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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.

Greg.Ca

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Everything posted by Greg.Ca

  1. I am currently in the process of building a beautiful functioning Santa Claus sleigh and want to spare no reasonable expense to have a very cool high tech dashboard. I have already committed to having a functioning 12 volt dc hot cocoa dispenser on the dashboard. I need other ideas. Obviously I will a have a FM radio with 2 front speakers mounted in the dash and two back speakers in the backseat. I do own a 10" and a 8" Amazon fire tablets which could serve as a electronic map or perhaps some kind of ' coal vs present detector'. Any other great ideas electronic pprojects to enhance the magic of Santa's sleigh? --Greg--
  2. Car accident, sickness in the family, FREEZING cold temperatures, trying to get Xlights to work my 550 channel LOR display, lazy son, son in College and overworked son who's attitude is poor all led to a compromised display this year. Last year we took first place, this year by the time we got our stuff going, the contest was over and we won NOTHING!!! This is a tuff hobby to get everything going in just a few weekends. However it was my fault. I didn't test anything in the summer time like I should have. --Greg--
  3. Please explain this 'patch' thing. Does this allow LOR to work better? I really want to run everything in Xlights. Anybody running lots of LOR controllers in Xlights in LOR mode? --Greg--
  4. We have over 40 standard LOR controllers running in standard LOR mode. I want to import my 500+ channels into the setup tab of nutcracker/Xlights and have Xlights run both my LOR sequences as well as my nutcracker RGB sequences in E.1.31. I ran into a problem trying to set up my LOR channels into the setup tab and found a limitation of only being allowed 47? channels that Xlights could accept in standard LOR mode. HUGE disappointment and a show stopper. Must I run my large LOR network in DMX mode in order for Xlights to accept and acknowledge my LOR hardware? If this is the case, what exact steps do I need to do quickly in order to run everything in Xlights? My current hardware is 40+ standard LOR 16 channel controllers running in standard LOR format. This runs out of a USB port to a USB-RS-485 that is daisy changed to my 40+ coltrollers. My E.131 RGB runs out of a Ethernet port to a Ethernet switch where my 3 J1sys P12s's work. Everything works fine separately but I wanted either LOR to run everything or Xlights to run everything. I'm very disappointed to find out the hard way that Xlights wont run LOR in native LOR mode. I need to find out a easy solution for either LOR to run everything or Xlights has to accept 500+LOR channels. Another option is to convert our LOR network to DMX mode and I'm not sure exactly how to do that or have the necessary cable change to do that. I might need a quick course in order to do that, Can somebody help me out who is running both LOR and Xlights-Nutcracker together? --Greg--.
  5. OK, August 31 it is. 16 people is a push. If we get confirmed over 12, I think we should do it at at the fire station. Anything around 12 we can do it at my home. Where is this fire station located? Call me tomorrow to discuss my WS2811's. I don't understand the 'showers' comment. I think that you meant to 'show' something.
  6. Shaun, I'm good for hosting at my home on any of those dates. My son Joey will be going back to college in North Dakota around the first week of August so obviously the August 3rd will be my choice as Joey can attend and learn more. I just need to know what everybody wants to do and the final date. I should have a 36 strand RGB megatree getting close to completion that I have been working on for a few months ready to show off. I'm waiting on supplies from China and additional funding from the 'boss' to procure additional 5V strips and two more additional controllers. ($200.00 each). I would like to have this running, tested and installed by Halloween. As it turns out, I have a lot of 5 meter WS2811 strips 12VDC still brand new in the bags not opened that I want to sell from Ray Wu. They are just a few weeks old. I also would like to set up a 'swap meet' of Christmas light items that we all could buy/sell/trade. Bring all your unused or un-needed christmas light stuff and let's see if we can trade. I'm currently needing 5V WS2811 strips as my requirements for my megatree changed in mid build. A few of you have already been to our home. We are two blocks south of Highlands Ranch Parkway and 3-4 blocks east of Santa Fe. Exact address and directions is on our web site at www.HighlandsRanchChristmas.com Looking forward to seeing you all there. --Greg--
  7. I would like to offer our home to host the Christmas lights enthuesiats get together this summer. We live near Highlands Ranch Parkway and Santa Fe in western Highlands Ranch. Available dates are August 3rd, 24th or 31st. I would like to hear back from people wanting to come and what day is good for them. Shaun Megan has indicated that he wants to come and I would also like everybody to bring their stuff that they no longer use to have a 'swap meet' for buying and selling Christmas light stuff. I should also have a 36 strand RGB mega tree close to getting completed to show everybody. Thanks --Greg--
  8. We have quite a spectacular mega tree with over 38000 full wave led's but this year we are now attempting adding a internal 2nd layer to our 8 color mega tree. Our programming department is requesting some samples of videos that use dual layer mega trees. I remember somewhere seeing some. Can anybody show me some examples of dual layer mega trees? Thanks --Greg--
  9. I also agree, NEVER NEVER buy LED's with replaceable bulbs. You're just asking for problems!!. I have easily over 100,000 LED's and NONE of them are in sockets. Don't buy cheap crap. If you check this forum, this information has been published for YEARS!!!. I don't feel sorry that your cheap Martha Stewart LED's aren't working. You got exactly what you paid for and they're probably half wave also. Sorry. --Greg--
