Author Topic: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props  (Read 864 times)

Offline Camphouse

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Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« on: April 04, 2018, 02:16:51 PM »
Have been using LOR for the past 2 years. Started with one 16 channel controller and now have:


3 - 16 Channel LOR controllers - 48 channels - 2000+ LED lights
Pixie 16 - 800 RGB Pixels / 2400 channels
1 - CCP - 100 RGB Pixels / 300 channels
1 - CCB - 100 RGB Pixels / 300 channels


Looking to add this year:
8 - 50 Pixel RGB snowflakes - 1200 channels
8 - 100 Pixel RGB mini trees - 2400 channels (converting existing LED mini trees)


Have two questions -
Can I add a Falcon controller and control both of the new sets of props - 8 snowflakes - 8 mini trees?
These props are approx 50-60 feet apart - Can the Falcon work without issues at that distance?


Also if anyone has advise on switching from LOR to xLights and how the LOR controllers work with it I would greatly appreciate it.







Thanks,
Chester

Offline JonB256

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 02:39:18 PM »
Put the Falcon between (30ft each way) and you certainly won't have a problem.

Also consider daisy chaining snowflake to snowflake and mini-tree to mini-tree if they are close together.

You could run all the snowflakes from a single output, perhaps split the mini-trees into two outputs (3 instead of 16)

Offline Camphouse

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 10:13:48 PM »
Thanks JonB256 - I appreciate the help.


Can I daisy chain them with a small extension - say 5 feet?


Also do you know if pixels bought from LOR (bought Pixie tree setup) will work with the Falcon? I thought I'd read that they will only work on LOR devices - just wondering if that's true. Thinking I could possibly run all existing and new from one device?


For the new props I'd buy from a different source - Everyone says Ray Wu - Would you recommend anyone else?




Offline Todd

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 05:28:16 AM »
Camphouse,

Since JohnB covered your pixel questions I'll try to help on the LOR questions.

Not 100% sure about the pixie tree set up. On their website it says they will only work on a LOR network. But it's running a Pixie controller so that should be able to run in DMX.  If this is like the other LOR items it should be able to run in DMX mode. If that's the case then the F16 should be able to control it.  I would advise against using the dongle to output to LOR.

LOR Controller

A/C
  • Go into the LOR hardware utility (if using the PC versions) and set the LOR controllers as controller ID#1, controller ID #2 and so on  (if using the commercial controllers set the switches to 01, 02, and so on...No need to go into the LOR hardware utility) Controller ID #1 is for channels 1-16, controller ID #2 is for channels 17-32 and so on for the universe you assign to the LOR controllers
  • You can daisy chain the LOR controllers off of each other in your display just like you do now
  • Make sure the firmware on the LOR controllers is current enough, I believe, 4.20 or higher. If yours are 2 years old they should be fine
  • With this being done the LOR controllers are set up to run in DMX
  • If using the F16 there is NO NEED for a crossover cable or a bridge
Pixie
  • I have not played with these but I would suspect they will run in DMX since all other LOR items run in DMX
  • Set up should follow the above and daisy chain them. The only difference should be the number of channels you set up based on the Pixie
  • This may take you some trial and error
xLights
  • Set up a universe and number of channels for the LOR controllers under the setup tab(I use universe 50 for mine, no reason for it other than I picked 50)
  • It makes no difference what universe number you use as long it is an unused one
  • Under Lay Out tab
  • Click on Single Line
  • Enter number of strings
  • Enter lights per string
  • Check the individual start channels box
  • Click on the each string and enter info listed below
  • Click the little box with the three dots in it
  • String 1 is channel 1, string 2 is channel 2 and so on
  • Check the circle for Universe number
  • First drop down - ANY
  • Second drop down choose the universe number for LOR
  • Once all your strings are done....
  • At the bottom of Single Line find Controller Connection
  • Click on it
  • First drop down is Protocol - Pick DMX
  • Second drop down is Port - Pick which port you have the F16 assigned to send to the LOR controllers
  • Under String Properties - String Type - Single String
  • Pick color if you want
  • This is how mine is set up and it works fine, with no issues
  • I have seen articles to make the LOR the first universe in your display. I do not have it this way and have no issues so I guess it would be up to you where you want to put them in the setup
  • You can import your current sequences into xLights or program them from new (there are many videos out there on how to do it. Search for Andy Harrison and Leechburg Lights)
Falcon F16v*
  • Go into the set up screen and designate one of the DMX outputs for the universe you selected for LOR (I use DMX output 2)
  • When you fire up the F16 it will start up and then the flashing light in the LOR boxes should turn solid once a connection has been established
I'm at work right now and I  will double check tonight to see if I missed anything and add it to the list if I did


Anything else I might be able to assist you with let me know and I'll see what I can do.


Todd
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 03:46:12 PM by Todd »
Todd L.
Kimberly, WI

Falcon F16V3 F48, FPP, X-Lights, LOR, Pi 3B

Offline JonB256

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 06:06:16 AM »
Thanks JonB256 - I appreciate the help.


Can I daisy chain them with a small extension - say 5 feet?


Also do you know if pixels bought from LOR (bought Pixie tree setup) will work with the Falcon? I thought I'd read that they will only work on LOR devices - just wondering if that's true. Thinking I could possibly run all existing and new from one device?


For the new props I'd buy from a different source - Everyone says Ray Wu - Would you recommend anyone else?
5ft has worked for me, using ws2811 12v pixels, various manufacturers. I've done 8ft but some pixels may flicker depending on type of wire used or pixel chip.

