Thank you!

Yes, I’m aware that this post is now almost four months overdue. But hey, better late than never. The light show this year was spectacular, and I had a great time working on it. I know everything got a little hairy towards the end of the season, but things don’t always go 100% as you plan them.

First of all, I’d like to thank my roommates, Derek Gerdeman and Byran Hoersten. I simply could not have pulled this off without them. Derek and Bryan helped immensely with everything from the mini-trees, to wrapping the arches, and hanging lights and pulling cords. Thank you so much!

Thanks to the girls next door, we were able to greatly expand this year’s show, and everything turned out great. We appreciate them letting us climb around on their house attaching lights to everything!

I’d like to thank Emily Cooper and Mike Kurtz from the UD Media Production Group for putting together the awesome “Behind the Scenes” video featured on the University of Dayton’s homepage.

Definitely need to thank all of our neighbors (except one) who not only put up with the same Christmas music playing every night, but also coming out to watch the lights with us night after night in the blistering cold. Appreciate all your support!

Should also thank my Dad for letting me borrow some extension cords and other miscellaneous things, along with Derek’s dad Jim, for allowing us to use his ladder, and some some other tools. (And perhaps teaching us the meaning of hard work? lol)

Thank YOU everyone, for watching the videos, leaving comments and stopping by to enjoy the show! After all, its you that we do this for.

And this wouldn’t be a true Jonathon thank-you note without thanking UD Residential Properties for being a thorn in my side the whole time, and ultimately ruining the whole thing.

Thanks! Hope to see you next year!

Unexpected Sudden Ending!

Friends, Unfortunately the light show has come to a very abrupt end. We had originally planned on taking down the lights at the end of next week, right before we leave for break, as is required by the housing guidelines. UD Residential Properties however, hasn’t enjoyed our Christmas Light display as much as you all and the rest of the University have.

Effective immediately the Christmas light show is no longer running.

It was in the guidelines that there were to be no lights above the porch line, because apparently 22 and23 year-old men who work in factories and on construction sites aren’t capable of safely getting on the roof to hang Christmas lights.  We saw this after the entire show had been planned, and lights put up.  Residential Properties then gave us an ultimatum by e-mail on Friday at 5pm (after office hours.)   It stated that if we did not have the lights down by this Monday (Dec 13), that we would be fined and they would remove the lights.  And of course, this left no chance for communication before the snowstorm set in this weekend.  True Christmas spirit.  So with all of the upper lights down, we can no longer run the show without it looking terrible.




Any questions, comments or complaints shall be directed to Brian Rudduck, Safety Coordinator:





2010 Videos!

Darude -- Sandstorm

Blue Man Group -- TV Song

Sprialing -- “Do You Hear What I Hear”
(set to The Who -- “Baba O’riley”)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra -- “Wizards in Winter”

Trans-Siberian Orchestra -- “Carol of the Bells”

2010 Show Up and Running


This year’s light show is officially in action! Showtimes are every hour, on the hour:
Sun-Thurs:  6:00pm – 9:00pm
Fri-Sat:         6:00pm – 12:00pm

I’d like to get everything polished to perfection before taking videos, but everything has turned out fantastic so far…

This year, there are 96 channels  of Renard dimmers controlling over 13,000 lights. This is four times as big as last year’s show!

We’re located at 426 Kiefaber St, prime location in the UD Ghetto.  If you’re coming to see the show, you’d be best off to see it on foot, as Kiefaber gets a lot of traffic and can’t be held up by cars stopping to see all the lights!

C Lot is open for anyone to park in during the hours of the show, and is a very short walk from the house:

Can’t wait to get videos up for everyone to enjoy! Look forward to seeing you all!

Progress

Building all 5 controllers in parallel. Everything but IC sockets, terminals, and triacs installed after about 8 hours of power-soldering.

Getting pumped for Christmas 2010!

Back at it…

So, Let me just say that I am really excited to do the Christmas lights again this year! Last year was great, but it will be nothing compared to this year’s show…  Last year was 24 channels and 4,200 lights.  This year we’ll have 96 channels of Renard dimmers and right around 14,000 lights.  And this year we get to do it to our own house, which will make things a lot easier and more exciting.  The canvas:

That’s our house on the right, and “the nice neighbor ladies” on the left.  We’re on the 400 block of Kiefaber, and if you know anything about the UD Ghetto you know this is right at the heart, and everyone will be able to see this!

The geek stuff…

As far as controllers go, I’ve got one Renard 24 (Kostyun v3.3) from last year.  This year, I bought two Renard SS 24 controllers, and three Renard SS 8 controllers.  The parts just arrived today and I can’t wait to start working on them!