  10. If you would want to consider used, I have lots of multicolor full wave icicles that have sealed bulbs. All top quality. --Greg--
  11. I am finding this whole thread VERY informative. I am just about to bite the bullet and go with P12R. I know my show NEEDS to have intelligent strings in the next couple of years to bring it up to current standards. I have been hesitating on purchasing a controller for smart strings as I know that I will have to do it alone and suffer the consequences if things don't go right. What everybody is NOT talking about is how you go about sequencing the new hundreds or thousands of channels so that my new 'magical' megatree still dances in syncronization to the music. It was hard enough having 500 regular LOR channels but now I expect to have perhaps thousands more. It's like buying a new Ferrari sports car and not having a drivers license yet. I'm not sure how I go about having all that 'capability' and not using it correctly. I signed up to go to Conway Texas this summer to learn more about RGB and smart pixels. Hopefully I'll learn all about the new world of smart pixels and RGB. It could only enhance our already cool show. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there. --Greg--
  12. Are there seperate fees for the classes? What does the $60.00 cover?
  13. Does any band do 'Here comes the Sun' with Christmas Lyrics? Has anybody ever heard this beautiful song with Christmas lyics?
  14. I don't have the slightest clue who 'Ray' is. Website please. Also, who or what is a 'meanwell'? --Greg-- Also, are you indicating that each 'channel' , can drive 5 5meter strips/color? So therefore I would use 3 seperate channels on the controller to drive 5 of the 5 meter strips in series? I need length. Thanks --Greg--
  15. Currently I have over 450 LOR channels operating my 100,000 LED's very sucessfully. I currently do NOT have any RGB lights or DMX channels. Hopefully that's going to change for the 2013-2014 season. I want to start slowly and experiment with smart strings and 'semi intelligent lights' and have lots of questions. Right now I have 72 feet of 9 different colors of LED rope light that is a perimeter 'fence' that serves two purposes. First it acts like a security fence and keeps my 'viewers' outside of my yard. And second, as musical notes are played in many of my songs, I illuminate different colors to coorespond to the sounds of a piano or different guitar strings being played. This LED rope light has proven to be a big hit but unforunately it's also my biggest headache as far a reliability is concerned. Of the nine dfferent colors, It always seems to take several days each season to sort out the mess and get the fence working correctly. . Even though a 9 foot 'section' of LED rope light appeares to work, many of them would not 'feed' the next section with their unreliable connector at the 'end' of each section. With the high cost and terrible reliability, I finally decided that something needed to be done to replace this unreliabile LED rope light fence in my show. On my web site, there are a few video's that may show this rope light fence in operation. It's pretty cool. Now to the solution, I decided to experiment with SMD5050 5 meter sections of RGB strip lights and perhaps 'encase' them in rubber clear tubing. So far, I don't see a problem with the physical aspecs of trying to make this work and replace my unreliable LED rope light with 5 or 10 meter sections of RGB strips. The advantage of these RGB strip lights are that each one of them can be any color. In many of my songs, I turn on just one color for a great effect. These lights would highlight that effect. I could turn the whole fence the same color if I wanted to. BIG advantage. As far as an electrical issue, I need a DMX RGB controller that can handle the current draw of 72 feet of 'doubled up' (my initial plan is to have these strips back to back where the adhesive is stuck to each other for better illumination at all angles should somehow these strips get twisted). Technically, I would have 27 RGB channels but the excessive current draw of the doubled up 72 feet (actually 144 feet) exceeds the current capacity of the controller that I was looking at. See below. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/27-channel-easy-DMX-LED-controller-dmx-decoder-driver/431020707.html The specs on this controller indicate it could drive only 1 amp per channel. The specs on just ONE 5 meter section of RGB lights indicate 3 amps (I'm not sure that I believe the specifications) See below. http://www.ledwholesalers.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=911 Questions, The math simply isn't adding up. If the capacity of the controller and the load of just ONE 5 meter section is correct, then this controller simply couldent even drive one 5 meter section. What am I missing?? Is SMD5050 5 meter strip lights the way to go? Is something better and why? For next years show, I only need 27 RGB channels so this controller appears ideal. I just wish each channel in the controller could drive more current. Is there a DMX RGB 12VDC controller that could drive much higher current for a reasonable price? Vendors? Where would I obtain a reliable software driver for the DMX controller? How is this controller hooked up to my computer? USB port?? What else am I forgetting? Are there stateside sources for DMX RGB 12VDC controllers. Any problems sending money to China (paypal)? Any web sites for learning specifically LOR RGB?? Any better sources for RGB strip lights. Does lightorama sell a high current 12VDC controller? HELP!!! --Greg--
  16. I have 4 mini arches that use 8 each (X3 colors) and I have 2 Mega arches that use 16 that also have 3 colors. The more 'increments' you have, the better it 'blends' when the arch is moving.