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Offline dkulp

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 06:25:49 AM »



The whole "distance from controller" and "distance from pixel to pixel" or "prop to prop" is always very hit or miss.    I have some pixels that work fine at 25ft from my controller.   However, I also have other pixels that flicker and do weird things when plugged in 25ft from the SAME port on the SAME controller using the SAME wire.  Even dropping down to 15ft causes those to flicker.    It's very hit or miss.   I've never had any problem with 10ft between anything.  Thus, I now buy almost entirely 10ft extensions from Ray.   If I need 20ft, I connect two.  If the prop flickers, I disconnect at the middle and stick a null pixel in there (or other buffer thing) to boost the signal.    I got a bunch of the "nulls" with pigtails already attached from Ray so it's easy to just disconnect and stick them in where needed.
Dan Kulp

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 07:06:06 AM »
The whole "distance from controller" and "distance from pixel to pixel" or "prop to prop" is always very hit or miss.    I have some pixels that work fine at 25ft from my controller.   However, I also have other pixels that flicker and do weird things when plugged in 25ft from the SAME port on the SAME controller using the SAME wire.  Even dropping down to 15ft causes those to flicker.    It's very hit or miss.   I've never had any problem with 10ft between anything.  Thus, I now buy almost entirely 10ft extensions from Ray.   If I need 20ft, I connect two.  If the prop flickers, I disconnect at the middle and stick a null pixel in there (or other buffer thing) to boost the signal.    I got a bunch of the "nulls" with pigtails already attached from Ray so it's easy to just disconnect and stick them in where needed.


I agree with this 100%  (although I mix 5ft and 10ft extensions as needed).   But the real bonus is just having a bunch of buffer boards with pigtails attached (or the  soon-to-be-available F-Amps) and just popping them in the middle when I get the flickering.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 07:20:18 AM by pixelpuppy »
xLights and Vixen3 for sequencing / FPP for scheduling and playing / Falcon controllers for pixels / DIY controllers for everything else

Offline Camphouse

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2018, 08:23:12 PM »
Thanks everyone for your help. Buying my first Falcon tonight. Sure I'll have many more questions once I have it and start working on it.


Have a good weekend everyone.








Offline Camphouse

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2018, 01:26:09 AM »
OK so I can't stop thinking about this - and please forgive my newbieness  :) . I just want to make sure I'm understanding some of the information.


So if I'm understanding correctly I can daisy chain my 8 50 pixel snowflakes together - they'll be close together - and I'm thinking that I can possibly use the lead on the pixel string (assuming 4') to connect them. The distance from the Falcon box should only be about 15' so I think that should be ok?


With regards to setup I would put each of the snowflakes would be on their own universe correct? And then I can program/sequence each individually.


Does this all sound correct?


If so I should be able to just duplicate this for the mini RGB trees I think. But since each of these will be 100 pixels - 800 total pixels - would I need to split them between 2 ports on the Falcon? I thought each would handle 1024 pixels? I'm looking to the gurus to help me with best practices they've found when setting these systems up.

Offline JonB256

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 07:45:12 AM »
On my roof, I have 5 rows of Boscoyo snowflakes, separated by a 4ft cable. Each has 48 pixels.
Top row of 5, then 6, then 5, then 6, then a bottom row of 5

Each row is on its own Falcon controller output (so 5 outputs used for 27 snowflakes)
I power inject between every other snowflake to keep the 12v value good.

But, in xLights and on the Falcon Controller, I don't put each snowflake in its own universe - they just run one after the other, from Snowflake #1 up to Snowflake #27

Because I use Falcon hardware, I always use 512 as a universe size (even if I don't "fill" a universe completely. It's just easier and makes ZERO difference in final performance). They run from Universe 25 up to Universe 32.  There is a small gap at the end Universe 32. I start the next items (mini trees) at Universe 33, channel 1.  (16385 absolute)


« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 07:51:20 AM by JonB256 »

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2018, 08:37:26 AM »
... (even if I don't "fill" a universe completely. It's just easier and makes ZERO difference in final performance).

I agree with pretty much everything else you said except for the "ZERO difference" statement.  ;)   

Technically its not ZERO.   There are performance differences if you over-allocate or define unused channels but you may not notice it if your unused channel count is small.  It all depends on the total number of unused channels defined.   A few extra channels here or there won't be noticed but a large number of extra channels will.  The xLights "Check Sequence" tool has a check for large blocks of contiguous unused channels for this very reason.   Large amounts of non-contiguous unused channels make a difference too but its harder for the sequence checker tool to identify them so its important for people to be aware that unused channels do affect performance to some degree so you don't want to get too excessive on unused channel counts.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 09:21:37 AM by pixelpuppy »

Offline JonB256

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2018, 10:01:47 AM »
Ok, I'll concede the zero. But, I put 27 fairly large elements into 8 universes. Just trying to stop the idea that 27 elements need 27 universes.

Let's just say that in my 115k channel setup, I have 3% blank, unallocated channels and there is no noticeable impact.

When I add new things each season, I look for holes large enough to put them.

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Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Can Falcon controller solve distance issue to props
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2018, 09:57:58 PM »
Ok, I'll concede the zero. But, I put 27 fairly large elements into 8 universes. Just trying to stop the idea that 27 elements need 27 universes
We are in complete agreement  ;)

 

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