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Thread: A build thread...

  1. #1
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    Default A build thread...

    ...from the very beginning.

    I am in the unique position of starting from scratch.

    This will be my diary and my contribution of sorts to those that come here looking to get started.

    I will post here as things come together, and fall apart...I will post pictures, and videos. I will tell ya what I think, and what I shoulda thought. I will admit to mistakes, and gloat in triumph.

    My house is typical, and there will be drawings here shortly.

    My neighbors are typical...well if a Police Officer as a neighbor is typical...stay tuned...I suspect (bad word in this context) that things are gonna get interesting.

    If you read my bio on my profile page, you will see that I am not new to outside decorations, but I am new to making them dance to music. At one time a few years back, and in a different home, I had 50+ inflatable snowmen in the yard, and traffic that literally came past the house all day long.

    I am going to let you the viewer into my head as I go along. Be warned, I am posting things here to help sort things out...un-chaperoned walks through my mind may not be healthy...grin.

    Feel free to comment...good...bad...discouraging or encouraging...your choice. I believe I have some unique ideas and I will gladly share all of them!

    Welcome to my "Build Thread". Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times...
    When in doubt, accelerate hard, it will solve the problem, or end the suspense.

    Paul

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Design Considerations...the basics.

    I live in Northern South Dakota...Thanksgiving thru New Years is going to be "challenging" weather. A bad year will bring 4 feet of snow and temperatures near -40 degrees Fahrenheit....
    Weatherproof.
    Easily Deployed in adverse weather.
    Easily recovered in adverse weather.
    Sectionable to be repaired by bringing it inside.

    I am a Big Box Retail Manager...
    Thanksgiving Night is NOT spent at home.
    The reveal in my mind should happen Thanksgiving Night.

    There was never a year that the snowmen were out that was vandalism free...
    Security will be paramount.
    Out of reach is a good thing.

    My house is flat roofed at this very moment...and that changes this summer (2014) with all of the pains and opportunities that change presents. I will be "pitching" the roof this summer...gentle 3/12 pitch. Also new windows and siding.
    Wire "ducts" or conduit inside the soffits.
    As much wiring left in place as possible in "off" season.

    I am a musician of sorts. I play woodwind and brass, and also am a piper. My music tastes run a gamut. My favorites include classical, jazz and swing.
    Shows broken up each night.
    Matinee...Kids Music...17:00 to 18:30
    Mid Show...Techno/Remix/Pop...18:30 to 20:00
    Late Show...Classical...20:00 to End of Show

    I have a "different" eye. I want to use light in some unusual ways.
    Direct
    Direct/Diffused
    Indirect
    Shadow
    Static
    Dynamic

    More later...
    When in doubt, accelerate hard, it will solve the problem, or end the suspense.

    Paul

  4. #3
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    This is my vision for the eve/soffit setup on the house. The brackets are undetermined at this point, and the high pixel count "pixcicles" may be a next year addition. My goal is to combine traditional format of lighting with the movement created by sequencing. Take a look, and offer thoughts...I need to hear if I am crazy...as a matter of fact, I work hard at being crazy...grin.

    Last edited by pnewcomb1; 02-28-2014 at 07:36 AM.
    When in doubt, accelerate hard, it will solve the problem, or end the suspense.

    Paul

  5. #4
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Just for the record, I'm the police officer on my block...

    Hmm... maybe that's why my neighbors didn't complain about the traffic!

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by Popo-B-Trippin View Post
    Just for the record, I'm the police officer on my block...

    Hmm... maybe that's why my neighbors didn't complain about the traffic!
    GRIN! My neighbor is just about as cool as they come! We do a major Halloween event, and usually see close to 3000 Trick-Or-Treaters...he is one of the Lieutenants, and always has officers here to help with the traffic control...and he is always here helping with the show!

    My other next door is one of the Elementary School Principals...and cool too! He always has all of his students show up for Halloween...so I suspect the Christmas thing will be fine...

    One year the Fire Department brought a truck to Halloween, and handed out their candy/prizes at my house.....was a real party atmosphere...

    I have the utmost respect for what you guys do! THANK-YOU for your service!
    When in doubt, accelerate hard, it will solve the problem, or end the suspense.

    Paul

  8. #6
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by Popo-B-Trippin View Post
    Just for the record, I'm the police officer on my block...

