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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.

surfersteve

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About surfersteve

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 05/22/1980

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.atkinschristmas.com

Profile Information

  • Location
    Auburn, New York, USA
  • Biography
    I am an Electrical Engineer for a small company in Central New York. I spent 6 years in the US Navy as a member of the Special Forces located in Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
  • Interests
    Electronics, Computers, Scuba Diving, Downhill Skiing, Woodworking.
  • Occupation
    Electrical Engineer
  • About my display
    Our display consists of just over 45,000 Led lights from Creative displays and 100 strobes from christmaslightshow.com which are synchrinized to music controlled by 288 AC channels and 16 DC channels from D-light. We also feature a 45ft tall mega tree (ROHN 25G Tower) with a 5 foot 3D star. Its all topped of by a 1.5ft high by 16ft long LED Marquee that scrolls all of our display information (rules, countdown to xmas clock, tune to 89.5fm, ect.) some animations and possibly short text messages from viewers (still working on the hardware side of it) We transmit our music with a Ramsey FM100B and a Tru-Matched FM Broadcast Antenna
  1. you can also download an excel printer for free that works just like the pdf printer.
  2. You can always print the channel config in LOR Seq, to a PDF and then highlight all of the channels, copy and paste right into a spread sheet and move them around accordingly, or make a master tab with physical layout and as many subtabs for logical layouts as you want.
  3. Use a video projector and make custom videos the length of each song with all of your info using studio 12 or something like that. Put your audio track on this video and save it as MPEG and run it through LOR and out put the video onto your projector. Check out my site at atkinschristmas.com and look at some of the videos. We had a 15'x8' screen this past year and even did some music videos and Chroma Keying of us talking about the display and rules. The tune to info and our web link kept scrolling over and over. It really adds the wow factor.
  4. First year 128, all 8 controllers were ACx16. We added 10 more ctrl's in the 2nd year for 288 total with a DCx16 on the design bench that never made it in. We stuck with that for year 3 (this year) as we added a huge 14'x8' video screen this year. Now for 2010 we decided to use the DCx16, add 2 new controllers, a iDMX for 2 sets of lasers on moving heads and a Servo Dog controller for an animated frosty. Its all about how bad you want it. I have a saying that I go by for everything, its from Mighty Ducks, "Its not worth winning unless you win big" To me it means to go all out, like Clark Griswald said to his son "Russ, when have I ever done anything in moderation?"
  5. I am having problems with the 08 replacement strings as well. All the white m5 100 bulb strings have completely faded to maybe 25% of what the 2009 product is. I have 4 leaping arches and 3 look terrible next to the one done in all 2009 poduct. In fact it makes them look even worse bc the 2009 product is so amazing! I have had zero failures or decreases in light output on 09 product, all problems are related to the 2008 order replacements in M5 so far, my C6 replacements look great still
  6. I use VNC as well for my display. We are running music videos on a 14'x8' screen this year and the screen is a few hundred feet from the house so we made a projection box that is heated and this is where all the equipment is kept, (laptop, projector, transmitter) I use my iphone not so much to check on the show but to log into that pc running the show to turn on my projector remotely using a serial rs232 connection and hyper terminal. Alot of the time I am not at home when the show comes on so I can log in anywhere to do the job. I prefer vnc because it doesnt lock the pc like remote desktop does. You end up needing someone to press ctrl alt del and put in your password. This is of course not a problem if you arent running video. I must say that remote access is a godsend and I dont know what I would do without it, esp when its snowing and 10 degrees outside at 11 when my show goes off and I am already under the covers. I just grab my phone or laptop and bingo im done.
  7. Is it just me or does the pricing look great for the coming pre order? Unless I am mistaken on what I have bought in the past and in need of again (100 bulb C6 in Red, Pure White, Green and Blue and 100 bulb M5 in Pure White) Without looking at past invoices and going from memory these prices seem better. Does anyone else feel this way?
  8. With the fact that the light output dies at different times depending on what you have on it, it is most likely shutting down due to overload. Is there a max amount of power it can draw across the entire unit? Alot of proffesional equipment we use here will allow a certain amount of power per channel but it doesnt mean that you can pull that on every channel. Some of it has a max unit total you cant surpass either. This might be the case bc all your lights go out and not just on certain channels. Whith you getting a taste for animated lights, you might want to jump over to D-light or LOR when you have the time and money. You can play the songs you want and make them dance the way you like.
  9. Chuck, one of my new things this year is running my lightshow using video files instead of just music and of course putting the video out to a projector and onto a very large outdoor screen. My question for you is, can we get a place where the video officianados can talk about and share video ideas and footage/animations for use in this application? I would greatly appreciate it. Please offer your thoughts

  10. You are good to go my from. As an EE for many years I have used CAT5E for powering alot of sub 1amp lights. You get 4 pair in one cable. I use alot of PoE equipment in my field of work.
  11. Nothing for us either All of our lights are for Halloween. Oranges and Purples, well except for the dimmable C9 bulbs. I am so looking forward to syncing the lights for halloween!!!! Thriller here we come!!!
  12. Did the reels of C9 socket wire come in yet?
  13. We recieved our replacements, still waiting on my pre order as the 500 ft spools of wire with C9 sockets will not be in till next week. Product looks awesome!!!
  14. Shared neutral will be fine, as long as they are reg lights and not LED. Shared neutrals cause alot of problema with LED bc of sypathetic flicker
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