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  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.



jwblazek last won the day on October 28

jwblazek had the most liked content!

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About jwblazek

  • Rank
    Senior Member

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Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    Waking up to a light dusting of snow Christmas morning and watching my two daughters run outside in PJ's and robes to catch snowflakes on their tongues and trying to make a snowman out of the light snow dusting in Sunny California
  • Location
    Morgan Hill, Ca
  • Biography
    Former Manufacturing Operations executive, now retired, enjoys preserving my 1939 Packard, woodworking and exterior holiday lighting
  • Interests
    woodworking, old cars and muscle cars
  • Occupation
    Retired !
  • About my display
    Eight LOR CTB 16 channel controllers, 1 Pixcon 16 controller, 1 CMD24D RGB controller, 12 CCB controllers will be used to illuminate about 23,000 lights to 11 sequences this year. Mega tree is 26' tall with star

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  1. jwblazek

    LOR and Cat5

    Pretty easy to repair yourself if you have any soldering experience. If you are have "wacky" communication issues, take a look at the routing of your main power wiring as well as controller outputs.
  2. jwblazek

    DIY LOR Controller Stands

    I built a dedicated shed for most of my controllers. Exception being the controllers for smart pixels in which case I took 3/4" conduit, bent into a 180 degree arch, welded a crossmember (really not needed) and using self drilling screws, secured these hoops to the back of the controllers. My first attempt included 2 cross pieces welded and then I determined they are not required at all. I then drove 2 short pieces or rebar into the ground and set the controller over them. Works great ! Side benefit, the "hoop" makes a great handle to carry them and/or hang them up in the garage after the lights come down
  3. jwblazek

    Smart light sequencing theory

    I try to get one complete set of lights done through a song rather than break it apart. I find I get a mind set or idea on what I want the 10 Mini Trees to do, for example or how I want the leaping arches or new RGB arches to look all the way through. I try to keep a "theme" going, using the Mega tree as the center of focus and use timings or color schema from that. What we really need, IMO, is a place to put all shortcuts or unpublished LOR secrets. I found, for example, by accident, how to do a fade down shimmer of RGB lights John Storms is pretty good, I found that hints and YOUTUBES on LOR tutorials and with SE, tutorials from Brian Bruderer are awesome
  4. jwblazek

    Smart light sequencing theory

    Some sections may be repetitious, but change it with different hues. Try using beat wizard with different multiples of main beat frequency. Bear in mind that sometimes LESS is MORE, meaning you don't want to hit every beat Have one set of strings at say detected beat, another at 2, 3X or ? Are you using CTB16's or RGB's ? Try Tapper WIZARD as well
  5. jwblazek


    This forum is great Ashley, don't be afraid to ask. Holidays will soon be here and we need our lights to shine & dance !
  6. jwblazek


    Its a fast learning curve but if you take one thing at a time, goes pretty smoothly. Strongly suggest you Bing "Light O Rama" tutorials and start with the first one. There are some that walk you through the hardware and tons that walk you through the basics of sequencing. You must have a LOR S4 or S5 license otherwise the SW will not communicate to the controller. If you haven't done so already, you need CAT 5 cable and a UISB - RS485 high speed adapter. That is what connects the USB port of your PC to the LOR RS486 jack. AS you add more controllers, you daisy chain them. Take a look at your controller and you will see 2 of these connectors at the top of the board, one signal in and the other to daisy chain to your next controller
  7. jwblazek

