Jump to content
Did you know?
  • 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.
CameronInGA

Getting Started With A Sequenced Display

Recommended Posts

I'm really itching to start with a sequenced display for next year, but am unsure where to start. I've done some research on LOR and Renard setups. I'm looking for some advice on how to get into this aspect of christmas displays.

 

To start with, here's a list of my display elements that I am planning for 2014:

 

  • 10" mega tree (24 stringers / 12 light sets, plus a single-bulb topper, plus strobe lights, total of 14 channels)
  • 24 light up canes, arranged in semi-circle around tree (would prefer to be able to use a single channel on each one, total of 24 channels)
  • Net-light American Flag (1 channel)
  • Two net lights flanking the flag display (would like to be able to figure out how to isolate each net into three individual circuits, so that would be a total of six channels)
  • Five bushes throughout the yard with net lights, one channel/bush (total of five channels)
  • Icicle lights on gutter line of house (three channels)
  • Wire frame train sculpture (1 channel)
  • Soft Tinsel Yard sculptures (4 channels)
  • Railroad crossing signal (1 channel)
  • Flood lights for house (6 channels)
  • Tree wraps a dogwood tree (1 channel)
  • Animated "holdman" star for roof (3 channels)
  • Window/Door outlines (3 channels)

 

That's a total of 72 channels, assuming that each element is controllable independently. I obviously want to start with a system that leaves at least a little room for future expansion, so probably about 96 channel capability.

 

An LOR system to support that many channels will be $1,800+... I can't really cant a good handle on what a Renard system would cost me to equal the capacity of LOR (plus I have to assemble the thing and I'm not clear if Renard is as reliable as LOR).

 

Am I trying to be too ambitious from the start? For those of you who have built systems over the years, what is your advice?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also want to start next year. But here is what i would do if you don't want to spend that much to begin with. Maybe down your candy cane count to match your mega-tree. Say channel 1 will control 1 candy cane and one mega-tree channel. You don't necessarily have to have every little display item on a channel. Especially to start. Download the demo of LOR software and play around with it. Make a sequence and play around in the visualizer with adding things to channels. You could probably cut your display down to at least half the channels if not more. I have a few sequences of 32 channel for LOR if you want to play around with them, pm me your email and i can send them to you. It will give you a chance to play around with the program and channels without spending hours on sequencing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait until January and pick up supplies from the one-year wonders that got into the hobby after watching a YouTube video and then discovering how much headache is involved in the hobby.

No,72 channels up isn't to much. But if it is money that concerns you, then start at 32 and build up during subsequent years.

Set a yearly budget for what you will spend. In December, buy lights on clearance. In summer, buy LOR on sale

The advNtage of LOR is its resale value. If you bust out, you can sell and recoup nearly all your money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait until January and pick up supplies from the one-year wonders that got into the hobby after watching a YouTube video and then discovering how much headache is involved in the hobby.

No,72 channels up isn't to much. But if it is money that concerns you, then start at 32 and build up during subsequent years.

Set a yearly budget for what you will spend. In December, buy lights on clearance. In summer, buy LOR on sale

The advNtage of LOR is its resale value. If you bust out, you can sell and recoup nearly all your money.

Really?  So say i bought a controller for $260. I could get almost all of that money back? I didn't realize LOR controllers held their value that well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really?  So say i bought a controller for $260. I could get almost all of that money back? I didn't realize LOR controllers held their value that well.

You would be surprised. You can likely sell for anywhere between 70% to 85% the current LOR prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

180.00 to 250.00 on ebay is the every day going price and they all sell out before the auction time is up .

I've seen commercial controllers up over 300.00 for used and that's with no guarantee that they work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone ever assembled the kits from LOR? It looks that could save a few bucks... It has been many years since I did any soldering but I'm sure it would be relatively easy as long as the documentation is sufficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first year getting into animation I soldered 6 of the CTB 16 40-amp boards.  No previous soldering experience and not a single problem came up in the process.  First board took me almost 4 hours, but by #6 I had it down under an hour. If you are willing to put in the time it's a great way to save money.  (I believe the only solder kits LOR now offers is the PC series)

Also, just a tip on your first year... take the time you estimate to complete each one of your tasks, THEN DOUBLE IT.  The time it took to make so many custom zip cords is what I really underestimated.

