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Everything posted by Shanta

  1. Thanks for the help, but these are "the size of a large pea" and the ones in my globe are more the size of a BB. I'm afraid they may not work, though the larger size would sure make them a lot more visible. Anybody know if it would work for sure? I'd hate to clog up the works.
  2. Does anybody know where I can get more styrofoam "snow" pellets for inside my snow-globes? I need much more SNOW!
  3. Just found this incredible animation package that takes a still image, maps control points to facial features, and then allows you to easily create lip-sync animations. It looks like it would be perfect for creating projected-video faces for pumpkins or singing busts (or a thousand other things). For the time being it is Mac-only, but if you have access to one and Its available for both Mac and PC, so if you need to animate faces, this looks like a great solution. http://www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/crazytalk.aspx See the demo video here: http://youtu.be/LLyYxuvc54E EDITS shown in
  4. Just looked a bit closer at the product photos and it looks like the LEDs are in groups of 9 (!) so the strip would only be 36 channels. Pretty coarse, but might still be worth a look for eaves and window outlines.
  5. Has anybody taken a look at the new Gemmy FlexTech rgb strips being sold at Lowes and Sears this year? Looking at the box there are 108 pixels (probably in groups of 3, so 108 channels) and the controller box connects via what looks like a 4-wire waterproof connector. They also say multiple strips can be daisy-chained. Has anyone played with these, any idea what the protocol is? I think the strip was 12' for about $55. Worth looking into further?
  6. I just want to reiterate that despite Darrens problems, I am running S2 under VMWare Fusion without any problems, even driving my lights via USB. I have a 2.4ghz MacBook running Snow Leopard and run a very small install of XP called TinyXP. I can also run LightshowPro and Holiday Lights Designer with all the same problems folks on a PC have!
  7. I don't have any personal experience, but I know some guys who were part of a group buy from CLS and have had horrendous failure rates (like 70-80%), so I'd look more toward CDI.
  8. I was curious as to the pricing. I found a used AF1000 for $350... for a single strobe! And the Colorblasts are about $1200 new. That's a whole other world for me!
  9. No, in the US anyhow, landscape lighting is almost exclusively 12v DC since the '80s. Sorry, I should have specified that the transformers I have are DC, I thought it was a given. But anyhow, I think 3000w of 12v (DC) should give me ample power to play with. I am wondering though if the AC flicker will still be apparent? As far as I know these power supplies are not rectified. I wonder if putting an RV battery in series would eliminate the flicker... I know certain appliances in my RV will not run off of the AC/DC transformer alone and require the pure DC from having a battery in series. Anyb
  10. I am considering experimenting with RGB strands and pixels and am wondering if landscape lighting transformers are a good choice for power supplies? I have two heavy duty 12v transformers, one 2-channel and one 3-channel, each 600w per channel. Would they be good choices?
  11. I just wanted to chime back in now that I am running a licensed version of LOR Basic Plus and have received my first controller. LOR runs like a champ and drives the controller without issue under VMWare Fusion on my MacBook. I am using the USB with booster to make the connection and had no problems loading the driver or getting LOR to access the controller. Im very pleased that I won't have to spend much time at all chained to a PC.
  12. Really appreciate the series, it's been most helpful. I am a little confused about the macro part of the discussion, not so much the capabilities, but how the macros are executed. Are they run once to assign the way pixels are mapped (like setting a unit ID for LOR), or downloaded to the controller, or run on the show host computer to alter the way the data stream goes out, or what?
  13. Shanta

    Renard help?

    Unless you are sending personal information, can I beg of you not to use PMs? Other newbies would like to know the answers and opinions n this matter as well. Thanks.
  14. I'm not sure why you distrust that number, if you are building a 12' tree with a 7' base (diameter) and have 14 strands, the spacing is about 20" (note that the spacing at the base is unaffected by turns of the spiral). A 7' base means about a 22' circumfrence, divided by 14 increments is 1' 6-7/8" or about 19". The real tricky calculation is how long the string length needs to be, and note that that field is a calculation, not one where you can enter your desired values. You can only enter: Height, Base Diameter, Revolutions, Channels, Strings per Channel, Viewing Rotation, and Direction... a
  15. I'm interested too! I want to not just refit my inflatables to be more energy efficient, but hopefully brighter. I also want to separate the light circuit from the blower, allowing LOR to turn the lights off while they stay inflated. I'd be very interested in hearing others' experience.
  16. I just went through this decision process, and spent a fair amount of time playing with the demos of LOR and LSP. Remember, these are the opinions of a fellow newbie. For now I will only be using LOR controllers. I found the interface, visualizations, and ease of effect mapping in LSP quite compelling. With LSP the visualizer setup is integrally linked to the sequencer. If you apply a red left to right sweep effect, for instance, and tell it to map to the whole display the sequencer looks at the visualizer to determine where red elements are placed and then maps the gradients to the correct ch
  17. Totally agree! I am happy to sequence on my Macbook: light, portable, my little silicon friend... but I sure don't want her (yes, my Macbook is a her, what of it?) tied up all season to a cable running into the yard! I will press an old, disused PC into that service.
  18. I just finished my tally tonight, I bought nearly 11,000 lights at Rite-Aid yesterday for about $91. So now I have a stockpile of 37,941 new lights ready for next season! That's in addition to the 4,355 I used this year. If I don't have a joy-cup-filling display next year it's because I was too lazy, not for lack of good material to use! Ho, ho, ho! That's a lot o lights... and other good stuff! Now, someone tell me, how do I keep all this from the Missus?
  19. I am running LOR S2 (demo) under VMWare Fusion and TinyXP and it runs quite well for sequencing on my Macbook 2.2ghz dual core with 4gb RAM. I have not ordered my first controller yet, so I can't say how well the Mac will do for running shows. Actually, I have an old PC I plan on dedicating to running shows. BTW, TinyXP is a highly stripped down install of XP so that you can keep the installation as small (and as lean) as possible. Fusion can be found for as little as $70. There is also an Apple product called BootCamp which allows you to start your Mac as though it were a PC (no Mac OS loads,
  20. I know this is a little late, but I just found out this morning that Rite-aid reduced all Christmas to 90% off last Sunday. I hit about 9 stores today, cleaning out all of them, so if you are in NE Raleigh ignore this message unless you are willing to travel. I probably grabbed in the neighborhood of 10,000 lights for well under $100! Some had nearly nothing, and some I got 50 or more boxes, so it's worth a look. Enjoy! Shanta
  21. Five core for $1 per mated pair is a great price point. Thanks for the link!
  22. Shanta

    Icicle outages

    Sounds like Amazon just made another $20 off me! Thanks for the recommends. I'll keep my eye out for a cheaper buzz box.
  23. Thanks for the cautionary tale... I may rethink going this route and just do tried and true vamps.
  24. Shanta

    Icicle outages

    I have a couple of sets of icicles that have several drops worth of bulbs out. I am using 300 ct icicles and I imagine each dark section is 50 bulbs. Close inspection suggests that none of the bulbs are burned out, nor loose, nor broken. I am not fond of the thought of pulling and replacing each bulb. Is there a better way? I have a multimeter, a non-contact voltage detector, a continuity probe, etc. Is there some way to use such tools to pinpoint the problem? I have heard of others having success with some kind of $150 "buzz box" that makes the bad bulb buzz... But at that price I'll toss the
  25. That would work, as long as on the load side the hot is the female. You sure don't want a hot male dangling... Never mind, I really don't want to finish that thought ;-)
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