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Thread: SELEM 2019 reflections...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Knoxville, TN & Huntsville, AL, USA

    Default SELEM 2019 reflections...

    SO another SELEM has come and (almost) gone (still a big show tonight for some hardcore regulars ), and I have to say this has turned into quite the gathering of laser geeks, synth freaks, drone nerds, and VR-aholics, and I'm proud to be part of the group again

    It was great to see old friends, make some new ones, and try to take in everything SELEM has become, which is pretty awesome!

    Look forward to the reunion same time next year, if not sooner!!


    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Charleston, SC


    I am still trying to recover from all the sleep-deprivation caused by SELEM! But Randy is right - this was an *epic* event. Brad posted something on Facebook that I'd like to repeat here: If you haven't been to SELEM in the last 2 or 3 years, you really haven't been to SELEM! That's because we keep adding more and more to SELEM each year, and at this point it has grown to be so much more than it was when we first started that when I look back at those early years I'm shocked at the differences.

    This year we had a record number of registered laserists at SELEM. That allowed us to absorb a number of extra costs (including self-funding two very nice door prizes + helping to pay for two other door prizes) while still leaving enough to cover food & drinks and a sizable remainder which was sent to PL to help offset the hosting fees. Unfortunately we did not break the record for total attendees (that number includes guests), but to me the fact that we had 67 people register is the more powerful number. (The previous record was 57.)

    Door prizes this year were *huge*. Goldenstar and John (VJAIWAZ) from Technological Artisans paired up to offer a 5 watt RGB projector. Due to the extra people who registered, we were able to kick in enough money to include an FB4 controller with that unit. Pangolin was equally generous, donating a set of Compact 506 scanners (with the mach DSP amps), a set of Saturn scanners (also with the mach DSP amps), and a license for the new Beyond Kinetic Plug-in. X-Laser donated a Launchpad external controller (based on their Mercury DMX system), and Mike Gould donated a Wobbulator Lumia device (with some funding assistance from the SELEM budget). In addition, we purchased two FB3 controllers on our own (one with some additional funding from Bob Tate, aka BaptistBob here on the forum), and Rodney (Rodman) donated a wireless pen-mouse to round out the door prize list.

    Something that I thought was significant this year: If you total up the retail value of all the door prizes this year, that number is very close to the total budget for the event! So we really owe a great deal of thanks to our sponsors this year. (Note that both Pangolin and X-Laser also donated food for the dinners on Friday and Saturday night.) And let's not forget Aron (Lumia) and his awesome idea to have cake on Saturday night! Then Brad managed to find a local restaurant who would sell us ice cream to go with the cake and only charge us the wholesale cost for two of the large 3 gallon tubs. MMMMMMM! Cake and ice cream rules....

    I still need to mail out the shirts to everyone who registered but couldn't attend. I also have some video and pictures that I can upload this weekend. And as always, I'm collecting feedback from everyone about this year's event so we can make improvements for next year - so please keep those comments and suggestions coming.


    PS: I'd also like to once again thank the two people who contributed design elements towards this year's awesome logo. Chexmex (Luz) had the idea of replacing the "LE" in "SELEM" with the number 13, and Shadow (Jay) re-worked the design to include the outline of the state and the rays that start from Newton and spray out towards the lettering. So both of them received free shirts this year for their separate contributions towards the final logo.
    Last edited by buffo; 08-16-2019 at 08:48.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    North of Jackson Michigan USA

    Default OMFG

    I'm still recovering as well; it was exhausting but worth every moment.

    Highlights for me were the Shpongle Jam, lumia demos in the Cafeteria, and the orchestra gig.
    Wayne and I built the 6-Pack console for the Lumiators several years ago, but this is the first time I got to use it as intended, as a performance controller.
    It worked pretty good, I thought.

    Glad I could make some contributions as a first-timer.
    Ecstatic that I won the 5W projector! Big thanks to Adam, John, and Mimi at Goldenstar!!

    It was great that I had most of my core team members with me; Wayne Gillis, Steve Rich (Friday eve.), Draco, and Bill Witcher.
    Wouldn't have happened without them.

    I have a metric boatload of photos and videos I'm still processing, will get them up ASAP.

