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Did you know?
  • 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.



Mikeymatic last won the day on April 22

Mikeymatic had the most liked content!

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About Mikeymatic

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    The reason for the season: The Birth of Christ.
  • Location
    Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador Newfoundland Canada
  • Biography
    Fascinated by both Christmas lights and electricity as a kid. Worked as a transmitter tech for Canadian Broadcasting Corp, A network services tech for Newfoundland Telephone, A terminals electrician for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and an electrical instructor for College of the North Atlantic. Now retired but still plays with electricity!
  • Interests
    Electronics and Electricity, Fabrication and Welding, Antique Automobiles
  • Occupation
    Retired Industrial Electrician / Technician
  • About my display
    176 channels of LOR controlling approximately 14,000 lights. Everything built from scratch including Megatree, 30' Arch, Minitrees, Candle Rack, Animated Guitar Player and Drummers, Strobe lights, Wireframes, and many Illuminated Plywood Cutouts. Ramsay FM transmitter at 104.5

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  1. Mikeymatic

    Just got these today and friday

    I wish my two angels were as nice as the ones in Mel's pictures! Mine were rescued from somebody's curbside spring cleanup pile years ago that was destined for the dump. I picked up the brass candle holders at a yard sale recently, I know they are far from the originals but with the addition of a section of brass rod will hopefully somewhat resemble a horn. The tops screwed right off the candle holders which are actually solid brass and had "Taiwan" cast into the underside of the bases in small letters. Hopefully when i come across some brass rod i can carefully thread the end to mate with the candle holder. Another option may be trying to find some brass tubing that would slip right over the stem and be soldered or glued in place. My angels also require some repainting and I might try and duplicate one of the nicer original color schemes in Mel's Photos.
  2. Mikeymatic

    Just got these today and friday

    I also have a set of two of these angels missing their trumpets. One of mine still has the upper half and trumpet breakage seems to be a common problem with these particular blowmolds. I did see an intact one a while ago and noticed the trumpet was quite long but I don't remember where. I would love to know the total length of the original trumpets as i have a set of cheap brass candleholders that i could cut off the candleholder part and extend with brass rod to make very similar replacements.
  3. Mikeymatic

    Just got these today and friday

    Nice Find, So Cool! I was looking at something online similar to these a year or so ago, but like you said the price was prohibitive and then there is the shipping costs to where i live in the north. Curious about how they light up, I think the ones I looked at were battery powered LED. (Battery powered stuff doesn't stay lit very long at the freezing temperatures we get up here at Christmas time, and is not Lightorama 120-volt friendly)
  4. Mikeymatic

    Just got these today and friday

    These pictures may help identify some of the blowmold candles you have. The ones in the center of your picture look familiar like the 38" tall ones I have that were originally made in Canada, and then it looks like TPI bought the mold, and started producing them in the USA changing the "Canada" to "USA" and adding their logo. Years ago a company in Quebec Canada called "Produits Electriques Universel Inc" Made a Cat# 215172 40" tall candle that used a medium base socket and was rated for a standard 25-watt bulb. Years later probably because some people would put 100-watt bulbs in them and melt holes the yellow plastic flame part, they changed their design to replace the medium base socket with a C9 socket to "mitigate this fire hazard problem" . I remember then that some years later these larger diameter candles were discontinued in our local stores and replaced by a newer 38" tall version that used a C7 socket with spring loaded "wings" to hold it onto the flame globe just like the ones I spotted in the middle of your photo. I can't say for 100% sure but according to the exact match of the holly leaves on the bases of both size candles, the original mold for the newer 38" ones may have also originated with "Produits Electriques Universel" I have included some forensic photos of blowmold candles from my collection for you to examine. I would love to find out further information from Mel Fischer or anybody else about these Canadian/American blowmold candles ! Two newer candles and the older style one. I painted the "Noel" white and installed threaded aluminum anchoring plates in the bottoms of these candles.
  5. Mikeymatic

    New Winfield pattern, a helicopter

    Pretty Cool! Has anyone built one yet? I wonder how much it weighs... It would look nice suspended in the air with aircraft cables to make it look like it is flying. Also the addition of a red bulb to rudolph's nose, a couple of small floodlights in the instrument panel to light up santa and rudolph. It would look really neat with the addition of a few C9 strobes and bulbs for proper clearance and navigation lights!
  6. Mikeymatic

    Plywood Santa

    I picked up an old overhead projector that was auctioned off from a school, fixed it up and bought a few quartz bulbs for it. I make lots of plywood cutouts and use transparencies printed off on my old HP laserjet printer as patterns and then trace them out on the plywood with one of those large lead pencils made for kids. You can take almost any good picture of a cut-out and print it off on a transparency to get a pattern. Use a pencil to mark the plywood, if you make a mistake while you are tracing, you can erase it. I learned the hard way about not using marking pens to trace out patterns as the ink comes back to haunt you when you start painting the plywood.
  7. Mikeymatic

    Best blow mold light?

