Hello from San Francisco (suburb thereof)


New elf
Jun 8, 2010
Hi folks:

You may have seen me around some of the other Christmas lights forums -- DIYC, DLA. I have posted a lot about the Sawyer Star, a 64-LED array, which is now a 2011 project.

Two-thousand-ten will be my third year for an animated show; I started out with DMX and used the Lynx SSR4/w DMX as well as a Grinch with standard SSRs and RPM's DMX dimmer adapter. That year's show was about 32 channels.

That first year I had a lot of problems with the Grinch and cabling -- I just found the decentralized concept to be too labor-intensive during setup. I also had a lot of Vixen problems in 2008 plus I used an old commercial six-foot tree (white with white minilights) that was all metal: I had tons of GFCI tripping problems.

Last year I used all SSR4/w DMX, moved to Vixen 2.5, threw out the metal tree and had absolutely no problems. Toward the end of the show I began using a Lynx MR16 controller to drive a group of LEDs that I had put into wooden frames on the front-porch bannister. That looked really cool and I have focused a lot this year on building more of those low-voltage frames. They're super-intensive to build, taking about 30 hours per frame. I have five built and two more to go.

I also hope to add four mini-arches and a midi-tree (six foot; 16 strings of low count ~30 LEDs) to this year's display. If I get those done, I'll be ending up with about 100 channels this year.

Of course, I come to this hobby totally unprepared: before 2008 I hadn't soldered since Lyndon Johnson was in the White House; I have no college degree and those units I do have are all in humanities, political science and history and while I have some wood-working skills, they are mediocre at best.

Glad to be aboard!


PS: My home is 18 miles from downtown San Francisco.


Way behind schedule - again...
May 13, 2010
San Jose, CA
Hey dmc - just down the peninsula from you in San Jose (now the 10th largest city in the country!) - Welcome - great stuff here!


I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Apr 26, 2010
Albion Park NSW
Welcome to ACL, hope you have a smoother run this year with your display. You sound like you have some very creative pieces in your display. Now its time to join in the RGB/pixel revolution, so feel free to post away and join in the chat.