Author Topic: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3  (Read 510 times)

Offline need_help

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4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« on: November 26, 2018, 01:11:01 PM »
 Hello All!  All right, the family is starting to call me Clarks Griswold because I cant the lights working.

I have a V316 Controller with the following:

1)    2.18 Firmware
2)    E.31 with 16 Universes (Strings) + 4 Remote = Total 20. 
3)    50 Foot Cat 5 Cable connected to Port 1
4)    Port 1 Configured for Pixels

The problem is none of the testing works and none of the sequences are working.  Power is setup, lights are on, on the differential board, but the lights are not turning on.  If I try to upload the controller configuration from Xlights it errors and says that I have exceeded my channels.  How do I restrict the size of the channels?  How do I test the configuration?

Thanks for any info.
 
Falcon F16V3 / 16 Expansion Board (2) / WS2801 Pixels (50 per String) (5V Pixels) / 3 Raspberry Pi's / 2 8 Channel Relays (GPIO Pins)

Online StickyWicket

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 01:49:51 PM »
Have you tried test mode on the F16?

Offline need_help

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 02:12:26 PM »
Yes, thats what I'm trying, but the lights aren't turning on.  Let me send you some screenshots:


Offline JonB256

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 02:21:03 PM »
You have WS2801 configured as your Pixel type. That is a Four Wire pixel.

I'll bet you have WS2811 pixels (the most common 3 wire).

AND, differential receivers ONLY work with 3 wire pixels.

Offline need_help

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 02:32:41 PM »
No I have WS2801 a bunch of them.  Is there any differential receivers that work with these lights?  I can't run a serial wire from the controller that far.  Damn this could hurt...

Offline need_help

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 02:55:17 PM »
I think my only option now is to split the tree from a 32 string tree to 16 and use the remaining the ports for the rest of the show.  Is there a way to link up differential expansion boards 50 feet away?

Online StickyWicket

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 03:09:17 PM »
I think my only option now is to split the tree from a 32 string tree to 16 and use the remaining the ports for the rest of the show.  Is there a way to link up differential expansion boards 50 feet away?

A receiver board can be placed 250+ feet from the controller via cat5.

It is important to note is doesnt add anymore outputs to your controller it only allows you to relocate the specific ports farther away.

In your setup above the pixels would be using the data going to ports 1-4 on both your tree and receiver board. Im guessing you dont want that.

Also, the receiver boards only work with three wire pixels as stated above. The main board can do four wire pixels.

Offline need_help

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 03:23:46 PM »
I think my best bet (this year) is to order another 16 Expansion board and connect both expansion boards to the main controller.  From there, run long wires to the different parts of the house.  The good news is I have a lot of available Universes.  The bad news is, I have more soldering to do...  I think I will use wire joiners for now.  It's getting cold outside...


Offline need_help

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 03:28:34 PM »
By the way, thank you very much.  I was completely on the wrong track and would have never gotten there.  I really appreciate you answering my questions.  Now I have to get to work!

Offline jnealand

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 05:04:48 PM »
You can hook up one differential receiver board to an F16v2/3 using the serial port 1.  You MUST specify main board plus one expansion board even though you do not have an expansion board.  This is needed to setup the internal tables for more than 16 ports.  You can then configure ports 17, 18, 19, and 20 in the serial ports section.  I've done it and it works great.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Online StickyWicket

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 08:26:35 PM »
You can hook up one differential receiver board to an F16v2/3 using the serial port 1.  You MUST specify main board plus one expansion board even though you do not have an expansion board.  This is needed to setup the internal tables for more than 16 ports.  You can then configure ports 17, 18, 19, and 20 in the serial ports section.  I've done it and it works great.

There are some caveats to this scenario. If you want to use ports 17+ then you would need to specify an expansion board in the F16 setup. On an F16v2 you will split the main board & expansion board into 340 max pixels per output each. On a F16v3 you will then limit the split between the two of a shared 1024 per port (ie 200&824, 300&724, 50&974 etc). You can specify the split point on a V3 not on a V2. It is also important to not that the configurable split point on the F16V3 effects the whole controller at once. You cant for instance run 800 pixels on one main port and then split 500 on a main board port and 524 on an expansion board.

If you want to use 4 ports for the receiver and they are ports 1-16 you do not have to specify an expansion board.

In any case you dont get extra ports, they are either limiting other ports or duplicating data of other ports. Each controller has a max number of pixels (10,880 v2 & 16,384 v3) adding an expansion board and/or receiver board doesnt increase these numbers.

In the OPs case none of this really factors in because he is only running a small amount of pixels on each port. However if you are running large pixel counts on each main port youll find the receiver boards arent a magic solution to get a bunch more free outputs somewhere else.

If you carefully plan the needs of your elements and the capabilities of your hardware you can certainly leverage them to maximize each controllers capacity.

All of the Falcon products are amazing and a welcomed tool to help ease the setup frustration. But they do have their limits.

Offline jnealand

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Re: 4 String Differential Expansion on F16V3
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2018, 10:10:28 AM »
I also never run huge amounts of pixels on any one port.  Also I define a port as anything that I can connect a string to which is the common definition so it is incorrect to say that you do not get 4 additional ports.  Are there restrictions that apply - sure, but you do get 4 additional ports if using serial output 1.

 

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