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Thread: Hacking The lights and sounds of Christmas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Bordentown NJ USA
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    262

    Default Hacking The lights and sounds of Christmas

    I wanted to share a project that I worked on before Christmas with the help of Dr. Lava. I wanted to use the TTL outputs of the RYIA multibus with Laser Design Studio to sync my Christmas lights to music using the time line I was able to have a laser show let it snow come up first then the sync light show came up to Christmas Cannon. At first I was going to purchase an 8 channel TTL board but remembered that I had a Mr. Christmas lights and sounds of Christmas controller that I got a couple years back for 30 dollars in fact I had two I really did not like the cheesy midi files that synced the lights you had no real control over anything and the audio was tinny. I opened the thing up and to my surprise I found a 6 channel relay card that was connected to the main board that had the Midi eprom on it there was a multiwire connector that fed 3volts to the relays I removed the connector and figured out the ground then hooked up Christmas lights to all 6 channels. then applied 3 volts to each wire figuring out which channel it went to. I have attached a schematic so if you want to do this next year you will know the color code. After emailing Dr. Lava and asking him about the TTL capabilities of LDS and the RYIA multi bus he sent me a picture of what pinouts needed to be soldered in order to get TTL out I have also attached this be warned there will be some changes to the pin outs on the upcoming rev I did not use pin 7 and 8 so I left them unsoldered in anticpation of the update from RYIA, also the board is ESD sensitive so take precautions. Dr. Lava also sent me some files that I could load into LDS and see some examples of how to put TTL on the time line, one was an example one bit on one bit off and the other was all bits on and all bits off I ended up using both in the project here is the end result the first is the laser show and the second is the light sync with no lasers this year. I may add beams next year to that part if my Wife finds a new job both of these shows worked as an endless loop it ran for hours with out a hiccup. I put the audio in to a Low power broadcast stereo FM transmitter so cars would be able to hear it when they drove by sounded really nice for about a block. The laser show is let it snow I got it off the ILDA Swap ftp a while back and am not sure who to give credit to please let me know and I will, nice show I did not have time to put one of my own together so it worked out well.
    Michael
    Laser show let it snow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIRHHrZRGQU
    light show Christmas Cannon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwd0q2PeQQU
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Omaha, NE
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    769

    Default

    That's a neat project- thanks for sharing the details
    -Mike


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bordentown NJ USA
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    262

    Default Thanks for the reply

    Thank you for the reply I was starting to think I would not get any well Christmas is over on other things I guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    2,330

    Thumbs up

    Great job setting this up. Not many people take the time or have the will to synchronize ttl lights shows. Thumbs up!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    928

    Default

    Great job!
    I have the same Mr. Christmas box and thought about what you did. Keep us up to date on your progress for next year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bordentown NJ USA
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    262

    Default Lights and sounds

    Thanks for the replies, Dr. Lava I could not have done it without your help. I hope to do more next year and add blue laser beams. Riya sent me a PM reminding me that the product is Riya Multibus not Ryia like I put in the original post TYPO. For the record its a great product and I will be purchasing more down the road I have run the laser projector wireless with a spare WAP plugged into the RIYA multibus, I named it laser projector pretty cool just look for laser projector under wireless access points on the laptop select it warns you no internet available (hackers will scratch there heads,) I just ignore that and away I go.
    FYI for LDS users I have found that you need to create a shortcut from the program file for the realtime.exe when running the projector on the network if I go to start and try to run it from there it cant find the device. I keep the shortcut on my desktop and it works fine.
    I still have not found out who programmed the laser show Let it Snow whoever did it as I had said before nice Job and it was great having it to use for the project.

    Michael

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Raleigh, NC
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    Default

    Look into free software called Vixen for controlling Christmas lights.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    That might be OK if he didn't also want to do laser shows simultaneously.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
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    Default

    Here is another cheap USB-TTL device that can be used. Lazerjock turned me onto this little guy. Very cheap and has an easy to use API.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bordentown NJ USA
    Posts
    262

    Default TTL usb device

    Hi John
    I do not see a link for the device would be interested in seeing it. The reason I am using LDS and Riya is the fact that I can control the TTL on the time line this way I can combine laser and lights its just that this year I did not have time to sync the two so I put both the Christmas laser show and the synced Light show on the time line and set it for endless loop. I could just walk away and it would automate. Next year if I can I will try to do some beams along with the light sync not sure if I am going to do Christmas Cannon again great song but after programming it for hours I think I could retire it for a while. I will pick something shorter next time. Also I would like to see if I can get DMX going on LDS. Oh Dr. Lava paging Dr. Lava, to the think tank we can talk about that later in the year.

    Michael

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