    Smart light sequencing theory

    This is my 7th year using LOR software and you are correct, sequencing gets exhausting especially when your display grows every year and even more so if you have any props that you want to lip sync the lyrics to. This year is my largest show with 15 Cat 5 devices on 2 com networks, the Mega tree with its 8 controllers on another network and a intranet connection coming off my router switch to the Pixcon 16 running 4 animated faces and a 5 row RGB star topper. All in all, just under 30,000 lights. I have tried, in vain, to find any real shortcuts but am relying more and more on Tapper Wizard and the Beat Wizard in the LOR software. With Lyrics in front of me, I'll choose any given light string on a prop and tap away or try to use the beat Wizard with multiples of the tempo for the non lyric sections. Then I go back and massage the timings and include ramp ups and ramp downs to make transitions smoother. I have also found the eye and ear really do not "sync" together and if you LEAD the music by 50ms or so, it looks better I have also found some pretty slick shortcuts within Superstar, especially when doing RGB leaping Arches. Use the "Smooth Effect" tool with the Shockwave tab and play with the numbers and colors. I sequenced 4 arches last evening to Christmas Canon in about 90 minutes and from what I see with the visualizer, looks pretty good I believe using LOR has some great potential in even more shortcuts if I can figure out all the information in the text files it stores the sequences in. Papagayo is too cumbersome for me and I use the Tapper wizard with the lyrics in front of me. I also found that you shouldn't try to get every word and every syllable. Far less work and if you stick with the basic phonemes and streamline them to your lip positions of your prop, the work load is greatly reduced
  8. jwblazek

    LOR and Cat5

    From my experience, I have had several on the controller is bad. I have gone as far as to build a permanent residence for the controllers so I do not have to plug/unplug the Cat 5 cables. The connectors are readily available from Mouser, e for example, and with some solder -wick can be easily removed and replaced.
  9. jwblazek

    Bay Area

    Webslingeer, I owned the house at the corner of Isabel and Santa Inez. We moved to Morgan Hill, great huge lot now, more room for lights !
  10. jwblazek

    SPT help

    Blown fuse in the light line plug?
  11. jwblazek

    Bay Area

    I am in Morgan Hill and the 3rd year at this house after moving out of Willow Glen. Display includes: 8 CTB16's for a total of 128 channels 6 CB100D controlling 12 strings on my Mega Tree 1 CMD24D controlling 12 RGB flood lights 4 Holiday Coro Singing Christmas Trees 4 8 segment 100 light segment 5 Shooting stars from a 20' pole 2 Mega stars, 1 - 3 segment on top of the shooting star pole, the other is a coroplast 5 segment star on top of my Mega tree 4 Holiday Coro white Christmas trees, each with RGW lights 10 30" mini trees with 300 lights each Lights on house and fence Driveway lined with lights Two North Poles with supporting my "Tune to" frequency sign Plan to start the display Thanksgiving evening At the moment, have 13 sequences planned, 7 complete, rest need some tweaking to this years configuration Curious, how do others place there controllers? I have always been concerned about theft, so have most of my controllers in a dedicated shed with 80Amp service0 in my backyard with extension cords going out to the various props.
  12. jwblazek

    Who's ready to light up?

    I'll be ready for the Big Turn on Thanksgiving evening ! Still have tons of cords and lights to put up and semi-finalize the LOR show editor, but am STOKED !!
  13. jwblazek

    too many lights?

    Think this posting got out of hand. Original question was how many lights can he put on his controller. Looks like he has a handful of LED strings, no problem at all for the LOR CTB 16's
  14. jwblazek

    too many lights?

    Don't believe that is an accurate statement. From the CTB16 spec sheet, each channel can handle 1 Amp w/o heat sink, 8A with heat sink
  15. jwblazek

    Pics of anyone's display progress

    Got the lights on the house, my 20" pole with 5 shooting stars up and the Mega built so far this weekend. Trying to corral 6 people to help me put the mega up. It has 12 CCB strings running off of 6 controllers topped with a hand made 3' star out of coroplast with 490 LED's. All in all, will have 8 CTB16's for 128 channels, 1 - 8 Channel RGB by LOR and then of course the mega for a total of 20,700 lights / pixels Included in this years display are 4 Holiday Coro singing trees, 10 mini trees each with 300 lights, 4 holiday Coro white trees with 300 lights each, lights on fence and 12 RGB floods Here is what the mega looks like waiting for my volunteers to help me put it up.