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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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Everything posted by Takoda

  1. It really would be simple to add an animation sequence to run in the background that would periodically turn this on for you. Wouldn't take much time at all!
  2. Hey Tim, I don't use the ECG-P12R but had a similar problem with an E6804 (Sandevice). It was fixed with the jumper for the signal strength. With the jumper installed the board sends out 3.3V signal levels. I got all kinds of flickering with that and it was only 10' to the first pixel. Removing the jumper gives 4V signal levels and all problems went away. Does your board have any such jumper?
  3. I disagree Big J. My radio announcement states I am raising money for a women's and children's home. Every penny that gets dropped in goes to them. I think it shows more of a charitable heart than sounding needy. But, that does depend on the box being used for charity. Having said that, I did have my stolen 3 years ago. So I bought a bigger, lockable, steel mailbox from Lowes. I mounted it to a wooden frame and drilled a hole in the back for a steel cable. The steel cable is locked to a tree. It also gets emptied AND brought into the house at the end of the show every night!! I did bring the stolen box in every night too, but when I went out 10 minutes after show end, it was gone. I learned.
  4. Actually, it isn't a filter at all, or even close to one. Full wave means rectifying the entire sine wave of the incoming AC. Half was only takes the positive alternation and converts it to DC while blocking the negative alternation. This is why there is a 60 hertz flicker when a half wave rectifier is used.
  5. Hey Mike, glad you got everything going! Yes, it is quite an addiction and just when you think you have everything figured out, something will go wrong and you will be pulling your hair out again. But that's part of the challenge. And always keep in mine that people here are a great resource.
  6. Thanks RAB. We have had a lot of people stop by when we are outside setting up and tearing down. They tell us how they have made stopping by our display part of the Christmas tradition. That's all the incentive we need to keep going. Thanks again for your kind words.
  7. Hey Sidetrack, thanks for the idea. I will try that!!! And maybe the cardboard on the bottom will stop the hornets from making a next in them too.
  8. As mentioned above, the rib should go to the wide blade, which is neutral. But be careful not to think it is ground even if they are bound together in the panel. White is neutral, green is ground, black is hot. If your wire doesn't have a rib, then it will have some other marker, like lettering.
  9. I haven't used it, but still have doubts about the need for it. The price alone would make it cost prohibitive for many people here due to the number of extension cords we use. I have 224 LOR channels and that equates to a lot of extension cords. I have most of the connections lying on the ground. I didn't have any GFCI issues this year, even when things were buried under the snow. Then had rain the next night that melted most of the snow so things were plenty wet. As the poster above states, take a good look at the items in your display, they may be the bigger culprit.
  10. I found a great deal yesterday at Hobby Lobby. Bought 50 boxes of red, 100 count incandescent lights at 66% off. Seems the color incans are getting harder and harder to find.
  11. Takoda


    Merry Christmas to all of you!!!
  12. Yeah, the basics are simple enough. It's figuring out exactly how you want to interpret the song and then nailing all the timing to get it "just right" that starts to consume your sequencing time. Welcome to our madness and enjoy!
  13. What a great reminder of the true beginning and our Creator. Thanks for posting it!
  14. Richard Holdman no longer does a personal display so you are unlikely to see him there. But I agree it would be great to see him and, yes YOU BILL, back on TV.
  15. I had to travel for my job a lot this year and that left very little time for sequencing. Even thought of not adding any new songs. And yes, there were a few moments of insanity where I thought I might not even set up this year. Got a late start, but worked long days and went live Thanksgiving night. Now that it is done and running smoothly I can't decide what gives us more joy -- seeing the cars parked outside watching, or all the people that stopped by when we were setting up and thanked us "so much for doing this. We saw you were getting started later and were afraid you weren't going to do it this year"
  16. I also leave mine on 100% of the time until tear down. I also cover mine with black trash bags to keep the rain and snow off.
  17. I do mine in the same show, just put my looping animation sequence in the "shutdown" portion of the show. Works great and don't have to build another show. If you choose to do another show, the simple show builder will work great.
