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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 Duke

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 04/01/1956

Profile Information

  • Location
    Michigan, USA
  • Biography
  • Interests
    Xmas lights
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    22,000+ lights and counting
  1. I've updated my site a bit and posted some pics there on the multi pin and wiring harness diagram. My sticks have been dissambled because I had to ship all my LEDs back to CDI for replacement and I am in the process of rebuilding them. Hence the decision to make them all seperate segments to ease replacement if required. Last year gave my a lot of experience working with repairs. I will take more photos and post them when I get ready for pre season testing and display set-up. You can see the new pics here at http://home.comcast.net/~rvandamme/projects.aspx
  2. In the link above there are 2 channels used per section (2 strings of 100 each) The flange is the stock end on this type of PVC and it is on one end only. It's inside diameter accepts the outside diameter of the same pipe. The only thing that keeps the light string from slipping off the ends is a tie wrap. It would be nice to have a true flat flange (a giant washer?) at the ends of the light string sections to prevent them from coming off. I've been trying to do the same thing with my vertical "shooting star" sticks except I was using the more rigid 1 1/2 " white PVC pipe. Going with seperate sections is a smart way to do it since it will make it much easier for storage and repair. On my "shooting star" sticks, I made a custom wire harness that ran the length of the stick. I used 1 "hot" wire for each segment and 1 common to feed ALL segments. So for an 8 segment run I only used 9 wires. The harness terminated in a 9 pin connector that plugged into the controller. No guesswork there since you could only plug it in one way. Now on the ends that plugged into the stick, each length could only plug into it's corresponding section. I used insulated female spade terminals that crimp onto the wire and they were a tight fit pushing them onto the male end plugs of the light strings. A small wrap of electrical tape finished off any exposed electrical connection. This made a very inexpensive and esay to hook-up harness. The spade terminalsare MUCH cheaper than using vampire plugs however they are NOT the best to use where hands might grab them. (DUH). Since these sticks were not sectional and all one length, the harness was to be stored with the stick at the end of the season. I may consider this sectional approach though after my bout with repairs in last years display. Although unwinding and rewinding 1 section on a 10' length of tubing was not too bad for a single color item, it was nonetheless a PITA. The sectional or modular approach would make repair much easier and even faster if you have a couple spares on hand. Hmmmmmm.
  3. Anyone have the white 100 count M5 replacements? What do you think of the almost non existent fade rate on them? It appears that their rate is from 20% to 30% for full on. Difference between 30% and 100% is minimal. This is going to be a real challenge getting these to fade and look right. Ugggh.
  4. How do you walk on a metal roof without putting dents in it? Also, I would be weary of using rare earth magnets since they are VERY strong and may even be TOO strong causing dents when you try to get them off as well.
  5. Try them again. YouTube removed some of my videos due to copyright music stuff.
  6. I first seen these shooting stars here: http://www.shadrack.com/christmas/ I made the pole portions of these using 10 foot long X 1 1/2" PVC pipe and made 8 segments by wrapping strings of 100 LED's around the pole. I then sank a 3/4 inch diameter EMT conduit 2 feet in the ground and slipped the "stick" over it. It never budged in 60 mph gusts we had in 2008. No augers or digging required. You can see them in action on my site: http://home.comcast.net/~rvandamme/index.html
  7. You can see the Firefly's in action on my website here: http://home.comcast.net/~rvandamme/index.html Look under the 2008 videos page. It's still in progress so.........
  8. Duke

    LED problem

    JBullard is correct in that X10 modules and also most motion sensors use a trickle voltage to operate. It would not be good for LED's because when voltage goes down, current goes up thus shortening the life span of the LED. In LOR and other Christmas light controllers designed for dimming LED's, the circuitry uses PWM (Phase Width Modulation) to dim the lights. Totally different from motion detectors and X10 stuff which is very simplistic circuitry.
  9. Duke

    LED Arches

    Instead of vampire plugs, I used simple insulated female spade terminals crimped onto 18ga spt wire. They push on tightly to the male portion of the plug. Then I wrapped over with electrical tape. I also made a common that ran to one side of each of the plugs for the entire arch/stick. So if you have an 8 segment arch you only need 9 wires for control. The other advantage to this is that on the ends that goes to the controller, you can use a multi pin conductor and makae the connection almost goof proof and much faster since you dont have to plug in each individual channel. Search for my posts from last year and you'll see the custom boxes I made. Set-up and take down is a snap. I created almost all my display using these custom harnesses instead of expensive extension cords and what a breeze it was to plug in and take apart. EDIT: heres an example of one of my custom boxes used to control 2 arches with 21 channels each. I used three colors and 7 segments per arch for a total of 42 channels. The other 6 channels were used to control nearby individual items. http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?t=21193 I had 2 of these boxes but they never seen field use last year because: 1. It was insane wrapping arches with 3 colors! 2. The reliability of lights last year mede this a nightmare beyond imagination. Repair in the field was totally out of the question. They were simply TOO complex and prone to failure. The multi pin idea was however utilized in my light sticks. You can see my videos here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=DukeMaster1956&view=playlists OR check out our websight (in progress) here: http://home.comcast.net/~rvandamme/index.html
  10. No globs? That's strange! I got my replacements and the 100 count multi M5's have 3 globs. 1 at each end and 1 in the middle. Last years never had one in the middle on my 100 count strings. Adding it in the middle is probably the change they made so it's actually 2 50ct strings and that gets rid of the capacitor all together. If you have no globs at either end, then it sounds like you got the new stock that is being sold and not the ones from "Frymatic". My replacements are going through their paces as you read this and I can't believe they are from the same supplier. Beefier wire and sockets and the lenses are larger than last years as well. Look more like M6's. I need to run these near my outdoor surveilance camera as last years were so noisey that you could hear AND see it on the monitor. The noise should be gone if the cap is gone. Could be a much better, trouble free display this year.
  11. Duke

    What happened to CDI?

    That is totally weird. I don't see it. Here's a screen grab of what I see: Am I missing something or has my browser gone daft? :giggle:
  12. Duke

    What happened to CDI?

    Page 3 of where? When I go to http://forums.planetchristmas.com/forumdisplay.php?f=15 I don't see 3 pages of any thread pertaining to CDI LED's. The CDI threads used to be there. I didn't see them anymore is all.
  13. Duke

    What happened to CDI?

    OK, OK already!! I was just inquiring and my question has been answered several times already. This thread can be eliminated as well as far as I'm concerned. Sheesh! I didn't mean to stir up a bee's hive.
  14. Duke

    What happened to CDI?

    I didn't think they were out of business either. Just hadn't had any replies to my emails from their website. Thanks Paul for the link as well. It answered my questions as to when replacements might ship.
  15. Duke

    What happened to CDI?

    Are you making an assumption? They still have a web site.
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