Another Newbie

MarcD

Full time elf
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
338
Location
Heathwood Qld
Hi folks. My name is Marc and I live on Brisbane's southside. We've been doing a light display for several years as well as organising a lights competition in our suburb (we came second in 2011). Up until now, our light display has been pretty static. This year, we decided to look at dipping our toes into the world of animated lighting. I strongly suspect we're going to need a lot of help along the way.

We have a lot of existing lights, but I suspect we'll need to buy a lot more to make this work. Our current lights include quite a lot of sets of LED strings and LED icicles purchased from Big W. There's also a lot of frame type items (my wife has a bit of an obsession with DealsDirect) as well as some inflatables which the local kids seem to love. Last year I set up a laser with a small speaker, but could only have it pointing at the driveway, so few people saw it.

Despite working in the IT industry, I'm no tech genius. My eldest son (30) has offered to do the programming while middle son has volunteered to be in charge of fog and lasers (apparently).

So that's the history, the future is up to us and with your help, we're hoping to go one better in this years' comp. I'm looking forward to a fun and (hopefully) not to expensive journey into the world of animated Christmas lights.
 

ShellNZ

Senior elf
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
884
Location
Karaka, Auckland, NZ
Welcome Marc

I just joined a few months ago as well and Im having a blast here at ACL. Have learnt soooo much. I will be having my first animated display this year as well.

Look forward to seeing your display.

What software and controllers will you be using, do you know yet?
 

oldmanfathertime1000

Computers, music, audio, video, electronics
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
157
Location
Lake Arthur, Louisiana
Welcome to the right place. However time is not on your side for this Christmas. You need to have some set idea of what you want to do when you ask these guys some questions. What controllers to use needs some idea of what lights you want to control.
How many controllers you need must be based on what you want to control. Draw out your ideas. Make a jpg file of it to show some one. We can be of more help when we can see & under stand your visions. Do a little home work first & you will be gifted with many good helpful hints & ways to get your display up & running. Good luck to you & hopt to see you in the chat room....
 

MarcD

Full time elf
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
338
Location
Heathwood Qld
We really only decided this week to give this a go. We're hoping to have some discussions this weekend as to what we want and how to lay it out. In preparation, we've created a black and white outline of a photo of the house (attached) so we can add measurements etc. In terms of controllers, lights etc, I have no idea, and for that, I am apologetic. I'm hoping that some former newbie who has been down this path, can give me some ideas.

I have been looking at the Light O Rama website at the entry level 16 channel family package. In terms of lights, I have been looking at the LEDs at mytbritelights.com.au. I'm sure there are probably better and/or cheaper options available


Marc
 

Attachments

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
3,602
Location
Eaglehawk
Hi Marc. There's some good people in your general area to talk to about lights. The single best way to get a running start is to actually talk to someone who has the experience at hooking up and running lights. If you have a look at the display locations link at the top of the page you'll see there's plenty of blinkyheads around the Brisbane area. Catching up with someone like Aussiexmas (Geoff) or Superman (Steve) can save you lots of grief and those 2 in particular have helped multitudes. You missed the Brisbane lighting mini by a month or so and that event would have given you a major running start. if you need help just pop into chat and there's usually someone on hand or alternatively just post away in here.
 

Superman

I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious
Global moderator
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
1,757
Location
Ipswich-QLD
LOR.... Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

Hehehe. Welcome to ACL Mark. There are plenty of us in and around Brisbane if you ever need a one on one look at different systems before you dive into the expensive LOR ones.

Sorry LOR boys,

Steve
 

MarcD

Full time elf
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
338
Location
Heathwood Qld
I wasn't even aware of LOR alternatives. I would certainly appreciate some advice with how to get started. We have a comp to win. lol


Marc

ѕυρєямαη said:
LOR.... Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

Hehehe. Welcome to ACL Mark. There are plenty of us in and around Brisbane if you ever need a one on one look at different systems before you dive into the expensive LOR ones.

Sorry LOR boys,

Steve
 

Bevo

Let your Light Shine before men
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
313
Location
Caboolture QLD
Hi Marc,
It is great to see another local getting the CLAP.
I started with LOR for my first 2 years and I think you may need to check out your options before diving straight in.
There are a few more options out there and they all have their good features.
 

Bird

LOR user
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Messages
1,746
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

to ACL Mark

You have lots of very good help close to you.
LOR is good for the closest you can get to plug-n-play, but you pay for that ease of use.

I'm a strong believer in LOR, however I don't have the danger factor that you do down there.
Christmas is our winter time, not much foot traffic in the display and we have 120 volt not your 240 volt.
So non-LOR options have a large safety benefit for you.
 

logandc99

Dedicated elf
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
1,151
Hi Marc,
I'm brand new to LOR this year ( last 2 months) and starting with a smallish area of our static display being set to music so I don't think it's too late to get into it for Xmas so long as your ideas don't get too grand (like mine do and I have to keep pulling myself back to reality ). You don't necessarily have to go the 240v way if you are looking for safety and if you have foot traffic through your display like we have ( summer time). I'm using the CMB-16Ds which can run at 12v or 24v etc because we have lots or people incl children wandering amongst our lights so I want to keep everything low voltage. As a result I don't have any of the 240v LOR controllers but have still got 5 x 12v mini RGB trees sequenced and am building some Coro type candy canes to run with the 12v RGB modules. Will also be running some 12v RGB strip lights and hope to have a singing Xmas tree face ready in time. So far so good and having heaps of fun.
 

kel

Dedicated elf
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,527
Location
Tenterfield, NSW/Qld border
oldmanfathertime1000 said:
Welcome to the right place. However time is not on your side for this Christmas. You need to have some set idea of what you want to do when you ask these guys some questions. What controllers to use needs some idea of what lights you want to control.
How many controllers you need must be based on what you want to control. Draw out your ideas. Make a jpg file of it to show some one. We can be of more help when we can see & under stand your visions. Do a little home work first & you will be gifted with many good helpful hints & ways to get your display up & running. Good luck to you & hopt to see you in the chat room....
Sorry, oft, I beg to differ ... many members here at ACL have had their shows up and running by Dec1 or a tad later with less time than marc has now!

Marc, just go for it and ask away ... David_AVD is local to you and has some great low votage DC boards ...

Good luck with your show, Marc ... and don't forget about the chat room, where some of your locals will give you some reading material + a lot of advice :D
 
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