  17. For the longest time I resisted having blow molds in my display but I wanted a beautiful nativity scene. Ok, I bought a 6 figure nativity scene that is probably 10 years old but seemed in good condition. I changed all the incescent light bulbs with LED bulbs and was dissapointed when I saw them topple over because of strong winds that we had last night. Not cool if the wise men or Mary is tipped over. What is typically used to stabalize these blow molds to prevent them from being blown over in high winds? Out of curosity, what is a reasonable amount to pay for 6 blow molds that probably stand 4 feet high? Don't have a clue? Thanks --Greg--
  18. I have 100,000LED's and the white's that I use are all 'pure' or 'cool' white. They are simply brighter than the warm whites which have a 'yellow' hue to them. Think about socks.....would you rather wear nice bright white socks that have been bleached in the laundry of dingy yellow white socks?? .......Yuck!!! Bright white is always better in both LED's and socks!! --Greg--
  19. Nope, there were just men on the Now That's what I call Christmas Music albums.
  20. This is a beautiful version of Winter Wonderland who is the group? Winter-Wonderland-edit.mp3
  21. "O come all ye faithful" I am looking for a male voice that has a 'commanding' presence with this traditional christmas carol. I have a female voice singing 'O holy night' (Jewel) and it took me a long time to decide on having Jewel. In my opinion of all the singers who sing O holy night, she does it the best. Really beautiful. Now I need a male singer that sings O come all ye faithful with a beautiful 'commanding' presence. I have a few cool rock & roll songs that are quite contemporary but my Christmas carols have to stay traditional. I cannot have a 'rock' version of 'O come all Ye faithful'. Any suggestons?? ---Greg--
  22. Well, I need something that could keep me warm while I am out 'guarding' our display. I live in the suburbs of Denver and yes, it certainly can get quite cold here in the evenings around Christmas time. Typically in the evenings I sit out on a lawn chair in the driveway while cars are watching the display and generally try to greet each car with a smile and a candy cane. But after 20-30 minutes or so, I need to go back in the house to warm up. It's just too cold to stay out there all the time It would be great if there was a portable 'warming hut' that I could quickly step into to warm up my body so that I could stay outside for longer durations of time. I don't know what exists, but it would have to be very portable, perhaps operate on propane or electricity (preferred) and be see-thru so that I could peek out and exit quickly if I needed to stop vanadalism or go meet a car. Anybody have any ideas what I could use to stay warm instead of just freezing sitting on a lawn chair?? --Greg--
  23. Wow, we compleatly disagree. I have had 2 or 3 'canac' transmitter (cheap canadian kit transmitter) chinese transmitter(CHZ-05B) (2 of them) one mobile black box (6000), and they ALWAYS fail at the minijack. It simply is too loose and 'wiggly' to reliably connect a left, right and a ground in such a little crappy plug and socket. Perhaps our temperatures in Denver Colorado have too much of a variance to reliably have this 'little plug' reliably connect both left, right and ground in such a little package. NEVER AGAIN!!! Transmitters that use RCA jacks first of all, use a seperate connection for the left and a seperate connection for the right channel. That in itself DOUBLES the reliability and the fact that the plug uses a much larger surface area for both the ground and the audio signal also doubles the reliability. I used a Ramsey last year and had zero troubles with audio problems. The canacs, the chinese -CHZ-o5B, and the mobile black box, I was ALWAYS unplugging and replugging in different gold plated audio cables as either the left, the right or the ground would intermittantly fail to 'connect' It's just a tiny plug and jack that couldent possibly holdup to the reliability of the RCA type connections. The RCA cables are MUCH more solid and have more surface area to reliably connect and could never come off. I use monster cable RCA cables. Why is it that the two best transmitters (Ramsey & EDM) use RCA connections. It's because the manufactuers know that those little crappy little mini plugs and mini jacks are always wiggly and are just prone to get looser with time. To me it's a no brainer. I have invested at least $500.00 in those crappy transmitters all having the same point of failure. It just made sense to go with a transmitter that uses RCA jacks. Thoughts everybody??
  24. I use ESET for my antivirus. Can I just use audacity and output the file as WAV instead of MP3? Is 'lame' necessary to output a file as WAV? Wouldn't the audio fidelity be better if the file is saved as WAV anyway? Right now my purchased file from amazon (99 cents) is a 256kbps MP3 that S3 cannot use. I am presuming that S3 can use WAV files? Is that correct? What are the negatives if I use WAV files for my music files in S3? Thanks --Greg--
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