And so it begins…

As of today the 2011 Christmas display is being gradually set up. The mains-power 240V AC controllers have been installed while the new 24V DC controllers are almost completed. They should be installed by the weekend along with the DC controllers which were introduced last year.

A 2011 gallery page is now available, this year using a different page design. Let me know your comments on the new style of gallery. Former years continue to use an older design.

New controlling hardware and website move

New DC controllers from Light-O-Rama arrived this week. 2011 will use more DC control than ever before due to the safety benefits over 240v AC control. This means there are less 240v extension cord runs needed to get a working light show.

I am now waiting on some replacement lights and low voltage cords to land in Australia sometime this month or in October and then I will have everying needed to make this year’s display.

The new FM transmitter has been powered and tested, and the range is more than sufficient for passing cars.

And on a different note, you may have noticed a migration message or small amount of downtime on this website. This is due to moving to an Australian-based web server for better speeds.

Another Off Season Update

The website has received a few design updates in preparation of this year’s Christmas display. Including:
– New popout video page
– Enhanced menu bar
– Improved rollover descriptions on the Computer Control page

A new FM transmitter has been sourced from EDM Designs which should provide a clearer reception from the the street and maybe even a little further (although I am yet to power up and test how far it will go). The broadcast will remain on the same frequency of 88.9 FM this year. Transmitter model and photo are up on the Computer Control page.

That’s all for now.

Off Season Update: Award Mail

Off Season update…

In the last few days I received an certificate in the mail from XYZ Networks (operator of several subscription TV channels on Foxtel). I thought what could this be, but low and behold it is a certificate of appreciation. How about that, eh? Something positive to offset the weather event and vandalism of 2010

Lifestyle Channel Award

Oh, and yes, there are still a few decorations to take down!! (It can’t be March already??)

This Is It – Farewell 2010

The lights have now been switched off for the final time in 2010. I’d like to wish everybody a happy and enjoyable 2011. Thanks again to the people who extended their hand after part of the display was brought down by vandals.

Now comes the big task of tearing down the display and putting everything neatly into storage (perhaps I lie about the neatness… we will see).

Mega Tree Running ‘In Part’ Due To Electrical Issues

Firstly, Merry Christmas Everybody!

As stated in my previous entry, the mega tree is standing again thanks to Ed of RegencyChristmas who is also a Christmas lights fanatic.

Unfortunately due to the differences in how the replacement LED strings are wired to my existing ones I cannot get the white and blue colours to light without running risk of burning out the red colours. The green colours light at a lower brightness, whilst the red colours light at full intensity.

There is just not enough time left in the season to try and resolve the problem now – but next year it should definitely be fixed.

I’d also like to thank Grant of Highbury who was willing to help. It is great that the Christmas Lights community is able to work together.

No More Mega Tree – Thanks Mr Grinch

There will not be a mega tree for the rest of the year thanks to two or three naughty teenagers who I hope are on santa’s naughty list.

There may never be another mega tree I am not sure. I am too disappointed right now to explain what has happened so I shall let this photo tell you instead:

Mega Tree Broken by Vandals

At this stage I will probably continue to run without the mega tree until Christmas Night (25th) and then start tearing down.

Full Experience Is No More … Again?

UPDATE: For the time being the centre garden will be without a border.

It has not even been a week since the full display was back running, but bad news must be told. One key element of this year’s display is electrically faulty.

The garden borders which use LED rope light, appears to be broken. Whenever the set is connected to power, the electrical switch board disconnects power to the circuit it is connected to.

This raises this year’s damage closer to the $200 mark. I am hoping insurance will cover the costs, as I suspect the fault is due to storm activity earlier in the month. If not, my 2011 plans will need to be cut back.