to draw at least one more name and I will donate and ship my GE LASOC controller to that person or the first person drawn who has a static display (your choice). That, of course, will force me to go the LOR route and would make it a lot easier to explain the purchase to my wife. :-)

Thanks for being there and your great generosity. The stories in this thread reinforce how caring this group really is, and I absolutely love being a part of it. I just can't wait for the season to come around again!

Richard

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Darren, where did you find the singing snowman? My husband loves that.

darlene

I can't wait to read more replies from folks.....If you're on the fence, please jump in and "go for it"....

< Bump >

I think I'll watch this one from the sidelines. Sounds like there are some folks out there that can put the sign to good use for their charities, but I will share with everyone why I do my display.

Like many out there I have some great childhood memories of our family driving all over the city looking for Christmas displays. I continued that tradition with my own family and at 23 my youngest still asked if we would take him and his girlfriend with us when we went out this year. For years we took pictures of our boys at one house in particular. Their whole family would dress up a couple weekends each year and the kids would get to talk to Santa, Mrs Claus and their elves. Unfortunately they have passed away, but they will always be remembered for their generosity of spirit. Although I'll never dress up as Santa (outside of my comfort zone) we try to do a display that people will want to walk up to, look around and take pictures. This year we were able to purchase a 6 foot Santa from a PC member from Washington which was a big hit for picture taking. This was also our first year with LOR and the singing snowmen and Santa face also went over real well. I'm one of those shy people who kind of hang back and don't mingle much, but this year we had a garage display with a North Pole village and a train so when people walked up to the display I would go out and let the kids run the controls which sounded a whistle, all aboard and Ho Ho Ho. I don't know who had more fun, them or me.

For many years I enjoyed and looked forward to others Christmas displays and now I'm hoping I'm making some Christmas memories for others. The tough part now is finding someone to stay at the house while we go out and check out everyone else's display. :D

Daren

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Thanks, everyone for your entries....In the interest of being as fair as possible, I'm thinking that it might be best to just have a drawing for the entrants next Sunday to see who wins. I could see some hard feelings developing if I continue down my original path of judging people's postings. I hope this change is agreeable with everyone. I've always said I want to be as fair as possible about choosing a winner...

Anyways, we're all at different situations with our lives and with our displays. Some of us have it easier, some of us have it more difficult, but we all share the same love of Christmas and Holiday displays. So I'm thinking that we'll do some sort of blind drawing out of a hat and make a video for You Tube so everyone can see who the winner is next Sunday...I hope that makes the playing field as level as possible....

So now I'll say may the luckiest person win!!!!

Thanks, Randy

Couldnt agree more....and just hope my tag gets drawn :) THE SUSPENSE

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I was in the same dilimma once. What I did was ball up each email, tossed them in the pool, sent the dog to retreive whichever one he wanted. When he brought me one, that was the winner. I think that video is still floating around Youtube somewere. No pun intended. Its titled Flash Picks a Winner.

Darlene

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I am also a newbie, this was my first year using animated lighting, I purchased 5 LOR Controllers but I could only use 3 because we had our house sold and at the last minute it fell through. The people purchasing our house had the loan company tell them they denied their loan even after they had an acceptance letter so realizing we were not going anywhere before Christmas I scrambled to get the lights up even though it was after Thanksgiving and I programmed 4 songs and had it up and running the first week of December. I plan to use my 2 additional controllers this year; should have time and money to purchase the additional extension cords I needed. I can't wait until Christmas again to see what additional we can do. I love everyones shows that I have seen, if I can figure this out I'll try to post some videos ASAP. Enough rambling...please put me in the drawing for the sign it would be unbelievable.

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Randy,

I hope my comment about folks using the sign for their charities wasn't misconstrued. I'm notorious for putting my foot in my mouth. I truly hope it goes to someone who can use it for their charity.

Darlene,

The singing snowmen I was talking about were just blowmolds that were controlled with LOR. Just like the singing pumpkins. I had them singing White Christmas by the Drifters and everybody loved it. Nothing like Mike Z's snowman. If you haven't seen his check it out, it's awesome. I don't know how to post the link so go to Lightsondisplay.com

Daren

Edited by CHRISTMAS OCD
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Thanks Randy for the opportunity to receive something free to better compliment our displays. I am a newbie. I attempted a display in 2008 with a Mr Christmas Lights and Sound Controller and plan on upgrading to a LOR system this year, hopefully.

I have been a Christmas fanatic ever since I was little. My Grandmother loved Christmas and it rubbed off on me. I always looked forward to Thanksgiving. Our family packed up and drove to my Grandparents house. On the way, we would always see the house with the Blowmold Santa on the roof and the corporate buildings with the large lit trees on.

Once we got to their house, Grandma had the elf we would hang on the chandelier waiting for me as well as the Christmas lights to decorate inside and out. Almost every year consisted of going to Walgreens (the only store open in the area) and purchasing new lights due to the other ones not working. I loved every minute of it. Since she has passed, I put the elf on my chandelier and decorate my house every year, which reminds me of all the fond memories I had with her while she was still with us.

Its funny, when I was a kid I always begged my father to let me put a Blowmold Santa on the roof. He always told me that it would make the roof leak and I could put one on my own house one day. Guess what I was finally able to do this year??

