Christmas 1998

Because there are a lot of pictures of this display, I've placed them here as clickable links with explanations.

Here are links to pictures of the display during the day so you can see more details. One can see that I use clear plastic tubing with solid copper wire in it to form my displays. I make cuts in the tubing every 1.5" to insert the lights. Check out the picture of the cannonball/snowball to see what I mean.

And here are some pictures of the computer that controlled the display and all of the cords that ran from the house to the display. The computer was nothing more than a 486 with no hard drive, a 3.5" floppy drive, and two printer port cards in it. The timer (visible in the pictures) would turn the computer on and the computer would boot from the floppy (DOS 6.22) and then run my DOS-based program. Each printer port controlled 8 circuits. In these pictures you can see the two cables going from the computer to the two control boxes.

For those interested, here is a listing of each circuit that I used in my display and what it was used for:

Channel #        Usage
    1                     toy solider arm up
    2                     toy solider arm down
    3                     cannon barrel fire
    4                     snowball 1
    5                     snowball 2
    6                     snowball 3
    7                     snowball on top of drum
    8                     snowball 4
    9                     snowball 5
    10                   snowball 6
    11                   snowball 7
    12                   explosion on ground
    13                   two sets of the blue lights on the Christmas tree
    14                   other two sets of the blue lights on the Christmas tree
    15                   all 4 sets of the red lights on the Christmas tree
    16                   all 4 sets of the green lights on the Christmas tree

Each control box has 8 switchable circuits or channels in it.  Therefore channels 1-8 are located in control box #1 and channels 9-16 are located in control box #2.

I also have a simple display that I placed on the front of my car. It's nothing more than a homemade lighted wreath. I powered it from a power inverter inside the car. I then ran speaker wire up to the front grill and put a plug on the end of it.

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Last modified on 02/02/01