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About VO1HAX

  • Birthday 12/15/1988

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
  • Biography
    My name is Brandon
    I am 21 years old
    I am an amateur radio operator
  • Interests
    Amateur Radio
    Designing And Building Small Electronic Devices
    Computer Repair
    Computer Networking
    Web Design
    Sound Engineering
    Live Audio
  • Occupation
    A little bit of everything and a lot of nothing (take that how you wish)
  • About my display
    For 2009 I Used:
    - 32 Channels Of Lights
    - A Decade FM 850 - Professional, Hi-Fi Stereo, 1.8 Watt, Low Power FM Transmitter To Broadcast My Audio
    - A UPM EM-100 Energy Meter To Calculate The Total Cost For Running My Display
    - Somewhere Around $10-$15 In Electricity (Not Just For Lights)
    - Peak Power Was 1.5kW, Which Is About The Same As A Small Portable Heater.

    For 2010 I Am Using 64 Channels Of Lights and A LITTLE More Power - Got Two More Controllers From The "Secret Sale."

    http://vo1hax.com | http://vo1hax.com/christmas

    For any Hams or anyone interested in the amateur radio hobby, feel free to join the group:
  1. I don't have any from last year (I have some taken with my phone that you can't see anything), but I have some of Halloween 2009 and 2001 as well as my Christmas display from 2009. They are on my website, under Christmas. You can ignore the 2 links on the main Christmas page and just skip the the Videos page. VO1HAX.com
  2. I spend 11/12 months thinking about PlanetChristmas related stuff! My lights have taken over my life. I invest my life into my display...I think I need to check my priorities!
  3. Wow, looks like you went pro over night! That's a really great idea! Hope lots of people see it!!!
  4. Looks like I misunderstood! I thought he meant fading like from left to right without having the colors blend.
  5. From experience, yes, you still get the mix of colors, BUT there might be somewhat of a way around it. With standard floodlights you get more of a washed out mix, but if you use narrow floodlights (PAR16 or PAR20), you might be able to do it a lot better. The only downside is the lack of coverage and the fact that you'll need more. I think LEDs give a much nicer color and less washout, but either will give you the same results. Hope that helps, at least somewhat!
  6. Will you be using the iDMX1000 to control the DMX lighting or will the DMX network be controlling the LOR controllers? If you are using the iDMX1000, then everything is A-okay! If you are using DMX to control the LOR boxes, then you won't be able to use the LOR triggers (as it will be just light having a 16 channel dimmer pack), which means you would have to use something to trigger the DMX controller. Well, with the professional grade units, you can use the CTB16 Input Connector [http://store.lightorama.com/ctinco3in.html] with up to 3 individually controlled inputs (buttons, motion sensor, laser trip sensor, etc). The datasheet shows exactly how the buttons connect [http://www.lightorama.com/Documents/CTB16_HEADER.pdf]. You just wire up one end of the button(s) to A1, A2, and/or A3, the other end of the button to the ground, and then plug the input connector into the 18 pin header on the board, as shown in the datasheet (the datasheet also comes printed on paper with the header). When you order the controllers, just order a CTB16 Input Connector for each one. This way you can add buttons to all of them or some of them and don't have to worry about not having the option to use them later. When you have it in front of you, it's much easier than trying to visualize it. You'll be okay! If the buttons are too hard to press, you could always switch to the "Easy Button." [http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/image/Staples/s0105150_sc7?$zoom$] Hope that helps explain it a little more. If not, keep the questions coming!
  7. Most certainly! First I'll address the buttons. Best place to look for buttons, I think, is eBay or any bulk electronic store/warehouse. I think most of the buttons should be okay out in the weather. I think these ones look cool (and they come in multiple colors) [12V Metal Switch Momentary Push Button]. Just make sure whatever buttons you pick are momentary and not latching. Now the weatherproofing part will bring me into how you connect the buttons to the LOR controllers. You'll just want some small wire (you can use telephone cable, speaker wire, Ethernet cable, etc.) to connect the button the the controller. At the ends of the wires, where it connects to the buttons, I highly advise using some shrink wrap, tape, of if you HAVE to, then hot glue to protect the connection from the weather. Run the cable to a controller and well, this part depends on which controller you are using. You can always check the documentation, for each controller, more information. I'm making the assumption that you are using the LOR Showtime Software and not just using the controllers as DMX dimmer boxes. - LOR160xW boards requires the use of the Ground and the Input pins on the board to be connect to a button, so when