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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.

JeffRo

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Everything posted by JeffRo

  1. JeffRo

    Score!

    Thanks all - Now I have to figure out what to do with these guys. Not a lot of obvious places for them to go in our display.
  2. JeffRo

    Score!

    Picked these guys up last weekend. Total investment = $100.
  3. Hey all - I'm both making a pixel transition as well as moving (well, I think I'm moving) so I have a lot of incandescent stuff that's free-ish (or up for a trade). 1000s of mini lights, 100s of C9s, some custom candy canes, a wood-framed Tune To (good for mounting), and other stuff. Like I said, not looking to sell but maybe trade for a few things. If you need something specific, let me know -- I might have it.
  4. Just tried out Nutcracker to generate some effects. They were created (at least there are entries in the database), but I have no output available to download or retrieve. Anyone else seeing this problem? I'm using the hosted version at Nutcracker, not running my own instance.
  5. Follow Clyde's advice about amps, watts are just a calculation element -- amperage load is the ballgame. Since you're stepping up in capacity and ability, be conservative in your approach. Stay at 80% of calculated load on your circuits and you should be safe.
  6. 192 total strands on my mega tree, 64 each of white red and green. I have 21 segments per color, with one segment getting 4 strands vs. 3 on all the others. A segment has the same color, and with 3 colors, that's 63 total segments taking 63 channels (incan minis plugged into LOR.) 4 controllers run my mega tree. I'm thinking of transitioning to rgb pixels, though. Right now, all the cost for the mega tree is in the controllers. If I go the pixel route, all the cost will be in the lights.
  7. I'm getting mine from a local vendor, and I'm picking them up there (about 10 miles from my house.)
  8. Well, that's better -- another firm has given me a bid of $11.23/sheet.
  9. I've talked to one place that wants $30 for a 4x8 sheet. Yikes.
  10. I added RGB floods to my display this year, all being driven by LOR S3. LOR does sell RGB floods, looks like you get a couple of them plus connectors and such for about $300. I opted for 6 RGB flood lights from HolidayCoro at $40+ each (I don't think they sell them any longer though). I also purchased an Enttec DMX Pro USB controller which handles the ethernet connection to the floods. I *also* purchased 2 power supplies @ $13/each for the RGB floods, since they don't plug themselves in (the power comes through the ethernet cable.) And with the RGB floods that I purchased, I had to solder the power supplies into ethernet cables to "inject" power. All in this year for about $450 plus some work. So, which deal was better for me? By far, the purchase from HolidayCoro was better because: 6 flood lights vs. 2 I have an independent DMX controller that allows me to add other things to the display besides LOR-based stuff Going through the process of soldering power supplies to ethernet cables and configuring RGB floods with DMX addresses brought me up the learning curve to understand about RGB and DMX protocols. I'm now much more comfortable with RGB and can move the display forward this coming year. As always, your mileage may vary. For me, it was much better to go the non-LOR route.
  11. Starting out, I would recommend LOR controllers. They're proprietary, along with the controller software, lots of people use them and they have great support. They also have very good re-sale value; not sure about the others. RGBs, incandescents, minis, C7/C9...explore all the lights -- get your hands on different types and find out how they respond to turning on, off, shimmering, fading, etc. Not all lights look and behave the same when responding to the same effect from the software. Some upfront work you should do now: figure out what amperage/power load your house supports. Knowing that can make a lot of decisions for you regarding your light choices. If you needed to upgrade your electrical service, well....you wouldn't be the first one to do that. :-) The real learning curve you'll have starting out is the stuff you can't buy -- sequencing, design, aesthetics, etc. Heck, figuring out what you *don't* want to do. These things come with time, and you gain them only by doing. Design and aesthetics come later, but you can get started now with sequencing. For example, the LOR software is free to download and you can try out their demos. One word of caution: this hobby is addicting. Time and energy, for many of us, are expelled in great amounts, and often year-round. As others have said, you've been warned..... Welcome to the Asylum.
  12. Heh, welcome to the insanity. Indeed. Adding my two cents to this conversation. I'm a software programmer, so jumping in didn't feel like such a high threshold for me. Nonetheless, it didn't necessarily make this a slam-dunk. Given that LOR is an unknown for you, one question to answer for yourself: have you ever worked with anything that was new to you, maybe you didn't know much about it, but became more savvy with it and then realized you needed more power/control/this/that/whatever? Welcome to light synchronization. LOR is right in your sweet spot. LOR is a step-up in control, granularity, capability, etc. Most of us that I've talked with before that moved from static displays into synchronized may have had a learning curve with the software, but that disappeared rapidly. Concerns about ability to synchronize lights rapidly dissipated, and bigger "problems" emerged. Problems like "I need more controllers" or "how do I connect these other things" or questions like that. The LOR software thing is temporary; the need to constantly improve your display never goes away. Take the plunge, it's worth it. :-)
  13. I'll go through this later (on my wife's new iPad): https://www.facebook.com/greenlakechristmas My gift to everyone: a like from Greenlake Christmas. :-)
