Author Topic: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts  (Read 7497 times)

Offline smeighan

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Posts: 1,035
  • Kudos: 11
    • Nutcracker123
While at the Academy , Dave Pitts was showing his Rhasberry Pi Player (http://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Pi-Model-Revision-512MB/dp/B009SQQF9C)

Here are the technical words from Daves site http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=26.0

Features of the software.
* Outputs at least 128 Universes of E131
* Plays music files and outputs audio on 3.5mm jack.
* Embedded web page configuration.
     Setup playlists, schedules, upload sequence and music files. Setup optional RDS feature.
* Uses a user defined NTP server to keep accurate time.
* FTP Server (Optional)
     Can be used to transfer files to player. FTP transfers of 64 MB sequence files are averaging 10 seconds.
* Optional Server and Client operation by using inexpensive USB wireless interface in each.
   Using USB wireless card in both server and clients will allow E131 data to be transmitted on hard wired interface
   and have all sync information sent on wireless interface. Allowing for a small amount of data on the wireless sync network.
   USB network interfaces are about $10.00.
* Optional RTC clock board if NTP is not available.
* Optional RDS ASCII output.
*Play video on 1080p HDMI output.
* Client and slave will be same software just a configuration change.
* Output up to 32768 channel for Pixelnet, 6144 channels of DMX. 12 RS-485 circuits. (Optional Falcon Pixelnet/DMX board (FPD) needed)
   
Xlights is used to convert sequence data to FPP file format.



Here are my words, Freakin Awesome!!

I have never seen my sequences run so crisply. You probably know that my lights are mounted in my basement ceiling (https://vimeo.com/67334993). I run sequences hundreds of times per year as I develop Nutcracker. I have never seen my sequences look this good!

 how it works.

Basically, pi player runs your show (Think of it as the scheduler of xLights and my show computer is now on this small board).


This is now my new show computer



The Rhasberry Pi is running a full Linux OS and has two video outputs (Composite and HDMI), audio, ethernet, 2 usb ports, a sd card and other stuff.

Dave is writing the software to run the Pi and he is giving it away for free. It will be open sourced the same as xLights, Vixen and Nutcracker.

Dave has now tested that the Rhasberry Pi will be able to output 1080p Video during your show. He is developing slaves that will be connected wireless.

So how does this all work

After getting the PI setup
1)  you open a browser to address 192.168.0.2. You will now get a Falcon Pi setup screen.
2)You first upload your sequences. Your Vixen, LOR, LSP, Xlights sequences need to be converted into Pi Sequence files. You will find this option on the Convert tab of xLights.
3)You also need to upload your mp3 music files and any mp4 video files you might want in your show. Want Virtual Santa timed as part of show? You now can get it.
4)You next go to a screen to create play lists, and schedule your show.
5)You can start the show, start a song, stop a song immediately or gracefully. The scheduler will have all the options that xLights scheduler has.

You want to change a song? Use the ftp option and upload a new Pi Sequence file. You can do this while the current sequence is playing. There is zero lag while the file uploads!

I ran the full Wizards of Winter on my 7200 channel tree and saw zero latency, all audacity timing marks were spot on.

This pi player can be used with all hardware controllers (P12r, E682, Etherdongle, Falcon FPD, others that have E1.31 input). You can get DMX output depending on your controller. Currently there is NOT a solution for the legacy LOR proprietary controllers. So if you use E1.31 and/or DMX,   this will work.

Here is picture showing how it ties together
http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/images/falcon_pi.pdf


MyKroft and Mat er Daddy are helping Dave develop the software, Software is supposed to be available for download within next 1-2 weeks.

Simply amazing ....


sean
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 11:33:11 PM by smeighan »
Sean
Littleton, CO Latest releases http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/releases xLights/Nutcracker Forum http://nutcracker123.com/forum/index.php Facebook [url=https://www.facebook.com/groups

Offline mms

  • Falcon Beta Team
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Lone Tree, Colo.
  • Posts: 282
  • Kudos: 2
    • Lone Tree Light Show on Facebook
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 07:35:38 AM »
So let me get this straight:
  • it's open sourced
  • it works with existing hardware and software
  • it runs high channel shows (including shows with video) with no problems
  • it's name is a delicious, fruity mathmatical pun

AWESOME!

Offline MyKroFt

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: NC Montana
  • Posts: 1,420
  • Kudos: 57
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 11:21:12 AM »
Yup, open source with a few restrictions to prevent someone from taking the work, commercializing it, and then selling it on ebay.....

but other than that, anyone can do anything they want with it on their device

Myk

Offline mms

  • Falcon Beta Team
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Lone Tree, Colo.
  • Posts: 282
  • Kudos: 2
    • Lone Tree Light Show on Facebook
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 11:42:50 AM »
This is a great device and revolutionary!

Have you considered implementing a VNC solution so that we can log into the Pi and make changes to the schedules, update sequences, etc., without (in my case) going out to the garage (or yard) to plug in a keyboard and monitor?

Just a thought.  I know things are still under development.

Steve


Offline smeighan

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Posts: 1,035
  • Kudos: 11
    • Nutcracker123
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 12:15:21 PM »
This is a great device and revolutionary!

Have you considered implementing a VNC solution so that we can log into the Pi and make changes to the schedules, update sequences, etc., without (in my case) going out to the garage (or yard) to plug in a keyboard and monitor?

Just a thought.  I know things are still under development.

Steve

Steve; remember that the pi player is reading a great big binary blob for your show (The fseq file produced from the convert tab of xlights). You cant tweak the actual show since xlights/nutcracker does not run on Pi. I suppose someday that might be tried. Matt tried to compile wxwidgets and xlights on Rhasberry Pi last year. It took two hours for it to complete.

