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Christmas Light Displays

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Blount, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Nov 26, 2006 #1 of 208
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Last year when I saw the Carson Williams "Wizards Of Winter" computer light display, I knew I had to do the same sort of thing.

    Well, after months of planning and purchasing, my much smaller version is up on the house and ready for your viewing pleasure. :)

    I programmed three songs: Appalachian Snowfall, Wizards Of Winter and Carol Of The Bells.

    I wanted to start small and use only 8 channels of light. The equipment is very expensive so I basically wanted to see if I had the proper power requirements before moving into something bigger next year.

    The setup is pretty simple. I separated everything into 8 circuits and ran the extension cords to the switcher. The switcher is all solid state. The programming is done via the Light-O-Rama software. When I was ready, I hooked up my laptop to the switcher and off it went. I also have an FM transmitter that broadcasts the music to passing cars. When I get the chance, I will snap some pictures to show how it all goes together.

    Here are the videos via the YouTube web site. I realize the display isn't the most impressive ever seen, but it was a fun exercise to see what I could do on a tighter budget. Also the video is slightly washed out. The icicle lights on the house are actually white and blue but it's hard to tell.

    Enjoy!

    Update 11-13-12 - Videos available at http://www.christmaslightmagic.net
     
  2. Nov 26, 2006 #2 of 208
    Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Very Cool!!!

    I just bookmarked them to show to others.
     
  3. Nov 26, 2006 #3 of 208
    Richard King

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    Well done!! Encore.. :D
     
  4. Nov 26, 2006 #4 of 208
    mp12point7

    mp12point7 Mentor

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    Chris--I'm looking forward to the pictures of how your your set-up (wiring, computer, etc.) goes together. Fantastic presentation!
     
  5. Nov 26, 2006 #5 of 208
    Steve Mehs

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    That's pretty cool Chris. I used to be into lighting and all that stuff and was really interested in the Wizards Of Winter last year. How difficult is it synching up the music with the light show?

    So when will your house be featured in a Miller Lite commercial :lol:

    BTW - Appalachian Snowfall is my favorite
     
  6. Nov 27, 2006 #6 of 208
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Thanks. I will try to have something up this week.

    I wouldn't say it is difficult, just time consuming. I have spent the last several weekends working out the "choreography". The trick is to first design how you will have the lights on the house and then create the actual light show.

    The software is pretty easy to use. You basically work on a visual time line along with a graphical representation of the lights on the house. That way while creating the light show, you can see the results right away.

    I looked around on the internet for pre-made light sequences but decided to make my own. It really is the only way to go. I think the light show is much better since I created it from scratch.

    I started all of this back during the summer. I knew that it would be difficult trying to purchase the switcher if I waited until now. Last year they ran out very quickly which is also the case this year.

    Next year I will probably add another 8 channels. :)
     
  7. Nov 27, 2006 #7 of 208
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Fantastic light show, Chris! I would love to see in 'in person' to get the full effect..
    You'll probably want to get a bigger house. too. ;)

    [​IMG]
    Blount House, circa 2007
     
  8. Nov 27, 2006 #8 of 208
    ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Hey that's pretty sweet. Not something you would want to watch if you've had too much nog though!
     
  9. Dec 3, 2006 #9 of 208
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Holy crap! I just got a call from our local NBC affiliate (WOAI) and they want to come out and video tape the house and also possibly do an entire segment about my system for their 10 o'clock news. Will probably be next Saturday. Very exciting!
     
  10. Dec 3, 2006 #10 of 208
    ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Hey cool!

    Can you post it on You Tube when you get a chance?
     
  11. Dec 3, 2006 #11 of 208
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Chris, I'm sure David will be happy to pay you for every time you can
    mention the name of the site on air during your 15 seconds of fame. :lol:
     
  12. Dec 3, 2006 #12 of 208
    Richard King

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    Actually, the lights should be "rearranged" to spell out DBSTalk.com. :D
     
  13. Dec 3, 2006 #13 of 208
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Yes! When the story is aired, I will definitely post the video on YouTube.

    LOL! I was thinking the same thing.

    Tempting!
     
  14. Dec 3, 2006 #14 of 208
    JM Anthony

    JM Anthony Child of the 60's DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Chris - very nicely done!! I'll be interested in seeing the local news coverage. Heading into retirement, I'll be looking for some fun projects. Definitely add this one to the list (unfortunately my list takes the backseat to my wife's list).

    John
     
  15. Dec 4, 2006 #15 of 208
    HuggieBear

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    Chris that was KEWL, thanks for sharing it with us. :) :)
     
  16. Dec 4, 2006 #16 of 208
    David Bott

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    Traveling...
    Nice! And yes, $25 if you get DBSTalk onthe air in any way shape or form. (It's only local TV, thus the low $ value. LOL)
     
  17. Dec 4, 2006 #17 of 208
    Nick

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    Yes, but once it hits Youtube...who knows?

    To paraphrase the late, great Ed Sullivan, this could be a "really big shoe...".

    :sure:
     
  18. Dec 5, 2006 #18 of 208
    mwgiii

    mwgiii Gaming Guru and Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Excellent work Chris!

    Would you mind giving a ballpark dollar figure on the cost of a display like that?
     
  19. Dec 5, 2006 #19 of 208
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    For the hardware and software on a simple 8 channels system (controller box, software, adapters, cable) about $350. The rest of the money is in the lights, extension cords, etc. And of course, there is the time. I spent several weekends designing and choreographing the display.

    You will also need a computer to run the whole thing. In my case, I'm using a laptop.
     
  20. Dec 8, 2006 #20 of 208
    DonLandis

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    Really fascinating hobby, Chris. Bet you had lots of fun with that. What's next, a Bellagio water display for summer viewing? :D

    Just curious, Chris- what do you do for the outdoor sound? And, how does the community respond to the music if you do play it so others can hear? We have city ordances here that would prevent people from doing something like that. I know I'd get shut down if I tried that in this neighborhood.
     

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