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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 August 26

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

    Audio help 2 sources

    My suggestion would be to pick up an inexpensive line level audio mixer with at least 2 input channels such as a Behringer micro mix mx400. This particular mixer has 4 inputs which leaves room for future expansion. I just looked and they are on sale at amazon for around 25 bucks. There are also many other similar mixers for sale. If you try putting the line level output of a second DVD player into a microphone level input you will most likely get a lot of distortion as the mic input is designed to operate at much lower voltage levels and also at a lower impedance. The mixer will combine the two (or more) line inputs into a single line level output enabling you to balance the audio levels of both projectors so they modulate your transmitter evenly. Here's what it looks like... Hope this helps.
  2. Mikeymatic

    Portable electric panel

    A 60 amp 120/240 volt spider box will give you up to 60 amps at 240 volts or 120 amps at 120 volts because it uses 2 "hots" (black and red) and a shared neutral. That's why a lot of the 60 amp spider boxes have six 20amp 120 volt outlets, three on one "hot" and three on the other. If it is rated for 100% service factor you can actually draw this much current from it on a continuous basis which would equate to almost 120,000 leds by your calculations. Unfortunately most domestic (house type breaker panels) are only rated for an 80% service factor which means if you have a 100 amp 120/240v house panel you can only draw up to 80 amps through it at 240 volts or 160 amps through it at 120 volts(balanced across the two hots) on a continuous basis, but can draw up to the full 100 amps at 240 volts on an intermittent basis. 160 amps at 120 volts is a LOT of power (19200 watts or 19.2 Kilowatts) Hope This Helps
  3. Mikeymatic

    DIY LOR Controller Stands

    Great idea! Your conduit frame could also be used for those pesky styrofoam Halloween tombstones that like to blow away with the addition of a piece of plywood cut out and glued to the back of the tombstone to mount the conduit to.
  4. Mikeymatic

    Portable electric panel

    Found a cheaper one at home depot. As a licensed electrician I REALLY suggest using ground fault receptacles or ground fault circuit breakers even though they may be a nuisance, especially if kids can come in contact with your display. All of the factory made power boxes are UL certified with individual ground fault protection for each 120 volt circuit https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwire-X-Treme-Box-7-Outlet-Straight-Blade-Portable-Power-Distributor-19703R02/205751546 As an alternative you could build one yourself. Here is one that I Made out of an old 100-amp panel years ago. You wouldn't need the 30 amp twistlock receptacles and could add more GFCI receptacles and maybe even use 20-amp breakers and GFCI receptacles instead of the old 15-amp ones that are in my service. If used outdoors you would have to mount it in a weatherproof enclosure like the one Scott made.
  5. Mikeymatic

    Portable electric panel

    What you are looking for is commonly referred to as a "Spider Box" and is used mostly in the construction industry for temporary power on construction sites. These power distribution boxes are weatherproof and designed for use in outdoor environments. Typically the boxes are fed from a 60 amp circuit and provide a bunch of 20 amp GFCI receptacles that are protected by circuit breakers contained in the box. For home use you would be looking for a 120/240 volt single phase unit with standard blade type t-slot 20 amp 120 volt receptacles. Hubbell is one of the main manufacturers of these boxes but they are pricey. There are also less expensive ones available (see below) If you could buy a second hand unit at a construction equipment auction or somewhere online you would be much farther ahead than trying to buy all of the components to make your own which would add up fast especially when you factor in circuit breakers and GFCI receptacles into the equation. Here are a few links to explore for further information, hope this helps. https://www.hubbell.com/wiringdevice-kellems/en/Products/Electrical-Electronic/Wiring-Devices/Temporary-Power-Lighting/Temporary-Power-Boxes/TPDS/p/1646473 https://www.robsindustrial.com/50-amp-pagoda-jr-to-edisons-feed-thru-125-250v-heb201u/
  6. Mikeymatic

    How do you make your super strands?

