Author Topic: Keeping channel numbering when uploading controller configuration from Xlights  (Read 351 times)

Offline Kensington Graves

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location:
  • Posts: 49
  • Kudos: 0
I have a F16v3 running half the yard, and a F48 running the other half.  The F16v3 runs Universes 1-23, and the F48 runs U24-44.  I use absolute addressing.

After spending two days trying to figure out why half of my mid-roof icicles were not lighting up during sequences, but worked fine in test mode, I finally noticed that nothing was being sent to U27, and then found that U27 was assigned to a non-existent IP address in Xlights setup.  I had manually entered the e1.31 info manually into the F48 the first time, so I didn't catch it.  Brilliant.  So I fixed everything on Xlights and decided to configure the controller from Xlights since I had spent two days verifying that everything in Xlights was 100% correct.  Except for that one IP address.  In my defense, "182" and "192" look an awful lot alike in a table of 44 entries, and no one ever looks at the first octet of an IP address because you never get that part wrong, right?  Prior to uploading to the F48, I deleted the existing configuration and made sure "absolute addressing" appeared in the dropdown box on the F48's e1.31 configuration page.  Then I did the right click thingy in the Xlights setup page to release the arcane daemon that does Gil's (or Dan's) nefarious bidding, and the Xlights configuration was uploaded to the F48.

The universe numbers, sizes, and pixel counts populated correctly, but the channel numbering started at Channel 1.  Universe 24, which is the first universe on the F48, is supposed to start at Channel 11101.  It is correctly numbered in Xlights setup.  I has to be an ID10T error, so what didn't I do?  There were no options on the "upload to controller" dialog, as I recall, and I right clicked only on the IP address for the F48.  Does the fact that I have multiple controllers with unicast addresses make a difference?

Offline pixelpuppy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Posts: 1,292
  • Kudos: 37
Except for that one IP address.  In my defense, "182" and "192" look an awful lot alike in a table of 44 entries,

I find it much easier to configure (and find errors like that) if you define your xlights outputs as groups of universes instead of a separate line for every universe.
-Mark

Offline TxBillbr

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2017
  • Location: Georgetown, TX
  • Posts: 36
  • Kudos: 0
Mark,
Does that work hand-in-hand with putting the port numbers and controllers in the props layout? I had a problem this year with my setup being too "verbose" in that I had an entry per prop. If I used the capability to deploy the controller configuration, it would screw-up the controller definition due to my bad props wiring (a different story). It took a Zoom session for me to realize I had done it all "the hard way." Had I known that you define the props first, then the setup, and finally the controller configuration, it would have saved me lots of headaches.


Bill

Offline Poporacer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2017
  • Location: Meridian Idaho
  • Posts: 159
  • Kudos: 2
I have a F16v3 running half the yard, and a F48 running the other half.  The F16v3 runs Universes 1-23, and the F48 runs U24-44.  I use absolute addressing.

Can I ask why? Absolute addressing can get very confusing especially for a newbie. Using Universes allows you to organize things so that you can identify controllers/props easier and therefore make troubleshooting easier.

Quote
After spending two days trying to figure out why half of my mid-roof icicles were not lighting up during sequences, but worked fine in test mode, I finally noticed that nothing was being sent to U27, and then found that U27 was assigned to a non-existent IP address in Xlights setup.  I had manually entered the e1.31 info manually into the F48 the first time, so I didn't catch it.  Brilliant.  So I fixed everything on Xlights and decided to configure the controller from Xlights since I had spent two days verifying that everything in Xlights was 100% correct.  Except for that one IP address.  In my defense, "182" and "192" look an awful lot alike in a table of 44 entries, and no one ever looks at the first octet of an IP address because you never get that part wrong, right?  Prior to uploading to the F48, I deleted the existing configuration and made sure "absolute addressing" appeared in the dropdown box on the F48's e1.31 configuration page.  Then I did the right click thingy in the Xlights setup page to release the arcane daemon that does Gil's (or Dan's) nefarious bidding, and the Xlights configuration was uploaded to the F48.

The universe numbers, sizes, and pixel counts populated correctly, but the channel numbering started at Channel 1.  Universe 24, which is the first universe on the F48, is supposed to start at Channel 11101.  It is correctly numbered in Xlights setup.
Universes can only have a maximum of 512 channels so universe 24 channel 11101 would be invalid. Universes/channels will get mapped to an absolute channel behind the scenes. If you have some universes set up at other that 510 or 512 channels then things are probably OK. If you look at the attachments you will see that in the Setup tab screen, it will show what absolute channels map to each universe and then look at the Layout Tab and it will also show the corresponding starting and ending absolute channel numbers in parenthesis next to the Universe/channel notation. This can help you verify/troubleshoot things regardless if you use Universes or Absolute addressing
Quote
I has to be an ID10T error, so what didn't I do?  There were no options on the "upload to controller" dialog, as I recall, and I right clicked only on the IP address for the F48.  Does the fact that I have multiple controllers with unicast addresses make a difference?
If you were to include some screenshots of your setup and layout tabs in Xlights and your controller configuration screen of your controller, we could make sure things are correct. Because you have to set up your E.131 networks using Universe/Channel numbers I strongly suggest that you get away from absolute addressing for several reasons. the biggest one is that it is actually less confusing once you understand it and things are easier to troubleshoot. If your setup in XLights is correct, both in the layout and setup pages, then I have a feeling that the controller upload worked and it is just that you don't understand how the different numbering conventions work.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Offline Kensington Graves

