It's all about the blinking...
See a comparison of the hardware used to run the displays between 2007 and 2017.
Lots of updates in the recent few weeks, but no time to update the site. Firstly my weather station has had problems, and has now died, leaving me without a weather site for the first time in close to 3 years. I'll purchase a new one when time and money allow.
The 100m or LED Ropelight has arrived, and will be cut to length on the next few weeks. I am still waiting for the DMX DC SSR's from John, but thats still a few weeks before it becomes critical path stuff :)
The final layout and chanel count has been decided apon, and I'll start laying out a few channels in Vixen over the next weeks for the display. As usual there are channels left for expansion should I get time lol.
The 3 floodlight stands are complete and loaded up with floodlights. These will be used to "paint" the house with color, more evenly than last year.
The front view of the light stand without lights. It only weighs about 4kg, and 9kg with lights, so that allows easy storage by hanging off the roof of the shed.
Side view of the light stand. It will be held in place with 4 spikes into the ground, and also chained to the trees and other display items.
Here is the stand loaded up with 4 LED flood lights. This will allow a more even painting of light on the house, with 3 of these stands used to paint the front, side and deck/north room.
6 additional floodlights almost complete (5 for me and 1 for Ian as a test). I'll be adding them into cases tomorrow after their testing is completed.
Here are the floodlight boards ready to be mounted in the cases. The cases have already been prepared for 4 of the 5, and the glass already etched ready to go. I'll glue them in position in the next few days, after the DMX board standoffs are added.
Vixen channel setup is complete, 4 songs have been edited to length and the beginnings of the sequencing has started.
A new Oregon Scientific weather station has also been sourced and the weather pages re-added to the website.
Started cutting the LED Ropelight today. All but 3 pieces were cut to length, tested, their respective current and light count noted in my spreadsheet before they were set aside ready to have their ends sealed and lead-in cables added and sealed in place in the next couple of days.
This is the box the ropelight came in. This 20kg box contains one 50 meter roll of the 5 wire, 4 color ropelight, and I purchased 100 meters of the light from Santas LED Lights in QLD, Australia. I highly recommend contacting them for quality LED lighting. Their prices might be a little high, BUT the quality of the lights is excellent, so well worth the slight premium!
This rather horrid setup allowed easy rolling out and measurement of the ropelight. I wondered how I was going to roll out 50 meters per roll, but 2 of the LED floodlight stands, a small piece of 20mm square tube, 2 clamps and a weight (Carpet squares from work) to stop them falling over.
A small selection of the ropelight, cut to length and tested. So far some 8,160 LED's drawing 17.4A at 24V DC (417.5W).
All the LED Ropes are completed, as are 4 of the last 5 LED floods.
Awaiting a parts list for the DC 3 Chan DMX boards from John so I can start on them next.
Playing with a whats playing now/next trigger from Vixen, so hopefully we will have a LIVE whats playing on the website, and I might upload a pic from one of the webcams every minute or so.
I had plans on finishing off song 3 today, but Sue and I went for a drive to Orange, and came back slightly more broke, but I really dont know how to incorporate this item into the Chrissy display....
Side view of the Van. It might be 18 years old, but it's "new" for us and will be a great source of enjoyment in the future
Lounge and Kitchen, taken from the doorway. A gas stove and 80 litre water tank might allow for free-camping, but the 240V only fridge limits that severely.
Main double bed, with heaps of storage under the bed.
Kitchen and lounge, with the entry on the left side. Loads of storage below the sink and also below the lounge should provide storage for everything we need.
This is a 1992 model 15ft Spaceland van. We went to look, and bought it within 10 minutes, which was probably a good idea, as a few others that came in after were interested in it as well. We wont pick it up until late next week as they have to clean it, check the brakes and bearings etc, and I have to get a brake controller on my car. Even then it will sit idle until after the Chrissie season, although once I start holidays in December I might do a few things to it, ready for a short trip early next year.
The DC DMX Boards have been sent off to the manufacturer and should be here early November. I have been flat out cleaning the shed in recent days, taking 6 Trailer loads to the dump in the last 3 days, plus one load (16 large bags) of grass which means I probably should mow more often.
Made a huge Mouser order for a top up of parts, plus all the bits for the 60 DC DMX SSR's, costing a snappy $658, and I have yet to get the bill for the boards, as thats likely to be about $150, give or take.
Added a UV sensor to the weather station, and I'll add the UV info to the weather section of the website soon.
The lights have started to go up!
Today was a small day with just the silhouettes in the windows, and the lights around the windows being installed.
Total Lights Up: 5,211
A bit of sequencing was done yesterday, but we spent most of the day getting some vinyl transfers put on my wifes car.
Today the LED Rope lights went up before the weather slowed me down a bit, so I'll sequence for the afternoon instead.
Total Lights Up: 12,785
I finished off the LED floods today, installing the new 3 chan DMX DC SSR's on the back of them.
Just a few of the 60 boards made in the last few days.
A closeup of the board. It's less than a month since they were designed, and here they are ready to be used. Thanks John!
Here is a board installed on the back of one of the original floods. The new flood boards have 4 holes that match the SSR's holes, so short standoffs can be used to mount them in place. Plastic is preferred, but metal can be used with a little care.
A quick shot of the the first 4 floods being tested after the 3 Chan DMX DC SSR's were installed. Excuse the messy bench, but hey, it's a WORKbench not a cleanroom :)
More lights up, but I worked a lot on the megatree base. The new 5 meter high megatree utilises a split base to allow easier installation.
This is the base folded down. One person can easily push up the top to the vertical position, but the white rope and pulley was there just for stability while we drilled some holes and did some testing. It might be a little heavier once the Star is on there, but only a few KG.
This is a closeup of the base and the 2 winches. The reason why 2 were used is to give an even pulling pressure up on the head unit to minimise jamming.
Here is the pole in the upright position, showing the hinge and holding bolts. The bolts are high tensile, so there should be no real chance of this coming apart. The addition of guy wires, not yet installed, will reduce the pressure on the bolts to a minimum.
This is the top of the megatree pole. The wires go over a high tensile bolt with welded washers on the head and nut. The washers are there to stop the wire falling off during the initial raising of the pole, but once the pole is up there is enough pressure down to stop the wire coming off the bolt. The bolts will also hold the star in position at the top of the tree.
This gives you an indication of the size of the megatree.
Total Lights Up: 16,073
More lights heading up today.
Total Lights Up: 19,738, with more by tonight.
Flat out in recent days. Megatree is up and filled with lights and even topped with a star!
One huge tree. Just unbder 5 meters high, and then topped with the "Olsen Star". Alas the Olsen Star had to be re-strung with lights this year due to the failure of 3 sections by the end of last years display.
A different view of the tree, from inside it.
The tree is slightly off-vertical, yes, but that has been fixed since the image was taken (A guy-rope slipped) on one side.
Some of the 3 chan DMX DC SSR's in groups of 12 channels. These will be used to provide 12 channel groups of the LED Ropelight on the house.
Closeup of a 12 chan block.
Had to do a fan replacement on Santa and a transformer replacement for Joy the Penguin as they both failed a few days ago.
Still no luck getting the icicles running reliably, but I have found the issue - spiders were living on the wires and the birds came to eat the spiders, ripping out a few wires.