  18. It would be very unusual to have all three die at the same time, but stranger things have happened! As Keitha mentioned, make sure you don't have another sequence, such as a background sequence, turning the channels off and make sure those channels didn't get reassigned.
  19. I use one of the hand held light tester things. The Light Keeper Pro. Works great for me!!
  20. Sounds good to me! I installed mine on the back of the LOR board, across MT1 and MT2 of the traics.
  21. Most are using a 47k 1 watt resistor and having good success with it. I'm not an electrician, but I wouldn't do what you are proposing because it would leave 110V exposed. At least as I envision how you are talking about doing it.
  22. Hi Steve, Thanks. Here's a YouTube video. Quality is not the best, but it shows how they look. Someday I will figure out how to take a high quality video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ivvUWOOCIc Dennis
  23. This is my second year using 6 poles. I use 3 that are red/blue (8 strings of each per pole) and 3 that are green white (also with 8 strings of each per pole) for a total of 32 channels. That allows me to chase colors up and down the pole, use a single color, or fade a pole between colors. They are wrapped with 70 count M6 LEDs from CDI. For the pole, I used 10' of 1 1/2" schedule 40 PVC. They seemed pretty heavy with 16 sets of LEDs on the, so I slid a 10' 3/4" EMT conduit inside (maybe this wouldn't be necessary but it made me feel more comfortable). Then used 3' of 1/2" rebar with 2' pounded into the ground to hold them in place. They really do pop and people love 'em.
  24. Tom, LOR did change the controllers. The latest ones (Gen 3) not only have a built in "snubber" but also allow for different dimming curves to account for the fact that different LEDs dim at differing rates. Why do LEDs cause problems? There seems to be a lot of confusion about why LEDs act so "strangely" when being switched by a triac-based dimmer. A lot of people think "they don't have enough load" to allow the channel to switch properly. If this were true, why would adding more LEDs make the problem worse? Adding strings adds load. But adding a "load" of a resistor or a C9 solves the problem. How can this be if it isn't a load problem? Answer: LEDs have an unwanted capacitance referred to as a parasitic capacitance. It is there because of the design and nature of LEDs and cannot be avoided with current technology. For those that don't have any electronic background, capacitors act like miniature batteries and store a charge. Also, connecting them in parallel adds all those little batteries together. So adding more strings to a channel increases the capacitance, thus increases the chance of having this problem because the "battery" is larger. When the channel switches on, the LEDs come on but also all of those little batteries charge up and hold the LEDs on after they might have otherwise switched off. The channel switching off is like opening a switch and there is no where for the capacitance to discharge. This is where the snubber comes in! Regardless of whether it is a resistor or a C9, it provides a resistive path for the capacitance to discharge and allow the LEDs to turn off. What I did: First a disclaimer, this is what I did but in no way am I advocating others do it and make no claim that this will not harm your controller and it will probably void your warranty if you still have one. For the controllers driving LEDs, I installed a snubber resistor (47K ohm) across MT1 and MT2 of the triac on the back of the board. That way I don't have to add anything when I plug in LEDs. I won't post pictures of this because if this isn't enough information for you to do it, then you probably should avoid doing this so you don't run the risk of causing a short circuit that could damage your board. Keep in mind that the voltage across the triac IS 110 VAC. Hope some of you find this explanation useful to your understanding of what it happening. Dennis
  25. Yeah, that seems really high. You might want to give Paul a call. He's great to work with and if that's what it costs, that's what it costs. But there might be some problem with the website also. I also feel I need to respond to your statement " It doesn't matter which wire is common and which is hot, just make sure they don't touch." Technically, this is not accurate. To be compliant with the NEC, the tracer on the zip cord is neutral. Also, the wide blade on the plugs is designated as neutral. You should line these up. Why? If you are just going to use them for lights, it probably doesn't matter. But if you use the cord for anything else, you will be applying "hot" where the device expects neutral, and will be switching neutral to turn it off and on. To be safe, you would always be switching neutral. Dennis
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