My 2011 and how/why I failed
First Happy New Year folks!
Now on top my saga. No pre-planning, started late, new technology and Vixen hated me.
Last year I started with much less lead time and had a show, 32 channels, and sequenced 7 songs. All my strands other than my tree wraps were single channel, multi color LED's (roof line, each window (PVC frames), 2 Ren24 controllers.
This year I built plenty of controllers, had many more channels (RGB/Pixels/Floods/Wall washers etc), made some nice north poles, fitted them with RGB spotlights, had some snowflakes that I put in 2 falling 5's. and I got nothing done.
I had too many channels that i became overwhelmed in trying to sequence so I decided late that i would script (600 or so lines of script later), i had something that did some neat things, but Vixen and scripting is really an art in itself,, and it's really hard to get RGB's to do things cleanly.
Wireless was a great help but i didn't find out until the last night that what I thought was working, appeared to be misfiring a lot and or just plainly not controlling certain lights.. Running a script, on a schedule I would get .NET MS failures every 3 cycles or so, or it would just stop firing and once I hit stop, the failure would come up and I would restart. Vixen and I didn't get along.
New Years day with the laptop setup by the front of the house, everything seemed to run well, no failures, no .net errors, no misfires things went nice for "I guess" the first time all season...
The only video of just a random of the house.. no trees but it was a cool last hoorah for the new year "http://youtu.be/6uvOTf0yWS0"
I did get to test out the new tech, E681's, XBEE Wireless etc. So i know things work, i know how to setup next year.
But I let a lot of folks down who were expecting something at least on par of my first year, including the family. Sure they made excuses for me, but I still failed. And that stinks! We still had a great holiday but ya, no!
So as I was taking things down this year, I started thinking about 2012, and I will be ready. the pillars will have a strand on either side, in order to do fun snowfall type lights and other events. I will get the lights up earlier. I will do a megatree of some sort. I will cut up my LED rope and rebuild the candy canes with these brighter strings of rope light (did one and it's much nicer than the cheap incans inside them now. I'll work on some other aspects and get the house down including windows. I've already started cutting and working my pixels to be the correct lengths for other areas that I failed to get to. I will stop and read a bit more on sequencing tricks and see if I can't get this down, but the pixel game changes things a lot. While I was pissed off with LSP as I was trying to learn and it was fighting back, Vixen crapped on me even more. So I'll spend sometime and figure out which software package will HELP "ME" do what I need to do. I need to work on more reliable technology and will probably need to work on antennae strength or other if I continue with WIFI (although moving everything to Ethernet would be just fine as well).
Pixels are real neat and being able to seamlessly go from green, blue, red, white etc is awesome and got some very cool affects (no vide or pictures).. so i'll stick with the technology and learn how to get the most from them. i'm not interested in grids, But i am interested in making my house come more alive.
I've got enough controllers and played with them enough this year to understand much more how they work, weaknesses and strengths.
I plan to overcome next year, this year while I started early enough I stalled out and failed. As I mentioned my first year was remarkable I got so much done in almost no time., so maybe I relaxed a bit too much as I started earlier and ":had time" HAHAHAHAHA ya right.
Anyways, hope you all had great shows, made many people smile and laugh. I'll be around more this year so I can post a glowing "I got it" post next year!
thanks for the help again this year and sorry that I didn't put it to good use!