Author Topic: Falcon being used without internet connection  (Read 229 times)

Offline DeerValleyLights

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Falcon being used without internet connection
« on: July 11, 2018, 08:49:39 PM »
Hello all,

So here is my situation. I currently have a client who wants to have an RGB show in their display this year, around 450 pixels, with 2 trees and an oval in a circle in the middle (it is kind of hard to explain). The only issue is there is no internet connection out there and there is no way to get an ethernet connection out there either (Trust me I have tried). I currently have decided to get a Raspberry Pi 3 to get the job done and I have heard it is possible with a timer attached to it, but I am a little lost on how exactly to go about doing this? Could I maybe get some help with this? So far I have the FPP program loaded on the pi, but I have paused progress on it to make sure I do this right.

Looking forward to your reply.


Thanks so much,

Steven Byrd

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 10:46:54 PM »
You said 450 pixels total, right?   Sounds like a good job for FPP running on Raspberry Pi with a Falcon PiCap.

The PiCap has outputs for two pixel strings up to 800 pixels each (1600 total).  The PiCap also has onboard Read Time Clock with battery backup.  That way, the FPP can run a schedule based on time and date with no internet connection required
xLights and Vixen3 for sequencing / FPP for scheduling and playing / Falcon controllers for pixels / DIY controllers for everything else

Offline DeerValleyLights

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 11:09:24 PM »
Okay, I'll be sure to check it out. 450 pixels is a minimum for this show according to them. I believe they want to grow that much more before the season starts so I would imagine I would be running a Falcon board off of that as well. Would I just run the ethernet port from the FPP to the Falcon board to get that to work? (After setting up the configs of course)

Offline bpos

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 01:54:29 AM »
There is another way. You have to trick the Pi into thinking it has a connection. It requires the use of a smartphone.  Go to network settings.

Set the wlano "wifi" setting to DHCP and give it a SSID and Password. Now set the smartphone with a "hotspot" and give it the same SSID and Password.

With your hotspot in use start FPP and if all goes well the Pi will play as it should. Once Pi starts and runs then you can turn off "hotspot" on your phone and go about your business.

Its a bit of a hassle to boot it this way every time but it is a work around.

Offline algerdes

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 06:46:38 AM »

Our whole show runs night after night, without missing a beat, for 7 weeks straight and there is no internet connection available.
Once setup, the FPP does not need any kind of internet connection to run. It does, or at least should, have the correct time.  If it can't get the time from the internet, then it must get it from somewhere else.  For most, that is a Real Time Clock. 


The trick is to go into settings, and tell it to not update on startup.  Also set the RTC to the correct date and time.  Reboot and you are good to go.




Offline bpos

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 04:40:26 PM »

Our whole show runs night after night, without missing a beat, for 7 weeks straight and there is no internet connection available.
Once setup, the FPP does not need any kind of internet connection to run. It does, or at least should, have the correct time.  If it can't get the time from the internet, then it must get it from somewhere else.  For most, that is a Real Time Clock. 


The trick is to go into settings, and tell it to not update on startup.  Also set the RTC to the correct date and time.  Reboot and you are good to go.

Ok I tried this and it will not hold time when set. It will allow you to set it to RTC but after reboot it will not let you set any time in the fields. (yes I have a schedule set)
Just to test the outcome I rebooted without IP connection and it was not happy. Never finished reboot. Then add a connection back and now Stopped "FPPD"

So I need some guidance on how to set RTC on PiCap.

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 10:18:00 PM »
Did you install the battery?   The RTC on the Falcon PiCap needs  a button battery to keep the clock running.
And did you DISable the setting to auto update on boot?

Offline bpos

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 11:14:05 PM »
Did you install the battery?   The RTC on the Falcon PiCap needs  a button battery to keep the clock running.
And did you DISable the setting to auto update on boot?

Yes and Yes
Have new fresh battery
Disable auto update comes checked on the latest version.

Unplug IP connection and watch boot screen and Never makes it to the login screen.  Restart and plug back in IP connection and now FPPD is stopped for good.

Time to re-image after that... >:(

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2018, 08:30:18 AM »
...Unplug IP connection and watch boot screen and Never makes it to the login screen.  Restart and plug back in IP connection and now FPPD is stopped for good...

I just now tried this on a new Pi3B+ using Dan's 20180709 SD Image.  Booted up, attached to monitor but no network.   It gets to a point where is says "waiting for network..." with a counter that says "no limit".  But in my test I just kept waiting and when the counter got up to 2min 5s it then continued to boot up to the FPP login: screen.  Its definitely quicker with a cable attached, but with no cables and waiting, it took about 2min 15s total time from power on to login.  At that point I plugged in an ethernet cable and connected via web browser that showed FPP status as running. 

As a further test, I enabled the Tethering option, then requested a reboot and unplugged the ethernet cable.   Again, it booted up to "waiting for network..." but after 2min 5s it continued booting up to the login screen.  At this point I was able to use my smartphone to connect to the FPP hotspot and access the FPP webspage which shows FPPD Running in Standalone mode. I have not tested to see if having it cabled to a controller would speed up the process.  I suspect it does.  Also I have not tested running any sequences this way


EDIT:
I tried it with a direct wired connection between the Pi and a Falcon controller with static addresses on both.  This could be a typical scenario for a standalone show where there is no internet connection.  In this case, the boot was much faster since it didn't stop to wait for a network link and/or dhcp server it can't reach.  If you are using a PiCap or USB-dongle for FPP Outputs, and there is nothing connected to the Ethernet port then the boot takes longer but it should still work
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 08:52:03 AM by pixelpuppy »

Offline bpos

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2018, 11:02:24 AM »
...Unplug IP connection and watch boot screen and Never makes it to the login screen.  Restart and plug back in IP connection and now FPPD is stopped for good...

