Author Topic: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications  (Read 4275 times)

Offline txag2008

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F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« on: March 30, 2015, 10:14:19 AM »
I currently have an Etherdongle and a 16-port DIYLA hub that I've used for me show.  This year I'll be adding an RGB mega-tree with 1300ish pixels.
 
My initial plan was to use the F16v1 to drive the tree, but then news of the F16v2 came out and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it and to see if it's worth it for me to use.  I'm also leaning towards using the FPP instead of my show computer (using a mix of Vixen 3.1 & xlights), but my understanding of the FPP integration is also pretty limited.  I'm trying to make sure I understand the differences between the F16v1 and F16v2 in order to choose the best option for me.

Just so I'm clear...
  • If I were to use the FPP with the F16v1 for my mega tree in addition to the rest of my current setup, I'd need to keep my etherdongle to use as the hardware interface between my FPP and first controller?  (FPP-->EthD-->F16v1-->DIYLA Hub or FPP-->EthD-->DIYLA Hub-->F16v1)
  • If I were to use the F16v2 for my megatree, I could eliminate the etherdongle and just have the FPP plugged into the F16v2?  (FPP plugged into F16v2-->DIYLA Hub)

I realize the F16v2 can drive a greater # of pixels and different types of pixels, but for my use neither of those features would be utilized.   To me the 'standalone' aspect of having the FPP plugged into the F16v2 almost makes things harder cause then I'd have to have my FM transmitter out in the yard and run coax to it too. (I assume you wouldn't have to actually have it plugged into the F16v2 board, but then again that's just one more feature that wouldn't be used by me.)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 10:27:14 AM by txag2008 »

Offline David Pitts

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 10:24:14 AM »
If you are under 16K channels the cheapest way to run some pixels is getting a F16v1. If you grow past an EtherDongles ability you can get another EtherDongle or buy a F16-B which will output 32K Pixelnet channels and be a controller. But it sounds like that may come in 2016 and not 2015. So get F16v1 I think.

New Pixelnet people should consider F16-B's to provide a controller and Pixelnet and then F16v1 as additional controllers. The main FPP player can just be a RPI to get the analog audio connection.


If you are an E131 user that needs multiple strings types and you have been looking at non Pixelnet controllers the F16v2 may be for you. It is a really powerful controller and runs a pretty mean hardware platform.
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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 10:48:18 AM »
The etherdongle gives you 4 universes of pixelnet (16,384 channels)... if you have one already, you are good.
If you are looking for a cheaper solution, connect the FPP to a generic USB-to-RS485 dongle... about $8.  This will generate one pixelnet universe of 4096 channels -- 1365 pixels. 

FPP---(usb)---> dongle  ---(pixelnet)--->  F16
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Offline jnealand

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 12:04:21 PM »
What I don't understand is how I get pixelnet from one of the cheap usb dongles.  Not even sure where to find those as I ordered a couple via amazon and was shipped usb to ethernet adapters and then was told that the usb to rs485 was no longer being manufactured - at least for that seller.  Others have pointed to what are called ttl devices but I have been told that those don't work for pixelnet.  Anyway I'm finding a lot of confusion and a lot more complexity that there used to be just one year ago with very little in the way of documentation to explain things.  I can't even imagine what a newbie to Falcon is thinking.
Jim Nealand
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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 01:23:10 PM »
There are several that have been discussed... I am using the first without issues.  I've also ordered one batch from ebay, and another 2 batches from amazon without issue and found they are identical.

http://www.amazon.com/rs485-Interface-Board-Ft232rl-Module/dp/B00O6Q2PKM/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1427742696&sr=8-11&keywords=usb+rs485

http://www.amazon.com/Vktech-Interface-Double-Function-Protection/dp/B00MEBCE6Q/ref=pd_sim_sbs_pc_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0E8P6APCS0QVG4CK629G

CaptainMurdoch implemented the variation in protocols within the FPP code, so a common dongle can be used either for OpenPixelnet or OpenDMX.

