Jump to content

What I Learned My First Year Synchronizing


Recommended Posts

Some of these are really basic, but I figured I would share with my fellow enthusiasts.  Most of these probably have the "most applicability" the first year you synchronize.

 

1.  You can't start too early.  I laid out every weekend basically from first week of Sep thru weekend before thanksgiving.  Was a very good thing I did that, because I would have certainly underestimated the amount of effort (weekends normally) required to setup everything!!  I can thank my sweet wife for prompting me on this one...

 

2.  Allocate 25-30% more time than you think you need to setup your display.

Examples of problems I have had when setting up my display this year:

-->Static icicles that worked before putting up then half the string didn't work after putting up on roofline.  Replacement icicle string was shorter so I had to move three strings.  Very time consuming because it takes so much up/down ladder work to attach to shingles.... 

-->When putting my RGB strips into arches, one of the strips wouldn't light up even though I had tested it after I soldered the connector to it.  Had to re-solder that connector to the strip, then all was good.

-->First setup of FM transmitter took longer than expected.

-->The top section of one of my mini trees did not work at all and I couldn't find what was wrong using my light keeper pro, so I had to replace that section with a new section of lights.

-->I found out that net lights are very finicky--the bulbs pull out of the sockets if you are not gentle when handling them.  This cost me several hours of one afternoon.  Thank goodness for light keeper pro....  Oh almost forgot--one light melted right thru the casing without blowing a fuse--watched it smoke right there in the living room!  Well at least I found out what was wrong with THAT string....  Then the store was out of the white net lights.  Arrgh....

 

3. Plan out ALL the little details, so when it is time to execute your plan, you can execute it!!  For example, I decided to put my LOR AC controller right next to my E682 RGB controller in the garage to eliminate the possibility of either box getting stolen and to avoid issues with moisture.  I had a good plan to double up leads so voltage drop wouldn't get me on the 140' long (5V) RGB leads.  Didn't work because you have to put a "null pixel" something like every 15' or so on a long run of signal; I had forgotten that "little" fact..  Anyway, that cost me several hours one day and I now have ordered a long piece of cat5 cable to run between the LOR & the E682.  If I had thought this through and had had read the "101 manual" on ACL forum more closely, I could have avoided this one....

 

Like I said, these are really pretty simple but I figured I would share my "first year" lessons with others....  All in all I am thoroughly enjoying this hobby and look forward to this year and future years!!

Edited by deej012160
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I can't agree with you more on time..  I'm am dragging my butt this year for some reason and I don't know why.  And with the weather coming in you would think I would be moving quicker..  Nope...  Been extremely cold and now snow... And I still have stuff to build!!

 

I just don't think I'm gonna make my Black Friday test night this year...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the amount of time it takes is the most under estimated item of this biz.  Most people don't realize that it takes about 100 hours (or more) to sequence 10-15 minutes worth of music.  The countless hours prepping and troubleshooting the display.  All in all I probably spent close to 300 hours getting ready for the season.

 

Plan early, start early.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally concur on the "preplanning" part--sequencing and thinking through the whole display.  I have COUNTLESS hours invested in the sequencing part of it, and I even "borrowed" other sequences and adapted them to my display!  I figured some folks would appreciate a post about a "first year" experience in setting up all the physical display!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My actual setup time is well over 300 hours and I'm still three - four full days away from light up. I've had all the lights and props up for over 11/2 weeks, it's the hours and hours of wiring and hook ups that take the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill V--I found this too.  The physical setup took me much longer than I ever thought, even when I thought I had plenty of time allocated for various aspects of my setup.  Again, I am just hoping that this post might help some other first timers properly plan out the many weekends required to setup!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...