Local teen builds synchronized light display

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Marek Jablonski, 13, saved his money to build a synchronized light display in front of his home, located at 1737 Country Club Lane. Using an empty radio station, he transmits his pre-programmed Christmas songs, to match the blinking of the colored lights. His light show is viewable from 5-10 p.m. every night.

While many children and teens enjoy viewing holiday light displays, Marek Jablonski, 13, an eighth grader at Miller Middle School, has programmed his own light display in front of his family’s home, located at 1737 Country Club Lane. From 5-10 p.m. every night, colored lights dance around, to the beat of his pre-programmed songs he transmits out on an empty low frequency radio station.

Marek, who considers himself technologically savvy, saved his own money over the course of about two years to buy the proper computer program and equipment, with minimal help from his parents. He also poured time into researching how to synchronize the lights with the tunes.

“I did it because I was looking for something challenging,” Marek said. “And I like Christmas and wanted to benefit the community.”

Cars that drive down Country Club Lane, just before researching the grounds of the Country Club, are met by Marek’s red and green display. To hear the corresponding music, passersby must tune to 90.3 FM where the teen transmits his three pre-selected songs and messaging, played on a loop. From inside his house, he controls the display. He said it took him 13 hours to program the whole show.

“When he first came to us about this idea, I really thought he would lose interest, but I was impressed,” said his mother Bethany Jablonski. “He really stuck with it and I get excited now every time I drive down our street.”

Jablonski said her son has expressed interest in electronics and computers since he was a young child.

“When he was way too young to even be doing this, he’d like to plug and unplug electronics, just fascinated by them,” she said.

Marek said he took inspiration from similar non-Christmas displays he has seen, as well as the holiday light display at the Marshall County Courthouse.

The radio frequency carries mainly in the vicinity of his street, turning to static the farther one drives away.

“I can’t wait to get it bigger and better for next year,” Marek said.

The teen envisions becoming a computer programmer when he grows up.


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