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Everything posted by CraigH

  1. If you are keeping your computer hooked up, there are a couple of ways. You can use the LOR Hardware utility and turn all of the lights on by controller... As long as you don't turn them off, they stay on. So using that utility, find your two controllers, then do all on for one and all on for the other. The other option is creating an animation sequence which is basically, all on and put it into a loop. Or you can even do some simple animations and loop it over and over... Drop that into the show builder and finally , drop it into the scheduler and your are good to go!
  2. My first year of arches had 9 so I could light up the middle channel, sort of like an LED volume meeter. What I found was most songs lend themselves better to 8... 4/4 time... 2/4 time.... I also found that with 9 channels, channel 5 would cross the middle... with 8 channels, it was easier to split the arches in half. There is no right or wrong answer... Odd or even.... I have had an easier time with most effects using 8 rather than 9.
  3. Check out my videos from 2010. I was running two 9 channel arches, six 2 color cone trees and the house for my 32 channels. I would be happy to share. PM me or email [email protected]
  4. THAT IS IT! Thank you! As always, I am so happy to be part of such a knowledgeable and helpful group!
  5. http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50011071 That is a link to the story which plays the music....
  6. During this time of year, the TODAY show, usually when they show the tree in Rockefeller Plaza, play an instrumental version of Carol of the Bells. Does anyone recognize who does this? I tried the London Philharmonic, Boston Bops, 101 Strings, but none sound the same. Anyone have any ideas? I tried my smartphone apps to find out the song, but I can't get them to be quiet enough while the sound bite is playing. Thanks!
  7. Well, given that the circumfrance is defined as d*pi, and your 10' PVC is half the circumference making the total circumference of 20', then 6' 4.5" for the diameter would be a perfect circle, right?
  8. I had a mult-color C7 string with only a few extra bulbs and opted to cut the lights out this year. There were three wires but if you are good about labeling and tracing, it is easy to do. There were only a few extra so the little resistence I was taking out of the string didn't really matter. For my C7s, the lenses could be screwed out and in previous years, I had removed the lenses and wrapped the socket in duct tape. I would imagine you can make a small plugs out of clay or poster putty to shove into the socket, right? If cutting them out didn't work this year, I was going to try soaking the lense in black paint to make my own black-out caps.
  9. It sounds to me like you can submit an application, just like a building permit, and possibly be approved. I thought the wording was such also, that as long as you don't publicize and have very specific event dates, along with council approval of your plan, you could still go through with it. Meanwhile, I am shocked the media has not jumped all over this. Normal neighbors can usually come to some consensus... Brad Boyink (Holiday Road) has had similar issues with the neighbors in the past years, mostly because of the traffic. He was allowed to shorten his show and something like the week before Christmas, it was a static display. The following year he was allowed to do just about anything because so many people in the city complained and I believe the city came through with traffic control aid.
  10. We live on a narrow street and I run two different shows on alternating days. I target each show to last about 15 minutes in order to cycle through the traffic and not have folks sitting for very long. I find that some people watch the show 2 and 3 times from various vantage points. The attention span of most people is so short that I think a variety of songs and keeping the things I do unique to each song limits how many songs I will have, but makes sure that each song is unique and different.
  11. I am feeling good, but scared that I am feeling good because something is about to go horribly wrong. The ligths are all on the house (about 5500) and I just finished the programming. The yard lights go up after my last time through the yard sweeping up leaves which should be on Saturday. I feel like I am on schedule or even a bit ahead, but every year, something goes wrong and I end up scrambling the last week before lights go on. It does not help that Thanksgiving is so early this year. I don't like to start setting up until after Halloween, but with only 23 days to lights on, things are tight this year!
  12. I used the rope lights from CDI and found the same thing -- the cut lengths were way off. What I did was just wrap up the extra length with duct tape. It hangs down and in the dark, no one even sees it. It is the same as using black-out caps for bulbs.
  13. I just did this and it worked as expected.... Maybe post the error message or what you are seeing?
  14. I think it is catchy! Lights in the Glen, Lights on the Glen, Light up the Glen. I just call us the Harris Family Lights. I made plywood signs last year in the shape of a C7 bulb which on it's side sort of looks like an arrow and my wife simply painted, "LIGHTS". :-)
  15. I have done a few variations of this without a problem. I have splice strings together, shortened strings (due to not enough black out caps and duct tap is just too ugly), and increased intervals between lights. Like they said, as long as you maintain polarity. SPT1 should due just fine. Make sure the point is well put together and sealed. One other important thing is make sure your solder iron is very hot because the little bit of shielding on those strings melts in a hurry!