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location:
  • Posts: 49
  • Kudos: 0
Can I ask why? Absolute addressing can get very confusing especially for a newbie. Using Universes allows you to organize things so that you can identify controllers/props easier and therefore make troubleshooting easier.

Simple.  My wife doesn't like miles of cable running all over the yard.  I'd have to make multiple runs of 75 ft cables from the F16v3 to the other side of the yard to run the props there.  As for absolute addressing, blame Dave Pitts and the number 95.  When he helped me with my megatree a few years ago, we set it up on absolute addressing.  At that time I was using a F16v2 (680 pixels per output).  My megatree strands were 95 pixels long, which meant that I'd have to connect a new data cable in the middle of a strand somewhere instead of at the bottom if I wanted to use all possible channels on each output.  And split a universe between two outputs in the process.  So I truncated the last universe on a controller output at a channel that corresponded to a multiple of 95.  Made sense to me.  I was already crunching pixels and channels, and it made sense to keep using absolute addressing. 

Absolute addressing was also useful in Xlights when I needed to test something quick and dirty and didn't want to worry about channel conflicts in the existing prop daisy chain or keep track of the last prop I had put in the layout--I'd pick a random channel well above the range I was actually using and built it there, then worked it back into the setup if I decided to keep it.

Quote
Universes can only have a maximum of 512 channels so universe 24 channel 11101 would be invalid. Universes/channels will get mapped to an absolute channel behind the scenes. If you have some universes set up at other that 510 or 512 channels then things are probably OK.

I know.  U6, U12, and U18 each have 300 channels assigned to them because they correspond to the physical end of a strand on the tree.  Otherwise U1-23 are 510 channels. 

Quote
If your setup in XLights is correct, both in the layout and setup pages, then I have a feeling that the controller upload worked and it is just that you don't understand how the different numbering conventions work.

The setup in Xlights and FPP were both 100% correct, as was the setup uploaded to the F16v3 (which is supposed start at a channel 1 and did in fact start at U1 channel 1 when I uploaded from Xlights).  The F48's starting universe was correct at 24, but the starting channel was numbered 1 instead of 11101.  The channel numbers increased incrementally from channel 1.  For example, U24 and U25 have 510 channels, and U26 has 438.  After the upload to the F48, the end channel on U24 was 510, start channel on U25 was 511 and end channel was 1020, start channel on U26 was 1021 and end channel was 1458.  I'm not quite sure what I'd be missing or misunderstanding.  The show ran non-stop and error-free for more than a month with the manual entries, which is a fair indicator that those were right.

Like I said, it has to be something simple that I missed somewhere.  It wasn't critical, as I know how to manually enter the information and cross check it among Xlights, the controllers, and FPP, but it was one of those features I thought I'd try this year.

Offline Poporacer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2017
  • Location: Meridian Idaho
  • Posts: 159
  • Kudos: 2
Simple.  My wife doesn't like miles of cable running all over the yard.  I'd have to make multiple runs of 75 ft cables from the F16v3 to the other side of the yard to run the props there.
I totally agree with your wife, that is why I use the master/remote setup and connect wirelessly. In the past there were problems, but I did not have a single problem with 4 wireless remotes
Quote
  As for absolute addressing, blame Dave Pitts and the number 95.  When he helped me with my megatree a few years ago, we set it up on absolute addressing.  At that time I was using a F16v2 (680 pixels per output).  My megatree strands were 95 pixels long, which meant that I'd have to connect a new data cable in the middle of a strand somewhere instead of at the bottom if I wanted to use all possible channels on each output.  And split a universe between two outputs in the process.  So I truncated the last universe on a controller output at a channel that corresponded to a multiple of 95.  Made sense to me.  I was already crunching pixels and channels, and it made sense to keep using absolute addressing.
If you don't mind handling the pain with absolute addressing than stick with it, but maybe things have changed, I think you can accomplish that with using Universes (someone chime in if I am wrong) I think life will be easier for you if you learn how Universes work, it really simplifies life a lot!
Quote
I know.  U6, U12, and U18 each have 300 channels assigned to them because they correspond to the physical end of a strand on the tree.  Otherwise U1-23 are 510 channels.
Based on those numbers, Universe 24, Channel 1 is Absolute channel 11,110

