Lee Family Lights

Lee Family Lights We're Having A Very Merry Christmas in Lacey, WA

KOMO’s Parade of Lights…

Author: Ken | Filed under: Misc Saturday Dec 19,2009

For the 3rd straight year we are listed on KOMO’s Parade of Lights page…


Christmas Enthusiast Prayer

Author: Ken | Filed under: Lights Saturday Dec 19,2009

As I untangle strings of Christmas lights, Lord help me to remember that I do this first to honor You. Never let me get so prideful of my display that I fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child or the joy on the faces of those who are still children at heart. Never let me forget that my total effort is to make Christmas Memories, bring cheer, and, to slow down the pace of a hectic season, if only for a moment. And Lord, someday when I meet you face to face, may I hear you say:
“When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.”

Author: Mira Moore


This is why I do it…

Author: Ken | Filed under: Lights Tuesday Dec 15,2009

I got this message via Facebook last night and wanted to share it with everyone. It is the reason why I do this year after year…

“I finally found your house and took a video of your beautiful lights for my dad to see……little things like that I think help make him feel a little joy in our crushed world! thank you ken! they really are beautiful.”

This person later told me she didn’t realize she could turn her radio on to 107.5fm to “listen” to the lights (I guess I better get the spot lights out for the radio signs tonight). She is looking forward to coming back to experience the full show!

IMG00163-20091213-1802


WOOHOOO!

Author: Ken | Filed under: Lights Sunday Dec 13,2009

SO last night our lights ran perfectly for the 2nd straight night… we’re about 30 minutes from them coming on tonight and it’s snowing!! WOOHOO! The lights always look so much better with snow on the ground and on them. Can’t wait to see it!


We’ve Got Lights!!!

Author: Ken | Filed under: Lights Friday Dec 11,2009

So, as of about 4:30pm this evening we have been running an 8 or 9 song light show. So far so good. Never really happy with my sequences, but they look kinda cool. Just glad to finally have something working… let’s see if it stays that way! 🙂


Nothing but problems…

Author: Ken | Filed under: Misc Friday Dec 11,2009

This is a condensed post that will cover the past 2 days up until about 4pm today….

So Thursday morning around 10:45am I sat down to unwrap the new controller I got in the mail on Wednesday. I got it installed in the enclosure with no problems at all. I hooked it up to the computer, Hardware Utility found it fine and I resent the controller ID # to 7 and headed out to install it in the display. Incredibly long story short, that didnt work! I ended up having to disconnect and bring the controller back into the garage not once, but TWICE! Got things working and headed back out to install it again. As I did an older gentleman pulled up and told me how much his family loved the lights and wondered why he couldnt hear the music this year (I havent been broadcasting any yet). I told him about the issues we have been having, showed him the new controller and hoped that it would all be working by Friday/Saturday night. As he drove off, I plugged the controller in and went back to the garage to see if it was working… NOPE! So what I ended up figuring out is that I have a bad RJ45 port on the board, 1 of the 2 that is. Which means this board would have to be the “End of the line”, yet I also found out one of my oldest boards has the same issue… that’s a problem!

So, this morning I find out that a RJ45 Y Adapter would work and help me split the lines. Luckily enough a local computer shop had a couple of them so for $6.95 I had some hope. Got home, hooked it up and I could see ALL 7 controllers! I could even turn lights on to each of them. This was good. The next step was to burn my sequences on a cd from my laptop and move them to my lights machine, so I did. As I was putting that cd in the machine… POOF! It died! Luckily I am pretty good at working on computers, so with an assist to my brother, we believed it was simply the power supply. So I yanked the one out of my desktop inside, installed it and its working!

I am currently running test sequences to see if its all gonna work right. I have seen a few glitches, but things that were fixable… so far. As it gets darker I will be able to tell more.

One step closer…


It’s Here….

Author: Ken | Filed under: Misc Wednesday Dec 9,2009

I got home late this evening but I was excited to see that my new controller is here. I will get it installed in the enclosure tomorrow afternoon, then I will get it installed in the display and start running test sequences tomorrow night!

WOOOHOOOO!


We have an ETA…

Author: Ken | Filed under: Misc Monday Dec 7,2009

Just a few minutes ago we got an email saying that our new controller was finally shipped!! We were told a week ago today that it would be shipped “This weekend”, that ended up being misinformation/lie/ignorance/whatever… either way, it’s on its way now. With it being shipped priority USPS from Magnolia, TX, I am expecting it here Wednesday/Thursday.

So what does that mean? That means by Thursday night we should be running tests of full sequences, then by Friday night we should be running the show.

In the mean time I need to get outside today/tomorrow and start rearranging things. We will still be down about 20 channels this year, but I am able to rearrange things, put things together (ie..put the angels and cross on 1 channel instead of 2, the rock wall snow flakes on 1 channel instead of 2 and so on) so we can have basically the same amount of lights, just less “animation control” this year. Either way, I will just be glad we have a show and as they say…. THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!!

1 step closer, check back with us daily for updates! WOOHOOO!


Got the IC Chips…

Author: Ken | Filed under: Projects Tuesday Dec 1,2009

So I got the RS485 chips in the mail today and got them installed into the 2 boards that needed them and they are working. HOWEVER, as I was putting them together in the cat-5 daisy chain I realized that I have another board that is not working…. will this ever end?!? Needless to say I have been working on that and running out of options. I still have a few things left to try but I’m not holding my breath. *If* I can’t get it working by next Monday/Tuesday I am working up a work-around that will allow me to run most of the lights and the show should still look cool… but will leave me wanting MORE! Just means we will have to come back bigger, stronger and BETTER in 2010!


Another controller that’s working…

Author: Ken | Filed under: Controllers Saturday Nov 28,2009

So yesterday Richard came over to help me troubleshoot the controller on the roof and after running a couple tests, we found that as with the last one that wasn’t talking to the computer, this one had a bad RS485 chip as well. So, I took one from a controller on the ground that I know works, tossed it up to Richard and he installed it. After plugging the controller back in, I tried connecting to it via Hardware Utility by running “Discover” and sure enough it was found. So I clicked “All On” and we had lights!! WOOHOOO!

So last night I flipped the 2 working controllers on and let the lights flash in a “Random Twinkle” mode. There is roughly 5800 lights that are up and going. Nothing is set to music yet, nor will it be until I get the rs485 chips I ordered yesterday (hoping by mid week next week) as well as my other board (hoping for about the same time).

The picture below is of the now famous RS485 chip I have been talking about 🙂

pdip8


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