  16. I am not sure that is a resistor or actually a rectifier in order to adjust the wave of the electricity. I have many strings of mixed colors that have lasted for more than 5 years now, although there is not any white in the string. And I have had a few strings not last a year. This has more to do with the weather and the rusting of the leads more than anything else. Since then, I have gone to sealed and commercial grade. Because they are sealed, I cannot mix them so for most of my multi-color strings, I leave the bulbs in and twist multiple strings together. Same effect, more lights, and no worries!
  17. welcome and have fun! This is a great hobby and a great community of supporters and encouragers! Ask questions! Every one is here to help each other and learn from each other. Once again, welcome!
  18. I think it is actually a rectifier. I offset my lights so there is a bulb every 2" on a string of 4" spaced bulbs. My string of 100 only has 3 rectifiers so none of them get in the way.
  19. My arches were 9 segments the first year and 8 the second. If I had to do it over again, I would do the sleeve design for easier changing and adding of lights. My arches also broke at the coupler and had I done the sleeves, the fixing would have been so simple.
  20. In the LOR software, this is pretty easy... Go to 'Edit' and then 'Skew Track' and either adjust the track a touch earlier or later. Some people cut parts of the song out, or shorten the intro, etc. and this can skew the timings. You can delete channels or tracks quite easily. The other thing you can do is to export your channel configuration and import it into any sequence so your elements and channels are shown. I would be happy to share any of my sequences if you need any others. It is at least a great way to see what others have done! Good luck and ask lots of questions!
  21. Sure. Check out the 2011 videos on my webpage and see if that is an arch sequence you can use. http://webpages.charter.net/craigs_christmas My email is on there also. I would be happy to send you any sequence. The 2010 arches were 9 channels each so you probably cannot use those without some edits. 2011 were 8 channels each. You are welcome to any.
  22. In the pre-order, I grabbed 3 cases each of red, green, pure white and blue M5 LED minis. I packed the boxes away until I started working on my display. Just this month I got around to starting to string my mini trees. I worked my way through all of the red and green and found only 2 strings of green that only half light, and 4 strings of red that only half light. I shot CDI and Paul an email on Sunday night and already, by 9:06am Tuesday (Monday was a holiday), I had replacements in the mail, no questions asked! I just wanted to say thanks and to give you recognition for outstanding customer service and promptness! Sometimes, all we hear about are when people are unhappy or the times when things go wrong. Too often, the times when things go right or someone does an outstanding job, those stories don't get told. Kudos!
  23. Honestly, pick songs you like because you will be playing them over and over and over and over. Typically, TSO works well because they tend to have a lot going on and in my opinion, the best songs keep building and building. I will look for it, but there was an excellent blog about songs and programming. I look for songs with lots of things going on so I can match the element to the line, like a sleigh bell or high hat, or french horn line. The best thing to do in my opinion, is download some of the sequences that others have done and watch how the music line and lights match up. I feel the best displays are ones where the lights are musical and match what is going on in the song and don't just blink and flash. A song that starts slow and builds means the lights start slow and build too.... Consider your audience and being entertained.
  24. Like a previous poster said, I think everyone has their own approach. What I did was to watch A LOT of YouTube video and visited a lot of pages to decide how many channels and what display elements I wanted. Next, I do the design. I then listen to lots and lots of music, looking for those songs that are diverse and interesting. By interesting, I mean they have lots of different things going on and continue to build. I then start to visualize what elements will follow what parts of the song, like a high hat or sleigh bell, or the horn section, etc. I also try to invent some way to highlight a display element and do something with it, that I will not do in any other song. Then program and program and program, usually starting with one element at a time through a song phrase at a time. Really watch what Carson Williams and Richard Holdman do. These are, what I think, two of the best at making the music come alive in the sequence. There was also a very well written blog on this website that is worth a read. Anyone can make a sequence. But the trick, in my opinion, is to make a visually interesting and musical sequence.
  25. This was my first year with strobes and the WOW factor is definitely there! I turned them on sparingly and typically only at the end of a song. The effect of the prolonged twinkling while the rest of the display goes dark got a lot of compliments from the visitors. I have an all LED display and went with LED strobes that flash 2-3 times a second. I used about 10 seconds of 10% power to randomize them. My disappointment was that even at 10% power, the strobe flash was noticeable. My strobes are C9 screw in and I made my own cords so the strobes were all at different lengths. I then ran the cords up the middle of my mega-tree to hooks on the underside of the mount. The strobe strings were just inside the other light strings, about 2/3rds the distance. The "load" time bugged me, but only because I knew the effect I was going for. I mentioned my complaint to a few other regular display attendees who didn't even notice and thought it was intention and looked good. I guess with all the other things going on, it is hard to notice a building pulse of white light. I do agree, that the more strobes you have the more you want. I have some cone trees and I am thinking I might try a few strobes inside each of them. One little word of advice... If you do buy your own C9 clip on sockets like I did, plan for some damage and get more than what you need. With my 100 strobes, I could only use 96 because 4 of the clamp on C9 sockets shattered during install.
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