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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.


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About aabeck

  • Rank
    Senior Member

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    The time when I told my 5 year old son to make a list to tell Santa what he wanted & he replied: "You're Santa"
  • Location
    southeast Michigan
  • Biography
    Just a person that likes Christmas year round. I keep an ornament on display & listen to Christmas music all year, which used to bug my daughter.
  • Interests
    PLC's & Christmas
  • Occupation
    Industrial Controls Technician
  • About my display
    Things I've done with old PLC's I scavenged and lots of light sets I've cut up.

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  1. aabeck

    Aabeck's album

    Candy Canes.MP4Stuff I've done with old PLC's and a lot of cut up Christmas lights.
  2. I had this converted to an AVI file & uploaded that to my album & it plays - check that video.
  3. aabeck


    Second update: I added 4 more modes to the shooting star sequence just before taking it down for the year, see the new video in my album.
  4. aabeck


    I came across another PLC identical to the one used for this wreath & decided to make another one - except I changed the new one to solid color sections instead of the multi-color sections of this one. Watch for the Wreath Ver 2.0 video when I finish it.
  5. The server still won't play this, although it plays all the other videos recorded on the same camera & in the same format OK. Here's the link to watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbHibf2Tuig
  6. aabeck


    An update: the 6 wreaths & star across the top have been changed to 4 wreaths & 3 illuminated snowmen, and the timing of the modes has been altered to keep each mode running until it finishes & not flicker to the next mode immediately.
  7. See it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jXTl6La9uw
  8. I got the all the PLC's I have free when I upgraded or stripped out control panels on machinery. The AdvancedHMI software is a free openGNU product and the only special item I purchased for that was a Windows 10 tablet. The only PLC things I have had to purchase was 6 DC output cards for my tree lights, an assortment of plugs & receptacles and a lot of wire. I also have the software & programming cables, and have 25 years experience programming PLC's.
  9. I don't know why this video won't show. It's recorded on the same camera & in the same format as my other video's that show OK. I've tried uploading it again & it still won't show. See it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jXTl6La9uw
  10. Display of my LR window for Halloween. Runs on the same Allen Bradley SLC5/05 as my LR Christmas lights. The run from October 15th until the 31st. The upper strings that change color can have the timer changed by 2 PC's and a Windows 10 tablet running AdvancedHMI. The spider web has 2 spiders that don't show too well unless you get really close. I have a few timers sequenced to make the web flicker to look like what I think the bad electrical service in a haunted castle would do.

    © none

  11. I don't know why this wont show - it's recorded on the same camera & in the same format as all my other videos that do play without issue.
  12. Set of lanterns originally from a Mr. Christmas set that I had wired together as a set as seen on my Bedroom Christmas Window video. I wired them into 7 individual circuits & changed the PLC output card to a TTL card. Each lantern now flickers individually and after a few seconds they turn off for a about half of a second in order. This is run on a SLC5/03 controlled by 2 PC's running AdvancedHMI through an Ethernet COM port. The card is powered by a 5 volt power supply with the voltage turned down to 3.7 volts (to be gentler on the 4 volt bulbs). The steady on time and the pulse time can be changed by either HMI. I place these lanterns on the sill of my bedroom window for Christmas.

    © none

  13. Christmas tree wired with 96 sections of lights cut into 12 volt sections. Originally designed for an outdoor flagpole tree of lights. Consists of 16 strings of 6 sections each, using 96 PLC outputs. For the effect of the lights the video was taken before any ornaments were placed on the tree. Each section is controlled by one of 6 - 16 output DC cards on a SLC 5/03 rack. Originally I had it powered by a 12 volt 3 amp power supply. but as I added more sections I found the supply got overloaded with only a quarter of the lights on, so I upgraded to a 30 amp, fan cooled power supply (with all lights on it pulls just under 16 amps with the voltage reduced to 11 volts). The PLC is connected to a Ethernet COM port through a WiFi access point and controlled by one of 2 PC's I have running AdvancedHMI.

    © none

  14. aabeck


    Wreath I programmed using a Siemens S7-200. Cut a string of lights into 10 sections of 24 volts to run off the DC power supply & the PLC's DC outputs. The outputs are controlled by a counter that counts up to 87 based on a timer set at 0.42 second pulses.

    © none

  15. 3 sets I have in my Living Room window for Christmas. Running on an A-B SLC5/05 with 2 racks, and controlled by 2 separate PC's and a Windows 10 tablet all running AdvancedHMI. The 7 element set across the top of the window is also activated for Halloween (with 7 cat lanterns) and Easter (7 Easter eggs). The display is programmed with separate start & stop times for November/January and for December. They are programmed to be on from November 22nd through January 3rd.

    © none

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