I have a feeling that with this site, all the amazing videos, and help from PC users, it is going to be very bad for my finances. I love looking out the front of my house and seeing cars stopping and hearing the kids because of their excitement. I went crazy and bought about 3000 lights on sale. Can't wait to use them.

Thanks again Randy. Hope everyone has a good upcoming year.

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Well let me tell you a little about my family. I am a father of 3 kids 17 year old girl 15 year old boy and 3 year old boy when my youngest was diagnosed with autism at 18 months and we have been running around to appt. ever since. We have been very active in our local autism group and have spent a bunch of time with the Orlando group also this year a bunch of parent from our local group did a Christmas light caravan with the kids to see the lights we stopped by a big display that was raising money for the boys and girls club and I said I can do that Loving Christmas as much as i did and i already had a nice size display and with a few more items and a few light o rama boxes I could do the same for autism research. So I started to my research looking for as many Diy’s I could find printing plains for stuff and started making new item the 1st of jan I made a mega tree I have made 9 tomato cage trees and working on leaping arches now and after that I need to do a portable sub panel I have been putting together a shopping list with spools spt2 and plug 4 light o rama boxes I came up with a display name Lights For A Cause then went To Godaddy And paid for The Url http://lightsforacause.com For the next 3 years I have been driving my wife crazy showing her many of the DIY pages and Many Of The inspirational display that I would like to mirror in my display. There is so Many Display Videos to Get Inspired with but Way to Little Hrs In the day. I have had my 2 oldest kids helping me with making the trees and My Youngest Can’t Understand why I am playing with all the Christmas trees but Santa won’t be here for another 11 mths well anyway if you pick me your led sign will be placed in a loving spot in front of my display helping to raise funds for Autism

Edited by rob352
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Hello Randy and all at PC,

Regardless who wins all are being blessed by sharing, fellowship and kindness just from one act of kindness.

I live in Coker, Alabama (Tuscaloosa County) My hobbies are my granddaughters and love the process of creativity. ** - creating something - ** addictive..... yes.

I'm sure many on this forum will understand this.

Veteran of many years of static Christmas lights. First year 2008 using Mr Christmas

NOT Computerized ....... oh how I WISH..... I'd take my granddaughters (5 & 7) out at night and we would dance around in the yard, sing to the Christmas music and then sit in the 3 chairs I placed in the front yard side by side quietly and giggly watch the wonder of the lights dancing to the sounds of the music. That was "Magic" and "Wonder" to see the joy it brought them.

You should see my living room (where did it go) New LED lights all over the floor hooked up to 1 Mr Christmas Sounds and Lights and 2 Gemmy Holiday Lights (my after Christmas sales). My husband walked in and said :rolleyes: "Are you going to spend all night again in here looking at blinking lights? Got to figure out a good display plan.

Last year I researched making a snow machine. Not snow country. Don't see to often.

I told my husband I wanted a snow machine for Christmas. He too then......:rolleyes: looked at me like I was crazy. Guess what I got for Christmas a home built snow machine.

With right temps and humitity - yes - we make snow. Our granddaughters and the neighborhood children love playing in it. Maybe next year the weather conditions will let me have my "White Christmas" and a wonderful light show to go with it. We did make snow in November (see Pic)

Pics below:

The three chairs represent: The Beginning and Waiting for the next show.

The snow represents: Dreaming of a "White Christmas"

Already researching Radio Tranmission and sign for it. LCD sign would be great to use for Radio station info and Christmas blessing to the community. or "It's gonna snow yall" or weather conditions in Coker (hubby weather station hobby)

Davis | WeatherLink Many uses for all Holidays.

Regardless if I don't win the LCD sign, your gift has already been received, your kindness and friendship on PC forum and your willingness to share with others, as do so many on here do. Thanks everyone for sharing so much for us newbies to learn from.

God Bless Everyone,

Leona

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Hi Randy

Thanks for an opportunity to get some motion for my display. I bought a Lights and Sound machine after Christmas last year and used it this year. I stumbled across this sight while I was looking for new ideas to make my lights dance. Man was I ever shocked when I seen what people had. I must have been living under a rock or something. I never knew people had as much as what I have seen on here. My display consists of 12,000 lights, 32 lit arches, about 50 blowmolds, 16 inflatables, 27 wire frames(15 of which are deer), and numerous other Christmas light ups.My display covers about 1000 feet of road frontage on 2 roads. Gotta love living on a corner in the country. I want everything you other members have, but I know it is expensive and will come one piece at a time. It is only January 9, I haven't pulled the plug yet, and I am already working on next years display. With the help of your sign, it will be easier to get to where I want to be. A local non-profit group approached me wanting to use my display for a donation sight. Santa will also be making appearances on the weekends handing out candy canes. Does anyone have any REAL deer they want to get rid of!!! Its no wonder my family, friends, and neighbors call me a Christmas nut!!:eek::eek: Thanks again for the chance.

Steve

Edited by santajr
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Great stories, everyone....Please keep them coming.....

I received an offer from my good friend Chuck Hutchings to help make this giveaway more fun!!!! He has a bingo set at his house and volunteered to help draw the winner with his kids and make a video to post.....

So later tonight I'll be assigning each of the entrants a Chuck-certified Bingo number and then on Sunday it'll be like the lottery program on TV!!!!! Who will win!?!?!?

Tune in and see......Bingo-Vision.....Doesn't it look like Blue LEDs inside? It's getting exciting now.....

Edited by Randy
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