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Everything posted by Mwhite7097

  1. I planted a 3' maple sapling last spring and put a string of lights on it. As it grows, I will add strings as needed. In 30 years, I should have a well lit tree.
  2. Do NOT do this! You will be leaving powered male ends exposed and open yourself up to big problems and/or injury. If the top of your tree is too high to access and change the string, make another strand with a hook attached and hang it from the top of your tree. Fix it after the season but I can't stress enough that 2 male ends are a BAD idea!
  3. You can have some of my traffic. It is getting nutty sometimes.
  4. Offer her the opportunity to spend hours learning how to sequence and she can sequence some songs for you LOL. Other than that, I would stick to the songs YOU like. There are many different tastes and opinions out there. I have about 2/3 of the show is Christmas music (most of it fast tempo because the slower songs are boring to me) and 1/3 of the show is non - holiday music, such as Wonderful World, Mr. Sandman, Wipeout etc. Some people want all traditional music, some want the newer upbeat music. You are the one putting in all the work and time, so do what YOU like.
  5. First of all, check your comm cable. Those are usually the suspects when things go "weird" but not weird all the time. You may need a new one. Also, it may be as simple as a bad connection with the light strings. Put them on in the HU and wiggle the connections. If they go off, you may need to replace the plug. Lastly, make sure your channel assignments don't conflict with other channels. I had 2 channels set for the same ID when I reconfigured the controllers and one channel would knock the other out.
  6. I have run 60000 LEDs with the Glade Plug Ins for 3 years now with no problems. As for your strobes, I am not sure you should be dimming them. I believe, as with the snowfall/blizzard tubes, they should be all on or all off. Fading will affect their longevity. Also the new Gen3 controllers will work with your older controllers and old software. You just can't use the new lighting curves and other features until you upgrade to newer software, but those lighting curves eliminate the need for snubbers/plug ins.
  7. It depends on your situation. If you are on a busy street and need to cycle cars through, shorter is better. If it is a rural neighborhood and you have pedestrian traffic, your show can be longer. I have a large field across the street from my house where people park and watch, but I still limit each show to about 1/2 hour to cycle new cars in and because even light shows will get old if played too long.
  8. I am in Ellington, CT. 3rd year doing animated lights. 160 channels, all LED lights. Shows will be up and running the Sat after Thanksgiving. Last year had thousands of visitors and raised $2500 for St. Judes. 1/2 hour shows that start on the hour 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thurs thru Sun. 30 diff songs approx 8-9 songs per show. There is a large field across from the house so cars can pull off the road and watch entire shows. Late in the season we get 50-60 cars per show. I would love to visit others here in CT and W. Mass. Setting up house stuff this weekend but I usually wait until after Halloween for the yard stuff. Starting earlier this year as last years snowstorm made getting up and running by Thanksgiving a nightmare.
  9. I use Audacity to export my files as WAVs without LAME and without problems.
  10. You will need as many strings as you plan on having channels if you want them to be leaping arches. 7 strings for 7 channels should be fine for a 10' arch. Look into the forums about making individual sleeves for your arches. This makes for an easy fix if a string fails. Whether you make individual sleeves or wrap the entire section of pvc, you will be able to see how tightly to wrap your strings by the first section you do. Programming arches to leap is fairly easy. Think of one section fades out as the next fades in, then on, then fades out etc.
  11. Stupid question here but aren't the fuses there for a reason?
  12. I attach from top to bottom. This way I can cover about 3/4 of the cage and get more lights facing the audience. I zip tie the top of the tomato cages about 2" from the very top and bend the remaining legs to use as hooks for the top. I never saw the need to wrap the entire cage. I would rather have the lights cover where yoou can see them better.
  13. The first few sequences will take longer to do as you get the hang of it. As you progress, you will get better and faster. Remember that you can cut and paste segments (such as arch jumps and firebursts) into other sequences, so once you have them programmed, reusing them will save tons of time. My first sequence, Linus and Lucy, took about 30 hours. Now I can do songs of the same length in about 10.
  14. Last year I used an old garden hose reel to spool my wire. It rolls up fairly easily. I can then place it near my controllers, run the length of wire I need, and then cut and move on to the next element. I was able to roll 5000' onto the reel but I am sure you could put more.
  15. I agree with the open house. I invite my neighbors to a "sneak peek" night after all is set up and before the crowds are aware the shows are starting. I get a chance to see new sequences in action, get feedback, and make the neighbors feel special about the invite only preview. Many even offer to help setup for the following year. Keep them in the loop.
  16. If you have video of your show, I have found "inspiration" to get on track by watching my favorite sequences. In June or July, when Christmas is the last thing people are thinking about, I can rekindle the "Yule" fire by watching a few videos with my daughter. I also remember my 1st year of thinking I had plenty of time left for projects, only to realize the summer went by and I still had plenty to do with not much time left. I now try to be done with sequencing and building by the beginning of Sept.
  17. My display is usually up the 1st week of Nov because I vacation over Thanksgiving, coming back on the Sat. after to start the show. I haven't had a problem but then again, I never had any vandalism. Let the local PD know and ask if they will do a nightly drive by to see if anything is amiss. Neighbors are the best lookouts, especially if they enjoy the shows.
  18. I had a 22' tree with 1 1/2 spiral revolutions. It was perfect for 33' strings. I used 16 5mm LED light strings.
  19. One thing I would suggest that I didn't see in the 1st picture is guy wires. I have a similar setup and once you start stringing the lights, the weight will put stress on the center pole. A couple guy wires at the flex point will save a lot of trouble down the road.
  20. I collected for St. Judes. Childrens Hospital last year. They are very appreciative and send thank you's to anyone who chose to give by check. I did not contact them beforehand as donations were optional. I was going to collect for the local food pantry but didn't want to haul food in every night and store it. I live in farmland and have TONS of mice and critters about. I was a lot easier to collect the cash and checks from the drop box
  21. When I sequence, the 1st thing I need is a design of the lights on the house and in the yard. How you decorate will help determine what elements of your lights you can use to animate the music. 2nd, I find the music I want to sequence to. Listen to it many times. Like dance choreography, I try to find a bass beat for the timing, then add other components to compliment the music (example: shimmering trees to simulate cymbals). Try to sequence about 10 seconds of the song and then view it in the visualizer to see if you like it, need to fix timings, or would like to add/remove an element. Many parts of a sequence can be copied and pasted, or looped throughout the song to save time.
  22. I had 2 of the Shindigz signs last year. The price is great but found they ripped from the grommets in strong wind and also, I didn't like the fact I had to illuminate them during the shows. This year I made a simple "Tune To" sign with 1/4" opaque or "frosted" plexiglass. I just printed out the frequency #s and taped them (reversed)to the back of the plexi as a stencil. Then I spray painted the plexi black so only the "Tune To 89.9 FM" was frosted. A simple plywood box and some LED strings inside lit up the frosted letters great. It was also a good use for a couple LED strings that only had half of the lights working. I control the sign with an extra channel so they only light up between songs. It is helpful to also flash the sign on and off because it grabs the attention of viewers who often don't know where to look for the radio info. The entire thing took about 20 minutes to make and works out better for my show than just the Shindigz signs.
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