Author Topic: FPP driving P10 panels over Ethernet via a $30 ColorLight 5a-75B receiver board  (Read 9058 times)

Online lwillisjr

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makes sense, is that why it is being tested on an ODROID?


Offline JonB256

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Yes. Gigabit ethernet is a plus. (Non-usb ethernet)

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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I was testing two things at once really.  Even with the USB attached 100Mbit Ethernet, the Pi should have enough grunt to drive a single colorlight card which I believe maxes out at 256x256 pixels which equates to 258 network packets per frame.  That is the same as 258 E1.31 universes with 256 channels which should transmit in under 15 milliseconds.

I am going to do more testing of the ColorLight once I can get my 3 matrices back near my office.  Having dual network connections on a FPP device will probably be a requirement to drive these panels due to how they work.
-
Chris

Offline Bshaver

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So this is a custom Ethernet, IP setup? I was reading over the LISN information, and could this be a closed distributed IP network for just Matrixes? As you mention the USB/Ethernet 100MB I have about a dozen of those laying around. I have one currently on my main master PI to bridge between my home network and show network.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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I have ordered a Linsn card as well.  I have a couple packet captures that I found on the internet and based on looking at those, I think I will be able to add support for the Linsn cards as well, so I went ahead and ordered one off Amazon to help with deconstructing the packets.

I believe that both the Linsn and ColorLight cards will require a Gig-E connection, so they will have to be connected through a Gig-E switch or directly to a USB Gig-E dongle on the Pi or BBB.  These cards use raw Ethernet frames, they do not operate at the IP level, and likely will spam even a switched network due to how they operate.  They are designed to be plugged directly into a PC or sender card and daisy-chained together.  I ordered a known-working USB Gig-E adapter off Amazon for testing as well.

In addition to the larger array of scan rates and panels supported by these careds, another reason for using the receiver cards over a PI or BBB is that the receiver cards allow the Pi/BBB to be put in a more accessible location rather than mounted up inside an enclosed LED panel cabinet out in the yard.  The receiver boards are a hardware solution with no concerns about corrupt SD cards or USB flash drives if they lose power.

Offline JonB256

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Along with getting the RasPi "out of the box" as you said, the two hardware boards support most all the different Scan Rates (2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 16:1) that are currently a problem with the BBB and Pi methods. Very fast (video rates) refresh is possible. This is more like the video walls you see frequently at concerts and shows. (and those huge roadside LED billboards)

Offline arw01

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Cap'n, which one should we order at this time?  Would like to be on the cutting edge of this one and get my P10 panels going, or scrap them and move to the P5.  Had a lot of trouble with my FPP instances this year, so looking to simplify that.

alan

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Cap'n, which one should we order at this time?  Would like to be on the cutting edge of this one and get my P10 panels going, or scrap them and move to the P5.  Had a lot of trouble with my FPP instances this year, so looking to simplify that.

I would wait a few weeks before ordering anything.  I know we can support the ColorLight 5A-75 cards since I have one of those in hand.  It looks very hopeful that we will also be able to support the Linsn RV908* cards, but I need to do more reverse-engineering on that protocol.  The Linsn protocol appears to be more efficient possibly, but I won't know until I get deeper into testing.

Offline drlucas

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Well the beaglebone was a pain in the butt for me the last two years......I ended up getting a colorlight board and will test it once I get my lab set back up again....good to see you are helping David out with the linsn board....and if it is a better card I'll order a few of them and a ton of panels and split some costs with him or anyone else in the Toronto or Niagara area.

Looking forward to see how you make out....I can do testing on the one board I have if you need any assistance, shoot me a pm.

cheers.
ryan
Ryan

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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My Linsn card and gig-E USB dongle will be here Monday so I will do more testing then.

I need to think about the channel output code a bit as well because I want to reuse some of the Pi/BBB code to allow panels in any layout but I also want to add some optimizations for situations where the sequencer has already been able to layout the data correctly since that will allow higher panel counts.  Using these cards will help with the refresh rate and keep the Pi or BBB inside, but if we still have to manipulate 64-128 panels worth of pixels manually one by one then the Pi or BBB can still be a bottleneck.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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I have the ColorLight card working with similar panel layout configuration as allowed by FPP for the existing Pi and BBB LED panel channel outputs.  I need to clean up the code a bit and want to optimize it a bit more, but it is looking very good.  I'm using a TrendNet Gigabit Ethernet USB dongle to talk to the receiver board.

I also have the Linsn card working, although there is a bit more testing I need to do with that.  The Linsn appears to support multiple data formats and I have one of them working.  I think this isn't the most efficient for smaller displays so I need to do some more testing and coding to try to get some more efficiency in the Linsn Channel Output.

The ColorLight card is around $31 on eBay.  I picked up the Linsn card for just a few bucks more off Amazon w/ Prime shipping.  There is a newer model Linsn card which I found on eBay for $20 including ePacket shipping.   I have ordered a couple of these cards to confirm they are supported with the current FPP code and also allow me to test talking to multiple receiver boards.  I have 3 matrices connected to a single BBB currently, and using multiple receiver boards would allow me to have each matrix be standalone yet daisy-chained via Ethernet.  Currently I have ribbon cables running from the middle matrix to the outside ones in separate front windows of the house.

The refresh rate is very nice with these cards compared to the BBB or Pi driving the panels.  I wasn't able to see the scan rate bars on my iPhone like I can with the BBB and Pi driven panels.

Once I get a little bit further, I will post some videos along with links to the cards that will be known supported by FPP.  The cards are also available via AliExpress for those that can order from there.

Offline rlemery

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What do you want to munch on?

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728 lor channels
5492 pixels

Offline rlemery

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Offline arw01

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standing by on which one to buy :)

Offline nosilent

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I'm also interested to get the Linsn receiver card(s) working.
We use them here in professional led advertisement boards (e.g. 25 sqm, or bigger), they work quite good IF used with the sender card. Working without would be awesome. Although it can be used directly with the Linsn configuration and sending software, but this is extremly buggy and erroneous.
I'm also that guy, that you probably found at the german board (including the capture): http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/352894
In the past i tried to get it somehow working and somehow succeded, in a very limited way that I can control some pixels, but the protocol as you already noticed understands different formats (or so).
I have also contacted Linsn directly regarding informations, but I got only interesting data for the USB serial connection to a sender card, which is in this case not that interesting (the sender to receiver card work in another way, they did not use normal ethernet framing, only the PHY for physical making 8b10b and so on are used).
If testing should be done or something else, like further investigating on the protocol (I'm also interested in the dimm/brightness function, which seems to be in the header of the first packet), then I can maybe help.

 

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