the button is pressed, it grounds the input pin. [http://www.lightorama.com/Documents/LOR160xW_UserGuide.pdf] Page 19. To make it easier, you can use the CTB16 Input Connector (see below) - CTB16PC/CTB16K/CTB16D. boards require the additional CTB16 Input Connector. [http://store.lightorama.com/ctinco3in.html] Note, only Input 2 and Input 3 can be used for the PC and K controllers, but all 3 will work for the D. - Most of the other DIY/Component cards have their own input connectors, which will require reading the documentation for those controllers. As for the text messaging one, I figured I would throw that out for any of the techies that really like to dig deep into it, so I'll advise to skip that one, although it would be awesome! You'll need 1) An Arduino, 2) A GSM Shield, 3) Knowledge in the Arduino programming language. It's one for a little down the road! Getting back to the inputs...each controller is different. I think the least number of inputs on a controller is 2, which are the CTB16PC and CTB16K. The rest have at least 3, I believe. There is a DIO (Digital In/Out) card that supports up to 32 inputs/outputs, so, theoretically, you could have 32 inputs on that one card. I can't recall how many the software handles, but I don't think you'll want that many anyways! If you want multiple buttons to trigger the same input, you can just connect them together in parallel and hook as many as you want together. I'll leave it there for now and you can reply to that and let me know what LOR controllers you are using and if you are using the LOR software or just using the controllers as DMX dimmers. Hope that cleared some of it up for you!
  8. I have a lot of ideas, but seeing as you're, "not a good DIY person," you might want a hand or two with most of these options. I'll throw them all out there in hopes that, at least, someone will get some use out of them. I won't get into detail, at the moment, as to how each one can work, but some ideas to think about. 1) If you would like to go with a telephone trigger, I can think of a few ways. - Using a simple programming language, like VB6, you could easily create a program to detect a call on a modem, drop the call, and trigger an action. - Using a phone with a ring indicator light, you could use an optocoupler or relay to trigger an action. Just make sure it has the ability to drop the call after x number of rings. - Seeing as everyone now-a-days seems to have a cellphone and a texting plan, you could use something like an Arduino and GSM shield to receive the SMS (text message) and trigger an action [http://www.cutedigi.com/product_info.php?products_id=4424] 2) Other triggers - A series of simple illuminated buttons (the more colors, the better) throughout the display, with a visible sign informing people to press a button. - Laser trigger that starts the show when broken, IF there is either a driveway or a walking path that people must use to get to the display. - Camera/Motion sensor to trigger when movement is detected. Hope to see some pictures and videos when you get this one completed.
  9. From one ham to another...YOU NEED MORE POWER! :giggle: It needed to be said! Whatever you do, do NOT take power away from your hamshack...it is vital to your heath that you have more then enough power in there to power and key up all the radios at the exact same time, although that will never happen! On a half-serious note (I'm never completely serious), I'm afraid that spending money on LEDs may be your only reasonable option. First I would map out EVERY circuit you can **** juice from and find your total usable power. If you want to work some DX on 80m, I don't think you'll want to draw power from your hamshack! After you find out the actual amount you can use and compare it to your peak draw power, then start mapping out your your controllers. Decide what you can run off of each circuit, then you'll end up having some "channels" with no power. After that you will know how much you need to reduce in order to fit it all on your current electrical system. You can calculate how many LEDs you will need to reduce your power consumption to something you can actually work with, without wearing out that plastic card! Don't forget to check every circuit in your panel to find any that are unused. If you don't use the washer and dryer at night, then there's another 45 Amps (5.4kW) or more free! **Addition** Shouldn't the electrical company be required to provide you with a larger service (up to 200A for residential) if you need/want it?
  10. Hello Brandon Sound Engineering ehhh... Thats a tough field to make a living. Ive been doing it over 35 years. Lots of Touring. The pay rate has not changed much in the past 20 years. I used to come up and Do sound for the North by North East festival. at a club called "REVERB" in downtown Toronto. These days I do mostly Smooth Jazz on the Road. Here is my website http://www.angelfire.com/indie/Engineer Neal-KA2CAF/W2CJA we got 18 inches of snow yesterday. Snowed in.. so Im working on my LOR Master control room mounting Controllers and outlets Onto a 4X8 plywood on the basement wall Getting ready for Next season.

