Falcon Christmas

Falcon Christmas => Falcon FPD (Falcon Pixelnet & DMX Dongle) => Topic started by: TNF250 on December 28, 2016, 10:16:00 AM

Title: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: TNF250 on December 28, 2016, 10:16:00 AM
Next year I will be going beyond the 4 universe that the ETD can supply so I plan on either a FPD or F16V3. But I still want to use the DLA equipment.


The question is since the DLA equipment only see 4 universes configured by jumper how is it setup in FPP Channel Output, would the attached be correct? 



Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: plaberge on December 29, 2016, 01:17:56 AM
No - you would configure your FPD something like this. I've duplicated U# 5-8 on the last two ports but you can use the last one for DMX. (I use the DMX output off an active hub for my DMX devices instead.) The jumpers for the DLA equipment connected to Universe 5 to 8 are jumpered "1" for U# 5 to "4" for U# 8.




Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: JonB256 on December 29, 2016, 08:28:53 AM
Paul, I'm not sure your "All Pixelnet" setup will work. Dave Pitts would know for sure, but you are only supposed to use 8 outputs for Pixelnet. I see that your last four are duplicating the middle four and may get around that limitation.

Because the FPD uses two PICs to handle the output, I have always put 4 universes of pixelnet on 1 thru 4, then 4 universes of pixelnet on 9 thru 12. In my mind that balances the processing load.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: taybrynn on December 29, 2016, 09:11:39 AM
Hmm ... I don't know about the FPD ... but this year, using only FPP and a bunch of F16v2 (r) boards ... I can configure each F16v2 to use 'up to' 4 pixelnet universes ... and ZERO setup on the FPD tab on the FPP.   It all works great, so I'd recommend going with F16v3 and you'll be able to continue to use pixelnet for another ED worth of universes (4 4k PN universes) on the new f16v3. 


So basically everything is E1.31 in xlights and FPP ... the F16v2 can then output some the channels is receiving on the serial out port (first one for pixelnet only) ... as pixelnet and starting ch# for each 4k pixelnet out you use.   To the DLA gear, its just 1-4096 and which universe of 4 to jumper for.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: zwiller on December 29, 2016, 09:48:12 AM
+1;   I think alot of us are in the same boat and eventually we will find something that works.  I think the key is to mix in some of the newer Falcon gear to get E1.31 out in the yard.  There are a few options.  I think the cheapest way I know of is a remote FPP with chinese usb serial adapter.  One key aspect to be mindful is that the E1.31 is not meant to be daisy chained like our PN gear was and is designed to be connected to a switch.  It took me a while for that to sink in. 
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: taybrynn on December 29, 2016, 10:05:28 AM
I replaced my 3 etherdongles ... with 3 F16v2(s) that can output pixelnet as needed ... if you figure thats saving you close to $100 each ... the F16v2 (v3 now) is an even bigger bargain.


The v3 will also have a 2 port switch built into it ... so you can daisy chain the E1.31 if you want !
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: deplanche on December 29, 2016, 10:07:59 AM
Does the PiCap output pixelnet or only DMX/Renard/LOR? 
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: David Pitts on December 29, 2016, 10:09:09 AM
 Yes. The PiCap can output one universe of Pixelnet.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: zwiller on December 29, 2016, 10:31:49 AM
The v3 will also have a 2 port switch built into it ... so you can daisy chain the E1.31 if you want !

I did not know that!  THANKS.  Is there a F16V3 summary floating around here that can be added to the V3 board?  Preferably with a picture  ;D

Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: deplanche on December 29, 2016, 10:35:50 AM
Yes. The PiCap can output one universe of Pixelnet.

