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Did you know?
  • 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.

vkjohnson

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Everything posted by vkjohnson

  1. I would agree. My one tree took me 2 full weekend days to complete. I can't imagine doing more than one. That's why the Spanish moss style is so appealing to try for a large tree. Less time I would think.
  2. agree with painting the word in white and the background in a dark color and more lights wouldn't hurt.
  3. I use a 25 foot telescoping pole to hang lights from tall branches, then my 12 foot step ladder to wrap trunks. Trunk wrapping seems to go on forever. I also had to twist three different colored light strings together into super strings. That took a while for 60 strands each of white, red, and green. Well worth the time though.
  4. I used to wrap the top of my tree horizontally, but the lights would always get caught in branches when I took them down. After seeing this post, I used the vertical method, but instead of letting the lights hit the ground I took the ends and started wrapping them around main trunks. Here's the pictures during the process and after. This tree has white, red, and green on it. I like the results.
  5. I'm sure I have at least a couple of mine set up that way, so I'm going to say no. no problems.
  6. Yep...every light socket and plug off the ground, and whatever you can do to keep the rain off of plugs. The only thing in my display that doesn't trip is the roof...cuz it's the farthest from the ground. Ground is the enemy. lol
  7. Well, you technically don't have 240 volts there unless you cross between the hots. Are you asking if you can plug both supply cords into the same outlet or outlets on the same leg? The answer is yes, of course, but if you have multiple controllers, I'd at least try to balance your entire display between both legs.
  8. haha, I had to google it. From what I gather, I suppose. It what way would you say I did? One thing that got me thinking is voltage drop. I know 2/0 wire can handle 200+ amps, and the drop to our house from the pole is even larger than that which the E/C said could even handle 320. But I'm a good 200 yards at least from the transformer, and there's 5 houses in line from there to me, than one house after at the end of the block. The guy who lives there said his lights dim ever so slightly when I jump all on at once (but he didn't mind). Just wondering how bad the voltage drop is not just for me, but even the neighborhood. Guess I should measure that next.
  9. Media attention is #1. See if the local newspaper would want to do a story on your display and how you are raising money for charity. Some displays that get TV attention can actually get too much traffic.
  10. Hey guys! More hard data to prove 200 amp service really is 400 amp at 120 volts.... Year 2 for me and LOR with 100,000+ lights and I'm more an electricity hog than ever. My spreadsheet calculation this year was up to 500 total amps (balanced between both legs), about 200 of which would be on at once. I borrowed a friend's amp meter again and measured the main legs. Here's my data... Max lights ON (all white/clear) plus minimal in-house usage: Leg 1- 90amps, Leg 2- 100amps, Neutral- 15amps This got me a little scared. Holy cow! I'm pushing 200. So I thought I'd run an experiment... Max lights ON (all white/clear) plus every appliance I could turn on in the house. (Electric oven, stove, garage heater, all the inside lights): Leg 1- 140amps, Leg 2- 150amps, Neutral- 15amps I did it! I pulled 300 amps (at 120v) through a 200 amp service and no breaker trip. Myths busted, Science Confirmed!
  11. +1 for All Things Christmas and More. Best prices online for spt zipcord at the moment. FYI: "Like" them on Facebook to use code "reindeer" at checkout to get 5% off. http://www.facebook....hristmasAndMore
  12. I saw this when it aired too. I thought they did a great job showing off your display. Glad you got some notoriety for all that hard work! I wish it wasn't so far away so I could come see it.
  13. +1 for zip cord. Mcas is right, Menards has the best regular price. Online would be between $40-50 for 250 feet SPT 1. SPT 2 is available too. It's a little thicker and usually comes in 16 gauge instead of 18, and it's more expensive. You would need vampire plugs if you went that route. The are less than $0.45 for 50 female or male. Convenient when you can make any size cord you want. +1 for black garbage bags too. Makes them disappear at night.
  14. If I'm not mistaken GFCIs trip when a certain level of amp leakage is sensed. The more amps you pull through 1 GFCI, the more possibilities for it to leak somewhere and trip. If you could separate one item pulling 17 amps onto 2 or more separate GFCI outlets, it might help. You would end up spreading your electricity leakage over 2 outlets that may not trip either one, compared to everything on one. Just a thought that might help. Logistically speaking, it may not make sense though. I already have 22 GFCIs in use, no way could I add more.
  15. Amen. It was 74 today, and next weekend in the 70s too. This is December, right?
  16. My batteries don't last long either. It's the only fault of such a high quality tool. I usually go through 2 sets in one season. If you can buy LKP after Christmas at half-price, it may be cheaper than the batteries themselves. That's what I do. I know Lowes and Hobby Lobby has them now, but not marked down yet.
  17. This is odd considering your display only pulls 25 amps max. I push 150 amps on my display for a 200 amps service. Going from "all off" to "all on" definitely dims our lights inside a little, but it's still barely enough to notice. I'm not sure what could cause this.
  18. Nice. That's a big tree! What kind of lights are you using? 100 ct LED? Takes a long strand length to reach that far.
  19. If u still want to give your spt 2 sockets a try, I found channel lock pliers to be very helpful getting the base to clamp onto the wire. Slow consistent pressure did the trick. Agree tho it is difficult. I second what is above about your c9 strand.
  20. Mike, your display definitely helped me get on a kick of doing non-Christmas songs. I like how you used the Christmas techno and did a great job sequencing it. I agree, even though some people will not appreciate it as much, it does work really nice in the sequencer.
  21. Out of my songs, most people like He's A Pirate or Amazing Grace party version..both up tempo. Some of the older crowds like the slower songs, and I have a couple of them too, but if you want oohs and ahhs I find it better with the up tempo. All depends on the audience. If you know most will be older, than you can go a little more traditional, but my crowd is fairly young.
  22. There are ways around it. Don't explain exactly how it works, or what the controllers are. Just say the "computer talks to the lights". Don't get real specific about the costs or details of the hardware. This is how I did it when the regional newspaper did a story last year. Also, tell them not to give your address out. If they really want to come see it, make them work for it by trying to find your address somewhere else, vs the news crew telling everyone over the air. That should help too. Luckily I live in a small town where inspections of any kind are as common as traffic jams. They don't exist. lol Not worried about mine, but gosh I would never want to buy certain houses in this town after knowing which people did electrical work in them.
  23. Welcome! There's sooo much good stuff on the forums, you may never run out. Don't be hesitant to start your questions now if you can't find the answers. Most of the activity on the forums is this time of year when people have it fresh in their minds. Good luck on starting your new project!
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