Author Topic: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help  (Read 456 times)

Offline wsmithmusic

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Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« on: December 04, 2018, 12:51:48 PM »

I have a very strange problem that I don't understand and really need some ideas please. 
I built a 500 pixel 5v megatree a year ago.  10 strings with 50 pixels each.  Power injection at every 100 pixels. 
The pixels came from Alitove on Amazon.  Power supply is a Tanbaby 60amp 5v.  I used a teensy octo with a separate data lead every 100 pixels and raspberry pi with fpp to run it.  Everything worked.  I stored everything connected.  This year, I can't get the colors to work correctly.


I've switched the controller to a Falcon F4V3.  I go into test mode blue.  The first 50 pixels are blue, pixel 51 through about 80 are green and 81 through 100 are blue.  Other color tests do similar.  Test mode white show all pixels white with even brightness.  I get this result on multiple strands/combinations.  The first 50 always show correctly but then seem to go crazy.  I cut the first pixel out and now pixels 2-51 are blue, the next 20-30 are green and the last few are blue. 

I've tried a different power supply, new 18-2 power wire and cat6 for the data line.  I've isolated just 2 strands and get the same result.  The teensy doesn't show correct colors either when I tried hooking it back up. 

I have 4 new strings and a star I wanted to add this year; they all work perfectly on the same equipment/same wiring. 


Are all my pixels bad?  It's like I'm getting data corruption somehow, but in a consistent pattern from my start point. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Weston


Offline tmarshall

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 01:46:52 PM »

What is your output voltage? If it is too high, that can cause strange issues. A single color test will have a lower voltage drop than an all white test. It could be that the all white test results in enough of a voltage drop to make the lights start functioning properly again.


Just a thought.



Offline wsmithmusic

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 02:34:29 PM »
On the tanbaby with nothing connected it tested at almost 9v.  I used a different 5v switching adapter, which tested at 5.6v if I remember correctly.  I had the same result with both.  I've also tried just powering 100 pixels with the output of the F4V3 because it tests at 5.1v.  I get the same pixel output problems hooked all the 3 ways . . .

Offline need_help

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 02:38:07 PM »
What kind of pixels are they? (WS2811, WS2801), etc?
Falcon F16V3 / 16 Expansion Board (2) / WS2801 Pixels (50 per String) (5V Pixels) / 3 Raspberry Pi's / 2 8 Channel Relays (GPIO Pins)

Offline wsmithmusic

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 02:43:17 PM »
They're supposed to be WS2811.  Here is a link to what I purchased: 


ALITOVE 500pcs WS2811 12mm Diffused Digital Dream Color RGB LED Pixel String Light Individually Addressable LED Pixels Module for LED Screen Wall Outdoor Advertising Board Signs IP68 Waterproof DC 5V
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCAG8KV/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


The thing that keeps stumping me is a year ago they worked.  They've been unplugged and stored for a year and now they don't. 

Offline need_help

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 03:06:30 PM »
Did you update your controller?

Offline wsmithmusic

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 03:53:52 PM »
Did you update your controller?
No, I have not.  Is there newer software/firmware I need to try loading?


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Offline need_help

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 03:57:32 PM »
I don't want to personally give you that advice.  I just wanted to see if it was an update issue.  Let me keep thinking, but it's hard to say without seeing some controller screenshots.

Offline wsmithmusic

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 05:39:15 PM »
As I think about it, I havent looked much at the controller.  Ill try some more settings on it tonight and post screenshots if need be.

Thanks,
Weston


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Offline tmarshall

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 05:48:37 PM »
On the tanbaby with nothing connected it tested at almost 9v.  I used a different 5v switching adapter, which tested at 5.6v if I remember correctly.  I had the same result with both.  I've also tried just powering 100 pixels with the output of the F4V3 because it tests at 5.1v.  I get the same pixel output problems hooked all the 3 ways . . .
Try dropping your voltage to about 4.8 or 4.9. I have experienced similar issues running at 5.1v.




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Offline jnealand

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 06:05:41 PM »
I never set my color order based on FPP test.  You will always have problems.  Leave all xlights settings at RGB.  I create 3 sequences that turn every light in my display one color (3 colors, 3 sequences just 30 sec long).  Upload the sequences to the Pi and then play with repeat.  Look at the colors and change the color order in the controller.  With a Falcon F16/F48 you can do that at the same time the sequence is playing and see the change.  Repeat until you get it right.  I just finished doing that for all the props that are currently setup and will be doing that again today and tomorrow as I finish my setup.  Been doing this for several years and always works.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline wsmithmusic

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 07:47:32 AM »
I haven't had a chance to try dropping the voltage yet, I can probably get to that tomorrow night.  I did get to mess with the F4V3 test mode and string settings.  I'm only using test mode currently.  If I configure for only 65 pixels or less and I have the same color but if I choose more than that I get the earlier result--a section of about 20 after pixel 50 consistently is a different color, with with last part being the correct color.  I created multiple virtual strings 1-25, 26-100.  Testing in blue, I get green pixels starting at pixel 16-26 then the rest of the 100 are blue. 


I have really have no idea.  My teensy octo sketch, which I used last year, has a test of all blue at the start and all the pixels everywhere turn blue.  But I couldn't get the serial part to work correctly this year (crazy colors), one of the many reasons for switching to the falcon. 



Also the pixel strings I'm having trouble running the same color for longer than 50 all have S009A on the PCB whereas the strings I don't have any problems with all have SH009A.  I'm not sure what the difference between those two are. 


I'll try dropping the voltage and if that doesn't help, I may create a basic color sketch on the teensy and test with that. 


Thanks,
Weston

Offline JonB256

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 08:37:11 AM »
If you're using a Falcon F4V and that color change is truly consistent, you could use Virtual Strings and change each "odd" section to its proper color order, making the whole string consistent.

You either have a String Ports configuration problem or perhaps the manufacturer mixed Pixel modules into the string with differing RGB / RBG / GRB etc order.

Offline wsmithmusic

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Re: Major problems with my mega tree pixels -- out of ideas help
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2018, 12:01:38 PM »
Just thought I'd update that I finally got it working.  Thanks for everyone who made suggestions.  I don't know what I did, but somehow I must have screwed up a power injection wire and was bridging it with the data or something.  I never found the culprit.  When testing earlier, I left all my power injection leads connected to the strings but not the power supply.  I eventually cut all my original connections off and went string by string making new data and 5v power injection points.  Everything works fine now with no problems.  The moral of the story I guess is always test your tree before installing it--even if it worked last year.  Thanks.

 

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