August Updates

We’re now officially in crunch time. Between now and setup time we far less time than we have to accomplish. Mega tree is being worked on, a new surprise is being worked on, songs are chosen, sequencing software has been selected, and pixel work will be starting soon. Stay tuned for updates as things are built.

Mega Tree

The flag pole was erected and parts were purchased for the construction. The things left to be purchased are ground stakes and the center pole material (although hook head, pin, guy wire material, etc. has been purchased). The controller that’s planned for this also needs 3 channels replaced because they have the infamous CHN912 triacs that need to be replaced. While I have it apart, I may replace all CHN912 date-code triacs to sleep better at night.

Surprise

Let’s just say that our surprise has the word “mega” in it, is a slight twist on something only a few others we know of have ever done, requires it’s own 24 channel controller, and will require it’s own 15 amp circuit.

Songs

These we’ll keep a surprise, but we have 13 songs chosen with only 2 are the same songs as last year that will be entirely re-sequenced. We likely won’t get to all 13, which is one of the reasons we are keeping this as a surprise as well.

Software

This year we have chosen HLS as our software due to it’s low memory/CPU footprint, relatively well supported pixel handling, RGB support, and quick bug-fixing turnaround time. We have just begun the arduous process of sequencing and in addition to learning a new tool, we’ve added hundreds of channels (each pixel is 3 channels). We definitely have our work cut out for us.

Pixels

Last year I used my custom solution to control our pixel strands as “dumb rgb” strips. This year we’re using a SanDevices E681 controller for individual pixel control. At the end of last year there was some initial testing done for the pixels, but they’ve been tied to the rafters and untested since. Hopefully soon the pixel extensions will be complete so further testing with Nutcracker and HLS can progress.

That’s all for now, keep checking back for updates between now and ssssshhhhhhowtime!