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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.


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jwblazek last won the day on October 28 2018

jwblazek had the most liked content!

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About jwblazek

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    Senior Member

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Waking up to a light dusting of snow Christmas morning and watching my two daughters run outside in PJ's and robes to catch snowflakes on their tongues and trying to make a snowman out of the light snow dusting in Sunny California
  • Location
    Morgan Hill, Ca
  • Biography
    Former Manufacturing Operations executive, now retired, enjoys preserving my 1939 Packard, woodworking and exterior holiday lighting
  • Interests
    woodworking, old cars and muscle cars
  • Occupation
    Retired !
  • About my display
    Eight LOR CTB 16 channel controllers, 1 Pixcon 16 controller, 1 CMD24D RGB controller, 12 CCB controllers will be used to illuminate about 23,000 lights to 11 sequences this year. Mega tree is 26' tall with star

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  1. Thanks Scott. Was aware of the inputs and outputs (also available on numerous other LOR devices) but none are PLC. Lenning could do all this in an animation sequence using one of the inputs as the "Start" button input if he was to think it out, although a PLC would be easier
  2. I didn't know LOR had PLC's. Looked on their website, didn't see them, do you have a link?
  3. Pretty easy to repair yourself if you have any soldering experience. If you are have "wacky" communication issues, take a look at the routing of your main power wiring as well as controller outputs.
  4. I built a dedicated shed for most of my controllers. Exception being the controllers for smart pixels in which case I took 3/4" conduit, bent into a 180 degree arch, welded a crossmember (really not needed) and using self drilling screws, secured these hoops to the back of the controllers. My first attempt included 2 cross pieces welded and then I determined they are not required at all. I then drove 2 short pieces or rebar into the ground and set the controller over them. Works great ! Side benefit, the "hoop" makes a great handle to carry them and/or hang them up in the garage after the lights come down
  5. I try to get one complete set of lights done through a song rather than break it apart. I find I get a mind set or idea on what I want the 10 Mini Trees to do, for example or how I want the leaping arches or new RGB arches to look all the way through. I try to keep a "theme" going, using the Mega tree as the center of focus and use timings or color schema from that. What we really need, IMO, is a place to put all shortcuts or unpublished LOR secrets. I found, for example, by accident, how to do a fade down shimmer of RGB lights John Storms is pretty good, I found that hints and YOUTUBES on LOR tutorials and with SE, tutorials from Brian Bruderer are awesome
  6. Some sections may be repetitious, but change it with different hues. Try using beat wizard with different multiples of main beat frequency. Bear in mind that sometimes LESS is MORE, meaning you don't want to hit every beat Have one set of strings at say detected beat, another at 2, 3X or ? Are you using CTB16's or RGB's ? Try Tapper WIZARD as well
  7. This forum is great Ashley, don't be afraid to ask. Holidays will soon be here and we need our lights to shine & dance !
  8. Its a fast learning curve but if you take one thing at a time, goes pretty smoothly. Strongly suggest you Bing "Light O Rama" tutorials and start with the first one. There are some that walk you through the hardware and tons that walk you through the basics of sequencing. You must have a LOR S4 or S5 license otherwise the SW will not communicate to the controller. If you haven't done so already, you need CAT 5 cable and a UISB - RS485 high speed adapter. That is what connects the USB port of your PC to the LOR RS486 jack. AS you add more controllers, you daisy chain them. Take a look at your controller and you will see 2 of these connectors at the top of the board, one signal in and the other to daisy chain to your next controller
  9. This is my 7th year using LOR software and you are correct, sequencing gets exhausting especially when your display grows every year and even more so if you have any props that you want to lip sync the lyrics to. This year is my largest show with 15 Cat 5 devices on 2 com networks, the Mega tree with its 8 controllers on another network and a intranet connection coming off my router switch to the Pixcon 16 running 4 animated faces and a 5 row RGB star topper. All in all, just under 30,000 lights. I have tried, in vain, to find any real shortcuts but am relying more and more on Tapper Wizard and the Beat Wizard in the LOR software. With Lyrics in front of me, I'll choose any given light string on a prop and tap away or try to use the beat Wizard with multiples of the tempo for the non lyric sections. Then I go back and massage the timings and include ramp ups and ramp downs to make transitions smoother. I have also found the eye and ear really do not "sync" together and if you LEAD the music by 50ms or so, it looks better I have also found some pretty slick shortcuts within Superstar, especially when doing RGB leaping Arches. Use the "Smooth Effect" tool with the Shockwave tab and play with the numbers and colors. I sequenced 4 arches last evening to Christmas Canon in about 90 minutes and from what I see with the visualizer, looks pretty good I believe using LOR has some great potential in even more shortcuts if I can figure out all the information in the text files it stores the sequences in. Papagayo is too cumbersome for me and I use the Tapper wizard with the lyrics in front of me. I also found that you shouldn't try to get every word and every syllable. Far less work and if you stick with the basic phonemes and streamline them to your lip positions of your prop, the work load is greatly reduced
  10. From my experience, I have had several on the controller is bad. I have gone as far as to build a permanent residence for the controllers so I do not have to plug/unplug the Cat 5 cables. The connectors are readily available from Mouser, e for example, and with some solder -wick can be easily removed and replaced.
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