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Packing up your display

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by David_AVD, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Well, it's time to start packing up our displays after another successful year. Hopefully it's quicker than it was putting it all up!

    As I take mine down, I'm testing each string, doing a few minor repairs and marking the clear LED ones so I know what actual colour(s) they are next time. A little bit of effort now can save a lot of time in the future I reckon.

    Also a good time to mark any display items / equipment that have faults (with a real fault description, not just "faulty"), so you don't grab them out at the last minute, put them up and go "Oh, that's right - they didn't work last year" !

    I'll also be jotting down other things (like wiring, layout, etc) that did and didn't work out this year. Doing this while it's fresh in your memory means you can learn from each year's effort and improve the next time.

    Anyway, that's my ramble for now. :D
     
  2. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    For me its pull down and put away as quick as possible so i can rest as its been a busy month for me, so there is no way i feel like working on lights yet except to pull down and pack away. What i normally do is around mid year is i pull different items out and test each one before packing away again ready for use at least by that time my motivation is back again. My display and wiring will be different as well for next season so i dont bother worrying about that either.
    Everyone has their own method of pull down and mine is as short as i can possibly make it.
     
  3. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I'm 2 hrs in and haven't got a light down yet. Before i get the lights down I'm going to take some daytime snaps so i can see where the lights and controllers were for 2011.
     
  4. sparkyg

    sparkyg New Elf

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    :) 106 sets of lights packed away by 12 noon
     
  5. Robbo

    Robbo Full Time Elf

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    good tips so far, David i did that last year, wrote on a bag FAULTY, but added a description that Blue was not working (multi colour k mart string) these didn't even make it into the show this (last year 2012 now) year, but seeing as I am going DC for 2012 I might take a look at them and see if I can do something with them still :) as for putting away, when i get them down i will be modifying for 2012 some strings I have ideas for when they will be run on DC


    Last year I left myself short and almost didn't do a display but my ny resolution is to give myself plenty time and get onto things early that will save a lot of headache come October/November


    Wiring wise, I have some 240V stuff on them with long enough extension cords on them to reach the controller which is under cover rather than pull these off i think i will keep them on and remove them if need be once i figure out where they will be in 2012
     
  6. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    The main reason I'm testing all the strings as they come down is to claim any faulty ones before the warranty period is up. I already have a few Big W strings that have failed with only 4 weeks use. I bought them online, so it's easy enough to track the purchase dates.

    I just pulled the (18) RGB bollards up and inspected each one to make sure nothing had nested inside them. One had a little bit of water in the bottom so I'll dry that out before packing away. Another has a cracked base/spike so I'll get another $5 bollard from Bunnings soon just in case they change styles.

    A couple of the 3 pin connectors on my wiring harnesses / trees had a small amount of corrosion caused by water leakage, so I've cleaned them up and sprayed them with a contact cleaner to hopefully halt the corrosion while in storage.

    The controller / PSU cabinets will likely be put away as they are, as the configuration is bound to change for my 2012 display.

    Like Robbo, I do want to be more organised in 2012. Maybe not quite as full on as Eddy, but it would be nice to have some more display elements completed earlier in the year. :)
     
  7. wjohn

    wjohn Apprentice Elf

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    A couple of tips I have learnt over 20 years.


    1. Use a paint pen marker and right the color of the strand on the plug. R, G, B, CW, WW, M etc

    2. Mark the length on cables. I mark both ends of extension cables with their length. E. g 5m.

    3. Wind up extension leads for led strings from the string end

    4. If you make a cable for. Particular function (e.g. Outlet to controller 1 on left side of drive), mark the cable with the location. If you were clever enough t make it this year, use it again next year. .

    5. Mark equipment that needs repair and put aside for mar/April

    6. If certain strings go on the roof, gutters etc, mark them and bag them.

    7. Storing strings in shopping bags stops hem getting caught together.

    8. I store all the cables together, unless rule 4. Applies, and then I store the cable etc with that decoration

    9. Put labels inside and outside the boxes.

    10. Store things in the reverse order, last in is first needed next year.

    11. Take photos of your cabling, count your lights and strings. You may have extras you can trade or use next year, unlike this year where you a more ideas than time.

    12. Do we those new controllers/decorations/ whiz bang thing in june, not November
     
  8. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    I'm with you Eddy, get the things down a stashed, I know tat some will never be used again, just which ones undecided yet. Plus at 35 degrees today with a hangover & 40 tomorrow no much patience to fix things the one that I do know need fixing will be probably headed for the bin anyway. Luckily mine are all marked with electrical tape the colour of the light string and written on that what it is for ease of connection to the boards at the start.


    Good luck with the pack, and time to get the minds ticking for This year only got 11 months before it's gotta be running again
     
  9. BradsXmasLights

    BradsXmasLights WiFi Interactive

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  10. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    As I add new lights each year to the diplay, I go to the hardware store and ask the employees to save the empty wire reels for me.

    All strings are rolled on the reels with a label on the side of the reel as to where lights go.

    All the 120v power cables are connected end to end and rolled up on the reels also. The controller end of the power cables are tagged for which light string/fixture it goes to.

    Rolling everything up on reels makes takedown and setup much faster.
    [​IMG]

    Done in about 6 hours
     
  11. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Part of the reason I pull down everything so quickly and put it away is because it has already been marked up when it was put together so all i have to do is pull it down and stack it away all the cables and items in my display all have plugs and are easy to pull down and pack away. I instead spent the time when building the display to also make it quick and easy to pull down and stack away and reidentify later. I prefer to test and repair everything more towards mid year as this gives some time for any faults to develop and will then decide on what can be repaired and what will need replacing.

    The main reason that i do pull it down quickly is by the time new years comes im worn out from the season and the wifes CLAP infection has subsided and im not allowed to talk about lights for at least 1 month at home.
     
  12. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    well i have only the roof to do tomorrow and have a box of fualty items to check and repair and then im done but think i will leave the faulty items for a bit as with Eddy my wife needs a break from it all
     

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