Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 2010

October 2010 - Holloween

Busy, Busy Busy! Every available minute is being spent on the displays final builds. We have placed orders for the final materials that will be in our show. I’m on my holiday schedule now, taking every Monday and Friday off in the month of November, this should give me ample time to finish up all the projects and start getting things setup. My plan is to start setting up the second week of November and be ready for Black Friday light-up.

24 Corner Stonens Light Bars, what a project this turned out to be, but the effect will be well worth the effort. We originally designed to have the 6 street facing corners embellished with lights, but after doing the math decided to cut back to just the center structure of the house, and with 2011 plans already on the board these elements may not be usable in the 2011 show so we cut back the quantity.

The corner stone’s required 2400 Holes Drilled, 48 Pressure clips, 192 rivets, 2400 lights, 12 Channels of control all in all; the process was so tedious we could only assemble one per night, but we should be completed with this project this weekend.

The Rainbow Flood Lights arrived (, this is another kit project with 54 LED’s per board, these will replace our power consuming incandescent one color flood lights that burn at 150 watts, to just under 4 watts with more lumens (brightness) per unit and the ability to change to 1000’s of different colors all on 12 volts of electricity. 10 Rainbow flood lights are being built currently, we have eight kits assembled a two to go, which should be done in the next day or two.

The Rainbow Flood housing is made from a portable 500 watts work light, where we removed all the internal guts and wiring and retrofitted low voltage wiring, painted the shell green, install mount plates and the RGB boards, giving us a weather proof portable case for the RGB floods that will last for years.

The DC Controller has been tested and working as designed, we finally received our 125 Watt 12 Volt power supply from Circuit Specialists(Cirduit Specialists) that will power the DC Controller. The DC Controller will control all our RGB Low voltage elements in the display (RGB Floods, RGB Wall Wash, and Blizzards), I wish I ordered two controllers, as I have the elements available, I just might pickup another one even if I don’t use it this year, since I will need it next year. Thanks to Greg at Christmas Manor for specifying the DC Power supply.

Arches are still in the works, I have one more strip to put on arch #3, and build the final arch, my plan is to have them completed this weekend, I still have to install the male plugs on each circuit, I found a great deal from Home Depot for Male and Female vampire plugs (SPT2) 100 packs at .30 cents each, those should arrive Tuesday.

We ordered enclosures from the Broadband store, unfortunately I ordered the wrong enclosures and have been trying to return the enclosures for the correct enclosures, I don’t know what the problem is, but The Broadband Store has been giving me a real hassle on returning these enclosures. I have sent three emails, one voice mail before they finally acknowledged my RMA request with the response: “We are waiting on approval”, what approval? I’m returning $70.00 worth of enclosures and purchasing another $100.00 worth of enclosures, I guess their priorities are not on customer service. Regardless of the hassle, I still had to order the correct enclosures and I only did it because the cost is so good not because the company is reputable, so beware and check the size before you buy.

A few local folks in the neighborhood have started design with computer control, I think this makes 5 families in the local area of Palmdale and Lancaster, I will place new links for displays on the web site shortly.

Our daily count-down will begin soon starting in November.

Monday, October 04, 2010

October 2010

Well crunch time is here! Our display for the 2010 season has been designed, the sequence channels configured, and the sequencing has begun. Many of the plans we had will not make it in the display this year, and others may still get cut, depending on our available resources, but the elements we have, will be dramatic and awesome visually. I have 4 new songs that I’m hoping to get completed this year, a few others that I have been working on for the past year, and several that will be re-synchronized to the new layout.

I was able to build a new desktop display host PC this year, out of fear that the little laptop that ran the show for us for so many years would just give up, so it will retire as our failover system should something fail with the new system.

We finally completed the 50 Controller Load Calculators, thanks to another enthusiast and a gentle nudge; it was enough to get me motivated to complete it when others needed it most. The controller Load Calculators are a simple Excel workbook designed for lighting controllers, each lighting controller has specific load maximums that need to be monitored, exceeding these loads could render the controller inoperable, so I initially designed that calculators with that in mind, and it has grown ever since. Everything we do goes through the calculator, allowing us to see maximum loads on each controller, and each controller channel, additionally it allows us to manage every lighting element in our display (Controller Calculator DOWNLOAD LINK).

Our web stats are still going crazy! On September 26th, 2010 we exceeded hits (Visits) to our site over the month of January 2010, which is historically (5 Years) our peak month. September 30th 2010, we had over 3,000 unique visitors, with over 6,000 page views as compared to January 2010: 2,598 visits and 4,127 page views, this is in part is due to the release of the 50 Controller Load Calculator

September 2010 Visits

2010 Visit Count

Another interesting observation we saw has been our international traffic, specifically from the University of Science and Technology of China, with over 40 hits in September 2010 alone, what are they up to?