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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.

chuckd

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About chuckd

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    Norman, Oklahoma, USA
  • Occupation
    Retired

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  1. I'm with Bill, very pretty, but no way near 1,000,000 lights. Seems like there's lots of 'inflating numbers' in this hobby. Saw someone else recently that claimed to have 1.5 million incandescent lights, with sixty 20-amp circuits. Sorry, the math doesn't work!
  2. I've used a simple single channel pneumatic traffic counter for years now, works great. Most of these are in the $350 to $450 dollar range.
  3. Broadcast Warehouse TX1 with a Ramsey FMA200 antenna connected with 50 feet of LMR400 coax.
  4. Too many lights? What is this heresy of which you speak?
  5. One of our display features is what we call an LED matrix display. A lot of people have these now, and as you probably know you can put words up on it, or scroll phrases across it. We use this a lot in our sequences, and it gets some viewers to come up with creative requests. On more than one occasion, we've been asked to put up marriage proposals (at some time during the night, pop up a 'would you marry me' message). So far I've always said no, but it makes me feel kind of guilty as I'd normally like to help out with this kind of stuff. Also, we've been asked to advertise as well. This one doesn't sit well with me, and I politely turn them down. The display raises money for a local charity, so I've thought about maybe doing marriage proposals for certain size donations. However, I'd hate for it to start a flood of requests. Anyone else there run into this? What did you do, and how do 'other' viewers react to it?
  6. Just a quick question.... any ideas how the star at the top is made? That is definitely cool!
  7. You might check out MestaLights link to area displays at http://www.mestalights.com/links.html This is a pretty good starting point to find all the OKC area displays you might want to visit.
  8. Now THAT's a great idea. If I ever do another time-lapse of something, I'll be sure to track that one down!
  9. Just for comparison's sake, we have nearly 4,000 strands up, and typically lose about 1 strand every three days. They are almost always half strands (from the middle wart either to the plug or socket end). These are all CDI replacement strands. I consider this actually pretty good reliability considering how they're strung and under a certain amount of mechanical stress at all times.
  10. Every year I have a couple of units whose channel select dip switches fail a bit. For example, I had a unit set to channel 3E this year and it was reading as 32. A quick solution for me was to simply find out what address I can actually set the unit to (this box for example I set to 52 so I wouldn't have to change the second digit). You might just hook up the one box only and see what it is showing as its address. By the way, in my example I also actually switched the second dip switch to a '2' to avoid the switch suddenly working again and reading as 'E'. You'd hate to get the same problem again in reverse!
  11. The girl in white (my daughter) is actually hoisting them up with a rope and pulley. It's hard to see in the time lapse version, but every one of the 64 is pulled up individually in that fashion.
  12. That tree is 70 feet tall, consisting of 64 three channel strands (one red, one green, one blue). Each color of the strands is four 50 count CDI LED C6 strands. There are also 16 strands of flashers spread throughout, attached to 16 of the three channels strands. In total, there are 768 strands of lights on the tree itself plus the 16 flasher strands. The star is 10 feet tall, and has 36 strands of 50 count LED lights (18 cool white and 18 warm white). Total channels for one tree are 197 channels spread over 13 LOR 1602 controllers. There are two of these trees, spaced about 500 feet apart. Actual time from start of climb to climb down was almost exactly 2 hours. That's me at the top (nobody else wants to do that part!) Every strand was laid out the day before with the controllers and plugged in to the correct channels. You really want to minimize the amount of repair that needs to be done when setting something like this up. With that said, we have to fix about 8 strands today, as some of the strands aren't working. You definitely make sure you don't have to go to the bathroom before you climb. If for some reason you do, you tell everybody to go away and make a spectacular fountain effect! LOL
  13. Just thought you guys might enjoy a time lapse video of us setting up one of the two mega trees. Enjoy! http://www.vimeo.com/17042862
  14. No, just the regular stuff. The light strands have to be able to slide a bit on the cables, or they'll bunch up and actually support some of the weight themselves. I learned this last year when I tightly zip tied the strands to the wire. There were actually loops of steel cable up in the air, where the LED strand was holding the entire weight. Not good.
  15. Terry's right, you won't hurt anything by adding a resistor to every single string. All you'll do is draw a bit more power per strand. I do suspect it's a bit of wasted effort, since you simply don't need that many to do a good job smoothing multiple strings. I too found that once I had about 3 strands of 50 count Holiday Creations model LED's in series, I needed to add a terminator or flicker became a problem.
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