    For years I have been using 15 watt candelabra base incandescent emergency exit sign light bulbs instead of regular C7 bulbs in my blowmolds. Physically they are a little longer than the standard C7 bulb but are a bit smaller in diameter so they fit through the holes in most of the blowmolds with room to spare and light them up much better that the 5-watt C7 without the excessive heat like you would get from 25 watt chandelier bulbs. Especially good in candles and lanterns... You can pick up these bulbs from most commercial electrical suppliers.
  8. Mikeymatic

    Options to fix snowman frame

    I have seen this "bulb dipping paint" advertised on the internet, they advertise a set of 6 colors in small bottles. It is specifically for painting glass light bulbs, i have no idea if the powerful solvents in it would dissolve the plastic in rope light or not. I haven't seen it for sale in any North American websites, here's the link: https://www.conrad.com/ce/en/product/723000/Bulb-Dipping-Paint-Red-Yellow-Green-Blue-Violet-Orange A simpler but time consuming solution may be to use colored permanent markers like jumbo sharpies to color the clear rope light. this wouldn't peel off but might look a bit sketchy close up.
  9. Mikeymatic

    Wireless timers

    Just a thought, If all of your light circuits are supplied from the same electrical panel in your house you could have an electrician install the contactor box next to your panel which would only require a couple of extra feet of house wire. You could get him to install a light switch in another box next to it to bypass the photo control for daytime use of your outdoor receptacles.
  10. Mikeymatic

    I can't figure it out!

    Both Santa and the GFCI receptacle were over 20 feet off the ground. According to our Canadian Electrical Code a GFCI protected receptacle is not required over 8 feet high (are there gfci breakers on your outdoor lights over your door...) Here's the actual code and i suspect the NEC in the U.S. reads the same... Receptacles for residential occupancies 26-710(n) except for automobile heater receptacles provided in conformance with Rule 8-400, all receptacles installed outdoors and within 2.5 m of finished grade shall be protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type
  11. Mikeymatic

    Adapter no longer working

    Put the adapter on a hard surface such as a workbench and use the rounded end of a ball peen hammer to tap it all around the seam where the two halves are fused together cracking the glue joint apart. It will open up like a walnut exposing the switching dc power supply circuit board. Depending on the unit, you may have to go all around the seam several times applying generous force. If you get lucky and catch them early sometimes you can dry them out. I've even fixed a couple by soldering small jumpers where one of the circuit traces was corroded open, and yes, there are usually tiny little glass fuses usually mounted on the circuit board inside and are of the same variety that are used in the plugs of some of the newer strings of Christmas lights. Most of these adapters AREN'T waterproof as advertised and replacements are usually hard to find as they are decoration-specific. Good luck!
  12. Mikeymatic

    Wireless timers

    I would suggest a 4 pole 120volt AC Coil Magnetic lighting contactor. I would suggest 30 amp contacts for heavy duty use. Various mfr's such as Square D, Cutler Hammer, Allen Bradley, etc make them and you can buy them at electrical wholesalers or on Ebay. This is how multiple circuits of outdoor lights on commercial buildings are turned on and off. Use one good quality120 volt photocontrol to turn the contactor on and off. Some contactors come in factory enclosures and some come loose which means you would have to get an electrical enclosure and mount it inside. You could use four short heavy duty 12 gauge extension cords cut in half and wired up to the contactor terminals for the input and output leads to control your four circuits. Here's what they look like:
  13. Mikeymatic

    I can't figure it out!

    This year I had a GFCI tripping problem caused by a 60-watt equivalent daylight dimmable Philips LED bulb installed in a large Santa blowmold that I have. I would plug it in and after an hour or so the GFCI would trip. Santa was the only decoration plugged in to this GFCI and when I would push the reset button on the GFCI he would light up again for another hour or so. Last year I had incandescent bulbs plugged into the same GFCI with no tripping problems. After doing some online research I found out that some brands of LED replacement bulbs cause a lot of electromagnetic interference which can actually trip some GFCI's. As an experiment I brought the Santa blowmold into my garage and plugged it in next to a FM radio. It immediately started interfering with the signal depending on how I moved it around. As the daylight LED looked so good in Santa and he was way up in the air where no one could reach him, I temporarily swapped out a decora duplex receptacle for the GFCI that was "crying wolf" and santa now glows bright with no more problems! BTW I never use electrical tape on my electrical plugs, it causes any moisture that sneaks in to stay around instead of draining out like the plug was designed for. Cover or shelter them to deflect the rain but let them drain and dry out...
  14. Mikeymatic

    LED's that look like Incandescent

    I bought some ceramic C9 led bulbs from HLE this past year and was quite impressed with the quality. I found that the red ones were almost dead ringers for their incandescent counterparts screwed in sockets side by side you could hardly tell them apart. Also their blues and greens had a high light output comparable with incandescents, but I actually like the rich blue of the led bulb more than its incandescent counterpart. I did however find that the orange and yellow leds had a much lower light output than the incandescents and sort of a "milky" look to them. I am really curious how the new SMD ceramic led retrofits compare to these, I would love to see some pictures comparing these to conventional ceramic led retrofits and ceramic incandescents. Also most of my lighting uses C7 bulbs, and i am REALLY curious to see the ceramic C7 SMD LEDS lit up side by side with the C9 SMD LEDS as it appears from the specs that they both use the same .58Watt SMD chip so they should both produce the same light output... According to what little info I can scrape up on the new SMD LED retrofit bulbs they are 33% brighter and use roughly half the power of our present day led retrofits, is this true? I know our local hardware store has a big liquidation sale on their non-dimmable C7 and C9 "consumer grade" LED retrofit bulbs, almost as if they know there is something new coming down the pipeline (SMD bulbs) for next Christmas and don't want their obsolete tech hanging around... Can anyone "enlighten" me on this new tech?
  15. Mikeymatic

    Looking for C9 LED bulbs

    After looking around online the cheapest C9 led retrofits i could find are here. These ones are 5 led non-dimmable clearance price of 13.88 for a 25 pack. They do also offer the 5 led super bright dimmable ones in both faceted and ceramic for under 25 bucks for a 25 pack. Dimmable is important if you are using them with L.O.R. Haven't shopped here yet so don't know what the service is like. https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-decorative/led-replacement-bulb-c9-w-5-leds-15w/450/