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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.


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About nmonkman

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 02/22/1964

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  • Location
    Cape Coral, Florida, USA
  • Biography
    Born in Detroit and lived most of my adult life there. Moved to Florida in 2004 and have been here since.
  • Interests
    Other than lights....hunting, fishing and the outdoors in general.
  • Occupation
    Construction Project Manager
  • About my display
    As of 2010, I have a 240 channel LOR display with over 110,000 lights.

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  1. It is important to note that the designation of SPT-1 or SPT-2 ONLY addresses the insulation and not the gauge of the wire. Typical SPT-2 wire is either 12 gauge or 16 gauge. This link will give you the amp capacity for all wire sizes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge
  2. It is the time period between sequences that I am not sure about. Once a sequence stops so does everything in it including separate tracks, right? Even if I made a 4 hour sequence, it would still stop at 10 pm when the show goes off. I think the only way to do this would be to have a separate track on a separate PC or a separate animation that runs for 4 hours, but I would have to do the math and have a new animation for each day. Seems like a lot of trouble. It would definitely be easier to just buy something, but I like doing things that are unique and personal.
  3. Here you can see the wiring. Note the 8 hot and 4 neutral. You might have to download and zoom in on the left side.
  4. Hope this helps. Note the intact tab on the neutral side (left) and the broken tab on the ight
  5. I am thinking about making a countdown clock using controllers. Each number would take 7 channels as shown in the attached pic. My question is, would this not require a separate computer running a separate show? I cant think of a way that you could have this running while you are running a show of other sequences.
  6. DITTO! I have four outlets per side. I break the hot tab so I can have two separate channels. I leave the neutral tab alone and run a shared neutral for each outlet box. End result is 8 hot wires per side and 4 neutrals. If you look in your panel box every circuit shares the same neutral so you are not introducing anything new.
  7. WOW! Those circles are really cool. I never thought of doing something like that. Very AWESOME!!
  8. There is no difference in the terminology of GFI & GFCI. They are both the same thing just some people choose to drop the "C". The difference is in the device itself. (i.e. gfci breaker, gfci outlet, etc. ) As far as support....to each is own.
  9. Actually you just did. Time for me to back out of this thread. Merry Christmas everyone!!
  10. I would say that caution is the direct responsibility of the home owner. Granted I live in Florida now and the dry season is November through May or June. In that regard, the only real moisture problem I have is condensation in the mornings. I cut power to the entire system each night at 10 and turn it back on at 5 pm. I also don't sit in the house while it is running. I am in the driveway every night not only for traffic control and to greet people, but to make sure everyone stands on the other side of the street. Anyone that stands on the side adjacent to the lawn is asked to move. In fact, there have been a couple times when I get people that say. "I can stand where I want". My response is, "yes you can" right before I throw all the breakers, get on my microphone and announce to the other 100 people that the show will resume as soon as everyone is across the street. That usually leaves Mr. "I can stand where I want" feeling pretty guilty. Yes, we have a responsibility for safety to others as well as ourselves. Each display and environment is different and we have to deal with what we have. Incidentally, I am working on a system with an electrician to try and isolate GFCI's for the main feeds rather than each circuit. Just to say that I did it. Right now I have 3 controller boxes each one containing 6 controllers. One of them has three 50 amp main feeds while the other have two and one respectively. Safety is NEVER a bad thing, but overkill (depending on individual situations) is just not practical.
  11. This topic seems to get so many people fired up. I was an inspector for 27 years and although I am still certified I am now in Project Management. One thing that I was insistent on when training new people was to tell them "If you are going to tell someone they are wrong, make darn sure you are right." There is very clear verbiage in the NEC codes for temporary operations which is precisely what a light display is. I have been putting up lights and running extension cords through wet grass and snow since 1984 and never once have I experienced so much as a tingle. I have researched this quite a bit and found that there are about 100 deaths per year directly related to Christmas lights IN GENERAL. Only about 10% are related to electrical overall and of that 10% only half are related to GFCI's. So the other 95% can be attributed to overloaded circuits, falls from ladders, roofs and other mishaps. Falls are the #1 cause. Please note that I am NOT trying to make light of this. There is nothing more important than a human life. I just don't understand why some of seem to take it so personally. Do you walk next door when your neighbor is standing on the top of his ladder trimming a tree and yell at him? Do you stop at every construction site where workers are not tied off properly and lecture them? Do you yell at the kid down the street for riding her scooter too fast? The answer is no. Here is another question...How many of those that are quick to reprimand a forum user for not using GFCI's have hooked more than 3 sets of lights to one circuit in spite of the written instructions, hmmmmm? The point I am trying to make is that to each is own. We are all adults and will have to live with the consequences of our actions. Let it go and just follow the three simple rules of this forum.
  12. Never heard of dueling "jingle bells", but I have this....http://www.xmas.planetmonkman.com/multimedia/xmas12/dueling_banjos2012.wmv
  13. I was going to say replace the triac or try resetting it, but looks like LOR took care of you. Kevin is a great help, isn't he? That is why I insist on and will not use anything but LOR.
  14. There are 28 42" minis in front. I know that seems like a weird number but when I first started doing this, the last items to be given channels were those clear minis. I started with 8 controllers the first year based on what I currently had in lights. After I dedicated everything I had (which included my original intent of 16 minis), I was left with 28 channels. So there you go. The other mini trees are the smaller size tomato cages which I believe are 30". There are 48 of those or 3 controllers. You will notice there is a gap between each set of those as well as the clear ones. I am going to add one more controller of the smaller ones to make a complete circle.
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