2012 Thanks!

2012 has come and gone. And so has our 2nd light show. Our lights are now off and planning for 2013 is in full swing. Please join us next year!

  • Thank you to God for blessing our family.
  • Thank you to everybody who came by to share in the Christmas spirit.
  • Thank you to our families for everything you’ve done for us.
  • Thank you DoItYourselfChristmas.com community for the knowledge, support, guidance, etc.
  • Thank you Chris @ radiant holidays.
  • Thank you Todd & Dave @ diyledexpress.
  • Thank you Dave @ DIGWDF.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Can’t wait to see 2013!

New Song Added for 2012

We added another song tonight. Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “A Mad Russian’s Christmas” is now added to our rotation. That brings our 2012 song count to 7!

Our songs for 2012:

  • Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of Year
  • Burl Ives – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Gayle Peevey – I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
  • Phineas And Ferb – Christmas Is Starting Now
  • Straight No Chaser – Carol of The Bells
  • Straight No Chaser – The Christmas Can-Can
  • Trans Siberian Orchestra – A Mad Russian’s Christmas

We also have a very short intro for those of us who join us at “lights on” every day at 5:00PM!

More Oceanside Shows!

Update 12/24:
There’s now yet another display we have found in Oceanside. On Chalk Court just off Frazee Road and Masters Drive. It looks to be another LOR house, but many more lights. We like their sequencing a lot! It looks great!

Update 12/18:
I drove by the house on Glenhollow last week and confirmed they do in fact have an animated display up and running.

Original Article:
We now know of 2 other houses in Oceanside that have lights sequenced to music.

Some new neighbors a block away have contacted us via our Facebook page and are targeting to have their display up and running tomorrow Friday, December 7th. Their house is on Boulder Creek Road just north of Rising Glen. If you come see ours, it’s just down the street so be sure to check out their lights as well!

Another house I found on Christmas Light Finder which was right on my way home from work. As soon as I pulled up to enjoy the show the owner, John, greeted me and we had a good quick chat. I need to take my kids back.

The information on their display can be seen here: The Donnelly Family Daycare

From previous years, we have reason to believe there are at least two other light displays in Oceanside.

We purchased some used lights from somebody in the Guajome Lake area on Rocking Horse lane. We’re unsure if he is still doing a display. Also, last year we found a house located on Glenhollow Circle just off Avenida de la Plata. I have not verified that they still have a display either.

Tis The Season!

Welcome to the 2012 Christmas season! The lights go live December 1st! For more information on this year’s display, please visit the Christmas 2012 page which has all the details for the show this year like hours, location, etc.

PICkit2 Programmer To Go + 3M ChipClip = Pure Awesomeness™

I was fearing switching all my Renard gear to DMX this year because I thought it would take a while, and I might need to debug things for a while so I put it off until setup day, today.

I had no reason to fear the switch! I compiled the PIC16F688 Renard DMX asm code into a hex file, loaded it onto my PICkit2 in “Programmer to go” and used my 3M ChipClip.

Those things combined made for complete awesomeness.

If you’re unfamiliar with either the “Programmer To Go” or the Chip Clip, here’s some more info:

Programmer To Go

Programmer To Go is a mode supported by the PICkit2 (and likely other Microchip programmers/debuggers). In a nutshell, in the PICkit software you flash the hex file to the PICkit2 itself and then you only need to provide power to the programmer and press the red button to flash µCs. It will then power and flash the target chip. It will blink the yellow light twice to indicate the device is in “programmer to go” mode and it will immediately forget those settings once you connect to the PICkit2 again using MPLAB or the PICkit2 software itself.

3M ChipClip

The 3M ChipClip is a spring-loaded clip that resembles a clothespin, but with .1″ contacts for clipping to standard DIP packaging. It has pin connectors on the top so you can run jumper wires to a programmer, breadboard, etc. I have them hooked up to pins, and the PICkit2 in the proper pin-out for programming. Chip Clips are available from mouser here.

Note that the pin-out for programming a PIC16F688 is the same as a PIC12F675 and likely many other PIC products. The two PICs I mentioned are the ones in use for my display. 2 of the PIC12F675s for the strobe randomization, and many 16F688s for the Renard controllers.

In case you’re wondering, with most of the Renard hardware at DIYC, you don’t even need to remove the PIC from the circuit, you can simply program them on board. Don’t power the board, simply plug the PICkit into USB for power, put the clip on the PIC and press the button. Today I updated all of the PICs on a Renard 64XC, one Renard 24 v3.3, one Renard SS24, a Renard SS8, and one Renard 24 HC (very similar to the v3.3). All of these worked in-circuit very quickly and easily. Within about 5 minutes I had all of my hardware switched from Renard to DMX!