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  • 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.

forte88

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About forte88

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 11/22/1959

Profile Information

  • Location
    Southern California
  • Biography
    Wer'e not ordinary people
  • Interests
    Camping
  • Occupation
    Computer Network Coord
  • About my display
    My son passed away in 2005 at the age of 22 in a hit and run auto accident. Prior to this, I always made him help with the Christmas lights, and he would call his friends to come over to help (mostly so he could get done faster). Since his passing, his friends have continued every year to help with the decorations despite now no longer being "kids" anymore. They have all now graduated college, and have busy lives of their own, and i'm just amazed that they every year they find time to come out and put this thing together.
  1. House decorated almost exclusively with lasers. Just a few strands of LED icicles and some blow molds. The rest is done entirely in lasers.
  2. House decorated almost exclusively with lasers. Just a few strands of LED icicles and some blow molds. The rest is done entirely in lasers.
  3. I'm in San Jacinto California next to Soboba Golf Course and Casino. Private Message me and I'll give you precise directions. It will be in full force again this weekend barring weather issues.
  4. The video showed very little of what I'm doing with the animation laser. The entire animation sequence is a few minutes long with scenes such as Rudolf chasing a snowflake. The Quickshow software comes with a pretty good variety of holday themed animations which I pieced together in a timeline and made my own cue. I think I used a couple that I found online from folks exchanging .ILD files. There is a whole community of people that are animation laser enthusiasts, but most are in Europe. The laser I am using is a cheap chinese laser. It's the REKE RGB 500. I paid under 300.00 for it when I purchased it. The big investment was Pangolin Quickshow which I found on E-bay new for under 600.00. The software comes with the ILDA hardware interface and it seemed I just had to bite the bullet if I wanted this laser to do what I wanted to. So yes, that laser investment just under 1k of investment. To get a better laser with faster scanners the price would be 3 times as much as I paid. However, the laser is somewhat getting some rewards. I was in a contest for a Halloween decorating at an RV resort. I incorporated the animation laser with the Halloween decorations by shining scary animations in some very bushy trees and had images such as a witch flying across the trees (such as your santa idea) and won first place and some money. The community where I live is also having a Christmas decorating contest and many are saying I'm a shoe in for 1st place. Prize money was never what this was about to begin with, but hey, I take some return on my investment. You're right about the inclement weather. I'm here in Southern California so I'm not going to have the issues you may run into. But we do get rain. I only pull out the lasers on weekends, and weather permitting. I can't run this thing all the time. That is a draw back, but it is definately an eye turner. Frankly, the video just doesn't do it justice, and the laser animations just doesn't translate well in video. With so many people using computerized lights blinking to music which all seemed to start with the "Wizards of Winter" video that went viral.. I wanted to look for something differant. However, many of my lasers have DMX capability. The Pangolin software also has the ability for DMX control and adding music to the timeline and make DMX commands. My next investment will probably be a DMX interface and somehow tie in the audio from the window video projection and have everything tie in together. Too bad the snow machine and the fog machine I bought don't have a DMX interface. The only other thing I worry about is safety. I bought the light tree to make sure the projectors are high enough to shine over anybody's head, and made sure that there was no bleed of laser through the tree. I also stay outside with my decorations during the show, and keep curious people off my porch where the 300mw Blue could be dangerous to someones eyes. Especially little ones. I bring the projectors in every night after the show. It's about an 8 minute process to tear down.
  5. We added a laser or two this year. The most significant one is the 500mw RGB animated laser using Pangolin Software. Other equipment is: 300mw blue motor laser 5 assorted star laser projectors one with cross effect. The animation laser is connected to a laptop in the house using 50 ft of DB52 cable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdoimvwwNaY
  6. I bought this little projection and have been using it and getting lots of good comments from visitors. I projected it on my picture window on the front of the house over last weekend to see what it was going to look like. . The opening sequence looks really cool as it looks like somebody is walking around in your house with a flashlight and things start to come to life. It's also very kid friendly. The actual movie you purchase is only a few minutes long, but it seems to be just enough to hold the interest of viewers, and loops pretty seamlessly. You might want to check it out here:
  7. I know your going to enjoy your Reke-07. But Fog is almost a must to get it's full effect. It's extremely bright! Make sure not to let that one bleed off the sides of the house because it will travel. Also don't look into this one.. it will hit you like a ton of bricks. When I bought mine, it was rated at 300mw. That is also what it says in the manual that I got with mine. Depending on where you go, some say now 250mw, and others say as low as 150mw. Let me know what your manual says when you get it. When you fire it up, it takes a few seconds to warm up before it starts to shine. You will hear the motor start up before the laser turns on. I think the Reke-07 and the Kolo Cross Star laser are my favorite two projectors that I own. But as soon as I get an animation laser, that will probably change.