Quote

The setup in Xlights and FPP were both 100% correct, as was the setup uploaded to the F16v3 (which is supposed start at a channel 1 and did in fact start at U1 channel 1 when I uploaded from Xlights).  The F48's starting universe was correct at 24, but the starting channel was numbered 1 instead of 11101.
Like I said, Universe 24 channel 1 IS Absolute Channel 11,100 
Quote
The channel numbers increased incrementally from channel 1.  For example, U24 and U25 have 510 channels, and U26 has 438.  After the upload to the F48, the end channel on U24 was 510, start channel on U25 was 511 and end channel was 1020, start channel on U26 was 1021 and end channel was 1458.
Can you send a screen shot of this so I can make sure we are talking about the same thing?
Quote
The show ran non-stop and error-free for more than a month with the manual entries, which is a fair indicator that those were right.
Is it not working now?
Quote

Like I said, it has to be something simple that I missed somewhere.  It wasn't critical, as I know how to manually enter the information and cross check it among Xlights, the controllers, and FPP, but it was one of those features I thought I'd try this year.
I love the upload feature, I can make changes, rearrange props, add or remove props, change props to other controllers and I don't need to touch the controller, Xlights does it all for me.

Offline dkulp

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Sep 2013
  • Location: Framingham, MA
  • Posts: 1,330
  • Kudos: 71
Quote

Can I ask why? Absolute addressing can get very confusing especially for a newbie. Using Universes allows you to organize things so that you can identify controllers/props easier and therefore make troubleshooting easier.


I personally find universes WAY WAY more confusing than absolute, particularly for beginners, and particularly if they are trying to work with various older controllers that may have additional restrictions like 510 vs 512 and wether ports can span universes and such.   With absolute, there isn't any strange mappings to try and remember.   That's one reason I really promote the use of DDP for the various PiHat and BBB based controllers, even for Pixel string outputs.  It's soooo much easier to deal with, and with xLights, you don't need to even configure anything on the controller, xLights does it for you.
Dan Kulp

Offline Kensington Graves

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location:
  • Posts: 49
  • Kudos: 0
I took down the show Saturday, so its not working anymore,  per se.

I understand that U24 channel 1 is an absolute address of 11101 in my setup.  If I was using universe and start channel numbering, I would expect the controller to show U24 channel 1 in the first field.   What I dont understand is why, when using absolute addressing, the F48 still displays the channels as if its set for universe and start numbers.

I also understand that .fseq files contain absolute addresses and not universe/start channel information.  Consequently, I would expect the transferred information to appear in that formatting when absolute addressing is selected on the controller.  If on the upload Xlights converts it to the universe/start channel format and thats what gets displayed, then Ill live with it; the assumption being that FPP directs channels to controllers based on the universe configuration appearing in its setup, regardless of whether absolute addressing is selected.

Offline Poporacer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2017
  • Location: Meridian Idaho
  • Posts: 159
  • Kudos: 2
Quote

Can I ask why? Absolute addressing can get very confusing especially for a newbie. Using Universes allows you to organize things so that you can identify controllers/props easier and therefore make troubleshooting easier.

I personally find universes WAY WAY more confusing than absolute, particularly for beginners, and particularly if they are trying to work with various older controllers that may have additional restrictions like 510 vs 512 and wether ports can span universes and such.
You are far more knowledgeable than I am, but I haven't had to deal with those previous problems so I haven't seen those issues so my judgement is clouded.
Quote
   With absolute, there isn't any strange mappings to try and remember.   That's one reason I really promote the use of DDP for the various PiHat and BBB based controllers, even for Pixel string outputs.  It's soooo much easier to deal with, and with xLights, you don't need to even configure anything on the controller, xLights does it for you.
It would be nice to see some more documentation on DDP and how it works and setting it up in both XLights and the various controllers. I followed a couple threads on this but I didn't get enough information on how to actually use it. If you are using Master/Remote setup, does DDp provide a benefit or only if you are actually transmitting data?

Offline Poporacer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2017
  • Location: Meridian Idaho
  • Posts: 159
  • Kudos: 2
I took down the show Saturday, so its not working anymore,  per se.
Did it work after you did the upload?
Quote
I understand that U24 channel 1 is an absolute address of 11101 in my setup.  If I was using universe and start channel numbering, I would expect the controller to show U24 channel 1 in the first field.   What I dont understand is why, when using absolute addressing, the F48 still displays the channels as if its set for universe and start numbers.
In XLights, did you set up your props with absolute addressing? Can we see some screenshots?
Quote
I also understand that .fseq files contain absolute addresses and not universe/start channel information.  Consequently, I would expect the transferred information to appear in that formatting when absolute addressing is selected on the controller.  If on the upload Xlights converts it to the universe/start channel format and thats what gets displayed, then Ill live with it; the assumption being that FPP directs channels to controllers based on the universe configuration appearing in its setup, regardless of whether absolute addressing is selected.

