2 thoughts on “🎄Getting Started For Next Year 🎄(2019)

  1. Benjamin Smith

    Thanks for all your help and support during the last several months getting me started and finally up and running! I can’t help but smile every time someone rolls up in front of the house and says” fabulous display and we just love it!!!!” “Clark Griswold would be proud” or similar comments. Our subdivision (HOA) has a contest every year for the best display(several categories) I was just a little too late in finishing my setup to have entered on time, but people were very impressed and I’ve managed to stop/backup traffic on my street to the point some people get frustrated, but I haven’t heard one complaint yet! Doing the wireless FM transmitter for the music kept things peaceful for my Neighbors, they were worried I gonna blast them out with loud music (there are a few folks in my ‘hood that are doing that) makes you the hero for sure.
    One thing I should have done in hind sight, and you warned me about this, I should have gone with 12 volt pixels and hardware (power supplies/pixels, etc.) but I figure it’s kinda like learning to drive a car, if you learn on a “ stick shift car, you can drive anything” try backing a 53’ semi tractor trailer in between two other tractor trailers-side by side….. my advice to anyone just starting out in this hobby is this;
    -Don’t get “Wrapped around the axle” in other words, take your time in every step, if you get flustered
    (And you will at some point) take a breather and come back with a clear head and keep plugging away
    – Networking, I cant emphasize enough about paying attention to details with regards to this aspect of the hobby. Your computer needs to direct the data to the controllers in order to do the blinky stuff. ( I had the IP addresses backwards on my Raspberry Pi, and I couldn’t figure out why my data wasn’t getting to the controller ( Jeff pointed that out) Oh yeah, one side note: on that- take “Screen shots” of your settings pages,
    This will make it so much easier to get help with your setup, as others can see what’s going on with your equipment.
    -if you haven’t already done so, do yourself a huge favor and buy a nice “Weller” Soldering iron, one with temperature control-if you use a non temperature controlled iron, the tips will burn up, needing to be replaced. Get lots of heat shrink tubing (for 14 to 22 gauge wire) a container of rosin flux helps make your solder joints more solid, as the solder will wick through the wire much easier) you can get rosin core solder also, but I’ve found that using the flux in addition to the solder makes a better connection.
    – get the water proof quick connects with your pixels, you can order them from sources such as “Ray Wu” (on aliexpress.com) Jeff has links to his store in his videos) he can have them installed on your pixel strands so when you get them, it’s less work for you to attach them.
    – Boscoyo strips/chroma mesh,etc. great products to make your life easier in hanging the pixels. I bought 500 feet of the strips with 1” centers (12 holes per foot) i bought this during a sale they had, and it took a month or two to get this, over whelming sales success I’m guessing 🙂
    I placed my pixels every third hole, and it looks very nice, if you place the pixels any closer, your budget’s gonna go out the door! Ray Wu has specials all the time, and you can typically buy the pixels at .16 cents each, of course the pigtails (quick disconnects) cost a few dollars more. He can also combing your orders to save on shipping/customs/tariffs,etc.

    Sorry Jeff didn’t mean to “ Hijack your Blog” just thought I’d add to the subject matter.
    Have a “Blessed Christmas” and hope your “Roll’s” turned out nicely !

  2. Dog Father Post author

    Ben, Well said! Glad you’re enjoying your display. Now the addictive part begins – what to do next year. lol! Merry Christmas to you and yours. Yeah, the yeast rolls were a huge hit! 🙂

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