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For more information about the group buy that is going on until April 28, 2009, check out http://www.occhristmas.com/ledsnowvideos.html for videos of the products that we will be ordering. The prices listed are for orders under 500 - if we can get enough people together to order more than 500 we can save even more per tube.

If you have any questions, contact me or to get all of the details visit our website http://www.occhristmas.com

If you are unfamiliar with group buys, we are not doing this to make money (I have a full time job and will be managing this group buy in my "spare" time- basically at times like this and on the weekends) - this is an effort to reduce the cost of some really cool LED tubes by purchasing as a group to take advantage of bulk prices.

As of this posting, I have responded to all of the questions and emails that I have received. Keep them coming though - lets reach that 500 so that we can get an even better deal!!!

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Yes, if we can get an order of more than 500 tubes, the price of each tube will drop $6-7. The price of each tube will not be $6-7 - I just wanted to clarify this since I just caught up with responding to orders and questions about the tubes.

If you are interested in these and would like to get in on the group buy, visit the site to see more information. I will update the group once we hit a milestone...as of this evening, we are close to reaching 100 50CM tubes.

Again, just to clarify, if we reach 500 tubes of each size, the price of each tube will drop by $6-7 each.

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How long are the leads? Are there extensions. What is the max distance they can be apart when daisy chained? How is the one of 3 modes set? At the transformer or each unit? Can this mode be controlled from LOR with a single channel? What is the failure rate and warranty. Is there a much larger picture to examine.

I have been part of many group buys before but never had to prepay before minimums were reached. What happens if we dont reach mins?

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Hi Bob.

Thanks for your questions - they are all very valid and I apologize for not addressing all of these on the website. I have to be brief, but I will address all of your questions in detail on the website as well as post pictures that can be downloaded. But, quickly, let me address your questions before I get interrupted by my real job! LOL.

I have actually been working these details out with the manufacturer, with input from some reputable DFW lighting experts to make sure that we quality test these as well as provide the best design for us Christmas Crazies - taking into consideration how these will be used as well as how they will be run (LOR, D-Light, DC power, AC power, aesthetics of the tubes, etc. I have submitted the full specs that we have determined would be most adopted by the Christmas lighting community and as soon as I have confirmation that all of our requests have been implemented, I will update the group as to the exact specs.

How long are the leads?

The leads will be 5M from the transformer. However, with the samples that I have been testing, I have modified the wire (this would definitely be something that you should only do if you are skilled with using low voltage boards and understand that doing this may break your tube or controller) to have direct plug in to my 12VDC controller. You can then use any length lead that you need to get to your first tube.

Are there extensions.

We have requested that there be 2M (approx. 6 ft) between the "T" and the in and out connectors to the other drop. This should allow for optimal placement without being limited by cord and also limiting the amount of cord modifications that need to be performed. As far as extensions, I had not planned on adding these as part of the group buy. The connectors are similar to rope light connectors - two prong male female waterproof screw connectors.

What is the max distance they can be apart when daisy chained?

As long as you use the included cable, you can daisy chain up to 15 of these tubes with one transformer. The distance doesn't matter, unless you modify the cord that would be included with the tube. I cannot answer that question, since I have not tested that - I also do not plan to test it since I would hope that a modification to the cord would not be necessary.

How is the one of 3 modes set? At the transformer or each unit?

This is one of the feedback items I have received - and it is a very good one. I am still waiting on the answer from the manufacturer. There are 3 preprogrammed dropping patterns. However, the samples I received do not indicate which pattern starts first on which tube. If needed, I could put all of the like tubes together in stacks of like tubes when they arrive. This may delay shipping - but if this is important and the manufacturer cannot do this for us, I will be more than happy to do this as a courtesy to the group. But as of this point, the randomness is generated by the ICs and we are hoping to get the tube assigned a 1, 2, 3 - if not, I will do this before shipping them out.

Can this mode be controlled from LOR with a single channel?

You will not be able to control the drop of the leds, however, you can have all of the tubes plugged in with the AC adapter into one single channel. You will be able to send a Full on signal (similar to strobes) to activate the tubes. You will not be able to address each individual program - hopefully, I will be able to identify like ICs and group them together so that you could put the like tubes on individual channels if that is something you would like to have happen. But, based on the low power consumption, you could put as many of these tubes on a single channel as fit within the power constraints of your controller channel.