    Hmm... maybe that's why my neighbors didn't complain about the traffic!
    Hmmm sounds familiar ....lol. Me too!!!!

    somewhere in the Show Me state
    LANCE

    Find me on Facebook atCHRISTMAS ON PLANTATION

    2017 might look promising for a show

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Lance...THANK-YOU for your service too!

    The closest i get...is I am a part time/prn EMS Pilot and an EMT-P...you guys have it all squelched by the time I get there!
    When in doubt, accelerate hard, it will solve the problem, or end the suspense.

    Paul

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by pnewcomb1 View Post
    Take a look, and offer thoughts...I need to hear if I am crazy...as a matter of fact, I work hard at being crazy...grin.
    Hard to tell from the diagram (which is well executed but unreadable at this size), but this looks like really dense icicles ...

    My biggest mistake made in five years of shows was using the Tim "The Toolman" Taylor's "more power" as a motto.

    In Years One and Two I used "megastrands" of incandescents (red, green, blue braided together) around the doors, windows and porch bannisters. I had failures that took out 50 lights at a time, and it was impractical to replace them mid-show. So I began the switch to LEDs.

    Being too damn cheap, I decided to build my own LED strings and used 5000mcd LEDs. When in Year Three I had them around all the windows and bannisters, the people across the street needed sunglasses in their living room to keep the brightness out (they finally bought new shutters -- really -- and closed them during show season).

    You could see the shadow of their house against the hill in their backyard.

    I spent Years Four and Five trying to tone those suckers down (used both mechanical and electronic filters).

    You don't want too much More Power.

    All that said, density is also a factor of viewing distance. If most of your audience is 150 yards from your house, having all those pixels as icicles is probably OK. If you're like me, though, the audience is more like 10 yards from the house.

    So, guessing you're in a typical suburban neighborhood, my advice would be to probably use half the number of pixel strips.

    YMMV.

    \dmc
    ________________________
    The only thing more dangerous than a software engineer with a soldering iron
    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    [b]Christmas lights:[/b] [url]http://www.PacificaLights.info/[/url]
    [b]uC/LED hacking:[/b] [url]http://www.dmcole.net/[/url]

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by dmcole View Post
    Hard to tell from the diagram (which is well executed but unreadable at this size), but this looks like really dense icicles ...

    My biggest mistake made in five years of shows was using the Tim "The Toolman" Taylor's "more power" as a motto.

    In Years One and Two I used "megastrands" of incandescents (red, green, blue braided together) around the doors, windows and porch bannisters. I had failures that took out 50 lights at a time, and it was impractical to replace them mid-show. So I began the switch to LEDs.

    Being too damn cheap, I decided to build my own LED strings and used 5000mcd LEDs. When in Year Three I had them around all the windows and bannisters, the people across the street needed sunglasses in their living room to keep the brightness out (they finally bought new shutters -- really -- and closed them during show season).

    You could see the shadow of their house against the hill in their backyard.

    I spent Years Four and Five trying to tone those suckers down (used both mechanical and electronic filters).

    You don't want too much More Power.

    All that said, density is also a factor of viewing distance. If most of your audience is 150 yards from your house, having all those pixels as icicles is probably OK. If you're like me, though, the audience is more like 10 yards from the house.

    So, guessing you're in a typical suburban neighborhood, my advice would be to probably use half the number of pixel strips.

    YMMV.

    \dmc
    I think that is good advice. I am seeing some power injection problems... I am going to be putting one 10 foot section together in a couple of weeks... and will listen closely to what you say...Thank-you!
    When in doubt, accelerate hard, it will solve the problem, or end the suspense.

    Paul

  15. #10
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    Default Re: A build thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by pnewcomb1 View Post
    Design Considerations...the basics.
    Shows broken up each night.
    Matinee...Kids Music...17:00 to 18:30
    Mid Show...Techno/Remix/Pop...18:30 to 20:00
    Late Show...Classical...20:00 to End of Show
    I like this idea...
    I currently do
    Pre show ... (one or two songs w/voice overs every 30sec) 17:00 to 18:00
    Show ... Various 18:00 to 22:00
    Post Show ... (one or two songs w/voice overs every 30sec) 22:00 to 24:00
    3rd Year - 640 channels - 18,706 lights - 1 Lost Mind
    FACEBOOK: Fallatt's Charlotte Christmas

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