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Everything posted by sielbear

  1. The O Holy Night is by Becoming the Archetype? I probably listen to music for 20 hours each spring to find about 20-30 potential songs. I put a lot into finding music that appeals to a wide range of people. I probably don't always nail it perfectly, however, I do make it a point to talk to lots of visitors. This is probably the first year where I've received compliments equally from young and old. I run an after hours show with very slow selections. The lights BARELY fade just to give them "life". I use Jessie Kol's Away in a manger and Mannheim's stille nacht. I saw all my neighbors kept t
  2. Been a while since I've been as active on this forum as I'd like. It's been a wild year trying to prepare for the show this year. I've posted videos in the past, so I thought I'd pass along this year's show vids. The quality isn't perfect as the RGB nodes are just so bright it's hard to capture accurate color information without a fixed aperture camera. At the time, I don't have that available to me. http://www.liptonlights.com/Pages/2012Videos.aspx Hope you all are off to a wonderful lighting season!!
  3. Too funny! I had the same problem this year. I snagged a security cam pic of the car and wrote a blog post about it. I made it humorous (I think) and just rolled with it.
  4. I have another post in the synchronized displays where I have more detail. You had asked about it looking like a movie in the windows. I created all of my sequences this year based on custom videos I created for the show. If you imagine the visualizer as the tv screen, if you were to play a video on top of where your lights were drawn, you could automate the intensity and color of your display elements based on where they appear in the visualizer. Every element in the display this year was automated in this fashion with the exception on some songs where I manually animated the snowflakes, Bet
  5. For the windows, that is a project that evolved over the last 3 years. Initially I started by measuring my windows and making custom pegboard panels that fit tightly inside every window. I made 15 of these panels. To that, I glued in several hundred (red, green, and clear lights) lights in every pegboard. The holes in pegboard was just the right size for mini lights. This year, I added a lot of pixelnet nodes to the show. The pixelnet allows individual control of each individual bulb. I can mix color and brightness. To make the windows (and I'll be posting pictures soon), I took some recta
  6. This is a really great sequence. You really complimented the beauty of the music with the lights. "From night to day" and the lights changed from red to green... Really wonderfully done!
  7. Look what's required to secure mega trees in the lawn before getting too far along on the roof idea. Also look at what's required to secure a Holdman star to the roof. I don't want to unnecessarily scare you from doing it, but many members have had mega trees go down in strong winds. I now use 48" rebar driven approximately 38" in the ground. I also use a 72" fence post stake to keep the center post from moving. Lastly, the emt conduit must be staked in a few places to keep the lights straight / tensione at the base. Also consider that if a mega tree blows off a roof as opposed to falling
  8. My first year I added a couple of circuits to the garage. My second year I increased to 24 circuits- 8 20 amp and 16 15 amp. For the 15 amp addition, I added two mobile sub panels. The sub panels use 50 amp 220v range plugs to feed the circuit boxes. 1. If / when I move, the new owners will definitely worry about Frankenstein bodies roaming the property. "Who needs this much power in their garage?!?" 2. I'm embarrassed to admit that we converted all major appliances to gas. Now, they were over due for replacement, but we're gas for heat, hot water heater, oven and stove, and dryer. As led
  9. I've gone uber low tech. 18" rebar in the ground. Zip tie through the security hole on the size of the LOR box to the rebar. If I had a real security issue I'd do more, but so far, I've not had any issues. This also helps ensure the box stays closed during the season - with some of the rain we've received this year, it's worked well. I do pay a little more attention to the boxes further from the house. For the boxes right next to the house, I didn't even use rebar this year. I just propped them up against the house behind the shrubs. If they come wandering in the yard far enough to
  10. That really is an impressive display of pixel nodes / control. I'm curious what they used to playback the show... With my 4166 nodes, I push a little over 1 Mb per second. Compressed HD is what? Between 3-6 Mb? That's like streaming HD in pixel data. Very, very impressive indeed. I really liked the "snow" at the end... Just amazing!
  11. Jason- For the stepped fades you're seeing, it looks like you're seeing the stair stepped issue when using DMX on your LOR boxes, but not when using LOR native protocol on your LOR boxes - am I correct? We aren't talking about the E680 / E681 controllers with the issue, correct? I wonder if what you're seeing is the actual "digital" stair step of the 8-bit output in DMX. I'm supposing that the LOR protocol may have a smoothing process occurring in the output stage of the controller? When operating in DMX mode, I bet that's not possible, so you're actually seeing DMX values changing, for
  12. Very cool suggestion for the Abyss, and a very safe suggestion. I'd be tempted to go the Abyss route or the "bridge look" by putting up rails on each side of the street, perhaps with a sign or something related to the bridge crossing. I'd be worried about any number of things happening with a temporary item in the road. Cars starting and stopping, turning the steering wheels, and driving too fast are things outside of your control. With relatively little movement from the protective item, you can quickly wear the insulation off of the lights - if metal is used as the bridge crossing, you'v
  13. I've got a similarly sized show to dave in terms of pixels, but I'm using 2,250 - 2,800 timing marks per song. LSP died when trying to export those files to LOR. Ultimately I chopped my show up into 30 second clips, exported to LOR (which created 200 MB files of 30 seconds of sequence), did some script processing on them, converted to xlights format, and combined everything back together. It's painful, but it's doable. I will be posting a complete workflow for how I did it this year. Unless the software improves dramatically in 2012, I'll be using the same workflow for next year!