I will be using my desk machine to tweak effects, then convert xseq file into fseq (a one second operation, btw). I then go to 192.168.02 and upload the file, it will upload in 5-10 seconds.

You can probably already get a vnc session into your DEbian linux, but it would be for checking or fixing things is my guess

thanks
sean

Offline Materdaddy

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Oceanside, CA
  • Posts: 2,050
  • Kudos: 10
    • Christmas On Quiet Hills
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 12:42:03 PM »
This is a great device and revolutionary!

Have you considered implementing a VNC solution so that we can log into the Pi and make changes to the schedules, update sequences, etc., without (in my case) going out to the garage (or yard) to plug in a keyboard and monitor?

Just a thought.  I know things are still under development.

Steve

VNC isn't needed, and would slow things down.  For VNC to be used, the Pi would have to be running a window manager which would eat up ram/cpu.

If you haven't already read the Falcon Pi Player feature-set, you should.  You'd see that setting up the playlists and schedules is all done through a web interface.  That means you don't need to have a monitor, or VNC to get things going.  Just put it on your network, and go!

In the case of flash corruption, you may have to connect a keyboard/monitor to enter recovery mode, but that's the exception, not the rule.  I use a Pi for my sprinklers as does a friend/co-worker and flash corruption bit him hard.  He was using Kingston class 4 cards.  He had 2 of them that gave him constant trouble.  I use Transcend class 10 cards and have not had any problems (yet).

Offline David Pitts

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Falcon, CO
  • Posts: 3,929
  • Kudos: 76
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 12:44:34 PM »
Check out these videos Steve.
http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=93.15

I forward to seeing you and your dad in Denver soon.

This is a great device and revolutionary!

Have you considered implementing a VNC solution so that we can log into the Pi and make changes to the schedules, update sequences, etc., without (in my case) going out to the garage (or yard) to plug in a keyboard and monitor?

Just a thought.  I know things are still under development.

Steve
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

Offline MyKroFt

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: NC Montana
  • Posts: 1,420
  • Kudos: 57
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 12:48:49 PM »
Remember on the  SD cards, the higher the class the faster the data can be written to mitigate corruption from power failures etc.

One solution to power failures is have the pi powered from lithium rechargeable, and your power supply is constantly charging them - then no power loss - or a cheap old ups laying around.

Myk

Offline Steve Gase

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Georgetown, TX (near Austin)
  • Posts: 1,037
  • Kudos: 5
    • WinterLightShow in Georgetown, TX
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 01:50:10 PM »
I just received my PIs from the vendor, but haven't loaded them yet... so don't know the answer.

What file system is used for these images -- isn't there a journaling file system available to help with potential power issues?
http://WinterLightShow.com  |  110K channels, 50K lights  |  Nutcracker, Falcon, DLA, HolidayCoro

Offline smeighan

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Posts: 1,035
  • Kudos: 11
    • Nutcracker123
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 02:03:15 PM »
steve; my 4gb sd card had os already installed.

maybe look at http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/4100 to see about creating a new copy if you have a blank sd card.

sean

Offline MyKroFt

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: NC Montana
  • Posts: 1,420
  • Kudos: 57
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 02:14:24 PM »
There will be a "NOOBS" setup with our base image on it.  There are specifics installed in this image that we need for the Pi software.  I am working on creating that image now.  It will overwrite whatever is on the card when you install it.

Myk

Offline smeighan

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Posts: 1,035
  • Kudos: 11
    • Nutcracker123
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 02:43:08 PM »
cool!

i need to get a couple of sd cards so i have a back. if anything happens, just plug anotehr one in

Offline David Pitts

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Falcon, CO
  • Posts: 3,929
  • Kudos: 76
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 02:49:42 PM »
Although 4GB is minimum. I would get at least 8 GB cards. Possible faster speeds like 6 - 10 as MaterDaddy suggests.

Offline danj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Location:
  • Posts: 304
  • Kudos: 1
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 08:37:33 PM »
This is my first year to synchronize and first year to go RGB.  I will be using an E682 for my RGBs, using LOR sequences to drive 16 AC channels thru the LOR CTB16PC and to drive the E682 for the RGB pixels in six 60-pixel arches.  I would really like to use the raspberry pi in my setup.   However, I am not very knowledgeable about network stuff so I am not certain about my ability to setup the raspberry pi, but I sure would like "not to" have to dedicate a PC to my display!  Should I give this a shot for this year's Christmas display?  Or is this biting off too much for a newbie???  Thanks very much in advance.  Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

Offline David Pitts

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Falcon, CO
  • Posts: 3,929
  • Kudos: 76
Re: The most amazing thing I have seen, the Pi Player from Dave Pitts
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2013, 09:03:44 PM »
This is my first year to synchronize and first year to go RGB.  I will be using an E682 for my RGBs, using LOR sequences to drive 16 AC channels thru the LOR CTB16PC and to drive the E682 for the RGB pixels in six 60-pixel arches.  I would really like to use the raspberry pi in my setup.   However, I am not very knowledgeable about network stuff so I am not certain about my ability to setup the raspberry pi, but I sure would like "not to" have to dedicate a PC to my display!  Should I give this a shot for this year's Christmas display?  Or is this biting off too much for a newbie???  Thanks very much in advance.  Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

It is a very small investment price wise. A pi (35.00), power supply, sd card and usb thumb drive. If you get everything else done (sequencing) and building of the props,  switching your sequences to run of the pi will not take  that much time. I say go for it.


 

Back to top