Hollandmiller Family Christmas

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Hollandmiller christmas logo1-2014.jpg
Click here for Hollandmiller Family Events 2014

Videos of our show. Scroll down for blog of construction details.

Angry Birds (New for 2014!)

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (New for 2014!)

Wizards in Winter

Music Box Dancer

Jingle Bell Rock

Jingle Bells

Amazing Grace

Santa's Bike Mob

Lights out until next year!

Location: Dichondra Place, Newark CA, 94560 get directions
Showtime: 5:00PM-10:30PM
We're broadcasting (101.1FM in our neighborhood) Christmas music via web-radio.fm all day until showtime.
Feel free to E-Mail us!

November 14, 2010 at 12:10pm PST

This is our first Christmas light display that will consist of light sequencing using 6xSS24 and 2xSS8 Renard automation controllers.

Credit of obsession given to DoItYourSelfChristmas.com.

Boards and parts laid out.

Boards and Parts

Boards and parts laid out.

Boards and Parts

Ready to start assembly.

Ready to assemble

Video of me assembling the second SS24 at 1000% acceleration.

3 hours later, first board finished.

First board finished

3 hours later, first board finished.

First board finished

I picked up two 125amp sub-panels to house the controllers--just need to strip out the busing.




The NiCad batteries for my circular saw are shot... Needed a workaround.

Car charger adapter :)

Enclosures mounted


Plywood 20.5"x13.75"x1.5" panels cut and mounted inside the enclosures


First SS24 mounted

First board mounted

Second SS24 mounted. 4 more SS24s and 2 more SS8s to go!

Second board mounted

I'm using this stuff in 1/2" pieces as PCB stand-offs.

November 16, 2010 at 9:20pm PST

Seeing if building two at once speeds things up.

Ready to assemble two Renard SS24 controllers

Yep,.. it's faster.

Two complete Renard SS24 controllers

November 17, 2010 at 5:22pm PST

Ready to build 24 mini-trees out of pot catch trays and allthread.

Minitree assembly

Minitree assembly

Minitree assembly

One complete minitree

November 21, 2010 at 4:56pm PST

Raw materials for arches

Ready to build archs

Building arches

Cut all ends of lights and extended with 18/2 SPT1

One strand (100 lights) wrapped on first arch

One strand wrapped

Roman helping me hang lights

Hanging lights

November 24, 2010 at 7:01pm PST

A little GIMP photo editing, and I've come up with this.

Raw sign

Final production, amazing job and edits done by TriCityPlastics!

Final product

December 2, 2010 at 6:01pm PST

Enclosures arrive, finally!

New enclosures

I was able to get four mounting screws in place.

Renard SS24 mounted

First one (out of 5) done.

First controller complete

Another shot

Another shot

5 Renard SS24 controllers complete. I have one more SS24 and two SS8s left. I don't need them this year.

Ready to place in the yard

December 3, 2010 at 7:45pm PST

I was forced to use RS485, the distance and speed of RS232 wasn't enough. RS485 gives us more speed at greater distance:

 Topology: Point-to-Point
 Max distance: 15m
 Max speed: 20kbps
 Topology: Multipoint
 Max distance: 1200m
 Max speed: 35Mbps

.5watt FM transmiter--seems to broadcast in a 1.5 mile radius which slightly exceeds the FCC max of a 200' radius, oops....

FM transmitter

December 4, 2010 at 5:45pm PST

We're live! 101.1FM. I'll post videos soon.

If you're in the neighborhood, Dichondra Place Newark, CA 94560--you can't miss us :).

We have one sequence playing tonight. We're actively working on more sequences. Hopefully we'll be adding a new song every few days.

We have over 1900' of SPT1 18/2 wire. I was forced to ditch the centralized approach for individual enclosures due to the amount of wire it would have taken to hook everything up (over 12,000' of 18/2 would have been needed).

The system pulls anywhere from 0-50AMPS at 120VAC.

December 5, 2010 at 12:20am PST

My first attempt at sequencing

Brian Setzer's Jingle Bell Rock

December 5, 2010 at 6:48pm PST

My wife (April) just finished Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Wizards In Winter. We have two sequences playing tonight, Wizards In Winter and Jingle Bell Rock.

I'll post more videos soon.

April wants to give credit to the original Wizard in Winter, Carson Williams, for the original sequencing, to Bradley Jacobs for saving  and posting the sequencing before it was yanked, and to Greg Jones, on Doityourselfchristmas.com, for converting that sequence to Vixen.  From there it was a matter of moving the specific song sequences to the right channels in our yard—and no small amount of time investment and creativity to make it really dance on our light setup.  Direct quote mid-sequencing: “Dear God, I hate those @#$*ing arches.”

December 5, 2010 at 9:45pm PST

Video of our Wizards In Winter sequence.

December 10, 2010 at 7:30pm PST

We added three new sequences tonight! I'll post videos soon.

December 10, 2010 at 10:05pm PST

Rough night. Loads of freezes and lockups. I haven't found the problem yet. It seemed like a lack of resources, but nothing changed. I'm building a new computer tonight.

December 11, 2010 at 7:00pm PST

I built a new computer last night to run the sequences--it looks like that fixed it. The old machine didn't haven enough CPU to bitbang the RS485 serial port.

December 11, 2010 at 8:30pm PST

Santa's bike mob swarmed our house tonight!

December 12, 2010 at 5:30pm PST

Videos of our new sequences

My favorite--Music Box Dancer by DJ Schwede

Amazing Grace by Yule

Jingle Bells by Stratos

Special thanks to the Holdman Family for sharing their sequences--a huge help in providing a foundation for creating our sequences for these three songs.

November 24, 2011 at 2:51pm PST

Started at 8am today and ended around 1:30am. Everything is up and running with much help from Jeremy!

We're running the sequences we ran last year. We might put a few new ones out in a week or so.

November 25, 2011 at 10:31pm PST

The display kept freezing tonight. We discovered a broken RS485 RTx line. The show goes on...

January, 2 2011 at 5:31pm PST

All went well this year. We had to replace the RS485 USB adapter. Special Thanks to Jeremy for the help setting up and tearing down the display!

November, 25 2012 at 8:25pm PST

Our display is up for the 3rd year! We started at 6:45am and finished at 8:15pm. Out of 38,000 bulbs, only 1 was broken! :)

November, 30 2013 at 9:55pm PST

Our display is up for the 4th year with only a few strands needing to be repaired. We built a new dedicated PC for the show this year--scavenging old laptops for parts has finally caught up with us. A huge thank you to Jeremy for his help. We decided to start the build-out Friday November 29, 2013 @ 12pm which gave us time to build and test the new computer today. The entire show is running smoothly with every light lit!--well,... flashing :)

November, 28 2014 at 8:35pm PST

5 years! The display went up in record time this year--10.5 hours. I had excellent help from Bobby and Bruce, thank you!

The computer we built last year is running without issue, whew :).

Half the display up and the remaining ready to go.

My help, Bobby and Bruce
Remaining pieces

New 60,000btu heater, nice and toasty all night :)


Over the last 4 years, we've struggled to keep power running to the display without blowing circuit breakers. A few massive contactors and 3x20amp dedicated circuits solved it :).

Timed 3 high-current circuit switch
Timed 3 high-current circuit switch
Timed 3 high-current circuit switch
Timed 3 high-current circuit switch

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