What is the failure rate and warranty.

I have not had a single tube that I have been testing fail. One of the tubes did have 2 LEDs fail - however, I have contacted the manufacturer to make sure that these tubes get tested thoroughly before shipping. So, out of my 15 sample tubes, only the one tube had an LED light failure. The other side of the tube did not burn out, just one side, so since these are double sided, you cannot really tell that the light does not work, but since they are so expensive, you expect that they work perfectly night after night. I have had them plugged in for 8 days straight now and have only had the one tube lose 2 LEDs. Another tester, Fabian Gordon, said that one of the tubes that he was testing pooped out on him. He could probably give you more details about how/why it failed, but I have planned on ordering extras and if any of your tubes fail, I will do my best to replace it for you. Since I am not a company and this is not my full time job, I cannot warranty these, but I will make things right with you if you do have a tube that fails and it is truly not your fault. I cannot have any of you guys pull a WalMart return on me since I am not equipped to handle such things - I can promise that I will quality check every tube before I ship them. Also, I want you to know that the tubes that I would be sending out to replace them would be coming from the tubes that I am ordering for my personal display. But, as a group buy manager, this is something that I don't mind doing for the community. So, they do not come with a warranty, but if a tube that you buy breaks and it is truly no fault of your own, then I will make it right.

Is there a much larger picture to examine.

I will take photos at 8megapixel and post these for downloading on the site - this is a very good suggestion. Please give me a couple of days for this to happen.

I have been part of many group buys before but never had to prepay before minimums were reached.

Honesty here - this is my first time to run a group buy, I too have been a part of group buys as well and the reason I am requesting that you pay is kind of a commitment type strategy. I do not want us to look like we have reached our 200 or 500 tube target and then right before I place the order, 20 people decide that they do not want to participate. I hope that you can respect this approach that I am taking - I have been in a group before that the group manager had to eat the costs of last minute cancels - so, while this is my first time to manage a group buy, I have been receiving coaching from some experienced group buy managers.

Also, regarding your question about minimums being reached, my mom has promised to purchase the remaining tubes if we do not reach the minimum of 200 tube of each size to initiate the manufacture of these tubes. She has already preordered nearly 50 of each size tube for her and the ladies that she works with to save on shipping for their small group. She and her friends are kind of running a group within a group to help her and her friends save a little additional money.

The manufacturer requested that we order at least 200 of each size to get the tubes manufactured. I explained to her what a group buy is and that we are not a business. The quote received is for an order between 200-500 tubes - we get the additional price break if we can get an order of 500 tubes of each size.

So, I know that we will reach the 200 minimum mark because we are almost there already - and if we are short, my mom and her friends in Mississippi will help us reach the 200 tube minimum order.

What happens if we dont reach mins?

We will reach mins on the 50CM and 80CM tubes. I have been assured that we do not have to reach the min on the 30CM tubes.

I hope this helps - these are excellent questions and I hope that I have helped to clarify. Please do not hesitate to post any additional questions as these are beneficial to the entire group.

Have to get to work....but I will answer any questions as soon as I can. At this point, I should be up to date on the emails/orders I have received. Please ping me if this is incorrect.

[email protected]

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clarification on the LOR tubes per channel:

If you're running on AC power, each power adapter can support up to 15 tubes. You can plug the adapter into an LOR/D-light/DIY channel and be able to control when the tubes come on and go off. I've tested running these on a low-voltage (DC) board as well and have had very good results. Again, only on/off capabilities - but no need for the power adapter. :)

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clarification on the LOR tubes per channel:

If you're running on AC power, each power adapter can support up to 15 tubes. You can plug the adapter into an LOR/D-light/DIY channel and be able to control when the tubes come on and go off. I've tested running these on a low-voltage (DC) board as well and have had very good results. Again, only on/off capabilities - but no need for the power adapter. :)

I would be careful with plugging these into an AC outlet. LOR and power adapters do not work well together. They tend to burn them out very quickly....trust me, I know.

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Wow every one seems to have the same idea i do now:D. I started making some of these just before last christmas but didn't have enough time so now i have my prototype down and i started making the "real" ones for my show. What i thought was going to be very unique wont be so much this year :giggle:.

-Will

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Thanks for your (long) short answer OC. You are doing a fantastic job with the group buy/build. Thanks! :)

Sorry I didnt see the unit lead length of 50cm on the site. That is sufficent for me. I would not need any additional distance between them.