Seems like a Pi with a PiCap might be a cheaper alternative than using a F16v2 if the original poster's goal is to keep using the old DLA stuff for the most part.  The F16v2 or v3 is definitely the way to go for an upgrade though if he's transitioning.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: zwiller on December 29, 2016, 10:59:26 AM
Like all things, there is balance of cost and ease of use.  I find it difficult to remember how to use the various iterations of gear.  DLA will be phased out simply because I cannot remember how to program it anymore.  I think in the long run it will easier to use and worth the investment.  That said, I love the ole F16v1 and do not plan to getting rid of them anytime soon.  The new differential concept is a whole new level to me and making me really rethink things as well.     
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: TNF250 on December 29, 2016, 05:01:32 PM
Maybe I'm not understanding on how the FPD works.


The are 3 ports on the FPD (seen from a this post http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,2862.0.html (http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,2862.0.html) ) the Primary, RJ-2 and RJ-3. What or how are they configured for use?


I will be beyond 24k channels so the ETD and a PICap will not work. 
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: taybrynn on December 29, 2016, 06:04:24 PM
Wow, I guess the piCap is just too cool.


Does running a picap in any way prevent you from using the same Rasberry Pi for FPP standalone?


The Falcon usc ssc firmware and programming utility -- is something that may extend the life of your DLA stuff a bit also ... since it gives you enhanced SSC programming (descriptions per ssc) and the ability to program "in the field" if needed.   ANd it remembers how you programmed the SSCs which is nice.   You remove the DLA SSC programming jumper and leave it removed when using Falcon Firmware on DLA SSCs.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: plaberge on December 29, 2016, 10:07:15 PM
Paul, I'm not sure your "All Pixelnet" setup will work. Dave Pitts would know for sure, but you are only supposed to use 8 outputs for Pixelnet. I see that your last four are duplicating the middle four and may get around that limitation.


Good to know - it's been working fine all season. But then, I'm not using the universes supposed to be on the last four, so I've been getting away lucky. :) Going forward, new stuff will be using E1.31.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: CaptainMurdoch on January 02, 2017, 11:18:26 PM
Yes. The PiCap can output one universe of Pixelnet.

Seems like a Pi with a PiCap might be a cheaper alternative than using a F16v2 if the original poster's goal is to keep using the old DLA stuff for the most part.  The F16v2 or v3 is definitely the way to go for an upgrade though if he's transitioning.

The PiCap can output Pixelnet, but it can only output a single universe (4096 channels), so it is not the same as a Etherdongle or F16v3 or FPD.
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: TNF250 on January 03, 2017, 02:58:56 PM
Thanks for everyone input and help but it seems the FPD is not the way to go.

Since I plan on transitioning to all falcon equipment and the F16v3 will be the way to move forward for future growth.  Can someone confirm what I'm thinking will work during my transition.

Get a F16v3 with expansion 16 port board that will run the 2 mega trees. Configure the 4 ports on the F16 to pixelnet and use them to run the 4 Active Hubs for the balance of the display. Is this a plausible setup and if so any ideal of the setup in Xlights?


Thanks
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: zwiller on January 05, 2017, 08:44:24 AM
Seems plausible to me (and very similar to my future approach).  Setup in XL and FPP should be same and just plug in # of universes you need as E1.31.  The main thing is to ensure you setup the serial port for PN in the F16v3 page to the universe/channels for the hubs and here you have 4 PN universes to work with.  It is my understanding they do not need to start at one or be sequential universes but I think it might be best to do this.  This is a little uncharted territory for me with as I have no V2 to test with but be rest assured I am going to testing WELL.  The main thing is you are going to limited to 4 PN universes coming off the serial/PN out.  It is also my understanding that the V3 will have 2 built in switches so we can then daisy chain them like old school DLA but you will need another Falcon device to get "the other" 4 PN universes from these.  I tend to think a good KISS approach might be to have 2 F16v3/etc, one with serial to 1-16k and another 16-32k so that you can pretty much do whatever you want without too much fuss.  So in the end, E1.31 channel 16,385 will blink an SSC set to channel 1, connected to a hub on universe 1, fed from a F16v3 with serial out set to the "2nd set" 16-32k of PN universes.  If I am off guys, please correct me.  Learning this myself.  I think it is pretty clear most of us are not gonna just dump the DLA or F16v1 gear so I think there will more understanding about this in the future.   
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: taybrynn on January 05, 2017, 11:25:12 AM
I did something similar in 2016 with (5) new Falcon F16v2(s) ... and it worked great. 


