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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.

    Rigel2601

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    About Rigel2601

    • Rank
      Advanced Member

    Profile Information

    • Location
      Colorado Springs CO
    • Biography
      Engineer
    • Interests
      Engineer
    • Occupation
      Engineer
    • About my display
      just starting
    1. I thought I'd give a report on my LED Nativity Lightshow for 2012. Thanks for all the help here on the forum to get me going as this was my first year. I went with the Nativity Set from Christmas Done Bright and was very happy with it. I did have to use some 4' rebar to help keep the wireframe figures upright (especially with the deer that wandered thru!). I also used some blue rope light for a lightning bolt effect. I started with the Gemmy Lightshow controller but after a week I decided it was too random flashy and not enough sync'd. So I ordered a 16 channel LOR controller and three pr
    2. My Star Laser Projector arrived today and I gave it a quick outdoor test at 6pm and 35 deg F. The live view is much brighter than the video. You can see hundreds of green stars. Only the brightest show on the video. The Blue Cloud moves around like smoke and the the stars move slowly in semi-random patterns (some stars moving in one direction and other stars moving in other directions.). I sent the manufacturer an email asking about the official operating temps, but it seemed to work fine at 35 deg F. for one hour. The Blue Cloud can be turned on or off and dimmed. As a backdrop for my w
    3. I discovered there are some industrial strength versions of the Star Laser Projector called the Bliss 15 ($399) and the Bliss 50 ($1,300) with more powerful laser beams and the BlissLight LS20G ($550) that uses the same green laser optics as the Bliss 15 (no blue cloud) but is rated to work down to -15 deg F. The specs look great but a little pricey for my budget. I'm going to try my luck with the Star Laser Projector in a temp. controlled enclosure. (The link provides a brief comparison of the various Bliss projectors with the Star Laser).
    4. I just found the Reke-07 Blue laser at YourLaser that Forte uses above for $85 plus 10% off with coupon code "yourlaser2012" and free shipping. So I had to add it to my collection. They carry a lot of Reke lasers at good prices. They also accept PayPal which I prefer for international orders. I'm closing in on you Forte with 5 lasers now. I also heard from my contact in the City that outdoor use of lasers on private property for a Christmas display is not prohibited in Colorado Springs (assuming you follow FAA and FDA guidance and don't shine in the air or scan neighbors or onlookers).
    5. I just ordered the Star Laser Projector at Spencer's ($129 + 4.99 shipping). There are a few cheaper offerings at Amazon but with $25 shipping about the same price. Some reviewers talk about early failure of the green laser, so I wanted to buy from a brick and mortar vendor I could take it back to if I have problems. (I ordered it online, but we have a local store in the mall--they did not stock it at the local store). The reviews all rave about it, some talk about using it outdoors (but no temp specs). I think its really the effect I'm looking for behind my wireframe LED nativity scene.
    6. I actually video'd mine with an iPhone4, so no high end camera here. I'll run my next test on my garage door which is dark green so the laser should show nice there. How far away from your house were your lasers set? How far off the ground? I know it depends on the projection angle and how big of an area you are trying to cover. (I had the star at 6' and the hypnotic at 8'). BTW there is a speed control on both. I had the hypnotic set pretty slow as I thought it was more interesting that way.
    7. I ran my first cold test on the ADJ lasers last night. Here is Test 1 with the Micro Galaxian and Micro Hypnotic running at 6:30pm, 39 deg F on the back of my house (window with blinds in the middle). If you watch carefully you can catch a glimse of Mitt giving his victory speech in Florida on the right side of the screen near the end! Here is Test 2 taken 2.5 hours later at 9pm, 35 deg F. There does not appear to be any fading or degrading in performance. I will have to do another test when it gets below 20 deg F. To protect my lasers from the moisture and temperature I'm planning t
    8. Greg, The sound sensor on my ADJ Micro Galaxian does not work very well (confirmed by reviews I've read) and most of us are doing FM transmitters and don't want external music anyway to sync the lasers to music. I read on one forum that someone broke open their laser and and replace the sound sensor with a mini audio jack to connect the music directly like you do to a FM transmitter. That might be one solution. You can find low end lasers with DMX interface, so that may be the way to go if you already have an LOR system. Animation lasers have an ILDA interface which I believe you can sync
    9. Chauvet also makes a Hurricane 1300 ($150) and 1800 ($310) if you are willing to spend a little more money for more fog. But I think the 1100 will do the job from the reviews I read. Everyone says to get the timer remote so you aren't babysitting it all night. I also just ordered an American DJ Micro Hypnotic laser for $119. Check out this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6d_7pXF0CA. I'm also looking at this Mini Animation laser for $147. It comes with software for creating your own animations. I talked to one guy over at the LOR forum who loves it. He says there are thousands of free imag
    10. I am headed in the same direction for 2012. I just purchased an American DJ mini Galaxian Red/Green star laser for $99 on Amazon (received in two days with Amazon Prime) and a Chauvet Hurricane 1100 Fog machine which has great reviews ($77 CarAudioCloseout) with Timer Remote ($25 Amazon). I wanted these to compliment my main display which is a wire frame LED nativity scene synced to a Gemmy 6/12 channel Light Controller. But I really like the "lightning bolt" effect of the blue laser (Reke-07). Is that its default pattern did or did you manually select that pattern? Dennis
    11. After testing my FM Whole House Transmitter and reading some more about transmitters in the forums, I ordered a an EDM-LCD-RDS-EP transmitter. I liked all the cables that came with the WHT (probably cost me $50 if tried to buy them at Radio Shack). So I'll probably reuse the cables with the EDM transmitter and use the WHT in my 2006 car that does not have an ipod jack. I wish they would add links to the PC link page for the EDM and Ramsey transmitters which many folks here prefer to use. Since WHT was the only link under FM transmitters I just assumed it was the one to get. Dennis
    12. I'm working on my first display for 2012. Got inspired by a show I saw near my son's house in Denver. I've learned a lot from hanging around PC the past couple of weeks. Thanks for all your great ideas and inspiration. I'm starting off slow with a synchronized wireframe nativity scene using a Gemmy Holiday Lightshow controller I purchased on ebay and a FM Whole House Transmitter. I also purchased some 16' LED lightstrips (single color and RGB) from China on ebay for $10-$25 to spice up my show. I don't understand how those guys can offer free shipping! I bought several different varia
    13. I'm thinking of using a 32"x24" LED writable sign for Tune To and Playlist info. Has any one tried this? The temperature specs on this one is certainly suitable for outdoors, but I don't know how they hold up to moisture (dew, rain, snow). I guess I could away put a clear plastic covering over it. Dennis
    14. I actually like that idea. It seems like an efficient way to get multicolor on a single frame without having to cut and splice or stock a bunch of different colored bulbs.
    15. Bill, What lights do you use to clip to your wireframes? I'm new to this and a little confused by all the options: E5, C7, C9, full-wave, half-wave, commercial grade, sealed, replaceable, etc, etc. For those folks who buy frames I'd like to hear what lights you use and why (and where you buy them if you have a good source). Your example got me thinking about multi-channel options on a single frame when you wire it yourself, although I don't think I'm going to get that elaborate the first year. Dennis
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