How It Works E-mail

"How does it work?" A popular question.

It all starts at the computer and software called Vixen. The software uses the COM ports of the PC to send data to the controllers. The controllers then use this data to then switch the lights on and off as commanded by the software.


"How many lights do you have?"

Currently, we have over 75,000 lights in our display and they are controlled with 1144 induvidual circuits.


"How do you broadcast over the radio?"

 You can hear the music to our display on 90.5 FM of your radio. We do this with a low power hobby FM transmitter.  This year, we plan to add RDS (radio data system) to our display also.

 ***UPDATE***   8/23/08

The RDS unit has been implemented.  Here is some of the pictures of the process of hooking it up to the Ramsey FM25B transmitter.

I made the COM port cable first, using the diagram found here halfway down the page in the "How to connect the unit to a PC computer" section. There are four different configurations. I chose the COM port bidirectional, as I have plenty of COM ports and wanted two way communication for the added functionality. The three wires is a harness salvaged from an old PC with a 3 pin female connector on the end. Same for the two pin cables for power and RDS input. To use this configuration, I had to change out R9 on the RDS to a 2k ohm resistor.

This is the finished product.


Here are some pictures for the connections.


I am powering the RDS from the FM25B power. I tapped onto the switch, so when I power the transmitter, the RDS comes on also.

I used a small enclosure for the RDS and used velcro to attach it to the FM25B case.
And some pics of the final product and a shot of the radio in the car.


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