Author Topic: FPP to Lynx Express  (Read 5218 times)

Offline onetmat

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Location:
  • Posts: 14
  • Kudos: 0
FPP to Lynx Express
« on: December 21, 2014, 05:47:56 PM »
I've got FPP up and running. It's currently directly connected to an 8ch SSR by the GPIO output. I can convert Vixen 3 sequences and play in FPP to the SSR but there is no dimming on my test LEDs.

I'm looking to step it up to Lynx Express boards but can't find the correct way between the Pi and the Lynx. There are several dongles I've read about but most aren't readily available. I'm looking to control standard incandescent and/or LED strings.

At this point I'm just confused since I haven't used the Lynx boards either. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Offline bajadahl

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Posts: 228
  • Kudos: 2
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2014, 08:05:50 PM »
Unless I've missed some changes along the way you're going to need a dongle to control the LE's.  I use an etherdongle to control my LE's

The connection is like this FPP -> output E131 DMX Universe 1-4 to my network switch  -> Etherdongle connected to the network via the ethernet switch -> DMX signal output from the etherdongle -> into the first LE and then output side of 1st LE into next LE and so on.

I believe you could also use a USB dongle connected directly to the FPP using one of the USB ports but will defer to someone else who as actually done it. Finally - I believe the FPD (Falcon Dongle) is a suitable replacement that can control your LE's but again I haven't actually done it so will defer to someone else who could speak to it.

Regards,
Alan


Offline Steve Gase

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Georgetown, TX (near Austin)
  • Posts: 1,037
  • Kudos: 5
    • WinterLightShow in Georgetown, TX
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 08:16:44 PM »
Many ways to get from Pi to DMX:  (I've tried them all, and they work well!)

Pi -gpio-> FPD --> DMX
Pi =net=> EtD (with DMX FW) --> DMX
Pi =net=> EtD (with Pixelnet FW) --> DLA ActiveHub --> DMX
Pi  _usb_> RS485-FTDI dongle --> DMX

http://www.amazon.com/USB2-0-Interface-Adapter-Converter-Chipset/dp/B008BZBJ92/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1419218066&sr=8-6&keywords=usb+485
http://WinterLightShow.com  |  110K channels, 50K lights  |  Nutcracker, Falcon, DLA, HolidayCoro

Offline onetmat

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Location:
  • Posts: 14
  • Kudos: 0
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 08:28:51 PM »
That last option is what I have seen talked about here. There were possible issues with drivers and other such. I wasn't sure if that had been worked out with the new version. That's also the cheapest route to start.

The FPD and other larger boards are overkill for what I'm looking at right now. If that FTDI dongle will work then I can put more dollars toward the LE's.

I'm looking at 3 or 4 LE's. I should be able to connect them together after the dongle to controll up to 64 channels, correct?

Not ready for RGB or pixels just yet. Just getting my feet wet. Thanks.

Offline Steve Gase

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Georgetown, TX (near Austin)
  • Posts: 1,037
  • Kudos: 5
    • WinterLightShow in Georgetown, TX
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 08:48:20 PM »
The USB dongle can be setup in FPP to generate 1 universe of Pixelnet (4096 channels) --OR-- 1 universe of DMX (512 channels).  You could even attach multiple USB dongles.

So, no problem connecting LEs -- 64 channels, no problem.

The FTDI dongle solution works great.  I played around to drive both a string of DMX-controlled pixels, and then changed it over to drive a string of pixelnet-controlled pixels. Just be sure to have the dongle connected before the Pi boots, and remains connected throughout.  (it doesn't yet handle reattaching the dongle in a running system)

Offline yohan

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2014
  • Location: Northern Virginia
  • Posts: 19
  • Kudos: 0
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 01:55:28 PM »
Hello,

I am at looking at purchasing one of these http://www.minleonusa.com/shopping/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=3 in which I understand is just a retail version of the Lynx Express. Can't beat the price point on it, as they have been tested and have warranty.

I for one don't have time/space to solder DIY kit. Time=put Christmas decorations away per the boss (wifey), no space=to cold in garage to solder :). I just want to experiment while have my lights out now.

So, my question is about Raspberry Pi > DMX. Based on +Steven Case information:
Pi -gpio-> FPD --> DMX (I believe the wiring would be from the GPIO pins via CAT5 to DMX in on Minleon Express)
Pi =net=> EtD (with DMX FW) --> DMX
Pi =net=> EtD (with Pixelnet FW) --> DLA ActiveHub --> DMX
Pi  _usb_> RS485-FTDI dongle --> DMX (adapters per amazon link)


http://www.amazon.com/USB2-0-Interface-Adapter-Converter-Chipset/dp/B008BZBJ92/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1419218066&sr=8-6&keywords=usb+485

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MEBCE6Q/ref=s9_simh_gw_p147_d0_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=0DTK19D4DW4Y1GDJG4ZG&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=1970559082&pf_rd_i=desktop



