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Listen to the Lights!

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by TechGuy, Nov 11, 2007.

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  1. TechGuy

    TechGuy Administrator Thread Starter

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    Mike
    Have you seen videos of homes with holiday lights that move with music? Just in case you haven't, here's one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yif5Ds-hJS4

    You might remember that last year around this time I asked in the TechGuy News if anyone knew how this sort of thing was accomplished. I got a handful of emails point me www.planetchristmas.com -- a great resource for people crazy enough to take on such a project.

    With plans in hand, I went to every after-Christmas sell I could find last year. In July, I ordered three of the controllers necessary to do it! But, as you probably know, I've been so busy with other things lately that I haven't really had a chance to do anything with this silly project. Well, Heather informed me yesterday that we should go ahead and do it this year anyway -- just take a few weekends and have some fun, even if it doesn't end up as big as I might have hoped. I'm happy to report that we're doing just that. With her music expertise (she's a music teacher at a school) and my computer expertise, I think we might be able to pull this off!

    I just wanted to start the thread and keep you guys updated, as I'm actually pretty excited about this. There's only about a thousand other things that I should be doing, but it's kind of nice to take a break and just have fun every once in a while. ;)

    Anyway, attached is a blurry photo taken with my phone of our three controllers. You'll also notice my bare foot at the bottom. Non-electricians out there may not realize that it's always best to work on electricity while in bare feet. (Note: That was sarcasm. Please don't sue me.)

    After some work this weekend, our three controllers are updated, up and running, and communicating with the PCs perfectly. Now all we need to do is spend hours and hours writing the instructions. Heather watched some training videos and seems very excited to take it on! My dad (a licensed electrician) is coming over on Thursday night to add 6 new breakers to support our new hobby. We're hoping to start hanging lights this weekend... around 12,000 of them this year. This should be fun! :D
     

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  2. Cookiegal

    Cookiegal Administrator Malware Specialist Coordinator

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    Wow! That's is quite a project Mike but it does sound like fun. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. Be careful those toes of yours don't light up too! :p
     
  3. Cheeseball81

    Cheeseball81 Retired Moderator

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    I can't wait to see/hear the end result! How cool. :)
     
  4. Shadow Bea

    Shadow Bea Cherished forever in our hearts

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    I seem to remember seeing some pretty cool photos of your Christmas lights in years past LOL.. so can't wait to see the animated version!!:)
     
  5. eggplant43

    eggplant43 A True Heart and Soul - Gone But Never Forgotten

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    Looking forward to whatever comes:)
     
  6. paisanol69

    paisanol69

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    Thats great Mike. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Even if it doesn't meet with your expectations when you are done with the lights, I'm sure that all your neighbors, and the folks here at TSG will really enjoy what we "see". Best of luck !!!

    edit...
    oh...and thank you for the link!!
     
  7. dannyn

    dannyn

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    what do you program it in?
    c?
    also is it dmx 512 protocall?
     
  8. hewee

    hewee

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    Wow this should be great Mike. When your dad comes over you may also want to do wiring and the added breakers etc fo the years ahead so each year that you put up the lights your have a little less work because no matter what it is a lot of work each time.
     
  9. valley

    valley

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    Cant wait to see the results!

    lol...the other night, I was on my wait home and I came over a hill and one of my neighbors had their lights up...roof, corners of house from top to bottom, every window, porch railing, steps and also all 2 rungs and poles of the cedar fence on both sides of the driveway. It was not the job of an amateur...it looks stunning!

    And I almost ran off the road looking at it all! :eek:
     
  10. TechGuy

    TechGuy Administrator Thread Starter

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    Just to keep you guys updated -- here's what I've been doing when not at work. :)

    We have our 6 new circuits installed and working, mounted the controllers, and a special toy arrived today...

    I uploaded some photos here:
    http://www.heatherandmike.com/gallery/2007-lights
     
  11. valley

    valley

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    Was is the little doggie thats in the window? ;)

    Nice setup. :) Looks like a lot of work! Are you going to do lights only or will you add some moving-type figures and such?
     
  12. TechGuy

    TechGuy Administrator Thread Starter

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    The doggy in the window is just the supervisor. :) We're primarily going to be lights (around 13,000 of them), but also some inflatables if I can convince Heather that they're not too tacky.
     
  13. abnguy82

    abnguy82

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    aren't christmas decorations supposed to be somewhat tacky? well, they add fun to the christmas spirit lol
     
  14. Shadow Bea

    Shadow Bea Cherished forever in our hearts

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    Hey :D I recognize that little doggy in the window!! :p
     
  15. dannyn

    dannyn

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    is this dmx 512 protocol?
    also is it programmed in c?
     
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