Family Christmas Display


The internet has revolutionized information sharing. Millions of people worldwide freely share how things are done with examples that make it much easier for those who follow.

I am indebted to hundreds of contributors worldwide who have helped light the path for me. Here are some of the key contributors to the Brinkman Family Christmas Display.

Arduino Community
Documentation provided for the Arduino microcontroller is extensive, well organized and easy to understand The worldwide Community provides a great Integrated Development Environment for Arduino, ESP8266 and ESP32 processors.
A free web-based tool that captures electrical schematics then creates the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design that implements the circuit. They can then manufacture high quality PCBs for an amazingly low cost. The only disadvantage is that shipping costs (from China) are very high.
Hemal Chevli
Showed the way to implement the "state machine" and "message syncing" that is fundamental to commanding the rapidly changing light patterns.
Mark Hughes
Showed the way to implement the wireless transceiver used on the Display
Pieter P.
Provided a robust set of examples in his Beginner's Guide to the ESP8266. WiFi, DNS, web server, OTA and other features used by the Display were derived from his examples.
Provided the internet name you are viewing right now, the server that the web site runs on, and advice on how to seamlessly connect the web server to the live display at our house. We chose them because according to TLD LIST they were the lowest price provider that could give us the domain name we desired. We found the Porkbun developer interface to be very intuitive, and updates to web pages are posted immediately.
Random Nerd Tutorials
Rui and Sara Santos provide a broad range of examples that demonstrate implementation of key features used in the Display.
Sharon Brinkman
My wife, who supports, encourages and advises how things need to be tuned to make them look and work just right. She also gets drafted for the annual setup/teardown of the display.
This Russian language article (hint: have your browser translate to English) showed an effective protocol for sending text messages back/forth between processor units. This is key to updating system-wide information in real-time, and commanding changes in system configuration.
Vitaly Bochkarev
This Russian language article (hint: have your browser translate to English) provided the step-by-step process for integrating the Arduino Mega and ESP8266 processors
A huge repository of HTML, CSS and other Web page development descriptions and examples that greatly aided the development of the Display's web site.
Friends and Family
Last but not least, friends and family have reviewed, provided comment, and contributed to this web site or the Display, including: Andrea S., Bill C., Brenda C., Charlie P., Craig B., Dawn P., David M., Debbie M., Jim A., Lennon S., Linda S., Maryann H., Phil S. and Tony S.