Signs of the Times - August 2017 - 26
Series LED modules - 311 of them,
to be exact - and seven 60W power
supplies (one for each letter). But
how would we control these colors?
Everylite suggested the Nicolaudie
Stick-DE3 DMX controller, which
operates up to 340 RGB fixtures with
1024 DMX channels. It also sports
a calendar function, which allows
preprogramming of colors and light
shows for years in advance, along
with Wi-Fi connectivity for remote
But we wanted even more control.
We wanted each letter to function
and change independently from each
other. This would require adding
seven DMX512 decoders. So now we
had each letter with its own power
supply and its own decoder, all controlled by our Stick DMX unit.
With this setup, the Orlando sign
can be pink for Breast Cancer Aware26
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
ness Month or red, white and blue
for the Fourth of July. Pretty amazing,
unlimited control; we estimate it
cost us less than $2,500.
Fabrication of the seven 5 ft. 6 in.
letters went swiftly; Dominic Ream
manned our 5 x 10-ft. Multicam router
to cut the 1/8-in. aluminum letter backs,
as well as 1.25-in.-wide aluminum
retainers that we would weld matching 1.25-in. returns to, ensuring a
substantial hold on our large, ¼-in.thick clear acrylic letter faces.
Once the acrylic faces were cut,
M1 production king Scott Schmierer
sheeted the reverse side of each face
with 3M's 3735-60 translucent Envision
film. While white acrylic typically
allows approximately 25% LED light
transmission, this specialized Envision
film allows 60% transmission - a big
After the letters were fabricated,
they ran through the paint shop to
receive coats of various Matthews
paints: high-reflective white on the
interiors, satin white on the returns
and flat black on the backs.
On installation day, a crew of seven
of us was on site with a workstation
set up just off the roadway at the end
of the bridge. Each fence panel was
carefully removed from the bridge
and walked 300 ft. to our station.
The old letter was taken off and
the new letter installed. Then, each
fence panel went back into its place
across the bridge. Within one day,
electric connections were completed
and Orlando's newest attraction was
displayed, bright and beautiful for all
to admire. Best of all, we now have
a meeting set to discuss three more
bridge locations for neighboring
city Kissimmee; the sure sign of a
job well done.