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Lukeslights

How many controllers to start with?

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I'm an LOR new member. I got a 16 channel controller for Christmas and was overjoyed! I'm starting to figure out my display, but I want to know how many controllers to have. Any recommendations?

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Being your first year, I wouldn't start with 16 or 32 channels. Its not as overwhelming trying to manage everything from sequencing to cord management. I've heard of people jumping in with 64 plus channels and getting really stressed out over everything. Get you feet wet this year. Yes, you can do a cool display with that many channels. You dont need hundreds. Next year double or triple that number once you've learned some of the tricks.

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Do you have any monetary or time budget issues?

If you answered no then your could do more that 32. Make sure you start buying extension cords.

you also need a detailed plan for your display!

if you answered yes then stick with two controllers or less.

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I'm an LOR new member. I got a 16 channel controller for Christmas and was overjoyed! I'm starting to figure out my display, but I want to know how many controllers to have. Any recommendations?

Considering that you have school obligations (probably in 5th or 6th grade I would guess), I would say that starting with 16 channels will probably be excellent. Definitely not more than 32. Remember that most everybody that will see your display will have never seen anything like this before and will be amazed either way. It is so easy to get big ideas in your head after seeing videos online or here--but most people won't have anything like that to compare your display to. You are better off doing a good job sequencing with fewer channels than doing just a fair job with more. Plus every year it will give you room to expand (just think, if you get a new controller for Xmas every year, you will have 128 channels by the time you are 18 years old!). And most of all, you want to make sure that you don't let this hobby affect your school performance. You want to do a good job in school so you can get a good job some day so you can afford even more controllers then (and extension cords)!

Welcome to PC and LOR!

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Guest Lightzilla

How many does your wallet say you can buy, and if your like some guys, their wife sets a limit too........I do not fall in that category. My wallet tells me how many.

You certainty do not want to go into the Christmas season with a debt load hanging over your head, heck you may have that after gift buying.

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You have to figure out your finances first.Then your power needs, your tech savviness, and then go from there.

This is an expensive hobby.For every controller you add on, you have to figure in extra cords,lights,outlets,elements and time which equals more money.

Having said all that, to answer your question, aim for 2 controllers.

Have fun:D

Owen

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How many does your wallet say you can buy, and if your like some guys, their wife sets a limit too........I do not fall in that category. My wallet tells me how many.

You certainty do not want to go into the Christmas season with a debt load hanging over your head, heck you may have that after gift buying.

Guys...Luke is 11 yrs old. I seriously doubt he is married, and probably doesn't carry a wallet yet.

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Guys...Luke is 11 yrs old. I seriously doubt he is married, and probably doesn't carry a wallet yet.

Yes, I'm not married (yet) and don't plan to be for a long time :P

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Yes, I'm not married (yet) and don't plan to be for a long time :P

That's only if you marry the wrong one.:giggle:

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I'm an LOR new member. I got a 16 channel controller for Christmas and was overjoyed! I'm starting to figure out my display, but I want to know how many controllers to have. Any recommendations?

Since the LOR are only 16 channels I would start with 20. You can allways work up from there.

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Considering that you have school obligations (probably in 5th or 6th grade I would guess), I would say that starting with 16 channels will probably be excellent. Definitely not more than 32. Remember that most everybody that will see your display will have never seen anything like this before and will be amazed either way. It is so easy to get big ideas in your head after seeing videos online or here--but most people won't have anything like that to compare your display to. You are better off doing a good job sequencing with fewer channels than doing just a fair job with more. Plus every year it will give you room to expand (just think, if you get a new controller for Xmas every year, you will have 128 channels by the time you are 18 years old!). And most of all, you want to make sure that you don't let this hobby affect your school performance. You want to do a good job in school so you can get a good job some day so you can afford even more controllers then (and extension cords)!

The good thing about being in school (I'm in this situation) is that we have all summer to sequence. I just have to worry about my job in the summer and that only takes up about 6 hours per week so it leaves lots of time to work on my show.

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Another young one, with the same name!

I started computerization in the Christmas of my 8th grade year and bought the software during the end of 7th grade. I only had 8 channels, and added a 16 channel controller each year after (except for last year). It was enough to get my feet wet and not stress me out. As I progress into the end of my junior and senior year of high school, I realize how much time school actually consumes. I really don't think I'd be able to handle hundreds of channels while balancing school and a summer job. 40 was enough for this year, and hopefully I can add a few more next year.

I'd say to start with 32 or maybe a little more. You're in middle school with probably a little more time on your hands than most! Experiment, play around and have some fun before high school and college consume your life!

Oh, another thing...if your parents aren't gonna pay for it (like mine) go find a job, beg on the streets, etc. This is an addicting and EXPENSIVE hobby!

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I'm actually new this year too. I initially bought my fist controller used, a CTB16PC, but while sequencing some songs and looking at past light displays where I only had a 4 channel Wireless Mr. Christmas controlling it all, I found very quickly I was OUT OF CHANNELS long before I was out of lights!

So I am purchasing two more CTB16PC controllers (complete versions) as soon as my IRS Refund Check gets in the bank along with upgrading my S2 Basic Plus software License to the Advanced License.

At least with 3 CTB16PC controllers and 48 channels, I will (or should) have more than enough for both my Halloween 2010 and Christmas 2010 Displays. From just my Christmas decoration set up, using the same set up as last year with a few changes in how the lights get plugged in, I found I actually needed close to 36-40 channels, still giving me 10-12 channels open for additions or changes if needed.