One caveat -- if you run the F16v2 controller test -- the RGBW colors on the pixelnet out channels wasn't always right.   So it turns out that its still fine, and they won't do that when controllers from xlights or FPP.


Because each F16 basically includes the output capability of (1) DLA Etherdongle, only potentially more configurable, the only catch is you have to configure all 4 serial outs to be pixelnet, and the starting channel numbers for each, but remember only the first output port is then used (and all four PN universes go out on that as PN U1,2,3,4).  I believe if you ONLY configured port1 to be a single pixelnet universe, then the other 3 jacks are configurable to DMX, Renard, etc.  You might need to change your dla hub PN jumper to U#1 but other than that it should work fine.


I had two of my F16v2 configured with all 4 serial outputs of pixelnet going to (1) DLA active hub each.   Then each of those dla active hubs going the DLA SSC(s) -- one per house (roof elements).  I only needed to do one pixelnet out, but I treated it like an etherdongle, just so I wouldn't get confused, so I kept my hubs jumpered the same as they had been when I was using 2 etherdongles.


I don't recall but I also only "THINK" you can configure each of pixelnet out to any range you want (as long as its a subset of E1.31 range of universes you are receiving), but in my case I just configured all 4 pixelnet out universes in contiguous PN universe ranges ... and treated it like an etherdongle doing the first 16k as described above, since I had no need for DMX or RENARD on the other 3 RJ45 output ports.


Side note: I would advise using the Falcon usc ssc firmware on any DLA SSC(s) .. and use the Falcon uSC/SSC Programmer instead of the DLA SS Utility.  THis way, if you need to reprogram the SSC(s), you could basically unplug the appropriate F16v2 from the DLA hub ... and plug in a DLA Etherdongle or DLA USB DMX dongle flashed with pixelnet (what I used) and re-program in the field that way, if needed.  Just don't check "program all SSC on hub" when programming in the field like that.  I haven't done it yet.   I programmed each SSC v4 with the usc/ssc Falcon Programmer and checked the "program all SSC on hub" ... but only had ONE SSC connected at a time, and this allows you to assign the initial start channel and a description for each SSC.   Thats very nice.


I also think you might be wise to have a second f16v3 if you can, just because once you have ONE, your going to be wanting that second !!!


I would also advice you to get at least 1 of the 16ch expansion boards because you double capacity for so cheap, its almost foolish not to.  I ended up using my expansion(s) this year and had not planned on it ... so was happy I had 2 expansions to use. 


Scott
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: TNF250 on January 05, 2017, 02:04:42 PM
Prefect. Thank you for confirming, zwiller, taybrynn. Looks like the F16v3 with expansion boards are in my future.


I already started programming the SSC with the Falcon firmware this year, it worked great after I figured which type of light to use to get the correct color order for the DLA nodes (1804).
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: zwiller on January 05, 2017, 02:31:49 PM
Really stupid question #1:  Do these expansion boards fit inside the CG1500 with the F16?  Myself, thinking I will go the differential expansion route. 

Real stupid question #2: What is the E1.31 channel limit?  Seems not long ago I laughed at the thought over going over 16k for PN...   ;D
Title: Re: FPP - FPD - DLA Setup Question
Post by: JonB256 on January 05, 2017, 09:28:00 PM
Here's a quote from Jon Chuchla in 2014:

The universe limit on sACN (E1.31) is 63999. This is the number of universes on a network. This is a theoretical limit, and an address limit It isn't possible to do this many on a single 10/100 Ethernet connection because of bandwidth limits and network overhead, but the viable number is well into the thousands of universes. It's well beyond what any of our current sequencers can pump out.