Author Topic: Is there a need for an etherdongle?  (Read 3071 times)

Offline charleskerr

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Is there a need for an etherdongle?
« on: July 21, 2013, 07:48:25 AM »
With the advent of faster embedded single board computers for around $45, is there really a need for hardware such as the Etherdongle?

Perhaps the Raspberry Pi is slightly underpowered right now, but there are faster alternatives such as the Beaglebone Black, and more.
It would seem, as the pi player effectively demonstrated, that one could just that to be an E1.31 gateway to pixelnet, with effectively a built in donductor (due to the SD card), for less then the an etherdongle/conductor combo (or just an etherdongle).

Didn't know if I was missing something that the etherdongle provided?
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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: Is there a need for an etherdongle?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 10:28:53 AM »
RJ intended the EtherDongle to be a platform for other stuff.  First it is a solution for E1.31 to Pixelnet conversion, then the conductor provides audio player and Pixelnet generation, then then the slave gives us synchronization with a conductor and pixelnet generation.

I don't know what he intends after the slave -- no one does. :(

But it certainly seems that Raspberry PI, Beagleboard, and the others out there offer a nice price-point, more open platform for development, and the better integration (I see one alternative with built-in WiFi!) 

I too question the value that EtherDongle offers over these new alternatives.

Whatever the solution, the software that runs on the platform certainly needs to be tuned to get the needed performance. 
http://WinterLightShow.com  |  110K channels, 50K lights  |  Nutcracker, Falcon, DLA, HolidayCoro

Offline smeighan

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Re: Is there a need for an etherdongle?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2013, 10:44:50 AM »
With the advent of faster embedded single board computers for around $45, is there really a need for hardware such as the Etherdongle?

Perhaps the Raspberry Pi is slightly underpowered right now, but there are faster alternatives such as the Beaglebone Black, and more.
It would seem, as the pi player effectively demonstrated, that one could just that to be an E1.31 gateway to pixelnet, with effectively a built in donductor (due to the SD card), for less then the an etherdongle/conductor combo (or just an etherdongle).

Didn't know if I was missing something that the etherdongle provided?

I would not say the pi player is a gateway to pixel net, I see it as a player that pumps out sequence data as E1.31. No pixel net. That is why you can take the pi player and just drive E682 or P12r controllers.

Now because Dave made a Zeus board equivalent in the falcon-16 he then wanted to able to drive his board with an ether dongle equivalent., the FPD. I am not as concerned about what the protocols are, I just want my high channel count display to run with no lag. Pi player, FPD and falcon 16 gives me that

Bagleblack has more horsepower, but for this application, pi player works. I am sure these small embedded systems will get more powerful. Maybe we could even get xlights to run on a future one (this means generating the effects in real time and outputting data),

For this season I am happy to generate my sequence on another platform and then bring over the big binary file that represents my show.

Just play it with no missing packets and I am happy.

Thanks
Sean
Sean
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