  14. I have around 5,000 channels running this year, and like Aussiephil, I had a real challenge getting the show to do what I wanted. While I had 5,000 channels, I also had anywhere from 2,250 to 2,800 timing marks at 5,000 channels per song. Ultimately I had to break my show up into 30 second chunks, process the heck out of it with external scripts, and play it back with xlights. My 30 second LOR files were 200 MB in size each and my entire show in LOR format was 9.4 GB, not counting wav files. That was only 32 minutes of show when subtracting repeated songs. The end result has been amazing,
  15. I had a pretty funny experience last night - it's not the first time it's happened, but it's the first time I really got a good laugh out of it. I was handing out candy canes - it was relatively calm at the time, perhaps 8:45 at night. I was going from vehicle to vehicle talking with the guests and answering any questions they might have. I've got myself into a habit now of looking to see how many candy canes I have left in my basket as I approach the next car. I had run out a couple of days ealier and one poor kid didn't get a candy cane! Ah! (Luckily I had a backup supply of peppermint
  16. I used a 128 node set of lights for my 20' arches. I basically wrapped them with about 1.5 inches spacing and slid a white vinyl dryer vent over the arches. I'm fairly pleased with how they turned out.
  17. Paul- Can you give me some additional information on the RGB LED M6 strings? I assume these would use DMX and are running 12V through the RGB controller? They look fairly durable. I'm already doing the math of what it would cost to convert the rest of my display to all RGB LED...
  18. I was wondering if they were related. I was just really confused as to what may be happening since initially, I had absolutely no problems with these LED strands. I'll play with the dummy load and see what I can determine. Thanks!!
  19. I went with a Q-See system last year, and I'm pretty happy with it. No, it's far from perfect, but for the money as well as the ease of use, I'm very satisfied. I got an 8 channel dvr model that came with 4 cameras. This year I added 2 additional, nicer cameras to the system. Once nice thing about the QSee connectors is that the system uses BNC connectors for every camera. This means you can go to www.monoprice.com and snag some much nicer, fancier cameras if you want a little better quality system. Sure, you're limited to the recording resolution, etc., but feeding a nice, high-quality
  20. I swapped my Bethlehem star this year for a wire frame version. I also replaced the incandescent lights with LED lights. The cost was nearly identical (purchased from Lowes if it matters). Aside from my RGB LEDs, these are the ONLY LEDs in my display. I noticed when I came home last night, I had a VERY noticeable flicker when the LEDs were dimming on my star. It also seemed to be slightly worse on some sets than others (7 sets used for the star). The differences between sets was minimal however, and a casual observer would probably say the strands flickered at the same time, rate, etc.
  21. I had similar thoughts when I first got started. I started 4 years ago with 32 channels and 20,000 lights. I couldn't imagine having more than 64 channels at that time. I then made the mistake of watching Holdman’s display videos, and it was all over but they buying. The second year I jumped to 176 LOR channels and 80,000 lights. Last year I went to 240 LOR channels and 90,000 lights. This year I added RGB and am around 5,000 channels, but reduced my light count to roughly 65,000. My first year I used a LOT of SPT-2 wire. I bought 9000’ on spools from Skycraft Surplus. I actually used
  22. I second the 50-amp, 220 volt range plug. I run 8 15 amp circuit subpanels on each 50 amp range plug and I'm as happy as can be. Also, LEDs will dramatically change the power consumption. Last year I peaked in current needs - I would peak around 140 amps @ 220V. This year I'm way down as I converted C9s to RGB strands. Don't get me wrong, the lights still flicker in the house, but with everything I've converted to RGB, I'm probably peaking at maybe 100 amps this year. I would limit the number of songs. This is my fourth year - I always start with 15 - 19 songs that I fall in love
  23. To my knowledge, none of the software designed or developed for Christmas shows really provides this functionality. Generally speaking, you're wanting to do something like a color organ. I am aware of a product called Madrix that provides output based on audio spectrum analysis that may fit your needs. Madrix is primarily used in clubs and DJ venues, and the price is not exactly cheap. If you're not doing RGB, you can probably get away with the $500 package, but if you're doing any RGB, your channel counts will almost require you to step up to the $1,500 level.
  24. Here are a few of my 2011 videos. I posted earlier about how I created this display with Light Show Pro and by creating a video as the basis of the display. I then had LSP automate my video to the lights. It's a different look - some of the display I love and some of it I'm luke warm on. Hopefully you enjoy! There are several more videos at http://liptonlights.com/2011Vids.aspx if anyone is interested. Hope you enjoy them!
  25. Like the others here, I try to be home for at least a brief moment each night while the show is running. I've got one controller that started acting up on me this year and one section of Red and one section of Green on my megatree would stay ON constantly. Probably a bad triac. I could have swapped controllers, but I've not been home on a Saturday to do it this year. I ended up just plugging those channels into the next section over and let 'er rip! No one can tell... I did add a Q-See camera system last year, and I'm using SuperCam Pro on my iPad and iPhone. I can now login and verif
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