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About dmxwidget

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  • Birthday 04/08/1989

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  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Biography
    I am a college student who enjoys Christmas lights as well as theater and concert lighting. I am constantly trying to think of new ways to create a cool Christmas display.
  • Interests
    Theater Lighting, Christmas Lights
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    I have 48 ch. of AL with about 20,000 lights. We blanket LED lights on our house and the front is almost completely covered with lights.
  1. I am a lighting guy myself...and I use DMX all the time (100x more often than AL). If you were to go the DMX route, there could be the potential for thousands of dollars of investment just to get a console and playback system that will do want you want. When I initially started thinking about doing my display, I was going to try and use DMX, but I ran into a roadblock for creating a show control system that would run the lights each day at specified times, and be able to have everything synchronized to timecode. The first thing to consider is the console you want to use. If you rea
  2. What are you trying to accomplish by switching to DMX?
  3. After watching the program, they are still using the same lighting designer that they used when they originally did the Spectacle of Dancing Lights in 2006. They are also still using the same console type, which is a Flying Pig Systems Hog iPC.
  4. I was able to get a personal tour of the whole system the first year (2006) that they implemented the "Spectacle of Dancing Lights" at MGM (Hollywood Studios). They got custom made AL boxes and used a Flying Pig Systems iPC for control. The iPC had SMPTE timecode running into it from the audio playback system. It actually isn't weird that they waited for the entire system to be installed before they started. All entertainment ventures usually wait to program until everything is setup because the pre-visualization software that is available is very expensive and it isn't designed for chr
  5. The convention in theater is to use muslin for flats. it is a fairly cheap fabric that takes paint pretty well. One nice thing is you can backlight it if you want your mural to have a different look. It will most likely be cheaper than canvas. Here is a link for Rose Brand, search "muslin". Other stores like Jo-Ann should have muslin to purchase as well.
  6. Here is part of a white paper on DMX and splitting the signal. Although it is for DMX, it applies to this situation. Splitting Never split a DMX signal with a "wye" cable. Use a splitter device that buffers each line separately or daisy chain from device to device. The problem with splitting the signal with a wye cable is that the signal going up one leg of the wye is reflected back down and corrupts the signal going down the other leg. The longer the legs of the wye, the worse the problem. A wye where each leg is 10 feet may work fine but may fail if the legs are increased to 100 feet. A
  7. I personally get all my cable from Clark Wire & Cable. They are a great family type business and always have cables that exceed your need. Although most of their clients are TV and Radio networks, they are still able to deliver excellent customer service. I use their outdoor rated, moisture and oil resistant Cat5 cable for my display (not one problem in 3 years, same cables & connectors). It may be a bit more expensive, but it remains flexible even in the really cold weather, and I know it will be safe from the elements. I also use water tight connections to get my network and
  8. You are really looking for a RS485 data isolated splitter. Luckily DMX is based on the RS485 standard and a common DMX splitter should work. Looking at AL's documentation, I was able to find that there network only runs on 2 connectors of the CAT5 cable. Most DMX splitters are 5 wire so you should be covered. Here is a link to one of the industry leaders in DMX based devices. He also many other cool things that may be relevant to some of our setups... http://www.dfd.com/
  9. You can also "normalize" the audio on all the files through audacity. Import the track...Project ->Import Audio Apply the normalization...Select the whole audio track (Ctrl A) Then Effect -> Normalize Export the file...File -> Export (MP3 or WAV) Hope this helps.
  10. While this might be a bit overkill in terms of price...it might be the best idea for a waterproof outdoor connection. http://www.hubbell-wiring.com/htm/IndustrialWatertight.htm
  11. I'm still at school and wont be home until Wednesday when the mad rush starts to get everything up by Friday evening. My parents and I are able to get our display up in about 3 days. They started working on some of the smaller stuff this weekend, testing, etc. I am finishing up the animation for this year...just adding a song (maybe 2).
  12. I am located in the Libertyville area and I got my display running this past weekend. Here are the videos...Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=34F7FDCBBD51E4AB
  13. lf you are running a new sub-panel anyway, you can also up your service to that new panel to give you extra headroom for future expansion. Its always better to plan for the future, and if you have everything in place, its much easier to expand on later.
  14. These products are tough and built very well. You could get one piece and be set for your sidewalk. They will last forever too. http://www.checkersindustrial.com/
  15. I have a Martin Magnum 2000 and use Martin's Fluid. I am a fan of Martin, Rosco, or LeMaitre Fluids. It is always best to use the manufacturers specified fluid in some machines because of the different formulas to make the fluid.
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