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Everything posted by Zman

  1. Scott, there is a meeting in central Florida the same weekend as ours in Celebration, FL Look around the Facebook pages, not sure they would post anything here on PC.
  2. The Pacific NW CLAP "Mini" is open to all who are interested. The date is Sat May 1st. Set up and Pizza Meet/Greet is on Friday the 30th. We will be closing registration for this event at noon on Monday April 26th. All details and RSVP are on our website: https://www.nwclap.com/
  3. Pushing out a local Mini reminder, in the PacNW, Our local CLAP gathering is open to all attendees, near and far. Our event is about 1 month away on Saturday May 1st. All relevant information is being sent via email and posted to our website. Request via PM to our private database, or look to our website for RSVP information. https://www.nwclap.com/
  4. To add to the post, this is held in Olympia, WA
  5. The Pacific NW CLAP Leadership is excited to announce our annual CLAP meeting. The date is set for Saturday May 1st, with our Set Up party and Pizza Meet and Greet on Friday April 30th. We wanted to make the announcement as early as possible for planning purposes. We understand there may still be some uncertainty with gatherings, but the logistics are at least worked out with our venue, and we are expecting to hold this meeting. It will be held in compliance with the guidance set forth at that time. There will be some changes overall, to the execution of the meeting, with details and updates are being sent out via email. This event is open to all decorators and will be on an RSVP basis only as we may have to limit attendance. Our group is certainly looking forward to meeting once again and talking blinky flashy. If there are any questions, PM me.
  6. The PacNW regional CLAP meeting scheduled for May 2nd is physically postponed. More details are going out via email. If your email is not in our list, please PM me if you are interested in our annual decorating gathering and the potential alternate plans, or re-schedule dates.
  7. The 2020 Pacific NW annual CLAP meeting is all set for May 1st & 2nd, in Olympia, WA. This event is all about education and sharing ideas with like minded decorators. We have a great group in the PNW, and we have grown a lot in the 16 years we have been meeting. We will be once again meeting at the Foley Firehouse! By far, one of the best venues for a mini in the country. The car/fire engine barn will again be on display for the attendees. Whether a newbie, or seasoned veteran, everyone will walk away with something. An idea, new friend, or something from one of our many sponsor vendors! We have a great class line up already defined, and will be publishing it in a week or so, once we lock down some details. Sponsor are being lined up for awesome door prizes, and discount codes!This year we will be asking for a $20 voluntary donation to help cover the costs of our event. More info will follow, and if you are not on our email list, and want updates, PM me your address. Its held in confidence, no spam we promise.
  8. 2014 is the beginning of our second decade of growing our display. I have seen other members do display walk throughs, and thought that since video taping songs is difficult, the walk through would be a great alternative. This is a day/night view of our display. I warn you now, it is 48 minutes long, so grab a beverage and a snack. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts.
  9. Zman