Still a little confused on the three drop modes. You say which is "first?" So they always cycle between the drop patterns? Hmm if this is the case that would also indicate they can take a variable time to fire, like stobes again. If so then it would not matter to me which was the first because they would get out of sync anyway. Is that right?

Wow every one seems to have the same idea i do

We didn't know you planned this so, you have the same idea we do!

Found a second example of another seller here.

http://www.seasonslight.com/Snowfall_LED_Display.html

Group buy price approx 40-45% lower on both.

cm in led $ $/led $/in

30 11.8 32 40 1.25 3.39

50 19.7 64 55 0.86 2.79

80 31.5 96 70 0.73 2.22

Cost per led is .47 after fist $25 each unit of any size.

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Ok...I am all caught up again with emails and orders/invoices and can give you an update on where we are with the group buy. I will also answer any open questions from the forums. Thanks Bob-O - you must have run a group buy before, I appreciate the vote of confidence.

I do want you guys to know that the tubes you will be getting from the group buy are not the same tubes that are being sold by either of the other led tube retailers.

The tubes offered in the group buy do not have as many LEDs. These tubes, with the modifications that we have gotten the manufacturer to do for us make the group buy tubes well suited for a residential lighting display - and as Bob-O pointed out, these tubes have 3 pre-programmed drop patterns. Also, in response to Bob-O, these do not have the delay that strobes sometimes have when sent a signal. These drop patterns also help the tubes keep that random effect - so, the tubes are never all dropping at the same rate.

What I have tried to do, with the help of some local lighting gurus is to make these tubes most easy for us to add to our displays. The photos on the website give you an idea of the exterior of the tubes - but, since most of the input I have received is that we do not want to see the tubes, we just want the effect. With this in mind, the wiring and "T" connectors will be dark green in color. This will also be the color that is on the top and bottom of each tube. If you have these tubes close to each other then the lights from the closest tubes will not show the bright white wire.

Also, there will be one wire dropping from the "T" connector - the T connector will have a 2M leading and trailing length. Also, the T connector has a hole at the top that will make hanging these in trees or eaves much less stressful on the cording.

I am not aware of any AC power failure with these tubes - if ponddude would explain what he means, then that might help the group to better understand how LOR and these tubes play together. I have tested these using the 12V adapter plugged into a channel of my D-light controller and have not had any problems. I have also had them running for 10 hours at a time. I do know that the since these tubes are 12V, you can run these directly from your DC boards as long as you are supplying them 12 VDC power.

So, back to the description of the most recent modifications to the tubes. If you are visual, think of the length/spacing between the tubes like this: 2M M connector (watertight seal similar to rope light) > T connector with drop for the tube > 2M F connector which should give us ample wire to place these tubes without feeling limited by the wiring.

Also, the transformer will have a leading 5M wire to the first tube. The drop from the T to the top of the tube is 15CM. Again, input from the group is that with the amount of wind we tend to have during the holiday season, having more than one drop wire is too much to try to secure than just the one.

Probably the most exciting modification that we have made to these tubes is the spacing of the LEDs from the pcb - the LEDs will almost be touching the tubing which will really make these tubes look really dramatic even if they get twisted by the wind.

Each LED will have 20mA brightness. I really want to thank those who have provided input on these tubes.

Again, please contact me if you have any questions. You can get your name on the list for these tubes by going to http://www.occhristmas.com

I know that some of you have had concerns about the deposit before the group buy closes because this is different than group buys you have taken part in before. The reason is because I want you to make sure that you want to participate in the group buy so that when it is time to pay our deposit, I can pay it immediately to get the manufacturing of the tubes started. Which means that we will probably get the tubes into Dallas approximately 22 days later if everything goes perfectly and I can begin boxing them up for you guys once we have paid the remaining balance.

I am trying to keep up as fast as I can with the questions and orders, so please be as patient as possible if I do not immediately respond. I will do my best to answer all emails and send out invoices within 24 hours of you submitting your orders.

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Great news!! Manufacturer has agreed to price tubes at the 500 minimum order mark - I think that we are probably going to reach it, but I received confirmation. The prices reflect a $5 drop per tube!!! For those of you who have already paid your deposit, I have credited your final invoice the difference, so you will see that you have the credit on your final invoice.