Offline CaptainMurdoch

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2013
  • Location: Washington
  • Posts: 9,856
  • Kudos: 214
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 11:32:46 AM »
So, my question is about Raspberry Pi > DMX. Based on +Steven Case information:
Pi -gpio-> FPD --> DMX (I believe the wiring would be from the GPIO pins via CAT5 to DMX in on Minleon Express)
Pi =net=> EtD (with DMX FW) --> DMX
Pi =net=> EtD (with Pixelnet FW) --> DLA ActiveHub --> DMX
Pi  _usb_> RS485-FTDI dongle --> DMX (adapters per amazon link)

The FPD is a board that attaches to the Pi's GPIO header and provides 12 universes of Pixelnet or DMX on 3 RJ45 jacks.  It is the equivalent of 3 EtD's without the 'E' since data never goes over ethernet, it goes over the SPI port on the GPIO header.  You probably won't be able to get one of these this week.  Unless you have an EtD already, then the last of the 4 options you list is probably your quickest.  If you get one of the RS485 dongles then you can setup a 'DMX-Open' Channel Output in FPP and drive the Minleon Express boards or any other DMX device.
-
Chris

Offline yohan

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2014
  • Location: Northern Virginia
  • Posts: 19
  • Kudos: 0
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2015, 12:22:25 PM »
CaptainMurdoch,

It appears that I have found a solution if I wanted quick without the issues of getting something ship quick from China (uggh!!).

HolidayCoro has a USB to RJ45 that has the FTDI232 chipset for $19.97. So, in theory with latest version of FPP having the generic drivers for FTDI, it should work without any real issues. Yes, cable must be plugged in prior to boot and stay in order for DMX communications.

http://www.holidaycoro.com/Programmer-Cable-p/54-2.htm

Offline Steve Gase

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Georgetown, TX (near Austin)
  • Posts: 1,037
  • Kudos: 5
    • WinterLightShow in Georgetown, TX
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 02:12:11 PM »
There are also some $12 usb to rs485 adapters that work well and are sold through amazon.

I agree that the minleon controller is a good solution..
 The only thing you lose is some amperage... one connection to powere instead of two... the loss of dimming curves... and the lack of embedded dmx wireless -- which is easily overcome by using a separate wireless receiver.

Offline Jeffl

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Location: Brandon, SD
  • Posts: 519
  • Kudos: 4
  • Just remember. Wireless is nice. Copper is king!
    • Christmas In Brandon
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 06:41:42 PM »
Will this work the same as a Lynx DMX dongle?

http://www.amazon.com/USB2-0-Interface-Adapter-Converter-Chipset/dp/B008BZBJ92/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1419218066&sr=8-6&keywords=usb+485

For $14 I would buy one to play with.

On a side note.  I have +-35 Lynx Express running.  I use an Etherdongle but a USB dongle will control 32 of them as well.

Offline JonB256

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Granbury, Texas
  • Posts: 5,238
  • Kudos: 126
    • Granbury Christmas Lights
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2015, 06:51:43 PM »
Jeff, that is EXACTLY the USB dongle I bought from Amazon. I have used it for both DMX output (512 channels) and for a single Pixelnet universe (4096 channels).  It does output on pins 1 and 2. 

My Pixelnet test was done while installed on my Falcon Pi player as a USB device. I connected it to my DLA Active Hub and had good output.

Offline Jeffl

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Location: Brandon, SD
  • Posts: 519
  • Kudos: 4
  • Just remember. Wireless is nice. Copper is king!
    • Christmas In Brandon
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2015, 07:03:33 PM »
Sure can't beat the price and the size.  Thanks for the heads up.

Offline onetmat

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Location:
  • Posts: 14
  • Kudos: 0
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2015, 08:02:22 PM »
I received the usb dongle from amazon but cannot seem to get anything to output. Is there any additional setup with this device? I attached it before startup and have a cable to my Lynx Express. Tried the Display Testing and a few test sequence files. Nothing happens. Ideas?

Thanks,
Mat

Offline JonB256

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Granbury, Texas
  • Posts: 5,238
  • Kudos: 126
    • Granbury Christmas Lights
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2015, 08:48:35 PM »
You do have add the device in a config screen. My Pi is off right now or I'd post a screen shot.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2013
  • Location: Washington
  • Posts: 9,856
  • Kudos: 214
Re: FPP to Lynx Express
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2015, 09:10:39 PM »
Go to the channel output config screen and click on the 'other' tab.  Add a 'DMX open' channel channel output with a start channel of 1 and channel count of 512.  Select the ttyUSB0 serial port and save the config.  Restart fppd using the button that appears at the top of the page and them you should be able to use the test page.  You should see the data light blinking on the LE as soon as you enable test mode.

One other thing to keep in mind about the LE.  You will probably want to turn on the 'always transmit' setting on the FPP settings page because the LE doesn't like it when it is not receiving a data stream and it will occasionally turn random lights on.  If you have FPP set to always transmit it will keep the data stream going to the LE's even when you are not playing a sequence and they should be happy.

 

Back to top