  8. The projector tree that housed 4 projectors was set about 30 feet from the front of the house. The other smaller projectors were closer with one being about 5 feet, another being around 10 feet, and a third one about 8 feet. They were just placed on a piece of wood on the ground, although one was sitting on top of the roof my truck in the RV parking driveway. The projector tree holds the projectors up about 4 feet from the ground. I would have liked it a little higher to so as not to catch a shadow from the eavesment of the house. But that was the highest I could set my make shift light tree from the utility light creation I made.
  9. Looks good Rigel! That's good news about the cold temperatures. I really like the hypnotic laser. I think I'm going to put it on my wish list. I'd love to see it perform on a wider area, say an entire garage door. During Halloween I shined the star lasers up in large trees and it gave the effect of like thousands of fireflies. A couple of my smaller projectors have controls that can slow the motor down which really enhanced the look of fireflies.. or as we called them back in Ohio.. Lightening Bugs. Watch out.. this laser thing can get kind of addicting.. As you can see, video taping really doesn't do the look of the lasers justice. It took several attempts to get a decent video of my house and I ended up using a very high end camera that a friend of my owned. However, that camera was only standard definition but it was prosumer grade. It gave me the best results, but I sure would have loved to had a good HD prosumer camera film it.
  10. i'm in the same boat as Rigel; bad back, bad knees, and creeky joints. It took me less than an hour to set up the LED icicles on the house, and I am able to set the projectors up and tear them down every night in about 10 minutes time. In the past it would take me days to setup all the lights we used to use, and that was with help from young whipper snappers. WIth this setup, i'm still turning heads, having cars stop and watch the display without all the physical effort, and I might add; without the elevated electrical bills. I haven't found anybody else around or near my city that is doing anything like this, and I have had nothing but positive comments from onlookers. Like I said, the video really doesn't do it justice. Yeah,, it's kinda like cheating.. but hey.. it works One other thing is that we have experienced vandalism in the past leaving the stuff out at night. I have had inflatables slashed, blowmolds kicked and bent, and strands of lights cut. Probably just bored teenagers, but it was starting to add up. Since I'm able to bring in my setup every night, there is nothing there for them to vandalize unless they wanted to just cut extension cords.
  11. Greg, The video doesn't show it because the music was added afterward for video editing. The filming was done with only 1 camera and it was decided that it was much more interesting to watch the lasers on the house from differant angles instead of just placing it on a tripod and filming from one spot. We only have 1 camera and getting the lasers to show in a low light situation was difficult enough. The video above really doesn't do it justice... 4 of the laser projectors have sound sensors and they make the lasers dance or blink to the music beat. There was outside music playing through a small PA system which triggered the sound sensors on the lasers. 3 other projectors were just set to go at random on this setup. It would be possible to set the DMX interface capable projectors with a light board and have it controlled from a computer, but this was much less complicated, less expensive, and seemed to work just fine without all the trouble.
  12. I really like the Micro DG Hypnotic laser. I was looking for something like that when I was purchasing projectors last year. I do worry that 80mw Red and 30mw green might not show up outside on a partially lit house very well tho (especially with it being diffused into cloud like images). I wish the laser was a little more powerful say 100mw red and 50mw green. I found that using the LED dark blue icicles complimented the red and green very well without washing them out, but most of my laser projectors are 100mw Red and 50mw green. I used weaker lasers the year prior and they weren't that noticable, although I had white icicle lights on the house that year which washed a lot of the lasers out. I had my eye on the Reke-500RGB for an animation laser. It has the ILDA PC interface to create your own animations. Currently it's showing as $303.00 but I know in the fall it was more around $250.00 $270.00 at Dino Direct. You have to wait until they have their sales. . Compare the Mw power to that of the ones from American DJ. There is a significant differance in the brightness, unless your neighborhood is very very dark, you may find that you need the extra millowatts. Just be careful not to let any of the bright lasers bleed off the side or your house or you may find yourself in a heep of trouble. The edges of the smaller 80mw and 30 mw lasers probably won't be much of a problem They won't travel more than a hundred yards or so off the edges of the projection. Air traffic shouldn't be a problem. My reke-07 laser reflected off one of my windows back to the house across the street. No problem there, that house is foreclosed and empty. I do like the idea of having images stored on an SD card. I wish I could see the Mini animation laser in person somewhere. When you get your stuff, make sure to take some video and send it my way.
