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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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Everything posted by RichardH

  1. Zac_Cutt wrote: Yeah it is lighting up my room pretty good. 3,000 Mini lights.
  2. JR V wrote: Yeah you can have it on another site. You can create your own page and then just drop it in so you can customize that page however you want. You can not share the same IP address as your computer since it is a dedicated web cam. It needs its own IP address or you need to do port forwarding through your router (that is what I am doing) Of course you need a high speed dedicated connection to your house. When you have a DSL, Cable, or other High Speed line, they usually give you 1 public IP address. Your router then uses this public ip address and then allows all the computers in your house (even if it is one) to talk through it. To have an outside connection (a person trying to view the web cam) talk to a device on the private side of your network (the web cam) you need to set up port forwarding on your router, to talk to the port on your web cam (I am using port 81 and that is why you see it as - If you don't do the :81 then it will go to port 80 which is the default port all web servers use. So the address is really my router and not the web cam. It then forwards that port to my web cam that is ip address on the private side of my network. If you already have a web cam or a computer with a video capture card, you can use software to do this same thing (acutally there is more features using a computer instead of a dedicated web cam). There is a lot of software out there. www.webcamxp.com is a good one.
  3. I have it up and running now for a little bit so you can see it a bit at night. I was out in the driveway a few hours ago making a portable subpanel and my neighbor came up and asked what I was doing. I told him I was getting ready for Christmas and working on my power needs. He thought it was pretty cool and then said him and his wife were in their backyard and thought my house was on fire because they could see a bright light flashing from the window. After they realized it was not a fire they were wondering what TV show I was watching that was flashing so much. :laughing: I explained to him what it was and brought him into the house to show him my 3 trees with 3,000 lights. He thought it was pretty cool and said he can't wait to see it at christmas time.
  4. TED wrote: LOL - That is what my wife is thinking right now. My little daughter is loving it. She comes in here and starts dancing around. Just doing some testing with these trees I bought at home depot during their after christmas sale. I bought 10 of them and what is cool is they are lit in 3 different sections per tree so I am able going to be able to control each section for some cool effects and I am seeing what looks good. Also in front of each of these white trees I am going to have a Red and Green Flood so I can do some more effects with colors on the trees. It is going to take 45 channels just for these trees and flood lights. Looks like I will have to get 2 more controllers. Here is the layout so far that I have been working on
  5. It was pretty easy to get working. Since it has a built in web server and everything you just plug it into your network so you don't have to have it hooked up to your computer. Once I configured the camera and it had it's own IP address on the inside of my network, I set up my router to forward port 81 to the network camera. I plan on having it up for Christmas this year so everybody can see the show from the internet. There is an audio module that you can buy for it so there will be sound also. I do have another Camera that I bought new for $90 that is a dedicated Web Cam but it uses a cmos sensor so the image quality is not the best (this one is normal CCD) and direct sunlight can ruin it. I left it at work so I will bring it home on monday and hook them both up so people see the difference in quality. The nice thing about it though is sound is built in. Almost all of the new dedicated web cams have sound though.
  6. The still images should work for everybody. To view the video you need to use IE and accept the Active X control.
  7. It is an Axis 2120 and I bought it off ebay. They are a few years old and cost $800 when new and usually you can buy them between $200$300 on ebay. I have been watching them the past few weeks on ebay and saw one that was listed for $99 for buy it now so I snagged it. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130012916819 This one even came with an outdoor case so I can put it out in the yard.
  8. Thanks for the offer Marty. :smile: I live down in Pleasant Grove. This will be my first year going all out and I am in the planning stages of what I want to do. I have so many ideas but don't want to bite off more than I can chew. I was thinking of making a bunch of wireframe snow flakes to put on my house but might save that for next year. I just bought 48 channels of LOR and I am thinking I may need another 16 to fully do what I want. Marty, I saw your show last year and would like to get a "behind the scences" tour sometime to help give me ideas.
  9. It should be going. Can anybody see the still image?
  10. I just bought a pair of rock speakers (Speakers that look like rocks ) at Costo last week for $80. They are weatherproof and seem pretty decent. You need an amp though to drive them.
  11. Web Cam is OFFLINE until Christmas
  12. Most of all it is is Dept 56 along with a LGB Train. My Dad has been collecting for the past 15 years and it keeps getting bigger every year. A lot of the pieces have been retired and some pieces are pretty rare. There are two trains and one of them is a Candy Train filled with Nuts, Jelly Beans, etc. When kids come over they are always excited to get something from the train. Near the end of the train there are several large candy cane poles that are loaded on the car like logs (about 9"x1"). One year someone brought their kids over and we allowed them to get candy out of it over and over. Later on their way out the door they wanted to hit the candy train one more time so their mom said go ahead but only get one piece. The next thing I know the 6 year old is walking out the door with one of the Large Candy Poles that was secured pretty well to the train. I just smiled and let him walk out the door with it. Little did he know we have been using the same candy cane poles for the train for the last 10 years. I am sure he did not mind though.
