Author Topic: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!  (Read 3808 times)

Offline silverzpeed

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Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« on: December 09, 2014, 05:49:27 PM »
So this is my first year using any sort of automation and control over my lights. I will be making the switch tomorrow evening to the FPP setup that I have been working on for the past couple of days. Right now out front i have a arduino uno controlling a sainsmart 8 channel ssr hooked into vixen 3. I have learned alot the last couple of days about FPP and its capabilities, so now i have some questions. Next year for sure I am going to start purchasing pixels and I want to start working with them a little. Any thoughts on where to begin for a NOOB? Second, How can the FPP be hooked into multiple FPPs to control a whole show, or is that not possible? Third, this website is a wealth of knowledge and there are some great folks on here doing some awesome things, but is there a user manual for FPP with a breakdown of the features and what some of the stuff means in the GUI? Thanks everyone for all the support.

Brandon
2014: First Year With Falcon Pi Player. 2600 Lights, 3 Sequences on 8 Channels.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 07:39:07 PM »
One FPP instance can control up to 64k channels easily.  If your channel output type doesn't allow that many channels then you can connect as many Pi's together as you want on a network and have then all operate in sync using FPP's MultiSync capability.  MultiSync can sync playback of sequences and video files on multiple Pi's.

We don't currently have a manual, but do have some videos as well Asa lot of help pages in the UI.  I am getting more and more help pages added as I go through screens.
-
Chris

Offline jnealand

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 07:40:36 PM »
For starters you can go back and do a lot of reading of old posts.There is a wealth of information on this forum, but it is not in one simple place.  Good luck with your addiction and welcome to our crazy and fun world.  It is also a frustrating world at times.  LOL
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline algerdes

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 07:42:43 PM »
Didn't anyone tell you? - Once infected, the only place to escape is the north pole.  But wait, ... , better go south...

Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

Offline drlucas

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 07:44:00 PM »
South? You are kidding right? You see all those guys in Texas with displays? And if you are in texas in July then there is the academy. there is no escaping!!!
Ryan

Offline algerdes

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 07:47:19 PM »
Just close your eyes as you fly over Texas, Florida, Honduras, Chile, Argentina....... 
If it gets too cold to rewire a blown pixel, you've made it.

(They do have some satellite coverage down there, stay off ABC on Monday nights...)

Offline silverzpeed

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 05:13:38 AM »
lol, thanks for the tips everyone. CAPT, I will look into the help pages. What kind of controllers do you need to work with pixels on the FPP?

Offline silverzpeed

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2014, 07:37:44 AM »
I guess the better question is, I am very new to this and don't have the understanding of what i need to start to control and play with pixels. Is there a wiki or tutorial that I will explain the basic principles of pixels and controlling them with a FPP.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2014, 08:33:43 AM »
As far as I know FPP controls pretty much everything. 

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=RGB_Lighting
http://www.planetchristmas.com/rgb-lightspixels/

Get your feet wet with software now!  Try them all and pic one that clicks for you.  There is a learning curve... 
Sam
 Last year's video: https://vimeo.com/150560653

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2014, 08:40:51 AM »
As far as I know FPP controls pretty much everything. 

That is our goal. :)  We have even added support for what some might consider older and/or simpler output methods such as GPIO, 595 Shift Registers, and LEDTriks/Triks-C.  I think the biggest thing we have been asked about that we don't have is Artnet, and I'm considering that once I get other higher-priority features out of the way next year.

Offline zwiller

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Offline silverzpeed

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2014, 11:10:47 AM »
thanks for the links. E1.31 is the way that I will be going.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2014, 12:14:35 PM »
"But the pusher is a monster
Not a natural man.
The dealer for a nickel
Goin to sell you lots of sweet dreams"   ;D

I run E1.31 too.  Each Christmas light site has it's favored protocols and hardware.  I have a few things from a few sites.  They are all good.  That said, the Falcon gear clicks for me.  It does what I want, how I want it to, and then some.  Best of luck to you. 

Offline sirloinofbeef001

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2014, 02:25:19 PM »
It starts the same for everyone. We all just want to do something a little more then we are doing a whole choreographed show with people liking your stuff and it grows to this unseen growth that you become hooked. Its quite a deal. Have fun 🎅
Its a wonderful life.

Offline algerdes

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Re: Help I'm now addicted to Christmas lights!
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2014, 11:36:46 AM »
I guess the better question is, I am very new to this and don't have the understanding of what i need to start to control and play with pixels. Is there a wiki or tutorial that I will explain the basic principles of pixels and controlling them with a FPP.

The links provided  so far are really good starting places.

If you don't mind, I would like to suggest steps I've passed on to others in your situation (it hasn't been that long since I was there, so I still remember...)

1.  Design your display.  Don't worry about how small it is.  It will grow [One of the constants of CLAP].  You can start building at any time, but the sooner the better.  The physical is separate from sequencing at this time.  (They will come together soon enough.)

2.  At the same time you are working on the design and physical build, find a sequencer that you like. It will be one that you can wrap your head around.  There are several, and they all are very good, they just have different methodologies. Since you are just starting out, you don't have to unlearn (or remove habits from prior versions.) [This is a good thing!]

3.  Get the sequencer to make your virtual design blink. Most of the sequencers have some sort of "preview" capability now. 

4.  Hook up the physical so that you can now take control of it.

5.  Test your sequence(s) directly to your physical setup using your sequencer's output.  Work out any initial bugs in the sequencing. (There are volumes on how to hook up different things.  Ask questions.)

6.  Next, add the actual Raspberry Pi running Falcon Player software to your physical setup.  Use the test section in the FP to make sure you have physical connection. 

7.  Once you have a working sequence, simple or extensive, export the final product to .fseq.  Some sequencers have the ability built in, others use a converter (usually xlights/nutcracker). Upload the .fseq and the .mp3 file (or .ogg, or .mp4). 

8.  Run it from the FP, and enjoy.  It is truly a neat moment when you see your first sequence run.

Repeat as many of the above as many times as it takes.

ALWAYS REMEMBER - The guys here and in several of the other sites are some of the best you will find anywhere.  Helpful, advising, and pretty much family. Don't hesitate to ask.

[Stepping out from behind my classroom podium now. ] ;D


 

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