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About Bruceski44

  • Rank
  • Birthday 02/11/1959

Profile Information

  • Location
    Simi Valley, California, USA
  • Biography
    In the past, I would get annoyed with having to put up Christmas lights. It was a pain, plus I am scared of heights. It's just a one-story house, but still... Then in February 2008 my mother died. And something drove me to build a display in her memory. She was terminally ill in December 2007, which is when I discovered PC. It's still not clear to me why I do it, but I am addicted. She would have loved the dancing lights.
  • Interests
    Church, my family, and electronics, in that order.
  • Occupation
    Field Applications Engineer
  • About my display
    Started in 2008 with 32 LOR channels and mostly LED lights. Built 7 sequences, but it got really old listening to the same 7 songs all season. In 2009, I am expanding to 80 channels, building a mega-tree, candy cane striped rope light chasing garland and putting up a Holdman Bethlehem Star. I really need to discipline myself to spend regular time building sequences, as it is hard work for me and I am not very good at it. I try to focus on "the reason for the season" and bring joy and Christ to observer's lives.

    See my videos on Vimeo:
  1. I'd like to sell the items in the attached image. The Star is about 8' high and wide and made from 3/8" rebar with reinforcements at the joints which allow hanging or staking. The arches (there are two) are about 5' high and 8' wide. A CCR will fit all around it with about 8" left over. The two arches can be assembled together making an 8' diameter circle. You can see the star inside the circle formed by the assembled arches in the attached video. The arches were originally made to hang over a street, so are extremely robust. The frames are stripped of lights. Detailed photos available on requ
  2. I think it goes without saying that this only applies if you have legally purchased the songs you play, but I'm going to say it anyway. The artists and studios are entitled to compensation for their work. Thanks OP, for doing the due diligence.
  3. My choice was between a new vendor with no track record at lower prices, or an established vendor with an excellent track record at higher prices. I was planning to place part of my order at the lower price, but this increase has reduced the difference. It is no longer worthwhile for me to take the risk. Ryan made no mention of a price increase, and I am unable to check here every day.
  4. It doesn't sound like this may happen, but would you be so kind as to notify us if and before you raise your prices? I'm planning to put my order in at these prices before 2/11, so would appreciate advance notice of any changes. Thanks for the consideration, Bruce
  5. HHmm, after viewing the video, I was reminded of how we used to fix shorts on a printed circuit board. These are notoriously hard to find, so we would just crank up the voltage and current and wait for it to burn through the short. It wouldn't always work... I wonder if these malfunctions are related to partial shorts, possibly by tin whiskers, and the overstress from the tester burns through them?
  6. Would you guys mind doing a burn-in on your repaired strings? Just plug them in, maybe indoors at room temperature and let them run at full on. Better yet, use a controller to blink on and off. Diodes are funny things. There are rectifying diodes in the "blobs" and the LEDs are themselves diodes. An overstress may induce latent damage that would weaken the junction and may reduce its life. I realize you fixed these, but am wondering how long they'll remain fixed. As for what happened inside when they got fixed, I have no answer yet.
  7. If your lights came in a box that looks like these: http://www.amazon.com/50-count-Sylvania-Gem-Christmas-Lights/dp/B001KZ1E3G then they probably have a 5-year warranty. I bought lots of these minis, G12 and C6 lights and they replaced about 10% of them after the first year. I have a few more failures this year and will be seeking replacements again. These lights are actually made by Inliten 1-800-681-3814.
  8. I bought some flat RGB LED lights from Bird Dog Distributing and would buy from them again. They also have single-color LED rope: http://www.birddogdistributing.com/ My only problem with the RGB ribbon I bought was that it is wired common-cathode so that when you turn the blue lights on, both the red and green lights are on as well. (I made my own controller to control each color...) There's no way to correct it as that's the way the ribbon was built. [ATTACH=CONFIG]41258[/ATTACH]
  9. We've had 6 straight days of rain here, sometimes very heavy. It has been almost continuous since Friday morning. The first song during the first run of my show tripped the GFCI breaker and it has been down ever since. We should clear tomorrow for a couple of days and I will be out with my heat gun and plastic wrap to try and get the show running and able to withstand the next storm(s) starting Saturday. Considering it was 80 degrees and sunny when I set everything up (in December no less) I can't complain, but this really illustrates what people in other locations have to deal with. If
  10. Good thoughts on the longevity of the markers. My climate is practically tropical compared to yours and the marker on duct tape only lasted two seasons. It was fun trying to guess if that obliterated number was a 5, 6 or 8, but not something I want to do every year. Especially if it's really cold outside.
  11. Many of my elements use red, green and blue (RGB) individual strings, so I label my each end of my cords with red, green or blue electrical tape. I lay out the cords three at a time from the controller to the element and can then connect each end without too much fuss. I store them in totes broken down by size: 8-15 feet 20-25 feet 35-40 feet 50 feet and up
  12. Go to www.target.com/Christmas to get your free download. I'm not familiar with the artists, but that doesn't mean much.
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