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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 tpctech

  • Rank
    New Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    Niles, MI.
  • Interests
    Electronics, Ham radio, Christmas lights, Water sports.....
  • Occupation
    Electrical Engineering type!
  1. Sure! I a place we can get together at do it in SW michigan! We are 25 minutes from I94 Exit 30. Being we are close to Indiana we could invite our friends to the south! KEN
  2. My 10 year old daughter Abby built a barbie scale sound stage for her electrical project for our county fair. The stage is based on a DLA Freestyle controller and hand built RGBW mini lights built into 1" PVC pipe caps. Abby did all of the cutting, drilling, soldering and assembly. I helped by soldering the mini-trusses. She wanted no part of the torch ! Each of the lights has a cat5 pigtail to plug directly in to the Freestyle. She programmed a musical sequence with Light O Rama and borrowed my iDMX and Mini director to run the lights at the fair. I ordered a small cheap DMX light console from Ray to run the lights after the fair. She received a grand champion ribbon for her division and then and a grand champion over all technical arts and got 2 trophy's! I hope she will still help me assemble the 10 expresses I have to build for the Christmas display. i guess I am getting the addiction started early. My other daughter Emily built a lamp using a 1928 electric meter she got reserve Champion! The video is up on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/28041914 TPCTECH KEN
  3. Hi, I too are adding video to my display this year. I run my show with LOR. My plan to turn the projector on and off is to use the "windows command" function of LOR. I am currently sending a string to launch a batch file this batch file sends a serial string out to my beta brite LED sign, Transmitter RDS encoder. I will add a serial port and commands to turn on and off the projector with a simple LOR startup sequence. KEN
  4. 2 lowes stores so far no problems other then a manager override. I was not to greedy I left a tray at each store!! I think I have enough for now but may buy a few for "future elements!" good luck to all KEN
  5. Great Calculator program. I am planning a spiral tree this year and this make the calculation easier! KEN
  6. tpctech

    Michigan mini

    Brian, If your mini is a go I won't plan on doing one in Niles. Remember Indy is July 10. I would be happy to do a presentation on DMX wiring, adapting, splitting ect. KEN PS I am ready to by 48 strings of Mini's for my mega tree! I will be up in Kalamazoo next Wednesday for a meeting till noon!
  7. tpctech

    Michigan mini

    Hi, Any closer on a date. I was also thinking of hosting an event at my shop in Niles, MI. Also I am looking at purchasing some LED mini's is your sale still going on?? KEN
  8. BAD BAD BAD!!!!!......Well no good deals on LED's after Christmas......But this is a really good deal on Blow ups!!!! Just bought 4! Now to wait for the LOR sale!!! KEN
  9. My wife designed our own house 10 years ago. I planned ahead for most of my lights...... We have outside floods on all corners of the house. At each of these I have a duplex on a seperate circuit run to a big j-box in the basement that now has a LOR boards. There are about 8 trees in the front yard. Each has a Midwest WP box with a duplex recp each controlled with a solid state relay controlled by a modified LOR board using underground telephone wire. I am planning on replacing the modified LOR board with the new LOR universal board. See picture i now have landscape bricks around each tree so the box is not sticking out in space. On the side of the house we have a WP box with 4 cat5 jacks back to my "room" and a L14-30 twistlock that I run to a small portable WP sub panel. I use this for both Christmas and backyard parties. We have wrap around porch with 9 posts. I have a split wired duplex ran back to a LOR board. This gives me 2-color circuits on the posts with no cords to run. Good luck with this adiction......sorry to be an enabler!!! KEN
  10. An article hit the local paper on Saturday and traffic has been pretty steady every night with about 8 to 12 cars watching all evening from about 5:00 till about 11:00pm. I am pretty happy! Now to go fix a couple 1/2 strings of lights on by arches that need attention! KEN http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20091218/Lives/912179937/1048/Lives#
  11. Myself and my family had the pleasure to take a quick 2 hour drive to Spring Lake, MI. this past Monday night to checkout Brads "Holidayroadlights" Wow!!! That is one nice BIG display!!! A+ to Brad and his crew!! The videos and pictures although very good doesn't replace standing in the middle of the block with lights changing all around you. I recomend parking at the church and walking in it is truely amazing. Brad, you have me firied up for new ideas for next years display!! Brad although busy directing traffic did take a couple minutes to chat! Thanks! You could tell he is a pro at this with the way the whole show flowed with the music, annoucements direction ect. You guys should take some time for the ride!!! Thanks Brad! Looking forward to visting again when you are less tied up! KEN PS Were did you get the Santa warming is Butt!!!!I have to have one!! Lights on Bell Road Niles, MI.
  12. Light on last night at 5:00pm.......1 hour early! Still have some tweeks and a couple new songs but it is up and running! Lights on Bell Road 2009...... Video's and pictures coming soon! KEN Niles, Mi just 3 miles north state line north of South Bend, IN.
  13. Hi, We built our house in 1999 and the entire house is all X10 controls. Most wall switches are 4-8 button control stations. I use LOR for my outside display and X10 to control window candles, Christmas tree and misc other decorations. My wife loves the 1 button turn on/off of all the inside displays. I have had probably 90-95% luck with the X10 system. I added a Leviton repeater after about 1 year this really helped with issues! I did just help a friend install some Insteon for outside landscape lights I must admit it is pretty cool stuff but would have to re-mortage the house to change mine! KEN
  14. Glad you got back online. We all need to remember to have a spare RS-485 interface. If it fails your in the dark! It is also handy for testing during show development between my laptop and show computer. Back to final tweeks before my turn-on Sunday at 6:00pm! 380 channels of LOR and DMX 20K lights! KEN
  15. Big lots in our area have 20 light LED sets that run on 3 AA KEN
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