Stay tuned!

In The News

  • Fox 45 of Dayton ran a segment on my light show.  Check out the video online!
  • WGN posted my video on their website, under Viral Videos!
  • Buzzfeed - some fantastic comments here :-)
  • Blog post on Dayton Daily News
  • My “I’ve Gotta Feeling” has gone viral on YouTube! As of 12/21/2009@ 7:39pm it’s garnered 53,935 views!

Show’s almost over!

Wow. First just let me say thanks to the thousands of people that have watched the videos and come to see the house!  This has been a huge success, and I’ve been happy to bring a little Christmas cheer, and UD Pride to so many people around the world!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end at some point.  And that point is tonight.  Wednesday 12/16/2009 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm will be the last showing for 2009.  So tomorrow at 9:30pm will be the last time to see this until next year, because I need to take everything down before we leave for Christmas break.

I need to extend a thanks to a few people who helped make this a success:

  • First is Derek Gerdeman.  We spent countless hours freshman year sitting around watching Youtube videos of these amazing light shows, and just imagined the day that we could do it ourselves.  Derek helped with planning this out, and spent countless hours on the roof with me getting everything put up.
  • Bryan Hoersten also spent a lot of time with me twisting light strands together, and putting stuff on the house.  He and Derek spent a long time making the UD logo, that made this light display awesome, and hit home for so many UD Alumni.
  • The guys of 202 Lawnview – Due to location, I was unable to put these lights up on my own house in Dayton this year, and these guys let me use their house as my canvas.  From letting us climb out their window, to putting up with the same songs playing every half-hour for weeks, I can’t thank them enough.  They were incredibly cooperative, and I greatly appreciate it.
  • Everyone at DoItYourselfChristmas.com – There is an incredible group of people who are unbelievably dedicated to this hobby, and have put together some amazing projects.  All the guys who wrote the PIC firmware, designed PCBs, organized group buys, and of course KC who wrote Vixen; I couldn’t have done it without them.
  • Mike Malloy, who took the videos with me with his camera/tripod.

Thanks again! I’m looking forward to next year with goals of 48 channels and 10,000 lights!

FAQ:

Q: How long did it take you?
Short A: A long time…
Long A: I spent around 20 hours building and wiring the controller (which should go quicker next time!)  Probably 6 hours just designing/planning (erasing, re-drawing…)  Easily spent 60 hours sequencing music.  At least 12 hours constructing UD, twisting lights together, etc.  And probably another 12 hours actually putting all the lights up, wiring, testing, and re-installing windows :-\   This gives us a total of around 110 man-hours, some of which go to Derek and Bryan.

Q: How much did all this cost?
Short A:I don’t want to know…
Long A: If you look back at the Background post, I spent around $80-100 on my 24 channel controller, after all the wiring, etc.  This is substantially less expensive than a commercial Light-O-Rama system with as many channels.  I had hardly any Christmas lights going into this, so I had to buy almost all of them this year, probably upwards of $100.  And all the accessories (mainly a few hundred zip-ties) add up, as well.  (Donations accepted!)

Q: Are you going to do this next year?
Short A:Absolutely!
Long A: I’m obsessed, and will probably do this until I die.  Next year, Derek, Bryan and I will be 5th-year seniors, and will have a house in the Ghetto ourselves.  I’ve already got some parts for another Ren24, and big goals in mind.  It depends on which house we get, but my goal is to more than double this year’s show: At least 48 Channels, and 10,000 lights – any help there is appreciated :-)

Q: This is great, I think you’re amazing…  Can we go out to dinner?
A: Facebook me.

New Videos!

So, Derek and I spent almost 4 hours the day after the first show tweaking the sequences.  They look a lot better in my opinion.  And I’ve uploaded them to Vimeo this time.  The site isn’t as sweet as youtube, but I shouldn’t have to worry about any stupid copyright issues.  Enjoy!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Carol of the Bells:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Wizards in Winter

Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Siberian Sleigh Ride

Light show up!!!

Well, after what seemed like a million hours of work, my roommates Brian, Derek, and I got all the lights up and wired.  Here’s the first show, from Friday night:

Simpson’s THX Intro:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra -- Wizards in Winter:

Blue Man Group -- TV Song:

I have two more songs, Carol of the Bells, and Siberian Sleigh Ride, but Youtube refuses to let me upload them, because of copyrights on the audio.  So I’m going to post them to another site.

Also, Derek and I spent a few hours on the sequences Saturday morning, and made them look a lot better.  I have yet to take video of the updated sequences, but will upload them as soon as I do!  Thanks for checking out my show!