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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 gymnasium

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 04/25/1942

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    Night before Christmas
  • Location
    Kennesaw, Georgia, USA
  • Biography
  • Interests
    Animated Christmas Displays, Model Railroad
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    Static prior to 2007 - now 100% pixels and approaching 80,000 channels

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  1. I've been using RGB for awhile and there is still lots to learn. Ray Wu is the supplier that most folks use for lights. Expect to wait since this is his busy season and expect to pay more than you thought for shipping. I have been using TM1809 flexstrips starting last year and I ordered some WS2811 flexstrips recently, but to my surprise and continued learning I discovered that the WS2811 lights up 3 nodes at a time versus the TM1809 which light up 1 node at a time. So everything depends on what you are going to use the products for. I use nodes on my eaves and windows and porch columns. I use TM1809 for a 7ft pixel tree. I just built arches using the WS2811, because having 3 nodes lit at a time is not a problem there, but I had more that I was going to use to try to build a small matrix. The 2811s would never work for a matix since you need individual node control. I use standard LED strings on my mega tree and my mini trees because I think they look better that way than with RGB. YMMV, but my point is that you have much to learn and I would not think about doing anything this year, at least not if was to be an important part of your display. If it is one small minor element that lets you play with RGB and learn then go for it. Last year was the first year for my pixel tree, but I did not get it up until mid Dec and then I only had it in one sequence. But it was a great learning experience.
  2. Any time I have everything done after Thanksgiving. Usually the Saturday after since I need Friday and daytime Saturday for final testing..
  3. My indoor tree used up all my clear incan 2.5v SB minis. I also have those same lights in my tune to sign. I need to buy some more replacement bulbs before next season or buy a couple of strings that use the same bulb. I've looked in all my local stores and no one has replacment clear mini bulbs of any kind or even any new boxes of lights that use those bulbs. I have been searching on the web, but not finding anything that was reasonably priced. My old stash of 2.5 SB came from Target and were 10 in a pack for about $1. Probably $2 today if you could find them. The best I find is 5 for $1.50. Anyone have any good sources. A new box or two of strings that use the 2.5v SB would probably be best. I probably have 20 boxes of target 2.5v ES strings and would be willing to do a trade.
  4. I was out shooting video last night and the crabbiest neighbor came by to tell me he and his family really liked the lights. I said you might not like it so much if I was in the paper and got lots of traffic. to my surprise he said "we can deal with it." Wonders never cease.
  5. gymnasium

    Spiral Tree

    If you are thinking about a take apart PVC element try this. Use saw to cut a half inch deep slit on the male piece and then put a little plain old vaseline around the inside of the joint. Works great.
  6. I think that with RGB pixels it is time to stop counting lights and start counting channels. Besides is is the channel count that represents the amount of work that has to be done, INHO.
  7. Half my show is RGB LEDs running thru coax using DC voltage off of one PC power supply. All using lynx smart strings found at diylightanimation.com
  8. All my mini trees are metal floral easels and I push them into the ground to keep them from blowing over. The only trips I had where from the lawn lights. Robert I would try unplugging the lawn lights from the mini trees and see if they truly are the problem. Of course if you have the lawn lights feeding your minis that could be impossible. I had the lawn lights feeding from my minis since I had 3 colors on each mini and needed multiple connections at that end.
  9. For me LOR is what I recommend for everyone to start. My first year I had 48 channels. The next year I doubled that. Then I found the Lynx controllers at a mini and found I could get twice the channels for half the money and add wireless for not much money also. I sold some of my LOR boxes, but I still use some since they will run DMX and all the Lynx boxes are DMX so they work together. This year I added RGB and have over 3000 channels, but since they run on DC and use power over ethernet I have a ton of extension cords in storage unused. Where I used to have 3 strings of lights per window plus 3 extension cords I now have one string of RGB lights and one cat5 cable. Much neater, but a bear to program. Remember this is a hobby and you do this for your own enjoyment. If you don't enjoy it the display will become a chore and then go away. Costs are relative. I have model railroad engines that cost $200 and some that cost $50. Some people play a lot of golf or travel the world or do other things. Everything is relative. Just start slow and build up over time.
  10. Remember that we are our own worst critics. We see all the little things that are not where we want them to be or the two lights that out and need to be replaced, but the AUDIENCE does not see them nor do they care. They are singing along to the music and laughing and smiling and having a great time. So should you because that is what it is all about.
  11. I always try to leave a couple of spare / open channels in strategic spots in the display. That way you can swap the power cord around and copy the sequence for that channel to the new channel. Then fix things after the season is over.
  12. gymnasium

    White Wire

    I have the following I would sell 17 clear on white wire - Hobby Lobby 1 blue on white - Hobby Lobby 37 blue on white - Walmart 15 red on white - Walmart All are new in box $1.50 per box plus shipping and paypal fee I'm in Kennesaw, GA
  13. My database of shows that I have learned about that are in Gerogia is at 75 names. Now if we just had the space and a willing organizer. We have 5 shows here in Kennesaw alone. I'm not on PC to much anymore, mostly on diylightanimation.com but I have been collecting info wherever I find it from multiple forums.
  14. I now have a jump pole and I love it. Very stable and easy to put the lights up. Started acquiring parts last Dec when I became really unhappy with my 2010 pole. Finally finished putting it all together in mid November. Why do we procrastinate so long? The toughest part for me was getting the threads out of the bushings for the poles to slide thru. Finally took them to a customer of mine with a machine shop and they did it in less than 10 minutes. Still need to put the bushing into the motorized jack, but that will come after the show is over unless I get some free time and take the jack off the pole and back into the shop before teardown. The other problem was that I have a slight slope where my pole was going to sit. After looking at several options, I cut some pieces of 2x6 the length of one side of the portable hole. Then I clamped them on with pipe clamps and leveled the pole. When the pole got where I wanted it I put a bunch of 3 inch deck screws to hold the boards in place and used 3 foot stakes to stabilize the portable hole as shown in the instructions. It is rock solid. Jim Nealand Kennesaw, GA
  15. gymnasium

    Roll Call Ga

    I'm finally up and running. Got slowed down by trying to learn how to use RGB lights and LSP. Finally went back to Vixen and converted last years sequences to use the new lights. Built a Monkman JUMP Megapole. That works great. Still have a few static elements to put out and some things to fix like some mini tree lights and one channel stuck on 24/7. I spend most of time on diylightanimation.com as most of my controllers come from there.
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