  14. While I get the sentiment, I think the notion that everyone must go in a certain direction is wrong. We need more creativity, not less. And I get your point -- I don't think you're intention is to restrict anyone's approach to light synchronization. However, I have to say that to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs. In the end, our displays are a function of ourselves. Some of us want things one way, others have a very different approach. I've seen displays and thought to myself, "well that's just embarassing", but the thing is -- it doesn't matter what I think of someone else's display. The only thing that matters is what I think of my own. The point you're raising may have merit in a certain context, but it begs the question -- do our displays reflect on the the community of lighting enthusiasts? I think we do, because don't follow some pre-determined set of rules. It's purely a function of what inspires us, and what looks good to one person may look terrible to another. But it doesn't matter what we think of each other -- what matters is what each of us get out of doing this. Our community doesn't say "you can join if you can only do things this way", but rather it says "come on in and do things your way." And thank goodness for that. Now, I personally do not find the gigantic display with umpteen billion inflatables and lights and blowmolds as inviting, but that's for my display. It obviously works for others, and that's great -- while that doesn't appeal to me, it does appeal to others. It's that variety that makes this community great. I'd much prefer to have someone get involved in the community, create a ridiculous overdone display, then come around and refine their taste later on -- than to have someone who feels they can't really get involved because their display doesn't measure up. There are enough things in this world telling people what they can and can't do, and it's a crock. Let's support each other to reach our goals for our display. My first displays were terrible, but I learned each year. I'm still learning. And my display looks damn good right now. Never would have got there if someone had said "that looks bad, get out of town." This community is awesome, and I'm thankful every year we're around.
  15. In tribute, I added a song to our display last night -- It's the End of the World and We Know it (from REM.) It's been a hit. Everyone "gets" it, no need to explain why it's in the show. Had to trim the song to 2 minutes, though. The natural pace of the song kinda wears you out.
  16. Started thinking about 2013 on Thanksgiving weekend. 2012 was a 'maintenance' year for me. The year previous, I had updated quite a few components of the display, a decent amount of infrastructure. Now, I feel ready to expand and/or update the display again. On tap for 2013: New mega tree base ring and cord management system Mega tree incan mini string upgrades (some of these are on year 5!) More RGB floods New custom RGB-illuminated glowing Christmas gifts (the ones that sit "under" the mega tree) Re-thinking C9 lights on front porch (new porch added this year) Replace large ornaments (non-electrical) on eaves with DMX RGB replacements Will I do all of this? Not sure, but that's the list.
  17. I don't know if I need to vent as much as I simply need to share this story. I'm proceeding on a project using RGB lights (I'm somewhat new to them) for use with my display next year. I reached out to a vendor who sells RGB light strings/modules/strips/etc. to ask about certain functionality and what they provided. I'm talking with a contact in sales at the vendor, and they're asking me about my project. I tell them what I'm trying to accomplish and the sales person proceeds to tell me how that won't work (wrong) or will be more expensive than other routes (maybe, but that's for me to decide), and that the project is not very appropriate for Christmas (I believe the words used were "more like Vegas".) Given how much RGB lights cost, I'm estimating my project may require anywhere from $1000-$1500 depending on how ambitious I get. And this individual, whose job is to take that money from me, actually went out of their way to encourage me not to buy from them. The sales person spent more time talking about the validity of my project as opposed to general capabilities of RGB lights and what their products provided. It was a complete failure on the part of the vendor and sales person. I'm leaving out details of my project because it doesn't matter -- it's my project. If you've seen my display, you understand that I'm very neat and attention to detail is quite high, so suggesting my project is "inappropriate" really pisses me off (it's not.) The sales person just guaranteed that I won't deal with that company again, and I'm not interested in sharing that information with the company. I'm simply done. Congratulations to some other vendor that will take my 1k of project money sometime in the near future.
  18. This works. The pattern is Id-Red-Green-Blue for multiple RGB flood lights. The weird thing is that if there is only one RGB flood, then the pattern must be Red-Green-Blue (no channel assigned for Id.)
  19. Yep, that's the same effect I'm seeing. It sounds as if the flood IDs take one of the channels, so a chain of floods would be assigned like this: Channel - Use 1 - Flood 1 id 2 - Flood 1 Red 3 - Flood 1 Green 4 - Flood 1 Blue 5 - Flood 2 id 6 - Flood 2 Red 7 - Flood 2 Green 8 - Flood 2 Blue 9 - Flood 3 id 10 - Flood 3 Red 11 - Flood 3 Green 12 - Flood 3 Blue Going to try this assignment to see if it works.
  20. I'm seeing some strange behavior using Holidaycoro's RGB flood lights being driven from LOR S3. I'm using their most recent DMX dongle designed to work with LOR. I configure one flood light for channels 1-3, connect it through the holidaycoro power supply and I'm able to control the light through S3. So far, so good. I add another flood light, configured for channels 4-6 by expanding off the splitter. I add channels for this flood in S3 as well. So my S3 channel configuration has 1 through 6 circuits on Universe 1 for a DMX universe. I add some effects to turn on the floods for all channels, and now each channel is "one removed." By that, I mean that what previously worked for channel 1 now responds on channel 2. Channel 2 on channel 3, etc. Simply plugging in a second flood light bumps the entire channel configuration by 1. If I unplug the second flood light, the configuration returns to normal and the first flood light responds as expected on the configured channels. What is this effect I'm seeing?
  21. Ha ha ha, that's good. I'm an engineer, can only imagine what anyone who doesn't know the native sequencer software must have thought. Good job on Nutcracker!
  22. I second that! RT @nSeattleSarah: I love @irwinsgreenlake - the other cafes are so dark and dreary. This place is so bright and friendly!

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