Offline JonB256

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Granbury, Texas
  • Posts: 5,058
  • Kudos: 116
    • Granbury Christmas Lights
I personally find universes WAY WAY more confusing than absolute, particularly for beginners, and particularly if they are trying to work with various older controllers that may have additional restrictions like 510 vs 512 and whether ports can span universes and such.   With absolute, there isn't any strange mappings to try and remember.   That's one reason I really promote the use of DDP for the various PiHat and BBB based controllers, even for Pixel string outputs.  It's soooo much easier to deal with, and with xLights, you don't need to even configure anything on the controller, xLights does it for you.

When I see folks' xLights setups with 20 different universe sizes and scrambled order, I just cringe. (I also am a lot less likely to try to help them straighten that mess out). I'm absolutely absolute. When universe sizes are required (Falcon or FPP controllers), I make them all 512. It may just be carryover from my Pixelnet days but it works. DDP was a snap to use because of my absolutism.

Offline Kensington Graves

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location:
  • Posts: 49
  • Kudos: 0
I took down the show Saturday, so its not working anymore,  per se.
Did it work after you did the upload?
Quote
I understand that U24 channel 1 is an absolute address of 11101 in my setup.  If I was using universe and start channel numbering, I would expect the controller to show U24 channel 1 in the first field.   What I dont understand is why, when using absolute addressing, the F48 still displays the channels as if its set for universe and start numbers.
In XLights, did you set up your props with absolute addressing? Can we see some screenshots?
Quote
I also understand that .fseq files contain absolute addresses and not universe/start channel information.  Consequently, I would expect the transferred information to appear in that formatting when absolute addressing is selected on the controller.  If on the upload Xlights converts it to the universe/start channel format and thats what gets displayed, then Ill live with it; the assumption being that FPP directs channels to controllers based on the universe configuration appearing in its setup, regardless of whether absolute addressing is selected.

Since I had selected "absolute addressing" on the controller, and I didn't have an answer in this thread (or anywhere else I looked), I manually changed the channel numbers from the uploaded values to the absolute addresses.  I did not test the values initially uploaded by Xlights since they did not match either the Xlights setup or the channels assigned to the props.  Maybe it would have worked.

Offline jnealand

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Location: Kennesaw, GA
  • Posts: 2,840
  • Kudos: 62
I tried the switch to U/C this year and found it very confusing.  My brain easily understands absolute and I moved a lot of my props in prior years to using address chaining so I never had that many unique start addresses to deal with.  Address chaining minimized any problems that might have arisen with re-addressing.  At the moment I am thinking of going back to absolute next year, but I am old enough to know that you should not use the word never when dealing with change.  The speed at the way new development is going means we will have lots to think about for next season.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline JonB256

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Granbury, Texas
  • Posts: 5,058
  • Kudos: 116
    • Granbury Christmas Lights
... I moved a lot of my props in prior years to using address chaining so I never had that many unique start addresses to deal with.  Address chaining minimized any problems that might have arisen with re-addressing. 

The address chaining is very nice. I do have many elements that "start" with an Absolute channel # but are then followed, without any gaps, by 20 or 30 more. So I set the first (i.e., "Snowflake01" with an address of 8705 and then Snowflake02 gets its address from the last pixel before it and on down the line. If I ever "move" that chain of Snowflakes (27 of them with 48 pixels each) to make room for new items, I just change the 8705 and they all change.

Gives me the benefit of Universe chaining but keeps my Absolute brain (and Excel sheet) happy.

Offline Poporacer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2017
  • Location: Meridian Idaho
  • Posts: 159
  • Kudos: 2
I tried the switch to U/C this year and found it very confusing.  My brain easily understands absolute and I moved a lot of my props in prior years to using address chaining so I never had that many unique start addresses to deal with.  Address chaining minimized any problems that might have arisen with re-addressing.
I like the U/C method because I can organize and keep track of things a little better. I will designate each controller to handle a group of universes, each starting at a multiple of 100. For example, my F16 will handle Universes 100 to 150 (or however I many I actually need) all models that are attached to the F16 will use 100 series universes. My F8 will be universes 200-2?? and so on. So it is kinda an absolute addressing after I break it down by controller. If I move a model from one controller, I will just change the Starting channel to fall within the Universe range for that controller and adjust the other models if needed. There really is no conversion needed and it is similar to Absolute but it is just broken down into groups. But with that being said, it is best to use whatever you understand the best.

 

Back to top