    Right now I'm in the middle of processing pot frames for a cannabis festival show we're doing next week.
    At least we won't need a smoke machine...

    Runs with Lasers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    DC/VA metro area


    A great event as always! Usually I find there is some "down time." Time of which there is nothing going on. Not this year! It was pretty much slammed end to end. All the projects I thought I would take a crack at never saw light.

    Kudos to everyone that works to put this event together. Adam, Brad and Dave especially.... I have an idea of what it takes to make an event happens and I know you bust your ass to make SELEM happen. For you it starts months in advance. Much thanks for putting in the effort on this event.

    This year.... I would say the one thing that was my "oh wow" moment was the beamshows in the Gym. The abstracts and such are awesome in the auditorium -- but I had an idea what to expect. The beamshows from Lyria that were played in the Gym at a random time were the unexpected and "caught me off guard." Usually it's controller play in the Gym and not timeline shows, but these 6 projector timeline shows looked great and the gym gave more distance from the projectors.

    Overall a great event.

    Thanks Flecom and Adam for bringing your VR rigs. The F1 motion setup was pretty intense, I had never seen (or tried) one IRL.

    Props to everyone for being cool as always.

    Thanks to X-Laser and Pangolin for kicking in on the food.

    Every year I beg some of my "laser curious" or "sort of laser knowledgeable but not in the hobby" techie friends from here in Northern Virginia to take the 6 hour drive down to check SELEM out for a bit. I can never get them to go, usually due to them having schedule conflicts. Or other lame excuses. But each year I get closer and closer to pulling them in :-)

    Good times

    Modern and Retro laser show hobbyist
    Pangolin QM16, QM32, Beyond Advanced, LSX, ADAT
    LS Pluto II x 2, custom build x 1 for my all encompassing laser show wiki.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    New Orleans


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ID:	55923This was my 3rd and best SELEM yet. Much appreciation for all the work by Adam, Brad, David, and everyone else that help make SELEM a huge success. Some highlights for me were the 5 man live abstract show in the auditorium, and hands on with the radiator - great anticipation waiting for March 2020 and radiator to arrive at my house.

    Can't wait until next year.

    Hopefully everyone had a safe and uneventful trip back home.
    As some know, I had a bit of trouble on the drive from NOLA to SELEM.
    After running over an unknown object outside Atlanta I drove over 200 miles, front end shaking furiously, on the donut spare, in the rain to get to SELEM. Determination!

    My car has been at the dealership in Hickory since "SELEM Thursday" (is that a thing?) and is finally ready for me to pickup after 20 days, a $6208.01 repair bill, $1000 deductible plus I'll be spending more gas, driving and two days of vacation. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	55923Repair bill included two new rims, two new tires, dropping engine to replace AC coolant lines under car (12 hours labor just for that), 4 wheel alignment and misc other little things. I will be leaving NOLA at 5:30 am and driving back to Hickory tomorrow, picking up the car by 6pm, staying at the Holiday Inn one more night, and then leaving at 6:30 am to drive back home to NOLA Friday. 1300+ miles in 48 hours just to return a rental car and pickup my car. Good times.

    It was great to see and talk with everyone again this year. Hope to be back next year with my shiny new Radiator!
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    Eric in New Orleans

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014


    Wow... sorry to hear that Eric! Glad it's all fixed now.

    If it's any consolation, I hit a huge pothole 50 minutes from home on my way back from SELEM last year in my Tesla. Took out two rims and two tires, but luckily no other damage.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014


    Feels like yesterday I just left SELEM!

    And now it looks like I'm going right back to Newton, NC next week!

    Turns out there's a Tesla "modder" who has his shop in Hickory, NC. I'm taking my car down there to get a mod for better battery range and acceleration which he can only do there. The mod itself takes about two hours.

    So I'm driving down on Wednesday and back home on Thursday. 24 hours of driving over two days.

    He only got the parts in for this mod yesterday. If he had these parts three weeks ago, I could have just popped over to Hickory for a couple of hours during SELEM.

    Also, he can't just sit on the parts for me for a year when I return next SELEM, he'd just sell the mod to the next person in line.

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