    Texas Newbie

    FYI, I know Academy does a good job with subject matter, but depending on where you live, an alternative is Christmas Expo which is the weekend after Academy. The format, structure and execution of Expo is completely being revamped this year, and will be in Biloxi, MS. It will not be like PLUS or Expo's from years past. The website for Expo is not yet up to date, but the subject matter for 2014 will have some great topics and presenters. On the electronics front, they are working on locking up Pete Peters, the PacNW's electrical guru. He is a master electrician and has taught classes in the local Union's Trade Technical School as well. Pete is a great presenter who puts everything in layman's terms. We have been spoiled to have opportunity to have him work with us for years in the NW. Something to consider.
  10. Guys I hear you. I have been doing it for a long time now and I still have problems. I just stumbled across a new Tutorial on the LOR forum site. For some reason, PC is not allowing me to cut and paste the link into this thread, but it is in the LOR Forums>LOR Software>Sequence forum, titled, 4-Step Sequencing Tutorial. I learned a few things from it. The first tutorial is really worth the time to watch
  11. There is a lot of good input here. Dale brings up a great point with the one year wonders. Guys, doing Christmas display is like running a marathon and not a 100yd dash. First thing I would ask yourself, is why you want to do it in the first place? There is lots of motivation to get you going, it is sustaining that momentum that is important. Which is why you see some of the guys who have been around, attempt to explain, crawl, walk, run. There have been WAY too many who want to do hundreds of channels, and then realize WTF did I do to my life. There is that awful word we have to talk about, budget. That is not always about money. You will find in the long run, the big budget is time, and this encompasses a lot. Planning is paramount, sticking to that plan and not getting carried away will help with the marathon. I attempted to start out with 32 channels, but went to 48. That was in 2005. It was hell that first year, and experience is something you cannot read about and comprehend. You have to get your hands dirty to understand. I now do over 600 channels of just AC animation, RGB bumps my count up even more. Without the experience (and fun) of that first year, it would be hard to be where I am at today. Before you make your decisions, and we all want to see our community grow, ask yourself, why you want to do this. Let reason drive your decisions and not emotion.
  12. Python, For some reason the "Quote" response is not working. Dallas and Sharon Graham, the couple responsible for that show are retired older folks. They are some of the best people you could ever meet. They have absolutely fantastic directions laid out to re-create every element of their display. It goes into incredible detail in how those flowers et al are made. It is quite impressive. We network at one level among ourselves, they network with the likes of Disney, Universal, Bush Gardens etc... for insight. I wish I had more time for that again, as it is a phenominal reward to see that come together, and it is all static.
  13. Ralph, while vendor claims of LEDs lasting 20-25K hours may be fairly correct, remember something else. An LED is a DC component. To make it work when you plug it into an AC circuit, manufacturers have to put electronic components around it, and China builds it. If a cheap rectifier, resistor or cap goes, there goes the string. THAT is what most do not fully comprehend with LEDs. I have about 11yrs experience with them now and have seen all matters of failure, to include dead shorts from those components. With that said, if you can isolate the problems to the rectification circuit, those are fairly easy to rebuild if you choose. Dennis Eaton (Eaton Puck) and others have come up with material to fix these. If it does turn out to be a specific socket/LED, you can isolate them with the LED Keeper and remove and replace the bub. Myself, I quite frankly, don't have the time to fix strings with my display logistics. So I just keep spares on hand. I donate my failed strings to a local commercial non-profit organization, Garden D'Lights. They do a fabulous Christmas display and I used to volunteer with them. Again, my time has gotten so squeezed of late, the only help I give them is my failed strings and they in turn recycle them for $$. Keeps them out of our landfills. Something everyone should look into.
  14. Ralph, this is a typical failure of LEDs. If you got 5 seasons worth out of them, I consider that about average for the life span. We demand a lot out of them, blinking tens of thousands of times a season. As pointed out, it is either a bad bulb, or most likely the rectifier.
  15. Welcome aboard. I know you want simple, but consider this for the long run: You should check out the info Walter Monkhouse has in his ColorMotion RGB Tree How-To. Even if you do not go RGB he has an excellent document telling you how to secure a base ring to the ground. He also has a great How-To for a Portable Hole, and JUMP Pole, (Jack Up Mega Pole) I would recommend bending EMT instead of PVC as it is more rigid. PVC will bend and warp with upward pull. I have a EMT Bending How-To on my website. Here is the link to Walter's ColorMotion Tree: http://www.magicchristmasnews.org/building_a_colormotions_tree_sm.pdf
  16. You can download SnagIt in a trial version for 30 days. It is something I use so much in many ways that I bought a copy some time ago. Yes you would put the DVD into your computer, pause at the frame you want to capture then do a screen capture and save it off as a regular type jpg, bmp, or whatever you choose. There are other free screen capture programs, Google is your friend. I think even Windows has something too.
  17. If you have the DVD, or can borrow it, you can always capture the exact image you want from it. Use SnagIt to do a screen shot of the particular frame, or there are other screen capture method to pull an image from a DVD.
  18. I used M6 for my tree. After a couple years, working with the C6 on other features, I thought it would fuller with the C6, but I did not make the switch, it would have been a lot to switch. Now the tree is re-purposed to another light crazy in my area.
  19. Well, I have just the c7 socket stringers, you would need to get your own lights to put in them.
  20. How many sockets and would white be OK?
  21. Jake, I have used them for years. They, like any effect, when used at the right time enhance a display. It would not be something you would use in every sequence. Go Google a friend and fellow decorator who has set many standards in our hobby, Mike Ziemkowski. His display, Lights on Display got me interested in using them years ago. Again, right song, right time is key. I like how you are considering your quests and what they want. I too believe folks really want to see a great Christmas display and however you can enhance that experience. I love TSO, and see them every year, but when I want a rock concert, I go to one.
  22. Hey there. Not sure if you were aware, but we have one of the foremost authorities on Blowmolds right here in the PacNW. Mel Fisher. We had a Mini get together just a few weeks ago in Port Orchard, where Charles Enos has a Blow Mold swap meet every year. Mel was on hand, we had some subject matter content where Charles did an indepth presentation on Blow mold history and how to maintain, fix and show them. Awesome material. We have a larger annual gathering also in Olympia once a year in May. Keep an eye on the forums for the get together.
  23. I have a master spreadsheet that I think everyone should use. It is critical to my overall display and set up. I have to edit this first with any updates to the display, or later on connecting everything up, in set up. Rick Williams did an outstanding job extending this out to 50 controllers a few years back: http://www.quartzhillchristmas.com/12.html I then take my laptop outside, using the Hardware Editor, referring to a printed out copy of the spreadsheet, I go controller by controller and run the test loop. The nice thing about that is that you can assign how fast it cycles through the channels. It allows you to watch it a few times to ensure it is lighting what you expect. I can either run to an area of question to look at the plugs, or make notes on the spreadsheet. I have 30 plus controllers to test in this fashion and it only takes me 90 minutes or so to test.
  24. Welcome to the addiction Jake. All you Boise boys need to get together and head out to Seattle in May for our annual C.L.A.P. meeting. We get a few from your area attending. Even Dennis (DSE) comes play with us all the way from Montana. Good luck with your display.
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