Labour day weekend is traditionally my kick off for working on the display. I usually lock in my layout and get my LOR order in the week before to take advantage of the Light-O-Rama Summer Sale, then I begin converting my sequences to the new layout. This year has been a little different.
I started thinking about my 2020 display sometime in May after surfing the Holiday Coro site one sleepless night. I made a couple of orders from Holiday Coro in May and June to work on some projects/experiments. This led to some early thoughts about my layout which led me to begin converting my sequences in June, finishing the last of them Labour day weekend. I do still have a couple of new ones to create and also a couple that I decided to redo rather than convert (legacy sequences from year one of using LOR that look tired). I also may revisit a couple of my favorite songs to improve them but I am way ahead of schedule on this side of the project.
The other piece of my annual kick off is ordering new lights in the Light-O-Rama Summer Sale. This seasons order was smaller than usual as I had already ordered some things from Holiday Coro. I did need to order more bulbs from LOR than I had expected. I had intended to use my Coro bulbs but due to the 4A capacity on LOR Pixie controller boards I needed the lower Amp LOR pixels. I also had to scale back my budget a little from what I initially anticipated so I removed the singing trees from my plan, I will look to add them next year.
Final LOR order
|6||12V White Bullet Pixels 50 Count With End Connector|
|3||12V Green Bulbs 50 Count With End Connector|
|4||RJ45 Waterproof Dangle|
|1||RJ-45 to XLR 3-pin Female|
|4||Extension – 12 Volt – 3 Pin – Green- 5ft|
|2||Extension – 12 Volt – 3 Pin – Green – 15ft|
The bullet pixels are for the Candy Canes and Stocking’s I ordered from Coro, Green bulbs are to get additional end connectors and free up 1/2 the channels on my spruce tree controller. I will switch the tree to be 8×100 vs. the 16×50 I have run in the past, with 3 folds per string vs. a single fold. This will free up channels to run the lights I added around my flowerbed and the arches on the right side of the driveway.
I also ordered the globes for my North Poles, I couldn’t find the ones I was looking for locally so I had to order them out of the US too.
Finally I needed to address my network layout. Last season I had to add an additional network as I hit the channel limit on a single LOR network, this season I needed to add one additional DMX network for the DMX based controllers in the North poles I am building. I decided to do a little research into the capacity of a LOR network. Although I could find no hard answer, guidance seemed to be about 2,400 pixels was the recommended max. I was well over this with the props I added so I decided to add an additional LOR Network, I will have 4 discreet networks in this seasons design.
Hopefully this puts me in a good spot as the last two seasons networking issues have caused me the most stress in the build. Two seasons ago I had a RS485 burn out. Last season I hit the limit for the number of channels on a single network, luckily the scare from the year before had caused me to order additional RS485’s for redundancy. After changing out several networking cables with no resolution I realized the problem was signal capacity and added the second network.
Although I’ve made good progress on the sequences I am still a little concerned with my build schedule as I have a lot of new props and new mounting systems to build up; Candy Canes, Stockings, North Poles, Curtain Lights, Snowflake Projector, Front Door, Garage Door.
Items to build before putting beginning to put up lights
|Candy Canes||Assemble Candy Canes|
|Curtain Lights||Seal curtain Lights|
|Curtain Lights||Create Mounting|
|House RGB||Build Garage Outline Mounting|
|North Poles||Build Prototype|
|North Poles||Buid Poles|
I also want to finish the permeant networking I added to my yard by putting the last section of it in conduit to the PC in through the garage. I also ordered a new FM transmitter from EDM electronics that has RDS capabilities, so I also need to create the data files and modify the sequences to move them for each song. On top of that I haven’t even looked at incorporating the rotating spotlight I bought (that seems like a 2021 project).
Overall I am ahead of where I usually am at this time of year but I feel like I still have a lot to do before the official start of my build at Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct 12th).