Up They Go

Outside decorations are beginning to go up.

Last week the magic cave had white tinsel and foam attached to it. LED Blue and clear icicles are now up. Decorations in the main lounge window out front and window around the side have also been put in their place for the season.

A dead end area to the side of the house (which has been a junk yard longer than I’ve been on this earth) has been cleaned out to make way for four of the new ‘Light-O-Rama CTB16PC’ computerised Christmas light controllers.

Today the plan is for some of the rope light path borders to be put out. Right now they are laying in the sun so that they will be easier to bend into the correct shape.

Computerised Christmas controllers arrive

Late this morning, the door bell rang. When answered, it was a delivery person here to hand me a rather large box which contained the new Christmas light controllers for syncronising lights to music this year.

So the assembly of the controllers has now begun. Once finished, an electrician will put in a new electrical circuit to run all the lights. This is the first time ever this is happening, purely as a safety measure due to the high amp capacity that each controller is capable of running.

I have also been informed that the ordered Christmas lights will be arriving in Australia during September – that’s only next month!

I’m estimating that lights will commence being erected outside during October.

A couple of new photos have been uploaded to the 2008 page and the upgrade costs updated on the history page.

The webcam quality has been improved also, although live streaming will not be available until October or November.

May Off-Season Updates

Its been a few months since the last post, so it is about time I update all you Christmas light fanatics.

First of all, a new Christmas lights order of about 5,000 LED lights has been placed with a manufacturer in China via Starlight Christmas Superstore. I should be getting these in August or September sometime.

This year I am retiring my current method for computerising lights (Olsen595) for a commercial alternative that can do much more (Light-O-Rama) including control of light brightness and ability to operate higher voltage lights safely. Financially, this single change is the killer this year.

After adjusting the amount of new lights and controllers that I’ll be getting for 2008, the financial requirement now sits at approximately $2200. So far I’ve managed to raise just over $1000.

In other news, the computer page has been modified to display information in a similar fashion to the detail and history pages. However, this text is still based on the 2007 display at this stage.

2008 Update

The website has again been updated with a few more goodies:

  1. There is now a streaming webcam available during the Christmas season
  2. The 2008 photo gallery has been created (with a single photo)
  3. The videos page as been redesigned
  4. There are now two new pages – Details and History – in place of the former ‘Quick Facts’ area.

I am now at the stage of choosing what is needed for 2008 such as new lights and computer controllers. There will not be too many new lights this year as new computer controlling hardware is necessary which will cost in the thousands. A record breaking $2600 is the estimate upgrading cost for 2008, providing I can pull together enough cash.

Display Had Problems … But Not Any More!

This last week has been quite stressful as the first outdoor test with more than 28 computerised channels up and running returned a result that I was not exepecting. Some how the lights on the roof were following the flashing pattern of the front garden sets on top of their own instructions. This meant that they would remain on for most of the time (If either the garden light or roof light was set to turn on, they would come on – so unless both lights were instructed to turn off the roof would remain on.)

But at last the problem was fixed after replacing a nusiance cable TWICE and getting a lot of components found on the ‘brain’ replaced. (The brain’s job is to coordinate all the on/off signals and send them to the right light set).

Computerisation

Merry Christmas… well not yet anyway! I’ve decided to turn part of my display into being computerised this year, and plan to do more next year. For Computer Specs, check out the Computer page of the website. The Hardware itself will cost $110, and it will operate though a printer cable (LPT port) and 5v power (via internal hard drive power cable).