  11. You'll want to double check them to make sure they are the ones that have the voltage regulation, those things can get pricy. I think I'd go this season with flickering lights and upgrade for next year. Just tell everyone that it's part of the display (and you didn't even have to buy another controller to do it).
  12. Yes, those would be the ones. Most should get you 660W (5.5 Amps). It may not be much, but you could eliminate one side of a controller and maybe shift channels to best use as much of that power as you can. Even that little bit could reduce or eliminate a noticeable flicker. Your outdoor light socket should have no problem handling anything the adapter can. On the other hand, if you put a 300W bulb in the socket, it may melt it from heat. As for grounding, as long as you have 1 side of the controller grounded, the other side is grounded as well! I have never installed a lighting fixture using anything less then 14 gauge wire. even with recessed lighting, the actual socket with attached wire, inside of the one I just checked is rated for 660W. You place as much load as you can on the separate (outdoor) circuit and then as much as you can on the light circuit, then whatever is left over on the other circuit(s). There must be some point at which it will decrease the flicker. I noticed that you never said anything about problems with other lights flickering, so I would assume that the problem is due to the fact that they are on the same circuits (short run between the lights and the controllers). I would think that, at this point, that the objective here is to find that point, leave it as it is, or to do some last minute upgrades. There's always the option of... *drum roll* ...modifying your sequences to have less turn on at once! On second thought...forget I said that!
  13. You could use a power conditioner, which would maintain a constant 120V. On the other hand, it's not worth the cost for a minor annoyance like that. I recommend just to wait until you can add some new circuits and/or convert your lights to more energy efficient ones! If you have outdoor lights on a separate circuit, you can buy socket adapters and power a controller off of that, but you will have to ground it elsewhere.
  14. First to answer the question, yes you can. As to HOW, it's quite simple as long as you have free channels in controller 2 OR if you want to swap channels from controller 2 to controller 3 and then put the ones from controller 3 to controller 2. For example, if you look at your LOR Sequencer screen and see: ... MegaTree7 (Controller 2 Ch7) MegaTree8 (Controller 2 Ch8) Arch1 (Controller 2 Ch9) Arch2 (Controller 2 Ch10) ...etc... Mini Tree1-7 (Controller 3 Ch7) MiniTree1-8 (Controller 3 Ch8) NOTHING1 or SOMETHING1 (Controller 3 Ch9) NOTHING2 or SOMETHING2 (Controller 3 Ch10) ... Then all you would have to do click on your Arch channels, one at a time and change where they are located. When you click on Arch1, in this example, you would get Unit2 Circuit9 showing. You can change that to Unit 3, Circuit 9 because this one is a free channel or you can swap it with something else in your display. After you finish all the arches, you go to your empty channels (or ones you wish to exchange places with) and put them at the old channels that the Archs were on (put Something1 on Unit 2, Circuit 7) I hope that's not tooooo confusing. As for playing one song after another...are you using the Show Editor or are you playing your sequences straight from the Sequence Editor? In the Show Editor you can select which song you want to open with and you can select which songs to play during the show (in or out of the order you select).
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