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Thread: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

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    Default Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    Welcome to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)!
    I put this guide together, since my first few times here I was completely lost as to what people were talking about in the various threads, and figured a very simple guide to DIYC was needed for those who are new here. It is very easy to get lost with the vast amount of information in the threads, especially if you don’t have an electronics and/or computer background, and thus don’t understand what it is people are talking about.

    Since most of the information is already been presented in one form or another, I’ll provide links, rather than reiterating the information that others have taken the time to prepare. Since these links often have other links, which have more links, etc. you may want to bookmark this page now, so you can find your way back.

    Sections
    1 - Introduction
    2 - The Wiki
    3 - Glossary
    4 - Hardware/Controllers
    5 - Software (Vixen)
    6 - Newsletter
    7 - Chat
    8 - DIYC Rules
    9 - Links
    10 - What you will need
    11 - Group Buys (Coops)

    I welcome all comments on this thread. I ask that if you have comments, please post to http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com...5345#post35345, so that we can keep this guide as clean as possible for the newbies.
    Last edited by deplanche; 11-12-2008 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Added Link for comments

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    1 - Introduction

    The Beginner’s Guide is a good introduction on what Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC) is all about.
    Last edited by deplanche; 07-30-2008 at 09:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    2 - The Wiki

    If you are at all like me, you got into the forum from a google search or a link from another outside source, and started reading through a thread or two on specific information, but probably didnā€™t see the homepage immediately. You also may have completely missed out on the fact that there is a Wiki page. There is also a link in the toolbar above which you can get to at any time. The Wiki is actually a good place to get started on learning some of the more basic information, but it does contain the highly technical information too. The sections below highlight some of the basic sections to get you started. But feel free to surf around the wiki, there is plenty of good information on there.
    Last edited by deplanche; 07-30-2008 at 09:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    3 - Glossary

    If you are not familiar with printed circuit boards (PCBs), making your own hardware, or computers, the Glossary is a great and necessary place to learn some of the technical jargon that is used in the forums.
    Last edited by deplanche; 01-18-2010 at 03:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    4 - Hardware/Controllers

    Once you’ve decided you want to make your own hardware, here is a simple guide and a comparison of the different controller types to help you choose which route you may want to take. Keep in mind that there are always people working on new types of controllers as well, so if you don’t see something listed here, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that it won’t exist by next Christmas.

    7 Steps to Selecting a Controller - A good way to initially narrow down your choices.

    Comparison of DIYC Boards - Lots of good info. in a simple table format. Includes where/how to get the controllers.

    Electronics Hardware - A more detailed description of the hardware, with links on how to build, operation, and troubleshooting.

    Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer on what to use. Personal preference will often be a deciding factor in which route people take.

    As you will see in the site Rules, this site does not offer premade, manufactured controllers for sale. This is about doing it yourself. What you can buy here are the printed circuit boards (PCBs), which you need to solder all the electronic components to. Some of these PCBs are stocked by memebers of the DIYC, while others are only purchased as part of Group Buys (sometimes called Coops) since they are expensive to purchase in small quantities, and only a few people front the money to keep a quantity of them on hand.
    Last edited by deplanche; 08-18-2008 at 02:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    5 - Software (Vixen)

    While there are several different controllers out there to suit your needs, skill level, and budget, everything you’ll find pretty much everyone here uses Vixen to run the show. Not only is it a tremendous program, but it is FREE. You can’t beat that. In fact, you can download and run the software before you even decided what hardware to make.

    There are even some very good How-To Videos to help you get started. Playing around with the software may even help you decide, do you want on/off only or do you want to dim the lights.
    Last edited by deplanche; 07-30-2008 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    6 - Newsletter

    Much like the Wiki, there is a link to the Newsletter in the toolbar at the top, but it often gets overlooked. There is lots of good information on a wide variety of topics in them. Definitely a good read. And we are always looking for more people to contribute to it.
    Last edited by deplanche; 07-30-2008 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    7 - Chat

    You can enter into a Flash Chat here or using the link in the toolbar at the time. This works great when you have a problem and want to get help right away, or are trying to troubleshoot and don't want to keep posting back and forth. However, many times other have the same problem, so it is often helpful to copy the chat (at least the important parts of it), and post to a thread to help others out.

    Of course the Chat can also be used to socialize with other DIYCers from all over the world.
    Last edited by deplanche; 11-12-2008 at 12:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    8 - DIYC Rules

    For completeness sake, have to link to the Rules so you know what is expected.

    In my opinion, one of the most important rules here is that “it is the policy of DoItYourselfChristmas.com to not allow the direct sales of manufactured products on this site.” In addition to being a written rule, the spirit of this site is about doing it yourself. Use the DIYC website (the wiki, the forums, the other members) as a resource to learn about the things you don’t know. Not only can it be informative to learn these things, but it can, and is supposed to, be FUN! Plus, no matter what age you are, there is the satisfaction of looking at it when you are done, and saying “I did that.”
    Last edited by deplanche; 07-30-2008 at 09:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Guide to Do It Yourself Christmas (DIYC)

    9 - Links

    Many of the members on the site have personal webpages that have great videos of their displays, the construction of them, and other good information. You can find most of these links in the signatures of the posts. None are included here, because I don’t want to play favorites or accidentally leave out anyone important. The Member List also lists any webpage that members have included in their profile.

    Exception to the rule: You may notice that many of the links, particularly the wiki, are linked to www.doityourselfchristmas.com. That was the original website that was used until it got so popular that we had to expand to the DoItYourselfChristmas.com site. It addition to hosting that, it is the personal website of the DIYC Admin – Macrosill.
    Last edited by deplanche; 07-30-2008 at 09:31 AM.

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