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Thread: New Layout 2013

  1. #61
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by frederic View Post
    Fast? All I had to do was go outside at 7:59PM and push record on my cell phone and stand there for 22 minutes
    Well, the audio is good so I thought that you might have edited it back in like most people usually do.

    I did change things around. In that video, the order is:

    1. Silver Bells - (Polar Express)
    2. The Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
    3. Music Box
    4. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
    5. 12 days of Christmas - Straight, No Chaser
    6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town, (jazz arrangement)
    7. What the Fox Says - Ylvis
    8. Joy 2 the World - (metal arrangement)
    9. Booty Swing - Parov Stelar

    I also sequenced but didn't finish/include:

    Angels We Have Heard on High (edited by Holdman)
    Carol of the Bells for 12 cellos (The Piano Guys)
    Deck the Halls (Mannheim)

    They may get dropped into the show at some point if I have time to finish them to my liking.

    I can't stand "what the fox says" either, but my 8 y/o son begged and begged so who am I to disappoint. When we were out in the car listening to the show watching the lights from the street, when "fox" came on he leaped out of the car and danced on the lawn so I cranked up the tunes in the car so he could hear it.

    A reaction like that made sequencing the most annoying song ever worthwhile
    Yep, that's what makes it all worthwhile.

    Thank you for the compliments, very much appreciated.
    You're welcome

    I had some trouble yesterday though - Vixen 2.1 exploded when the program started, though it didn't explode the first night. I got a com port conflict issue so after futzing with it a while and it not working, I upgraded back to Vixen 2.5 and it seems to work okay now. Last night's show started and ended late, but it worked. Hopefully tonight will have better results.

    I'm plagued with annoying issues though - the water meter reader guy trampled some of the wiring, pulling it off the house (I have cameras all over my property so I know it was him), and my wife keeps kicking this one bulb-on-a-stake near the driveway and breaking both the bulb and the stake. I'm on my sixth set of both.

    All in all I'm very pleased with the results, but I am disappointed I didn't get the rest of the lights I wanted out there, up. All of the sequences that are part of the show have those missing lights sequenced so if I have time at some point I can just put them out there and they'll be driven without issue.
    Sounds like a careless meter reader. And for the bulb your wife keeps kicking, have you thought about moving it away from the driveway? I doubt it would look too different and that would keep the repairs down if you move it far enough that she can't accidentally hit it anymore.
    DIYC Links:
    [URL="http://doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php"]Christmas Wiki[/URL] | [URL="http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/addonchat.php"]Chat[/URL]

    Ricky, Jrd

    "With great power comes great electricity bill." - Unknown Electricity Consumer
    "Your significance in life is not what you do, but how and why you do something." - Unknown Minister
    [COLOR="SeaGreen"]2012
    City float for Parade of Lights with:
    Fm-02 + Wall Wart Tamer
    2 Ren4Flood + DIYCFlood + Ren-W in 500 Watt enclosure
    2 Simple Renard 32
    15 SSROZ
    2 24 Channel RBW LED Ropelight Midi Trees out of artificial Christmas trees.

    <a href="#" onclick="return(showhide(this));">Click here to show/hide my past display details ...</a>
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    Renard 24 v3.3 100%
    FM-02 with antenna 100%
    16' 8 channel Multi-color + Clear Megatree 100%</div>[/COLOR]

  2. #62
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrd View Post
    Well, the audio is good so I thought that you might have edited it back in like most people usually do.
    I sort of did that. I recorded the video on my cell phone, and the audio with my FM radio/mp3 player/voice recorder, and after the fact just lined up the beginning of both and hit "save".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrd View Post
    Sounds like a careless meter reader. And for the bulb your wife keeps kicking, have you thought about moving it away from the driveway? I doubt it would look too different and that would keep the repairs down if you move it far enough that she can't accidentally hit it anymore.
    Yeah, I could move the two "at risk" bulbs to the other end of the line of them and they'll be safe but out of order. I imagine I could change the order in the vixen profile to put things back in order visually.

    She could also just not walk on the lawn. There's no reason to actually - both the driveway and the path are clear and free of decorations/wires/lights, with a two-foot margin on each side.

    The power company meter reader came this morning and walked 1/3 of the way up the lawn, stopped, then walked back to the street and down the driveway all on his own.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by frederic View Post
    The power company meter reader came this morning and walked 1/3 of the way up the lawn, stopped, then walked back to the street and down the driveway all on his own.
    He knows what a pain it is when people mess up your wires!
    DIYC Links:
    [URL="http://doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php"]Christmas Wiki[/URL] | [URL="http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/addonchat.php"]Chat[/URL]

    Ricky, Jrd

    "With great power comes great electricity bill." - Unknown Electricity Consumer
    "Your significance in life is not what you do, but how and why you do something." - Unknown Minister
    [COLOR="SeaGreen"]2012
    City float for Parade of Lights with:
    Fm-02 + Wall Wart Tamer
    2 Ren4Flood + DIYCFlood + Ren-W in 500 Watt enclosure
    2 Simple Renard 32
    15 SSROZ
    2 24 Channel RBW LED Ropelight Midi Trees out of artificial Christmas trees.

