Toodle's Lights - Will there or won't there be light???

toodle_pipsky

Minister of Silly Walks
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
334
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
Well this has been a strange year for me. We’ve had some awesome times (got married) and some pretty crappy times (heaps of deaths in the family, some a “relief” from illness and one that was a total shock) and things that just stopped me from devoting time to my beloved Christmas lights (finishing study).

While I’ve been able to do bits and pieces since the Brissie Mini mid year, the bulk of my display remains to be done. So my challenge, showtime 1 December and 1 week off work to do ALMOST EVERYTHING! Can it be done? What will I have to sacrifice? Will I just take up drinking instead? One does not simply do a display at the last minute! Stay tuned!

Spinners - Two set up and running
Mega tree (inc. Star) - Running
RGB Ropelight - Running
Bethlehem Star - Running
Overhead lights - Running
3 x RGB spotties - Running
4 x Back yard spotties - Missed this year. :(
Yard stakes - Missed this year. :(
4 x Bushes - Missed this year. :(
4 Windows - Running
"Tune to" Sign - Missed this year. :( Doesn't matter though, no actual songs sequenced.
Sequencing - Running, of sorts. 2 programs running somewhat of a random sequence

* Note all of this could just end up being just me standing in the front yard with a torch flicking it on and off to Gangnam Style.
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
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Jun 12, 2010
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4,227
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Victoria Point (Brisbane)
How about just finishing some of the items as deploying a simplified version so you have something to show. Then work on the other items and add to the display as you can.

Sequencing (to music) seems to take a massive chunk of people's time. That's why I'm just doing animation again this year.
 

toodle_pipsky

Minister of Silly Walks
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
334
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
I should say everything on that list is half to nearly completed. :) I really need to stop jumping over the place and get focused on one thing at a time. A week off will help me do that. . . . I hope.

(PS thanks for shipping off the board quick for me David!)
 

Christmas on Clarafield

Full time elf
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
385
Location
Melbourne
I'm in a similar situation. Having been working so many hours lately, I haven't had the time I wanted to put into my display.
Mini trees - I wanted 10. So far I have 7 set up.
Arches - I wanted 3 leaping arches and 3 driveway arches. I have 2 & 1 respectively.
RGB - I have 200 dumb nodes/modules sitting on the shelf waiting to be put to use.
Sequencing - I had big plans for half a dozen songs but I haven't even started. Like David has done I think it'll just be animations for me also this year.

Despite this, I know that my kids and also the neighbors kids are getting so excited just to see Christmas lights. They don't care what is there and how it goes blinky flashy. Lights are all they want to see.
So it may not be the "huge" display I had in my mind but no doubt it will still bring joy to others and they is what it's all about.
1 finished element on display is better than 10 unfinished items in the shed. Put out what you have and be proud of it. There will always be next year.
 

Slite

Full time elf
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
151
Location
Mölnbo, Sweden
I was planning for lights on december 1st... but I don't really think I will be able to make that.

So most likely it will be december 7th or 8th before we can go "live"
 

Bird

LOR user
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Messages
1,746
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Due to process of selling our house, my display will only be a repete of last year with a few static elements missing. Only took me one day to get the display up .. I guess thats an advantage of small repete display.
There's always next year :)
 

toodle_pipsky

Minister of Silly Walks
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
334
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
Well the Bethlehem Star "upgrade" went well. An executive decision made with the help of my elf-in-charge meant that I removed the old LED strings from the Bethlehem Star frame and zip tied some pixels to it instead. Had enough left over from sample strings I ordered earlier in the year as well as off cuts from the mega tree strings to make some rays to lay on the roof. A quick touch up coat of paint on the frame and stand and it's done.
On a side note I must say I miss the simplicity of Vixen 2.5. :) I tried setting up a test sequence in LSP and after fafing about for 45 minutes it wasn't working. Jump on Vixen just to do a basic random sequence to make sure I got the wiring right and BAM done in 5 minutes. *sigh*
Now to wait for a cooler part of the day to get a sucker helper to get on the roof.
 

penguineer

Full time elf
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
202
Location
Mount Tamborine, Qld
If there's stuff that you're going to add later in a place close to the audience(as in "visible gap") you could always come up with some form of a yellow/black sign with "elf work in progress - check back soon"......

