Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Days Won


tfischer last won the day on January 5 2017

tfischer had the most liked content!


17 Good

About tfischer

  • Birthday 06/05/1970

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    Plymouth (Twin Cities), Minnesota, USA
  • Biography
    Started decorating when I was in the second grade and my brother and I decorated our bedroom. Been decorating 'big' since about 1998. Went computer-controlled via LOR in 2003.
  • Interests
    Christmas lights, woodworking, landscaping/gardening, bicycling, lots of others
  • Occupation
    Software Engineer
  • About my display
    Display 2009 had 176 channels of Light-O-Rama controlled lights synced to music, plus lots of "static" lights (because we like the look of lots of lights on at a time). New in '09 was synchronized video. Other highlights include our Peanuts Nativity, LED arches, Mega Tree, and a number of other custom-built displays. Plans for 2010 include phasing in more LED's, adding at least 16 more channels, and other stuff I haven't figured out yet.

Recent Profile Visitors

2,095 profile views
  1. Most of mine are Lemax. The two in the picture are GFeller's Pizza and Tim's Trains and Hobby (I had to have that last one for obvious reasons)
  2. Our village is much smaller than many of yours, but we did have a giant rodent stop by this year. (it's my boys' hamster Smokey)
  3. I agree with many responses above. - Who cares what other people are doing. Do what makes you happy, and hopefully (and likely) that will make others happy too. - I've been doing this a long time. 10 years computer-animated this season. About 3 more of what I'd consider a 'large' display, and about 5 before that where others still considered us the 'big Christmas display in the neighborhood". I've never, ever cared about what other displays are doing. I might borrow (steal?) ideas from them. I might decide I don't like it, and will do something different. But I've never, ever cared about being the biggest or the most popular. - Somone above mentioned that nobody takes pictures of animated displays. I would argue that's because many people program their animated displays with hardly anything going on at any given time. We have dozens of people taking pics of our display each season. - I'm not sure what "it's too commercial" means in this context. Too many lights? Too many blinking lights? RGB lights? Pop songs being programmed? Whatever it is to you, then make sure that your display isn't like that. This hobby is expensive, tiring at times, and a time-sink. If you don't love it, than it's ok to leave it. Most of us start getting crazy ideas about what we're going to do next year, because seeing everyting working and people jazzed up coming to see the display makes them happy. I'm curious why the police are there every night?
  4. Well, I tried to stay out of this topic when it started back in January, but now that its sprung back to life again, I'm going to take the bait: I think the "Mr. Christmas" boxes, and other "buy at Home Depot, plug a bunch of lights in and go" sorts of things have diluted the "wow factor" a bit. The fact that there have been 3 or 4 (at least) viral videos of other people's displays over the past few years has further diluted things. Does that mean nobody cares about displays anymore? Certainly not. But I think what that means is if you think you can cook up a recipie ("throw in 3 leaping arches, one average-sized mega-tree, one 3D reindeer, a Bethelehem Star, and Wizards in Winter - stir vigorously and add stock 'witty' voiceovers to taste", you may have people lining up to the next county to come watch. Because it's been done before. That's OK, people will still enjoy it. So... lets assume you WANT a bigger response. You could keep chasing technology. How about LAZERZ! RGB smart pixels everywhere! Belching fire-cannons! Pixel-mapped video making your house turn into the Grinch! Or... you could (gasp), just do something decidedly low-tech, but be unique. Make your display *your own*. Go ahead and copy a few elements from others, we all do. But make your OVERALL display unique. I have to confess I go to a lot of displays, and much as I try to just enjoy them, start thinking "there's the standard arches, the leaping poles, the Holdman star.. Hmmm, I wonder who this is on PlanetChristmas or the LOR forums?" And when I DO come across a display that does something I've never seen before, I really sit up and take notice. As noted in the reples above, a lot of people would prefer to see a plywood cut-out than $1500 in RGB pixels. Because they're handcrafted, and unique to your display. Don't get me wrong, I have a Mega-tree. I have arches. I'm spending a good chunk of cash to jump into Pixels this year. But I also strive to put little touches in the display to keep things unique from other displays out there. We use a lot of music that I haven't heard in other displays. When we DO "copy" an element from another display, we tend to change things up so it's unique to us. Do the visitors care? Maybe, maybe not. But they seem to enjoy it
  5. The list in the Star Tribune was shorter than I ever remember it. We don't submit our display anymore since we get enough traffic with word of mouth and online... Never heard of this "Twinkle Trail" site. Seems there are too many competing "display locator" sites and none are terribly complete. I kind of miss the old days where I'd get the Star Tribune's list and plan out a big route...
  6. I've done it many times for touch-ups on strings where one color (usually blue) is very faded but the others are fine. As noted above, it's really tedious, and doesn't last more than a season or two. For coloring clear strings from scratch, I'd recommend spray paint vs. sharpies. I've also used the brush-on stained glass paint for reasonable results, but I only did this to rejuvenate the green on my super-strings (3 colors zip-tied together) for my mega-trees, where it would have been a lot more labor-intensive to rebuild the strings vs. color them.
  7. I've said that every year for the past 3 years, and it has gotten progressively worse. Fortunately last year, rather than getting upset and depressed about it like usual, I treated it like a big prank pulled on my Mother Nature, tried to keep a good attitude, and made it through. I'm not going to jinx myself and everyone else this year by saying anything about whether it will be better or not!
  8. Not sure what you mean by that - I was being sincere. I've never heard anyone say they've tried a network with lots of splits and had no issues. I'm glad you posted that yours worked. Is this true with DMX as well?
  9. You can order a new GAL5 from Ramsey for not a lot of cash, and that will fix them.
  10. Thanks for this post. You're the first person I've seen that has given hard data that it just might work in practice On the other hand, not sure what you mean about "not supposed to use RJ11 cable" - are you referring to the flat stuff? I know that for some reason Dan said that was OK, but recommended against splits...
  11. It sucked. 4' high by 6' wide walls of snow (compliments of the city plow) blocked our entire 200' frontage. I did my best to knock down the peaks, but were do you put that much snow? I didn't even bother shooting video of the display because it looked so stupid. Fortunately I had taken still photos a few days before this big storm. I stubbornly dug out most of the visible display and had that stuff down by the end of January. The less-visible stuff went down in late March. -Tim
  12. Put a meter on the radio wire to see how low voltage is actually dropping during the start.
  13. So do I. But last year we had nearly over 2' of snow in December alone, and nearly 4' drifts in some places. Here's my photo evidence. And that was just after the "big" ones, not all the smaller ones that followed: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1705095314451.2097142.1450070609&type=1&l=6a524328f3
  • Create New...