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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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About jimwright

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 07/17/1946

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  • Location
    Leawood, KS
  • Biography
    Retired US Army. Love to work in the yard, collect coins, play bridge, and square dance, cook, work with electronics, audio, and video, computers and Christmas decorations.
  • Interests
    Coins, gardening, ceramics, square dancing, digitization of music and slides, outside Christmas lighting, playing bridge.
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    Just a small static display until Christmas 2009. 2009 was my first year with animated lighting for Christmas. I am starting with 144 LOR channels. There are two reasons for the large number of channels. First, I am doing everything in four colors. Second, I am also lighting my neighbor's house across the street.
  1. OK: Hi all. I have rewritten paragraphs 7 and 8 and added a new paragraph on the final installation. To download the new "How To", go to the "How To" section of my website at www.wrightslights.info and download the new PDF file that is dated today (9/22/2010). I have to admit that I hurried the publishing of the previous document and left out some of the final information. Hopefully I have now corrected that. If you have any other suggestions, I will be happy to make the changes. Have a great Christmas.
  2. I have ordered the referenced transmitter. I can't wait to get it and try it out.
  3. Yes! I just found that - just before I got your message. I am looking at the page now. Do you know anyone that is using it now? I would love to discuss it with them. Jim
  4. Does anyone know anything about where you can get a low power RDS capable transmitter system for our Christmas display use? I would love to surprise people who are watching my display in their cars, with the title of the song and other information. I have spent some time looking around the internet and can not seem to find anything. Jim
  5. Good point. I did not include a picture of the finished controller. I was able to use the standard waterproof enclosure that you use with the LOR controllers. I placed a power supply and controller in the box. I have attached a picture that should help. I attached the controller to the top of the power supply using standoff insulators and attached the power supply to the back of the enclosure. Make sure that you do not short any portion of the controller board to the top of the metal power supply case. I have attached a picture. When I get a chance, in the next several weeks, I will update my "how to" on my website. If anyone else has suggested changes, please let me know. Jim
  6. dmore: Thanks for the encouragement. Anyone is welcome to download and use it. Jim
  7. To Disney-fan-Reborn: I understand your frustration with trying to gather information. I wrote a "how to" on the subject that will, hopefully, answer some of your questions. I tried to upload it with this response but it must be to big. Therefore, follow this link - http://www.wrightslights.info/resources/MightyMiniHowTo.pdf . I hope that it will answer some of your questions. For everyone on the forum, I welcome any and all constructive comments. Jim
  8. I just send a PM to Bob-O asking to get started. I can't wait. Hopefully this will be a great draw.
  9. Hi All: I want to thank everyone for the responses. There is a lot of food for thought. To answer an earlier question, each column of lights is running between 82 and 90 mA (calculated across the resistor). That should be well within the 100 mA limit. I have tried something else that, seemingly, has helped a lot. I made up a new board with 2 changes. 1. I left the leads on all of the LEDs (sticking out the bottom of the board) instead of cutting them off. I thought this might help dissipate some of the extra heat by providing additional heat sink area away from the top of the board. 2. I also mounted the resistors on the under side of the board instead of the top. Again, the idea was to get the heat away from the LEDs and the top of the board and to move the heat to the rest of the enclosure so that more heat could be released through the enclosure (those resistors get very hot). My test (with this minor redesign) seems to have been a success. The temperature on top of the LEDs went from a measured (with all LEDs on) 306 degrees to a measured 237 degrees, a 69 degree drop, with no other changes. The temperature below the board went from 120 degrees to about 130 degrees (which is what I wanted). I ran the test for several hours and had no LED failures or reduction in brightness. Of course, only time will tell if this will help the longevity of the LEDs. Tentatively, I think it will. I am also going to try a constant current setup to find out what the effect is. We shall see. Again. Thanks for your comments. Jim
  10. Hi All: I just made my first 3 MMs. I love them. I have gone through this thread completely and have not found an answer to my question/comment. I was really surprised at the heat that these things give off. When I tested the first completed board with all of the LEDs on, it got so hot that I almost burned myself. I will show my ignorance and ask if this is normal. When I mounted the MM into the fixture things really heated up. I also started having problems with the LEDs. One or two on each board quit working because of the heat (I guess). I ran a test on the temperature. With everything closed up and the lense cover on, the temperature reached 306 degrees F, right on top of the LEDs. The temperature just under the board but still inside of the fixture reached 120 degrees F. Is this really normal? I realize that for many applications the lights will be off more than they will be on and that you normally will not have all of the lights on at once. Has anyone else had problems with the LEDs breaking down because of the heat? I am having to go back and replace the bad LEDs (yes, I did test them with a tester before I installed them) and that takes extra time.
  11. Max-Paul: Thanks. Yes, I have thought of that. I am only using one 100 or 150 light strand of LEDs on each circuit. The run, at the most, will be 20 feet. I don't think that I am going to have a problem. Jim
  12. Thanks for the reply. That is exactly what I am doing; 4 hots and a neutral. I guess I will have to leave the plugs on, but it is not the elegant solution that I was looking for. I was hoping to get rid of the bulk of the plugs, but I guess not. Jim
  13. This is my first year. I am doing everything in 4 colors (red, white, blue, and green). I decided that I would use a multi conductor cable to supply power to each "set" of 4 strands. That would be easier to hook up and more sightly (fewer cables running around). Also, the connectors that I am using are weather resistant, so I don't have to worry about rain and snow. Jim
  14. Can anyone tell me how to hard wire strands of LED mini-lights? I want to cut off the male plug and connect the strand directly to the controller (there is a reason). However, it looks like there is circuitry in the plug on one end and the receptacle on the other end. Does anyone have a wiring schematic of these light strands?
  15. Jeremy: Thanks for the comment. I agree. I finally got a message from Travis late last night saying that my order would be shipped Friday or Monday. I hope that happens.:121_reindeer: Jim
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