Edited by vkjohnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the input vkjohnson provided.  This was my first year to synch.   EVERYTHING took much longer than I expected.  I ran into problems that HAD to be resolved.  I am currently using an LOR CTB16PC for my AC channels and a SanDevices E682 for my RGB arches.  I took a small dip into RGB this year.  It was almost too much for me to be honest; I started in September.  But I am glad I did because I now have a lot of learning curve behind me and can confidently go after a pixel tree next year.  Here are my thoughts on LOR with respect to RGBs--if you are serious about RGBs you should probably go with some sequencing tool "other than" LOR.  You can read a LOT of posts about how SLOOOOOOWWWW LOR gets when you get up to high RGB channel counts.  I am only running 360 RGB channels this year (six 60 channel arches) and LOR is already slowing down pretty significantly on me.  My two cents on this subject.....  I am going to try to move from LOR S3 to Hinkle's Lighting Sequencer (HLS) for next year's displays.  I used xlights/nutcracker to sequence my RGB effects this year, then dumped it into LOR S3.  That worked pretty well.  Now, if you are willing to spend a lot more $$ per RGB element, if you go with all LOR stuff (e.g. CCR strings, etc), it is "less" DIY than other offerings (which is why I started with LOR--I am not DIYer).  That is another thing I learned this year.  Either you spend a lot of money on plug & play stuff or you spend less (but still not insignificant) money on DIY options.  I am learning to be a DIYer.  Just some things to think about!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless those bushes are all in a row and you plan on doing a chase withy them, you can put all on one channel. I have 6 windows all on 1 channel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take the time to plan it out and it will save you alot of headache later. We started with LOR controlers but are now going with the Renards. When you compare the prices of around $300 for a LOR compared to anywhere from $100 to $150 for a Renard the savings can add up quick and will let you spend it somewhere else in your display

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to start out small with 48 channels and see how it goes. Leave the rest of your display static. Sequence a few songs and build from that each year. Try to add channels in multiples of 8 or 16 to avoid splitting up channels between controllers (if LOR).

 

If after the first year you don't like it, you haven't lost a ton of money. If you do like it then be prepared to spend a ton of money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it helps, we did our first year with only 16 channels. People where very impressed. Seems like nothing to us as hobbyists, but to others it was impressive. Take a look what what we did with 16 channels by LOR in the link below. Especially look at TSO Wizard in Winter. We started with simple arches, and decided to make the arches much more by adding the strings on the ground. Now that we have a much better feel for what is involved, we are growing our display by 4x, Right now I have 4 controllers and hope to reach 2 more before next season.  Also below is a great video on a good way to start Breaking down sequences so you can get a feel for each song. You have to know the song well.. to be able to visualize what you hear in your head. By starting with this, it makes it much easier 

 

 

2013 Jones Family Christmas Playlist

 

 Intro to sequencing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are just getting started you will likely find that there are more ways to sequence than there are people sequencing.  Here is a turorial done by John (actully part 1 of 4) that is VERY well done and a great place to start.  Just one great way to get going.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf9O-KiysA0&feature=c4-overview&list=UU0dnf9FV18XPhcV-BQNXckw

 

Start off small and simple, it is easy to get over your head very quickly.

My seggestion is to let your lights interpret the music not just flash on and off to the beat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Start off small and simple, it is easy to get over your head very quickly.

My seggestion is to let your lights interpret the music not just flash on and off to the beat. 

Very true jerrymac.. I struggled with this.. for that matter honestly I still struggle.. somewhat.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot of good input here.

 

Dale brings up a great point with the one year wonders. Guys, doing Christmas display is like running a marathon and not a 100yd dash.  

 

First thing I would ask yourself, is why you want to do it in the first place? There is lots of motivation to get you going, it is sustaining that momentum that is important. Which is why you see some of the guys who have been around, attempt to explain, crawl, walk, run. There have been WAY too many who want to do hundreds of channels, and then realize WTF did I do to my life.

 

There is that awful word we have to talk about, budget. That is not always about money. You will find in the long run, the big budget is time, and this encompasses a lot. Planning is paramount, sticking to that plan and not getting carried away will help with the marathon. I attempted to start out with 32 channels, but went to 48. That was in 2005. It was hell that first year, and experience is something you cannot read about and comprehend. You have to get your hands dirty to understand. I now do over 600 channels of just AC animation, RGB bumps my count up even more. Without the experience (and fun) of that first year, it would be hard to be where I am at today.

 

Before you make your decisions, and we all want to see our community grow, ask yourself, why you want to do this. Let reason drive your decisions and not emotion.

Edited by zman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

zman makes a very good point about one year wonders.  I was surprised at how much time everything required.  One additional item I learned my first year is that you are presenting a show for others.  I had pictured the sequenced display mainly for me but that was incorrect.  I could see how you could get into this, have a tough first year then decide wow this is not for me.  There is a lot to it!!  But I love it and plan to slowly build each year.  Looking forward to our next expansion--an RGB mega tree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm on my fourth year now and I think back to year one at 32 channels and think what was I doing. Watch the videos and can't believe how far it has come in that time. I have watched all of johns tutorial videos at least twice and have picked up a ton of info. I actually started from scratch and am using his methods to build a sequence to a song I've wanted for years and Just couldn't make a sequence out of... The point of budgeting time is important thou, with work, house, wife and kids it's hard to find time to work on it. But I try to include them into the sequencing and projects

Share this post


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...