I'm madly sequencing, and want to get to "full test" of my lights in the next couple of days....lots to do!

Cheers and good luck!
 

bob_moody

Apprentice elf
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
86
Location
Huntsville, TX
Toodle.. I have to tell you, I almost busted a gut when I read the ending comment on your first post...
"* Note all of this could just end up being just me standing in the front yard with a torch flicking it on and off to Gangnam Style."

I told my Sandra almost EXACTLY the same thing. We brought our display up the 22nd (Turkey Day) and Sandra was a little concerned about my progress. I told her we would have lights if I had to stand in the front yard with an LED MagLite (flashlight/torch) and blink to the music ... I thought that was such an original thought .. I forget sometimes just how BIG the world is and small I am in it ...

thanks for the chukle ..

Bob
 

toodle_pipsky

Minister of Silly Walks
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
334
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
Thanks for the words of encouragement, tips and tricks. Glad to give some one a larf too. :D
After a hot day of cutting, twisting, soldering and heatshrinking I am stuffed! And it's only going to get hotter. Already have a very nice bogan thong tan (that's thongs on the feet).
Husband got on the roof for me this arvo, so it feels a little bit more "christmasy" with the star up. I'm not alowed on the roof (on Mum's orders) so I'll have to talk Geordie through 1 final wire connection, won't be hard.
Still heaps to do, but we're getting there.
 

tuppetsdad

Funding & Tech Support
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
537
Location
Melbourne
Yes Toodles, I would also thank the many people on Chat who have put up with my frustration in getting our show sorted. As you say keep working at it and do what you can. Don't set the bar too high and be happy with what you have. It is the friendships and the joy of Christmas that makes it all worthwhile..
 

toodle_pipsky

Minister of Silly Walks
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
334
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
As day number 5 dawns on the extreme setup I am not looking forward to the temperature . . . 31 forecast high. Ugh! And it's only going to get hotter by the end of the week.
Mega tree is almost done - only 6 more universes to wire (it's having to add the power injection that's taking so long) and about 1/3 attached to the tree. I think I'm going to take a break from that today and concentrate on some of the fiddly stuff. An order from Sparky Direct arrived so I'll finish off all the controller boxes and get some of the other lights out in the yard. I notice that the mega tree is in the shade up until about 10:30am, so I might do some of that setup tomorrow morning.
Wire - now that is something I appreciate we go through a lot of with this hobby! I knew I should have ordered 2 rolls from Ray. A mercy email to good old Ray reveals he can ship out a roll of wire pretty quickly, so the Spinners might be out late. That's ok, they at least will be built. Ever loving husband cut and painted all the conduit for me yesterday, so at least the build is on course. I'm really loving that he's willing to help me this year, only taken like 5 years to get him on board. :)
Time to lather up the sunscreen and get out amongst it. Good luck to everyone else with your displays. Enjoying seeing everyone else's creation grow too.
 

fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
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Apr 26, 2010
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Albion Park NSW
You should be doing this all in the last hours of the day and during the evening, get a good high intensity head torch and then who needs daylight to setup.

If you need cable why not buy some 4 core security cable from ebay as it will get to you a lot quicker and most probabnly be cheaper and better quality with double insulation.

Around $100 delivered for 305 metres of 4 core 14/020 cable, will last do as well for next season.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Security-Cable-4-Core-14-020-305m-Box-White-Alarm-System-Cable-/261050701915?pt=AU_Electronics_Accessories_Wires_Cables&hash=item3cc7d5985b

If thats too much cable then you can go for a 100 metre roll for $60 delivered, but the 305 metre spool is great value and hard to go past.

Or finally you could go to your local electrical wholesaler and ask for a roll of 14/020 4 core security cable and you can have it today, it should cost you around the $50 to $60 mark.
 

Kaden

Pixels! I need more pixels!
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
724
Location
Gold Coast
ɟɐsʇǝppʎ said:
get a good high intensity head torch and then who needs daylight to setup.

I bought this one and it is stupid bright and has a really wide adjustable lens, perfect for sitting on the ground 2m back and lighitng a whole object while you work
 
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