No matter how many times I tried to set up my Christmas display, I was always out of channels long before I was out of lights to plug into the controller. So I think 48 channels is a good start, plus you don't have to use them all, but somehow I think most eveyone here tends to try and use every open channel available. Just seems there is *ALWAYS* some last minute item or change we want to make where we need those extra open channels.:giggle:

At least that's how it always seems to go with me.:eek:

Now my Halloween Display will "supposedly" only use 2 controllers, from what I currently have, and the way I set the yard up, looks like about 28-30 channels will be enough for that....but.... just like the Christmas Display, it seems to be growing to grab some more of those open channels too, and maybe even the 3rd controller will get pulled into the mix before I'm done.

Especially since I keep looking at some items I want to add to both my Halloween and Christmas display set ups requiring more channels and touching up sequences! Man this job ain't NEVER done!:P

Edited by LOR-CF

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Yes, I'm not married (yet) and don't plan to be for a long time :P

Contrary to popular youth beliefs girls do not have cooties so don't let that alter your views on marriage...

But I think you will be able to do a lot with 16 channels maybe not a Mega tree but being 11 you may not be able to do that by your self any way... I started decorating when I was 14-15 and was all static, but neighbors and friends would always say I can't wait till next year because my static display kept growing and growing each year and word of mouth has spread... After adding Mr. Christmas 2 years ago the only route I have to get bigger and better is to move to LOR!!

Luckily my parents have supported my purchases of $100's of decorations each year at after Christmas sales, and I am forever in-debted... Hopefully you have this much support since it seems they are buying you LOR controllers for Christmas

To start with 16-32 channels you can animate the eves of your house different trees in your yard, mini trees are easy to make and assemble, so you can spread these items around your yard to make it look full. You could even use 1 channel for a object on the left side of your yard and another on the right so learn to share channels... Very easy to do if you have tons of 3way splitters. So STOCK UP!!

Welcome to PC, Good Luck, We are here when you need us.

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I'm an LOR new member. I got a 16 channel controller for Christmas and was overjoyed! I'm starting to figure out my display, but I want to know how many controllers to have. Any recommendations?

Guys...Luke is 11 yrs old. I seriously doubt he is married, and probably doesn't carry a wallet yet.

Am I the only one impressed with an 11 year old's proper usage of "an"?

I say we hire Luke to give posting lessons to a few members around here. We can pay him in CTB16PCs.

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Am I the only one impressed with an 11 year old's proper usage of "an"?

With English being my second language, I always thought that 'A' was used before words that started with a consonant, and 'AN' was used before words that started with a vowel.

So shouldn't that be 'A' LOR user?

edit:

OK, there are a couple of other exceptions (notably silent H and U type words), but It should be 'A' LOR user ->

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/591/01/

edit 2:

So I keep reading, and then I find the part about 'the sound' of the letter making the difference. (A) SHEESH! I *love* English!

Edited by oldcqr

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With English being my second language, I always thought that 'A' was used before words that started with a consonant, and 'AN' was used before words that started with a vowel.

So shouldn't that be 'A' LOR user?

edit:

OK, there are a couple of other exceptions (notably silent H and U type words), but It should be 'A' LOR user ->

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/591/01/

LOR is pronounced ell-oh-ar. As the article you linked points out, a/an is based on the pronounced sound of the first letter, not the written letter. Therefore an is appropriate.

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LOR is pronounced ell-oh-ar. As the article you linked points out, a/an is based on the pronounced sound of the first letter, not the written letter. Therefore an is appropriate.

Steve is correct, however, if the written word LOR is pronounced as LOR, not broken down into its acronym of L.O.R., the use of "a" would be appropriate. The same holds true for "a Light-O-Rama" user.

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LOR is pronounced ell-oh-ar. As the article you linked points out, a/an is based on the pronounced sound of the first letter, not the written letter. Therefore an is appropriate.

Yea, I caught that at the end (why I had 2 edits).

So, back to the OP... I used 32 channels my first year, and IMHO that was perfect. There was enough there to be very challenging, but not so much that I was completely overwhelmed. There is not a lot of difference between say 32 and 64 channels, AFTER you have a working setup.

There is a LOT to do and get right that very first year - getting music out to the listeners, design work, etc. (For example, you may need to mount those controllers to something and holes don't drill themselves. The next year that is one less thing to do). 16 or 32 channels forces you to think about the whole picture without getting yourself mired in sequencing details (which can wait till the next year).

With 32, you are also forced into thinking about the future: You'll be going from one controller to another instead of just ending at the one.

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LOR is pronounced ell-oh-ar. As the article you linked points out, a/an is based on the pronounced sound of the first letter, not the written letter. Therefore an is appropriate.

Likewise, one would say "an hour" or "an historic" as most people will naturally "soften" the 'h'. Especially British people. :P

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Guest Lightzilla

Yes, I'm not married (yet) and don't plan to be for a long time :P

Sorry my bad. Nonetheless, it takes money, and I guess your dad must be a part of this.

I would say 48 or 64 channels is a good starting place.

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I think rather than thinking about a number, look at what you "need."

Start with what you already have. For pre-LOR I decorated 1 trees, 6 bushes and lights on the porch posts. That was 8 channels. I decided to do them in white and multi-color. 16 Channels. So there, I bought one controller to start. I then decided to decorate three more trees (in two colors) and do a chase along the roof line. That was another 6 for the trees, 3 for the chasing lights. So I bought another controller and added a few more elements to use 32 channels.

I think if you plan your display first, and then buy what you need to make it happen you'll be much happier with the results.

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