    <a href="#" onclick="return(showhide(this));">Click here to show/hide my past display details ...</a>
    <script language="javascript">function showhide(anc){ //
    // traverse forward from anchor to find hidable div:
    for(; ; ){ if(!anc.nextSibling) break; if(anc.nextSibling.nodeName == "DIV") break; anc = anc.nextSibling; }//
    var Y='block', N='none', det=anc.nextSibling; //
    //fall-back plan: use named div:
    if (!det) det=document.getElementById('details'); //
    //toggle visibility:
    det.style.display=(det.style.display!=N)?N:Y; //
    //prevent page refresh:
    return false;}</script><div id="details" style="display:none;">2011
    Renard 24 v3.3 100%
    FM-02 with antenna 100%
    16' 8 channel Multi-color + Clear Megatree 100%</div>[/COLOR]

  4. #64
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Well, today is a sad day because I'm taking down my display. I intended to run it into January a little longer but with the coming snow I felt it was better to pack it up before I'm stuck with it on the lawn for a couple of months.

    One SS24 controller took on water and the corner is all messed up. I started a thread on that and I've since cut off the corner and merged left/right sides which reduces it's current capability but I use LED lighting so that doesn't really matter.

    Three of the remaining four SS24's have a stuck channel, and I'll bench those in a week or two and figure out of it's the PICs or the triacs. I have one spare pic (not that I have a clue how to program it yet!) and 10 replacement triacs on the way so that will work out I'm sure.

    Once things are packed up and in the attic, I've been promised a "quiet day" and I'll be futzing with some sequencing for next year, to grow the show length a bit.

    Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you so much for all your help, support and guidance. My show wouldn't have turned out this good without your kindness.

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  6. #65
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Yep, take down is usually a somber day.
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
    Website - http://jamesfamilychristmas.com/ <<broken
    Facebook - James Family Christmas


  7. #66
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    I try to look at it as an opportunity.

    What hardware worked really well, what didn't work so well, and figuring out why for both so I can improve stability.

    What display items worked well with visitors, what items looked "blah", and how can I refine the display and where can I add/change things.

    As I take things down, ensuring that I store things properly. I also think critically about how I can simplify setup/takedown for the following year, and set aside those items that I plan to make adjustments to. Everything else gets stored well away for the year.

    Think about the sequences I used, what worked well, what didn't go over so well, and going ahead and figuring out what songs I want to do for the following year.

    Plus, there's all the group buys to monitor and participate in!

    So, for me, I look forward to using this time to refine my display and plan. And, I feel like I can breathe again and focus on other life things too!
    House [17k channels]: [URL="https://vimeo.com/album/4110945"]https://vimeo.com/album/4110945[/URL]
    Town [24k channels]: [URL="https://www.facebook.com/allthingssabine/videos/1816339391975617/"]Drone footage[/URL]
    Like: [URL="http://facebook.com/logansportlights"]http://facebook.com/logansportlights[/URL]

  8. #67
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Somber for sure.

    I learned a lot, both about visual arrangement, organization on the lawn (my display was mostly on one side of the lawn), and I had a lot of problems with the megatree and my arches.

    The megatree I built worked okay mechanically, but I used LED C7 bulbs and the C7 covers kept falling off anytime the temperature dropped suddenly so I have about 400 of those covers to find and put back.

    My arches sucked. My idea of bending pvc conduit into a loop and shoving them into 3/4" bored holes into a piece of 2x2 turned out to be truly bad engineering. The wood kept splitting, probably from a combination of temperature changes and tension, and I had to fix at least one joint every other night on average. One arch has about 30 drywall screws in it at this point - more screws than wood Also, six segments looked cool for most of my sequences but I should have done eight.

    The arches were the only thing that was incandescents, and of course there are burnt out bulbs all over so many of the segments turned into "half segments" and finding dead bulbs in the dark/cold when they're wrapped so tightly wasn't easy. All the more reason to be happy with the LED strings I bought this year.

    One of the things I'm trying to try and figure out for next year is how to make things more plug-and-play. I haven't found anything suitable, but I was thinking instead of 500 screw terminals and all the pairs of wires everywhere to be put in the wrong order, maybe an 8-channel arch should have a 16-pin 2x8 connector, and plug in the appropriate spot on the controller's 2x24 connector. Then if I want the arch on channels 12-19, I just move it there. I was hoping to find molex connectors that aren't keyed left and right but haven't found something that would work. that will cut down setup/teardown time because I'd just unplug the arch, wrap the multi-channel wire and connector around it, and put it in the attic. Might also help with water issues in the controllers too.

