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While I appreciate the folks who have asked if they can donate/PayPal to cover the costs of the lights and (wind powered and carbon offsett'ed!) electricity, I've never asked for donations and don't plan to change that. While it is a bit of work to put up all the Christmas stuff, I do it anyway for the neighborhood kids and the web site is just my way of saying "Merry Christmas" to folks around the world. If you feel compelled to make some sort of donation, my kids have celiac disease so make a donation toward medical research at the University of Maryland - tell 'em Komar.Org sent 'ya! ;-)
Circuit Layout & Electrical Analysis for Christmas 2012 Circuit X10-Zone Amps Lights Description Panel-1 1 5.8 2,500 Burrito Reindeer, Christmas Tree, Presents Balcony 1 2.8 1,000 Swag, Bells, Stars, Wreaths, Tree, Plane Panel-2 2 3.5 1,500 10 foot and lower LED lighted trees, lower Juniper Balcony 2 3.0 500 Stars and Inflatable Tree/Grinch/Homer/Santa, HULK Spotlight! Panel-3 3 6.1 2,000 Sidewalk Candy Canes & Figurines, West Tree Garage-E 3 4.0 1,600 Garage Icicles, Front Door Swag Garage-E 4 3.5 800 Christmas Trees above Garage Panel-4 4 4.8 2,200 Upper Roof Icicles, Purple Orbs, Column/Bubble Lights Panel-4 4 6.2 1,100 SnowGlobe, LED Tree, Penguin, Bells, Santa Heli Panel-2 5 2.9 800 Giant Inflatable Frosty, Frosty Figurines, Candy Canes Garage-W 5 0.6 100 Inflatable Elmo - Tickle me! Window-U 5 0.8 500 Upper Window Decorations Panel-2 6 2.6 700 HO, Inflatable Frosty Family Garage-W 6 0.3 100 SpongeBob SquarePants Panel-2 7 2.5 1,000 HO, Tin Man, Inflatable Pumpkin - Jack is Back!!! Garage-W 7 0.6 50 Inflatable Santa - twelve feet high! Window-L 7 1.2 500 Lower Window Decorations Panel-2 8 3.5 800 Santa Balloon, Doggie, LED Reindeer Family Panel-3 8 1.0 400 Chimney Stars & Swag Garage-W 8 0.8 50 Inflatable Homer Simpson - D'OH! Panel-3 * 4.9 1,800 ON/OFF (1/2), Santa Skier (5), Roof Outline (6), Santa Plane (7) Office * 1.8 400 Various stuff in Santa's Workshop! ;-) 1:Rainier Beer 2:Santa's Workshop 3:Candles/Light-UP! 4:Bells/Hulk Lamp 5:Merry Banner 6:Groovy Lava Lamps 7:Stepping Santa 8:Present/LED Cube TOTALS 22 63.2 20,400 TOTALSA question often asked is how much does it cost to light the holiday display - the electrical meter does spin a bit faster. That's easy to calculate - with all 20,400 lights ON, the current draw is 63.2 amps. Multiply by 120 Volts and divide by 1,000 to get 7.5 KiloWatts. The electricity cost in Colorado is about 10 cents per KiloWatt-Hour, so to run the display continuously for an hour, it costs 75 cents/hour - not much! But remember that Internet Surfers are turning the lights on & off ... so divide that by two and then multiply by the 5 hours/day it's active, and the electricty costs 187 cents per day. Multiply that by 31 days and for $58, a whole month of holiday fun is provided to people around the world ... plus some awareness and thousands of dollars in donations for Celiac Disease Research!
2012_10_13: The warmup for Christmas is the halloween webcam which was turned on today. The 2012 halloween decorations have 10,000 lights plus giant inflatable Frankenstein, Grim Reapers, Pumpkins, Witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH! ;-)
2012_10_14: I should have also mentioned that since it is an election year, the Halloween Webcam will also feature "voting" for Obama, Romney, or the Green Party Candidate - support the HULK for President! ;-)
2012_10_23: The great X10 products and fantastic customer support from JV Digital Engineering have been a great help. I recently got an XTBM Signal Analyzer which has allowed me to figure out where my signal-suckers and noise emitters are and then apply an XPPF filter on one particular area. The XTB-IIR/III X10 signal booster ensures a powerful signal goes to all X10 modules so that when Internet surfers clicks ON/OFF, that happens reliably. If you are an X10 user, I strongly encourage you you check out JV Digital Engineering - Jeff Volp makes some great products (the craftsmanship is exquisite) and is a genuine pleasure to work with.
2012_10_30: It's the day before Halloween, so the Christmas Blog has been turned on for those fans that want to start commenting.
2012_10_31: Another crazy-fun Halloween night! It was super warm so almost 200 trick-or-treaters came by. They almost cleaned me out of candy (I'm very generous, especially early on) and I also passed out shots of Wine, Port, Pumpkin Pie Cream Liquor and Peppermint-Mocha Eggnog "big" kids. Check out all the action in the time-lapse halloween movies while listening to some halloween music and read the funny commentary in the halloween blog.
2012_11_01: HULK beats Obama and Romney on the Halloween webcam. It was very close ... with quite a bit of ballot stuffing. Fortunately, the Perl scripts were able to detect this ... and after manual verification, those votes were invalidated. In 2008, Obama won with 21,966 votes ... followed by McCain with 21,821 and HULK with 21,692. For 2012, it looks like we are sending a Big Green Monster to the White House as the final tally was:
2012_11_07: The HULK was very angry (and you would not like him when he is angry!) to find out this morning that Obama won the real presidential election rather than him ... ;-)
2012_11_22: Happy Thanksgiving to all. I have most of the lights/inflatables moved out of the basement crawl space and ready to deploy this weekend. Hope to have the webcams and X10 controls go online after the weekend.
2012_11_26: I was hoping to go online tonight, but some freezing drizzle in the morning means the roof isn't safe to climb on to finish the display. Sorry about the delay (full refunds for all the big buck 'ya all paid! ;-) and hope to turn all webcams & X10 Controls on tomorrow.
2012_11_27: While I still have a lot more stuff to setup, the Webcams and X10 Controls went live tonight - WOOT! ;-)
2012_12_01: Finally finished setting everything up ... gotta make sure every square inch is covered with lights or inflatables! ;-)
2012_12_02: Our neighborhood has a big Chrismas shin-dig which includes a horse-drawn sleigh that takes the kids around the nieghborhood - needless to say, my house is a popular stop! ;-)
2012_12_08: One of the struts cracked in the 15' Home Depot Santa Balloon. I contacted them, they hooked me up with the manufacturer Gemmy who sent me a replacement part - that's some GREAT customer service!
2012_12_11: Finally got our first snow, but only a dusting. It's been a very warm and dry winter so far (Colorado ski resorts are not liking it) ... but hopefully we'll have a White Christmas.
2012_12_14: One of the SR227 X10 Super Sockets blew out - I typically lose a couple of these a year due to all of the ON/OFF's - but I was able to fix some and Internet Surfers can again say "Give me Full Power Scotty"
2012_12_19: We had another weak storm pass through and drop another 3" of snow ... but with sunny warm weather forecast, it will melt away in a few days. However, snow is forecast for Christmas Eve ... so we might just get a White Christmas! ;-)