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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • 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.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • 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.

    Need Suggestions for a Soldering Iron

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    What does everyone here use for soldering the parts together for the PC Board Kit? I've been looking online at some of the soldering gun/irons (I don't know the correct term) but want to know what I should be looking forward. Any ideas/suggestions would be great.

    I just received my first two controller kits and can't wait to get to work on putting them together.



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    A $15 Radio Shack unit will do but it's not enjoyable to use and the tips wear out quickly. I have this one that is outdated now and It's a dream to use and the tip last forever.


    If you are only going to build two I would buy a Radio Shack pencil model. If you plan to build more and other things and can swing a solder station of some kind I would recommend it. Some can be had for $50 and they are nice as well.

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    You might could get away with just this;


    On Amazon here

    I love this iron. I am a ham radio operator and got this from a hamfest for $20.00. After using this on a bunch of projects, happy to have paid $40.00 for it.

    It has a very fine tip on it. Get some of the fine solder from Radio Shack;


    I have right now on my bench a little bowl with a Brillo pad for cleaning the tip. Always want to clean the tip before starting a new solder job.

    You might want to have a larger solder "gun" (100, 125 watt) for some bigger jobs. Might not need it for the LOR kits, but something sticks in my mind about needing a heavy soldering iron than the 12w one I listed at the first. Weller are great irons. But you can find some cheap ones that do well. I have the weller pencil and a cheap $7.95 100watt iron on the bench now. Both are great :)

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    Not to sidetrack this thread, but to build on it. . . . if I am soldering copper wires (extension cords to lights) what do I need to use for the soldering material? I was going to use butt-splice connectors, but I've had some experience with them comng apart. I may not be a good crimper. Thanks.

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    I bought a Weller WLC100 Soldering Station at Fry's electronics for 39.99.

    I love the iron. I have an uncle who is an electronics engineer who gave me my first iron as a kid, it was a Weller also. That one had too large a tip, and at some point i must not have taken care of it and the tip froze onto the iron but good. That made it unusable for these small circuits.

    I have been happy with Weller and would buy one again.

    I did try a radio shack iron one time, but it was too low a wattage and did not work well.

    My .02


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