Author Topic: P10 panel flickering  (Read 1198 times)

Offline pmiller

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P10 panel flickering
« on: January 30, 2019, 02:52:19 PM »
Last year I ran my 4x4 P10 panels with no issue using a Pi3 and Ron's Matrix adapter and FPP 1.10. This past year I upgraded to FPP 2.6 and now I'm seeing my panel flicker. Figuring it might be the cap I ordered a new one and I'm getting the same thing. Seriously trying to decide if I should try FPP 1.10 to see if it resolves the problem but I hate going backwards. I've tried lowering the voltage but that didn't help. The panel is set at 55% output. Not sure if I should try a Beaglebone  or if anyone can suggest what the problem might be. I've attached a link to video showing the issue.
https://vimeo.com/312023284

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 03:17:58 PM »
Did you have the FPP status page or any other FPP page open in your browser at the same time?  If so, see if the problem goes away if you close the browser tab.
-
Chris

Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 03:51:53 PM »
Closing the setup page didn't help. Testing from the setup page and testing a solid red screen from Vixen produced the same results. Still flickers. I suppose at this point I could swap out Pi's and see if that changes anything. Otherwise I'll have to revert back to FPP 1.10 and try that. If that all fails then I'm at a loss as what to do next.

Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 05:30:50 PM »
I used another SD card and installed FPP 2.0. Immediately got this strange display on the panel. Upgraded to 2.5 and had the same issue. I cant seem to turn if off unless i reboot but it immediately comes back on. Put the 2.6 card back in and it was normal other than the flickering.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 06:23:40 PM »
Is that 4 P5 panels?  Are you using a single output on the Pi?   Also what version of Pi?  Did you try adjusting the slowdown setting on the LED panel config page?

Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 07:03:47 PM »
There are 16 P10 panels using 2 outputs 1 and 2 on the Ron's Matrix adapter. It's a Pi3 Model B Version 1.2. Yes I tried the other 2 slowdown settings and no change.

Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 12:35:13 PM »
I did some random panel checking and it still flickers but not as noticeable when 1 panel is running. The more panels added the more pronounced it gets. It's not a voltage issue because each panel measures 5 volts at the panel. I'm pretty much at a loss as to what's going on. I suppose the next step is to order a Beaglebone and scroller and see if that works. I noticed on the LED setup page that a Beaglebone was the recommended method for running panels. Strange how it worked perfectly in 2017 and the only change was FPP version. Maybe I should try FPP 1.10 before I go unnecessarily spending money.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 12:54:01 PM »
The underlying library we use to drive the P10 panels on the Pi was upgraded for FPP v2.x, so that may have had an effect.  I need to setup a Pi with a bunch of panels on it to try and reproduce.  Most of my panels are still installed in the upstairs front windows of the house, I need to bring them back into my office.  The biggest matrix in my office currently is only a 2x2 P10 setup.

Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 01:39:23 PM »
Cap, i may have eliminated FPP as the issue. I installed FPP 1.10 and it still does it but not as bad. That now leads me to believe that it may be the Pi although I did use another Pi with the same results.

Offline dkulp

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2019, 02:13:39 PM »
The Pi's are such a horrible way to drive panels. 


The rpi-rgb-led-matrix project lists a BUNCH of things they recommend doing to reduce flicker (see troubleshooting section of https://github.com/hzeller/rpi-rgb-led-matrix ) and I've done most of them, but at the end of the day, Pi's aren't really designed for this.   The panels, while not "strict" about timing (like ws2811 pixels), do require some level of consistency that running on the general purpose CPU's on the Pi cannot provide.   The OS itself will interrupt things to do OS level tasks and that will cause a little skip, or a pause, or similar that we would perceive as extra flicker.    The multi-core Pi's help by allowing the OS to do some of it's things on other cores, but they still have issues.      The general recommendation is to strip the Pi down to almost nothing so the CPU's really just need to do "matrix things", but that really doesn't work for us as FPP does a ton of other things (load data from SD cards, format data, accept and process network packets, Apache web ui things, etc...).


This is why the BeagleBones are MUCH better at driving panels.  They have 2 dedicates PRU's that are not interrupted by the OS.   Thus, they have significantly less flicker than the Pi's have.     


Of the 3 methods we have for driving panels, a Pi hat is by far the worst. 




Offline k6ccc

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2019, 02:27:33 PM »
There are 16 P10 panels using 2 outputs 1 and 2 on the Ron's Matrix adapter. It's a Pi3 Model B Version 1.2. Yes I tried the other 2 slowdown settings and no change.
I see there were several replies when I had to break for lunch.  Re-edited my response...
For what it's worth, I ran three P5 panels (pixel equivalent of 12 P10 panels) per output on a CFOL Matrix Pi-Hat from a Pi 3B and it worked OK (not great) during my early testing phase last year.  That was mostly on 1.10.  Upgraded to 2.0 during the beta phase and several times during 2018.  Ran 2.4 for my 2018 show.  Converted to a ColorLight card for production as I wanted to try those out sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2018.  The ColorLight worked out better...  My P5 was 3W x 2H and my P10 was 4W x 3H.  Both used as my Tune-To signs.


Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
Jim

Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2019, 02:36:40 PM »
The Pi's are such a horrible way to drive panels.

Thank you. Guess I'll have to try a Beaglebone Black. I'm assuming it's the Beaglebone Rev C version. Which cap would you recommend? I've searched and noticed there are a few different ones.

Offline dkulp

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2019, 02:53:51 PM »



I've started collecting information via links to other threads:


https://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,10532.0.html




Offline pmiller

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2019, 06:00:10 PM »
Just ordered a Beaglebone Black Rev C from Amazon and a BBB Matrix from Renard Shop. I noticed there are 2 different files for FPP to download. One says FPP-v2.5-BBB-ext4.zip and the other FPP-v2.5-BBB-btrfs.zip. Which one do I use?

Offline dkulp

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Re: P10 panel flickering
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2019, 06:44:50 PM »
Use the ext4 one.   With the new fseq file format in 2.6, the need for the btrfs compression kind of goes away.

 

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