1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
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Hello from Richmond, VA, USA

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by MacThomas76, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Benslights

    Benslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator

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    MacThomas76

    MacThomas76 My First Animated Show 2012

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    Thanks Jim!


    slafountain, Thank you, and I didn't know walmart made controllers...That's my favorite part about Christmas light shows...all the DIY solutions people come up with. just brilliant.


    For the DIY snowflake poles, I bought the 8" Philips LED Window Snowflakes, set of 5 that come with an 8 function controller, white and blue LEDs. Of course you can't use the controller that comes with the lights if you're going to control them with any other light show controller. After talking with an EE and doing some experimenting, I figured out you can just cut the controller off and hard wire the 120VAC power from the plug directly to the wires going to the snowflakes. There are 60 LEDs total, 12 in each snowflake, and split into two 30-LED lines, so 12-12-6, and 6-12-12. The middle snowflake is split 6 and 6. If you know a little about circuit boards and can follow the traces, it's really easy to figure out how to hook up the wires. Basically, both sets of 30 LEDs share a common "neutral" and each has it's own "hot". so the two hot wires go to the hot AC line out of the plug, and the neutral goes to the neutral side of the plug. It takes about 5 minutes once you figure it out...I just used wire nuts and potted them with silicone caulking to keep water out.


    Once wired, I just attached them to 1/2" EMT steel conduit (10 feet long) using zip ties. I cut 12" off of each piece of conduit (10', 9', 8', 7') to "step" them. Then I just pushed them into the ground 12-16 inches. We had some really strong wind, up to 60 mph gusts one day and they held up fine. But if your soil is soft, you might need some additional support, maybe a couple guy wires. I was originally just going to hang them in the windows, but couldn't figure out a clean way to do it and wasn't happy with how that looked, so the pole idea was very impromptu. They reminded me of the signal bars on your cell phone, which I thought was kinda cool. Pictures attached below...


    -Thomas
     

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  3. slafountian

    slafountian New Elf

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    Thanks for the info on the snow flakes

    the walmart controller was purchased back in 2000 the following year I wanted to purchase a couple more and they did not carry it anymore and haven't found one close to it for the mere $49 AGAIN
     

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  4. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    Very nice show. You have a good feeling for music and timing. I can't imagine what you'll do with RGB, but beware the fun only gets better! Good luck and welcome to ACL.
     

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