As far as being able to control each of the preprogrammed dropping patterns, the answer is unfortunately no. The tubes can receive a full on from D-Light and LOR boards (since these are 12V, if you have your DC boards powered by 12V, you can direct connect these to your controller). I still do not really understand one of the comments from a previous post related to plugging the transformer into an AC board.

Maybe the poster can help us understand - but in testing, I have plugged the tubes into a D-Light AC board without any problems. I plugged groups of 5 into 3 different channels and sequenced having them turn on and off at different times - no odd behaviour at all for me during testing.

But, if there are better practices, I would like to know them!!!

Again, short story made long...the tubes are preprogrammed and these cannot individually be controlled. But, you can start and stop the tubes with your controllers. Personally, I will be using a DC controller and will direct connect them.

I am interested to know how everyone is planning on using these in their display...I am excited to use these between shows during my "scene savers". But, I also plan to use them similar to how we use strobes - for a dramatic impact, but not something that will be always on. Still have a hundred different ideas racing around in my head though...very interested in your ideas!

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I cannot afford to have them ship me samples of the tubes as we have designed them. The images of the tubes provided are exactly what we will be receiving - however, our tubes will have dark green instead of white. I have videos of the tubes posted on the site (http://www.occhristmas.com) I also attemped to post photos of the green color sample as well pictures of the tubes.

I apologize for not being able to show you the exact product we will be receiving, but the specs have been provided...imagine the LED tubes pictured with the green color instead of the white. Also, the drops will be 4 M spacing - in the image, the drops are .5 M distance and I have the 50 CM and the 80 CM both strung. Notice the hole at the drop - this will be very helpful when trying to secure these to a branch or eave.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know!

Edited by O_C_Christmas
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Please do not refer to the group buy order as snow or snowfall. The group buy is for meteor lights - and since we (the manager of the group buy) are not making profit off of these and we are not a business, we hope that those who are following this thread understand that in no way are these meteors going to be sold for profit once the group buy has ended. There are some who have threatened the group buy with harrassing phone calls - and, if you ordered any of the meteors today, I have cancelled the invoices that were sent out. For those of you who have already gotten in on the group buy, please know that if we are squashed by the bullies who think that our group buy is a threat, that you will receive a full refund.

Unfortunately, if the bullies keep harrassing me, I am out quite a bit of money through paypal fees. So, if there are any attorneys out there in the community who have some advice for the group buy, please chime in! It seems as if I might be needing some - I hope that by removing all references to the trademarked name will be sufficient. It isn't my fault that the company who trademarked the name does not market them to the Planet Christmas community - before we started this group buy, there were probably only a handful of people who even knew about these.

Also, any reference to the meteors as anything but meteors or meteor lights have been removed from my personal site that just happens to be the place with the group buy information - once the group buy is over, the information will be removed.

I do apologize for any reference to snow or describing the effect as such. Unaware of the trademark of this name, I honestly made a naive mistake and sincerely regret referencing the group buy with a trademarked name. I am a first time manager of a group buy and will definitely do everything I can to make sure that the group buy does not give the impression of being the same as the trademarked name.

_________________________________________

Regarding the last request to add a connection to the bottom of the tube for hanging it upside down, I regret to say that any more changes to the design would mean an increase in our quote. I do think that the modification can be done easily - I tested out using some of the small Command hooks (the tiny ones) and they worked really well. I have had it dangling from the Command hook for nearly an hour (roughly the time since I read the request) - and the meteor hasn't fallen and the command hook hasn't ripped off!

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Thank you for the info on hanging the Meteors upside down -- it should work for what I am thinking. Now I need to determine how many.

Also, sorry to hear about your troubles with the group buy. I am not an attorney, but I have been told by our company's attorneys in the past that in order to protect a trademark it must be noted with the "TM" whereever it is used. I checked what could be the websites you were referring to and saw no mention of a trademark anywhere regarding the "LED Snow****" or "Snow**** LED". So I think whoever is harrassing you may be in the wrong here. IMHO. Any legal experts have an opinion?

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I have corrected all orders from yesterday and resent invoices to those who still wanted to participate - if I missed anyone, please email me to let me know.

Also, I wanted to update the status of the upside down meteor using a contact hook - hasn't fallen yet.

I think that I am all caught up on emails and orders now - keep emailing me if you haven't gotten a response, I was swamped there for a while! But as of now, all caught up.

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