I think the complexity comes from all of the choices.  With DLA there was RJ's way or the highway.  In falcon there is a much more open community where the developers hear good ideas and try to solve them.  Direct E1.31 support is great -- it opens the door to EtD and SANDevice, and a lot of other players...  Want to use Pixelnet? -- you have DLA and Falcon... if you have problems with multicast and EtD there are other options...  you don't need to be restricted to the availability of the FPD, get a $8 dongle for the smaller setups.  ...and it isn't just a FPP issue, the controllers are getting more powerful, more complex, and filling a lot of needs along the way.

Yes, its complex -- but if only the LSP, LOR, Vixen, and HLS people stood aside and let nutcracker take over... :)  and we shutdown LOR, E1.31 and let Pixelnet rule...  then we could simplify.

I will say that I've reduced a LOT of complexity in my own setup...  Except for some DLA hubs that are too good to leave behind, everything is Falcon with Pixelnet. :)

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 02:06:29 PM »
I have four of the ones that Steve linked to and have used them for both PixelNet and DMX without any issues.  I do think some (or all?) of these may have counterfeit FTDI chips in them though, so beware if you plug them into a Windows PC.  FTDI issued a Windows driver version that effectively bricked counterfeit chips, but Microsoft revoked that version, so if you have one you should do a little checking on your driver version before plugging the dongle into a windows machine.

In the past, I have used these cheap dongles for bench testing and as a backup to my Lynx USB dongle, but this year I should be blowing through the rest of my 4K channels so I'll switch to using a F16-B or FPD to drive my channels from now on.
-
Chris

Offline txag2008

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 02:11:15 PM »
Thanks for the reply David

....didn't take long for this thread to get sidetracked

Offline arw01

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 02:48:01 PM »
Timely topic. 

Best solution move up the F16-B so we can go up with all these matrixes and mega trees we need the channels.

How does one use 2 etherdongles to go over the 16K channels?


Alan

Offline David Pitts

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 02:50:42 PM »
Timely topic. 

Best solution move up the F16-B so we can go up with all these matrixes and mega trees we need the channels.

How does one use 2 etherdongles to go over the 16K channels?


Alan
I remember seeing some firmware for etherdongle that receives multicast e131 from higher universes.

Offline txag2008

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 02:52:03 PM »
Let me clarify that I don't have the intention of ever having over ~5,300 nodes to surpass the 16k ceiling.

Offline smeighan

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 05:12:18 PM »
Over a year ago i made a web page to show the difference between Falcon Pixelnet and DLA pixelnet boards.
http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/falcon_pixelnet/

I havent updated it in a year, i know the falcon16-v2 is out of date. When i did this originally the v2 did not have a FPGA. Ill get with david and update the page.

I always thought of Falcon pixelnet as Pixelnet 2.0 and DLA as Pixelnet 1.0.
In general , it seems to me, that Dave has expanded most DLA boards with some new feature. I like that all of his boards have the leds to indicate blown fuses, for example.

So using my terminology
Pixelnet 1.0 hardware and Pixelnet 2.0 hardware can be intermixed, I do that for my show.


If you want to just compare the rgb controllers then use my other page

http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/rgb_controllers/

Sean
Littleton, CO Latest releases http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/releases xLights/Nutcracker Forum http://nutcracker123.com/forum/index.php Facebook [url=https://www.facebook.com/groups

Offline Steve Gase

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 05:30:07 PM »
Timely topic. 

Best solution move up the F16-B so we can go up with all these matrixes and mega trees we need the channels.

How does one use 2 etherdongles to go over the 16K channels?


Alan

There was a custom test firmware image offered by RJ years ago that changed the ports that the EtD recognizes...  instead of universe 1-32, it did universes 33-64.
I did a binary compare, and identified the changes -- i believe it was the port range for the universes which changed.
I made my own image at the time for a 3rd firmware -- 65-96

At the time we verified it against LSP and xlights.

There is yet another option -- place EtDs on different networks, as long as the software can output over the right NIC.

Offline mararunr

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Re: F16v1 vs F16v2 & clarifications
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2015, 11:53:43 AM »
txag2008, a comment on your original post...you do not have to have your radio transmitter with your F16v2 (run a long length of coax is what you said).  You can have the one FPP as master with your radio transmitter for just audio portion of your display and then the FPP connected to your F16v2 set up as slave.  (Yes I know this thread is "old" in forum age, but found it while looking for some other info.)
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