I just now tried this on a new Pi3B+ using Dan's 20180709 SD Image.  Booted up, attached to monitor but no network.   It gets to a point where is says "waiting for network..." with a counter that says "no limit".  But in my test I just kept waiting and when the counter got up to 2min 5s it then continued to boot up to the FPP login: screen.  Its definitely quicker with a cable attached, but with no cables and waiting, it took about 2min 15s total time from power on to login.  At that point I plugged in an ethernet cable and connected via web browser that showed FPP status as running. 

As a further test, I enabled the Tethering option, then requested a reboot and unplugged the ethernet cable.   Again, it booted up to "waiting for network..." but after 2min 5s it continued booting up to the login screen.  At this point I was able to use my smartphone to connect to the FPP hotspot and access the FPP webspage which shows FPPD Running in Standalone mode. I have not tested to see if having it cabled to a controller would speed up the process.  I suspect it does.  Also I have not tested running any sequences this way


EDIT:
I tried it with a direct wired connection between the Pi and a Falcon controller with static addresses on both.  This could be a typical scenario for a standalone show where there is no internet connection.  In this case, the boot was much faster since it didn't stop to wait for a network link and/or dhcp server it can't reach.  If you are using a PiCap or USB-dongle for FPP Outputs, and there is nothing connected to the Ethernet port then the boot takes longer but it should still work

Ok I tried all of this per your instructions. I am now re-imaging  ???   The only thing I tried differently was to use DHCP on wlano. (as a test I will go back and try both as static)
I cant seem to get RTC set either. When I have it wired and reboot it shows RasClock in the box. Then No wire and reboot , no blinky blinky. Put wire back on and now FPPD is stopped and RTC shows nothing in the box.
Brand new battery in PiCap. I am not sure if this is a PiCap issue or Connman issue. Funny thing is all this worked flawlessly back with version 1.8.  I am leaning toward an issue in how connman configures no connection?

Edit: After many attempts and checking RasClock (SSH) I found it to work. Looks like the biggest change that I made to get this to work is to put Both etho and wlano in "static" mode
(the whole system is REAL touchy. Sometimes it works when setting up no connection and sometimes it does not.)
It would be nice to see some changes in time that it takes to find out that there is NO connection. Boot takes around 3 minutes. So you are sitting there thinking "is this going to boot or not"?
I would leave you with this.  It is MUCH easier to just configure wlano to DHCP with SSID and Password, Enable "hot spot" on your phone and then once it boots just turn hot spot off.  Quick and easy. No rasclock needed.  The only downside to this is if you forget to turn on hot spot before you boot. Now there is no connection to find and 9 times out of 10 it will stop the fppd.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 11:55:49 AM by bpos »

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2018, 12:35:41 PM »
I cant seem to get RTC set either. When I have it wired and reboot it shows RasClock in the box. Then No wire and reboot , no blinky blinky. Put wire back on and now FPPD is stopped and RTC shows nothing in the box.
Brand new battery in PiCap. I am not sure if this is a PiCap issue or Connman issue. Funny thing is all this worked flawlessly back with version 1.8.  I am leaning toward an issue in how connman configures no connection?

Are you using Falcon PiCap or some other brand of PiHat?

If using a Falcon PiCap, you need to go into the FPP Time Settings and change the RTC to the DS1305/DS1307 selection not the RasClock selection.  I can imagine how it might hang and will not set the time if you have it set for RasClock
Pay attention to the NOTE: where it says after you choose the clock type, then you must reboot to activate the RTC, then return to the Time Settings to set the time on the RTC

Offline bpos

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Re: Falcon being used without internet connection
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2018, 12:01:46 AM »
I cant seem to get RTC set either. When I have it wired and reboot it shows RasClock in the box. Then No wire and reboot , no blinky blinky. Put wire back on and now FPPD is stopped and RTC shows nothing in the box.
Brand new battery in PiCap. I am not sure if this is a PiCap issue or Connman issue. Funny thing is all this worked flawlessly back with version 1.8.  I am leaning toward an issue in how connman configures no connection?

Are you using Falcon PiCap or some other brand of PiHat?

If using a Falcon PiCap, you need to go into the FPP Time Settings and change the RTC to the DS1305/DS1307 selection not the RasClock selection.  I can imagine how it might hang and will not set the time if you have it set for RasClock
Pay attention to the NOTE: where it says after you choose the clock type, then you must reboot to activate the RTC, then return to the Time Settings to set the time on the RTC

It is PiCap.  I will change the RTC. Was not sure on RasClock or DS1305/DS1307
Some how it is working on RasClock..

EDIT: Ok that went horribly wrong. I cannot get a time setting with DS1305/DS1307.  FPPD stopped right away.

I wish there was a way to hard start the FPPD when it stopped. Restart FPPD and Start FPPD on the status screen does not work when the FPPD stops on boot.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 12:50:26 PM by bpos »

 

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