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moles
November 28th, 2012, 08:02 PM
I know this is a bit early but it IS that time of year for Christmas Parades.

The TwoTrackers have a group that have been working hard to bring a little cheer to a couple of our local communities by participating in their night time Christmas parades.
This year all vehicles are Jeeps and we are all decked out like a bunch of reindeer. We have synchronized lights to music (all wireless! - I guess we are the first mobile, wireless, sycnhronized lights-to-music display in the country, or so I've been told)

If you like jeeps (who doesn't) and you like Christmas (who doesn't?), and are anywhere near lower West Michigan, please come and check us out!

Parades:
Grand Haven Jingle Bell Parade
Saturday, Dec 1 - 6:00pm, downtown Grand Havem

Coopersville Holiday Parade
Friday, Dec 7 - 7:00pm, downtown Coopersville

Here is a video of our practice. This was shot before the lights were all plugged in right on all vehicles but you can get the idea.
Please give us a wave if you come and see us (really - we will not be able to hear anything with as loud as the music is!) :wave:

http://vimeo.com/53375282

Creative Fab
November 28th, 2012, 08:37 PM
Sweet!

Cable810
November 29th, 2012, 09:26 AM
Very Cool!!

lpm606
November 29th, 2012, 11:12 PM
That looks super-cool. I have seen lights on houses in a whole neigborhood syched to music, but on the movng Jeeps is a great twist. Isn't it a little hard to drive with the lights flashing all around you?

moles
December 1st, 2012, 07:43 AM
Not too bad driving with the lights since we are going parade speed, basically all of us are tailgating the guy in front of us. The harder part is the sound. It is broadcast on an FM station from the computer, so we all have it tuned in and as loud as we can get it. We found last year even that wasn't loud enough (even with out tops) so we have added a lot of external speakers and a DJs sound system this year.
The first parade is tonight - we're super excited - it's a lot of fun!

hemrides
December 2nd, 2012, 11:43 AM
So how did the parade go last night??

moles
December 2nd, 2012, 05:00 PM
The parade was a huge hit - it went fantastic!
Grand Haven had a big crowd this year.
Everytime a song would finish the crowd would cheer. We heard a lot of good comments and people telling us we were the best thing in the parade.
Last year was our first and the technical gremlins got a couple of our control boxes. This year we have that figured out, we improved our sound and could really enjoy it.

You have 1 more chance to see us in Coopersville next Friday night. Working up a cool song I heard of last night too, gonna be FUN!

gnjeepn
December 3rd, 2012, 08:19 AM
Here is the pre-parade test in the staging area.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxlqZHoOi30&feature=share&list=UUeKo2mW1kGpb9rWfmn1Ju0Q

Greenway
December 3rd, 2012, 09:34 PM
The synchronization was cool. How did you do it?

hemrides
December 4th, 2012, 12:06 AM
Have you guys thought about driving into a sub and turning on the show...I bet you would get a great response...or going to a senior center.

This is great...to bad you don't have more parades.

moles
December 4th, 2012, 12:27 PM
The synchronization was cool. How did you do it?

Syncronization was done by building wireless control boards equipped with little antennas. Broadcast antenna and FM antenna hooked up to my laptop, sequencing software set up per the number of total channels and configured to our set up. Songs sequenced to the 50MS (millisecond).
Once everything and everyone is plugged in, my laptop is a mobile broadcast of FM signal and programming to operate the boards.
Everyone "tunes" into our clear FM channel and viola - we are a mobile, wireless, syncronized lights to music display.
We can actually get about 1/2 mile from each other and still blink, our FM signal fades long before that though.

moles
December 4th, 2012, 12:34 PM
Have you guys thought about driving into a sub and turning on the show...I bet you would get a great response...or going to a senior center.

This is great...to bad you don't have more parades.

We have thought about setting up a fund raising effort by parking in front of a store and promoting donations to a local charity for the holidays. We found that many stores have specific rules against this.
Unfortunately, it did not work out with everyone's schedules either. It takes us almost 3 hours to get everything set up and tested. There is a lot of wire running inside and outside of our jeeps. As it is, many of us are using vacation time to be able to participate in these parades. Add to that, we don't all live near each other. Some are 2 hours away from others.

It would be fun someday to be able to do something like this, it wasn't in the cards for us this year.