  13. My dad has been collecting Christmas Villages for years and here is the new set up we had for 2005. I made the platform for him and drilled all the holes for the lights. He did all the othe detailed work. http://www.holdman.com/christmas/ChristmasTrainSetup
  14. Thanks for the info macrosil. I was not sure if you could have individual conductors or not. I bought it at Home Depot and they did not sell 2/4 (2awg - 4 Conductors) and they only thing they had was 2awg and it came in 3 Conductors but did not have an outer casing. The Neutral is marked though with a Yellow line on the cable. I was not sure if I had to iput it in conduit it so I did buy some flexible conduit but did not use it. Sounds like I will go a head and use it if that is what code needs to be. I will post another picture to make sure everything looks right. Thanks for your help! -Richard
  15. If you are going to be adding anything to the Power Needs page you also might want some info on what gauge your extension cord wires should be what amps you have.
  16. I would have a Nativity Display with real people and free cider to all who come.
  17. I know what you mean. This will be my first christmas that I go all out. In the past I would just line the roof with C9 lights but this year it will be a show. The last few weeks I have bought 48 channels of LOR, installed a 100amp subpanel, testing what lights I have, listening to music for shows, etc. Every day for the past few weeks I have been singing and humming Christmas songs. Everybody around me (including my wife) thinks I am nuts.
  18. I thought it might be kind of fun to create my own wireframes. I did a search but could not find any information on how to bend the wire. How do you get a smooth circle and such? Any tutorial web sites with photos and info on how to get started?
  19. I was going to be buying Normal strands of C7 lights but thought maybe about going C7 LEDs this year. For those of you who that have tested and seen C7 leds, how is the brightness compare to a normal C7 bulb?
  20. Thanks everybody for your help. I started installing the 100amp sub panel and things are going pretty good so far. It seems like my new panel did not come with grounding bars so had to stop working on it today and will pick some up tomorrow. I had to move a 2x4 because the open space to the right was only 10 inches and I need 14 to install the panel. I went ahead and bought one with a lot of spaces since I have an unfinished basement and this will allow be to expand. Here is a picture of my install so far. If you are wondering what those extra things are in the main panel, they are for X10. One of the devices is a repeater so X10 signals will go from Leg to Leg better and the other one is a X10 filter so no X10 signals go in or out of the house on the main power line.
  21. It would be awesome to have this bad boy in your front yard. Check out the rotating Santa Clause. http://creatableinflatables.com/rotatable.htm It looks like santa is over 20 feet tall! Wonder how much that would cost.
  22. Thanks for the replies everyone. Macrosill - The model number is HOMC30UC You were right about only certain spots allowing a tandem. I went and bought a few tandem circuits and I could not get them to fit. After pulling out one of the other tandem circuits I see that the plug is a little different and only the bottom 5 spots will allow a tandem breaker. Looks like I am going to have to install a sub panel. I am thinking that I can remove the 220 50amp breaker (show near the top left) and then install a 100 amp breaker there that will then feed the subpanel using 4ga wire. This should give me 100amps at 240 or 200amps at 120. Does this sound like the correct way to add the subpanel?
  23. Ben Jordan wrote: A lot I will not be pulling 20 amps from every circuit but want to do it correctly for future use. I have 3 LOR boards and want to make sure that each side of the board has enough to pull 20 amps incase it needs to.
  24. I am also doing the same thing. I bought a 4 12ga 100' Extension cords from Harbor Freight and going to cut them up and make smaller ones. I was looking at the difference between the 15a and 20a ones from home depot. The only thing that really looks different is the 20a plugs look like this - | instead of like this | | The thickness of the metal and insides seem exactly the same. I am guessing that you could get away with the 15amp ones. I think technically for something to be labeled as 20amp it has to have the side ways prong. The reason why I say this is because I have also noticed at home depot and harbor freight that 12ga and 10ga cords are both rated at 15amp and both of them have the parallel plugs | | I did see one extension cord that was rated at 20amp that looked pretty much the same and was 10ga but it has the opposed prongs you normally see for a 20amp circuit - |
  25. I agree that using the same colors as the trees would look the best. Also if you want to switch colors, white would be good to add also.
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