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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.


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About Bryce

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    Frisco, Texas, USA
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  1. Look into building Walter’s JUMP (Jack Up Mega Pole). It is proven to work and is easy to raise your lights. Since you already have the PVC buried in the ground, you might skip the portable hole piece. You can also probably reuse your topper with hooks. http://www.magicchri...as_news_002.htm
  2. I just wanted to thank you for all the information and allowing me to see your train up close this past Friday night. You have two awesome trains and a great display overall!!!! We visited several diplays in the Dallas area and yours, by far was THE BEST!!!! Thanks again, Jeremy Ganes

  3. Hi bryce try a knee-kick switch i have one on my train i s shuts off all power instantly joel

  4. If you can post some pictures of your motor setup that would really help. Without seeing what you have I can only suggest what has worked for me. I have a train that is powered by a central motor and travels around in a circle. I came up with a safety device that is comprised of two simple components. The first is a spring that is used to pull the train around the track. This took a considerable amount of trial and error to find the right spring tension and length to give me enough strength to overcome the initial startup force of the motor yet is soft enough that I could still stop the train with my hand. The second piece is a switch mounted on the opposite side of the spring. If too much pressure is applied to the rotating arm the spring will stretch and allow the switch to be activated. This will cut power to the motor and stop the train. This setup works extremely well. I can reach my hand out and stop the train as it passes by. The little black adjustment knob is actually a leveling device for the leg of a chair. Simple yet effective! Here is a link to a post that has some more pictures and a video at the end. http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php/14743 [ATTACH=CONFIG]39521[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]39522[/ATTACH] Bryce
  5. Bryce

    tree base

    Here is my design out of wood and painted. It is in a stop sign shape too! Bryce [ATTACH=CONFIG]39054[/ATTACH]
  6. I cut mine off too with one of those tools. They snug up the zip tie, then clip it off clean with one pull of the handle. Big time saver. Bryce
  7. I was using two of Drew's 8 channel stand alone controllers as late as the 2006 season. I sold the display items so I also sold off the controllers and software. I bought these back in 2001 and 2002 for over $200 each from ChristmasCave.com. I added the enclosures in later years. Wow, we have come a long way.
  8. WOW, those are nice! You did a great job!
  9. Any updates on this project? I am interested to see if anyone has made one yet. This is a great idea.
  10. Bryce


    I have been using this Dual Mig 151 230v Harbor Freight model for many years running on flux core wire. This is the only HF model I have used so it is they only one I can recommend. It goes on sale several times a year. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=6271 I have fabricated the following projects and many more. I agree 100% that these are the lower end of welder brands but I think the pictures speak for themselves that a Harbor Freight welder will work for general hobby projects. (100HP Gokart, Christmas Train, Toy Factory, Mega Tree base with Train)
  11. I use the drill for almost all the holes but you can use either method. When you think about making 10,000+ holes and having to push lights through each one of them I like to use a power tool. If there were only a couple hundred holes then the punch would be OK. On parts where the light spacing was
  12. I got all my lights for the factory at Hobby Lobby. I tried to avoid the 35 and 20 count sets where possible because they are not outdoor rated but for some items they just worked out better. Doing something this size I thought it was better to get all my lights from the same store/brand. Turns out this did not work out so well. I was hoping I could buy solid color 100 ct strings and just swap bulbs were I need to make color changes but the bulb base of solid green strings did not fit the base of solid red light string and therefore neither fit the base of multi-color stings. See the dilemma here? I ended up having to remove the actual glass bulb from its base and reinsert it into another base to fit the right strings. It was a time consuming process and a nightmare. I slowly learned to just pluck all the bulbs out of the multi-color strings because then I could reinsert the colors were I needed them. A little time testing bulb bases from your sets may save you some time and hassle. As for the block spacing it depends on how many lights you have in an area. The more lights you have the more blocks you need. I would say the max spacing should be 18
  13. Hi Mike, lots of questions here so let me see if I can answer them. Almost every component is on its own channel. When I was building it I was not sure what animation I wanted to do so I made everything independent. I will admit I have been lazy and not reprogrammed the factory to look more fluid with different timing for different parts. Maybe I will get to that this year J OK, on to some answers, the conveyer belt is 4 channels, 100ct lights each. I do a 3 on 1 off chase sequence to make the belt look like it is moving. I had some lights left over so the triangle on the lower left is the remainder of the conveyer lights. The gears under the belt are 2 channels and all connected together. If I could do it again, I would have used at least 3 channels for the rollers to make them spin better. 2 channels just make them look like the go back and forth. The counter is 14 channels and each segment is a 20ct light set. I have mixed feelings about this feature. It was not part of the original design but I had an extra 16 channel controller at the time so I waned to use it. Looking back I wish I had added something else and used some of my other spare channels to animate something different. For the most part I tried to use 100ct and 50ct strings. Some items required the 35ct and some the 20ct strings. I think I used 50ct strings to add the bears and parts to the packages. The full bears inside the factory use 150 lights each. The smaller gears used 20ct per channel with solid on lights around the perimeter and center of each gear. Don
  14. I think you are right Tim. I did not think that idea all the way through.
  15. Does the current motor have an arm mounted on it that rotates around? If so can you lengthen the arm? This might help speed the movement up if the arm is making a bigger circle.
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