How-To Information about Dirknerkle's Lights

One of the elements of this hobby is that aside from some of the electronic designs, you usually wind up inventing just about everything else you build. You build things out of materials that are generally inexpensive such as plywood, pegboard, PVC plumbing pipe, plastic, stiff wire, hot-glue, screws, nails, liquid nails, rope, tape, spray paint, epoxy, perhaps welded metal frames, or whatever is handy. To say you sometimes must improvise is an understatement. There are virtually no blueprints. Sure, some project plans are available, but because everyone's installation is different, any plans that may be drawn up are done by you. That's part of the joy of this hobby, though, and it gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you throw the switch the first time, stand back and watch things light up. Once in a while, you even get pats on the back -- from family members first, but from neighbors, too. And you're sure to discover the truth of the phrase from the movie "Field of Dreams," if you build it, they will come. Because they will. You don't even have to advertise. You will suddenly find cars, limos, and perhaps an occasional bus parked out in the street; its occupants watching your lights dance to the music transmitted to their car radios via your own short range FM-stereo transmitter.
In these project how-tos, remember that the examples aren't the only ways to accomplish the tasks. There are likely as many different ways to do the same thing as there are DIYC enthusiasts. In each case, I've started the project with a little explanation, and that's key to understanding why I did what I did. When I remembered costs, I've included that as well.

DIY'ing It  
Planning your display  
Window frames  
Building a mega tree
Building a metal-free mini tree  
Building a central control box  
Wiring your display  
Electrical Safety  
Selecting & Sequencing Music  
Miscellaneous tips  



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