    The other idea of course is to integrate dirkcheap SSR's into everything, then attach by cat5 and plug it in and call it a day.

    No matter which way I go, having all the renards clumped together with a mile of one pair electrical wires is definitely not the way to go for a large display.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by frederic View Post
    Somber for sure.

    I learned a lot, both about visual arrangement, organization on the lawn (my display was mostly on one side of the lawn), and I had a lot of problems with the megatree and my arches.

    The megatree I built worked okay mechanically, but I used LED C7 bulbs and the C7 covers kept falling off anytime the temperature dropped suddenly so I have about 400 of those covers to find and put back.

    My arches sucked. My idea of bending pvc conduit into a loop and shoving them into 3/4" bored holes into a piece of 2x2 turned out to be truly bad engineering. The wood kept splitting, probably from a combination of temperature changes and tension, and I had to fix at least one joint every other night on average. One arch has about 30 drywall screws in it at this point - more screws than wood Also, six segments looked cool for most of my sequences but I should have done eight.

    The arches were the only thing that was incandescents, and of course there are burnt out bulbs all over so many of the segments turned into "half segments" and finding dead bulbs in the dark/cold when they're wrapped so tightly wasn't easy. All the more reason to be happy with the LED strings I bought this year.

    One of the things I'm trying to try and figure out for next year is how to make things more plug-and-play. I haven't found anything suitable, but I was thinking instead of 500 screw terminals and all the pairs of wires everywhere to be put in the wrong order, maybe an 8-channel arch should have a 16-pin 2x8 connector, and plug in the appropriate spot on the controller's 2x24 connector. Then if I want the arch on channels 12-19, I just move it there. I was hoping to find molex connectors that aren't keyed left and right but haven't found something that would work. that will cut down setup/teardown time because I'd just unplug the arch, wrap the multi-channel wire and connector around it, and put it in the attic. Might also help with water issues in the controllers too.

    The other idea of course is to integrate dirkcheap SSR's into everything, then attach by cat5 and plug it in and call it a day.

    No matter which way I go, having all the renards clumped together with a mile of one pair electrical wires is definitely not the way to go for a large display.
    For arches, I use 8-channels. Some people would argue about using seven, but I think 8 makes more sense with music. I use rebar for the pvc mounting. Simply hammer in a couple pieces of rebar at an angle, leaving 6 inches up, then slide the pvc over it. Works flawlessly for me. I like the idea of doing some custom wiring and connections for the arches. However, I think since arches are clustered together, the SS16 or SS24 make more sense than external SSRs. To reduce cabling, you can simply place the controller just behind the arches. So, as example, if you have 4 arches of 8 channels, you can use two SS16's and place them centered behind each pair of arches, and you have the right number of channels just a couple feet away.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    I did arches for the first time this year also. They were 8 channel each wrapped on 10' 1.25" PVC pipe (left 1' on each side bare for snow accumulation but needed more). I drove rebar into the ground and they held up perfectly. I built custom wiring harnesses attached to dirkcheap SSR's and put them in cg-200 cases. 2 runs of cat5 from a ren64 and a power cord connecting all the SSR's worked great! They were Incan lights on the arches this year.

    I think I may cut the pipe between light segments for storage and next year feed a smaller pipe through to make the actual arch. I'm just scared that it will have black spots between sections... Right now they are nice and tight together. Ill have to play a bit with that and perhaps put a bolt through each side to force the light segments to squish together.

    Also need to come up with a mounting solution for the 2 dirk cheap SSR's in each box so that they aren't loose. Can't easily put them in tubes now as I would have to extend 6 wires to do that... But that may be the best solution having 2 rj45's glued into the bottom for easy connection.

    I'm thinking about using them as fire sticks for Halloween by mounting them vertically and then back to arches for Christmas.

    Mega tree worked awesome (only 2 pixels died and 1 can still be used as a null pixel at least). I built it to be easy to setup and take down but still need to add connectors to all the wires as everything is currently marretted. Would like to add a few more strings to be able to do text for next year but that means more clothesline wire and a new topper.

    My shows final night is Saturday with takedown on Sunday (when it should only be -20c)


    Jason C
    Jason C

  11. #70
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    Default Re: New Layout 2013

    Thank you for the tips and ideas. Definitely, I made my arches the wrong way ha ha but that's okay, tomorrow I'll zip out the screws and straighten out the conduit and slide off the light strings for next year.

    20140101_161355.jpg

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