    I use clothesline with a loop at either end just big enough to fit around your hand, and small carabiners to connect the ends to the top hooks and bottom hooks on my megatree as my hooks are closed loops. With open loop hooks you can omit the carabiners. I just stretch out the line and wrap the light strings around it securing the plugs by passing them through the loops in either end. I am using 70 count C6 led strings. the clothesline needs to be sized for whatever length your strings are. The clothesline takes all the strain of ice and snow and saves on the lights which are just wrapped around it. I generally will only use one cable tie at each end if the cluster of plugs gets unruly, so it is very easy to unwrap a dead string to replace it with a new one.
  7. When I was teaching electrical, one year I was lucky enough to have had a sales rep from GE lighting come to visit our class for a few hours and do a short presentation. He explained how the "eights of an inch" bulb sizes worked, They also apply to fluorescent Tubes, a T8 fluorescent tube is an inch in diameter and a T12 is 1-1/2 inches in diameter....
  8. Mikeymatic


    Maybe this will help. You need to obtain a 1/8" mini stereo phone plug to 2 male RCA connectors patch cable as shown below. Widely available in most stores that sell audio/computer stuff or dollar stores. The 1/8" mini plug plugs into the GREEN jack on the back of your desktop computer (line out) or the headphone jack on your laptop computer. The two RCA plugs go into the L and R aux or line inputs on your amp. If everything is working and turned on you should hear whatever is playing on your computer through the amp and speakers.
  9. Mikeymatic

    Menard's Christmas 2018

    Those Noel candles look like they were made from the same mold as the TPI ones except the flame part is made from more translucent plastic and the lettering and holly on the bottom are painted. I am really curious to see whats printed on the bottom of them... If you visit the store again could you snap another photo?
  10. Mikeymatic

    Made in Canada. TPI?

    Maybe this old posting of mine and Mel Fischer's reply may help a bit...
  11. Mikeymatic

    Help settle an arguement

    I really think this politically correctness stuff has gone a bit too far. We have rainbow colored crosswalks in our town and I think they are cool! Nobody says that when you walk over them you are stepping on LGBT people... Have your wife listen to this song with you... Enjoy!
  12. I believe the saying "go big or go home" applies here. In a world where people constantly squint at the tiny screens on their "smart" devices, nothing beats the sensory stimulation of the three dimensional depth and detail of a great outdoor Christmas display. Every time you watch it, you discover more subtle details. For impressionable kids it's an image that they'll remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. Just think about this, would you rather experience watching your favorite movie on a really small screen with crappy sound, or in a good movie theater with a big screen and surround sound?
  13. Mikeymatic

    1950's Miller Electric Santa Jet Plane

    Noma and Miller Electric bought out what was left of the Royal Christmas factories in Pawtucket R.I. after they burnt down in a major fire in 1955. Some of these real old decorations were made from Cellulose, a very inflammable type of plastic once also used to make movie and photographic films, which was eventually replaced by Kodak "safety film". Maybe this helped contribute to the factory fire. Royal plastics are evidently still in business but never rebuilt their Christmas decoration factory and don't manufacture Christmas decorations. Here is an interesting link to their history: https://oldchristmastreelights.com/bills_site/manufacturer's_histories,_continued.htm
  14. Mikeymatic

    Menard's Halloween 2018

    Just out of curiosity I zoomed in on the label of the cardboard box on the floor that contained the #56480 "Ghost With Pumpkins" , it came from CADO products, here is a link to their 4 page online catalog for 2018, it is showing a few Christmas blowmolds also... http://cadocompany.com/pdfs/Cado%20Holiday_Novelty%20MAR2018%20web.pdf
  15. Mikeymatic

    3-D Printed Decorations

    I am fascinated with what some people are creating with cutting edge 3-D printers. There are already web sites that offer both free and purchased 3-D printer files for making your own Christmas and Halloween decorations, it is worth your while if you have time to spare to browse the web and see what's actually out there! I was also wondering how easy it might be to bring some of the smaller old blowmolds back to life like the skull candle or devil head, etc, by scanning the originals and making the files available for people with 3d printers to reproduce copies. This is cutting edge tech just as synchronizing Christmas lights to music was 20 years ago, I would love to learn more about it, this may be a fascinating workshop idea for some future Christmas Expo. In the meantime has anyone here dabbled with 3D printers? Below are a few pictures of some of the neat stuff that people have made with them. I realize the size of these decorations is small but I'm sure it could be scaled up for larger size printers...