  13. The Reke-07 was just set to Auto. The sound sensor on it wasn't sensitive enough for a comfortable volume for outside music. It does have a DMX-512 input and perhaps I might figure out a way to control it a little better for next year using a light controller. As for the Fog Machine, I had a wireless remote that I could use to trigger the fog from inside the house. However, the fog machine just wasn't powerful enough and many of the nights were quite breezy this year. I need to look at upgrading. Thanks for the infor on the Hurricane 1100. I'll look into it.
  14. We used lasers almost exclusively last year. See my post here with video:
  15. Jeff, Here is a list of the equipment, the cost, and where to buy: The Blue Laser Motor powered is the Reke07. http://www.dinodirect.com/laser-projector-single-blue-stage-auto-sound-200mw-445nm.html When I purchased this laser it was 300mw. I took a double take at my manual after I saw this link. I'm not sure if the manufacturer has now lowered the power, but 200mw should work just fine. The cost was $80.00 + shipping The cross star laser seen on the garage door is made by Kolo. Model KL-TS185 http://www.dinodirect.com/stage-laser-projector-100mw-650nm-red-50mw-532nm-party-kl-ts185.html The Cost was 75.99. Currently listed at $89.39.+ shipping. The star laser that covers the center of the house and some of the right side is the Reke 82RGY. http://www.dinodirect.com/stage-laser-light-projector-dj-equipment-100mw-650nm-red-laser-50mw-532nm-green-laser-mixed-yellow-laser.html I paid $39.99. It's currently listed at $42.99 + shipping. Filling in empty spots on the house are two Mini Stage Laser projectors. http://www.dinodirect.com/red-green-laser-projector-party-effects.html I paid around $35.00 each last year. They are currently listed at 39.00 + shipping. These projectors are very bright for the price. They are more susceptible to the lower temperatures however and start to dim. The larger Reke and Kolo projectors seem much more stable and better built. On the garage door and under the picture window that creates the circle shapes is The Dual Laser Kaleidoscope purchased last year at Spencer's Gifts http://www.spencersonline.com/details/product.aspx?ProductAlias=red-green-laser-kaleido-3n11&CategoryAlias=product These are selling at $99.00 each. I think I paid around $80.00 last year on sale. These are expensive and quite frankly not quite bright enough. These were the first lasers I tried to use last year. They do not compare with the power of the Kolo or Reke lasers. Although the geometric designs are nice. I also am using a fog machine I purchased at a Halloween store in October. It's just a little 500 watt fogger and I need to upgrade that as well. I need to do some research and find one that works better outdoors. That was around $39.00. I found that using very dark blue LED icicles on the house compliment the lasers. Last year I had white twinkling icicles along with a lot of other incandescent lighting that included inflatables and blow up molds and all that washed out the lasers a bit. I scaled all that back this year trying to keep it as dark as possible. Dino Direct is a company that runs out of China. They require a little patience. Prior to Christmas I found that products take at least 3 weeks to arrive. Around the Christmas season be expecting a wait around 5-6 weeks. However, I haven't found anybody that's reliable that offers the projectors at these prices. Local DJ lighting stores sell projectors at incredibly inflated prices with a fraction of the power. I find that to be a shame. I would much rather give my business locally. However, Dino Direct seems legit. I did have an RMA issue on the Reke 82RGY. When it arrived it would not turn on. It uses a key on/off switch and it seemed like that was not working. After exchanging several e-mails with Dino Direct and some language translation issues they offered me to keep the unit and gave me store credit for the price of the unit. So off to Radio Shack I went, bought a new on/off switch and soldered it in. and.. Boom.. free laser projector minus $3.00 for a new on/off switch. But it took some patience and a few days of e-mails to get that done. I used my store credit to buy the Reke07. As for setting the lasers up I am very careful (especially with the 300mw blue) that there is no bleed over the house. The star lasers degrade significantly on the edges and the beams wouldn't go more than 50 yards from the edges. What does bleed over goes over to my neighbors house who wanted me to shine my lasers on his house anyway.. As long as I don't let the 300mw laser go up in the sky, air traffic issues shouldn't be an issue. i do monitor my display the entire time I run it. I run it from 6PM to 8PM nightly unless I'm out shopping or something. I only play the music on weekends and use the microphone sound triggers to dance to the music. I'm using a 500w Mackie powered PA speaker with a little 12.00 kmart special mp3 player. The lasers dance to the music quite nicely. No programming.. no fuss.. no muss.. except one scroogy neighbor that doesn't like to hear the music. The police have been called to my house twice, but each time they tell me that they really are enjoying the display and can't believe someone would be so nasty as to call the police on me.. but they have to respond anyway. The music isn't all that loud, you can have normal conversation without any issues directly in front of the PA speaker. I also monitor foot traffic making sure no one walks anywhere near the path of the projectors. I take the projectors in every night and only run them for a couple hours, unless traffic is heavy. The larger projectors are rated for 4 hours of stability. The music always gets shut off at 8:00pm and the projectors are then switched over to "auto" mode. 4 of the projectors are on one tri-pod stand that I built out of an old halogen utility light stand. Let me know if you would like any other information.
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