Author Topic: Solved! Thanks for your help.  (Read 6606 times)

Offline IamNick

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Solved! Thanks for your help.
« on: April 06, 2015, 05:23:59 PM »
I got the F16 just over a year ago, where it has since been sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Before I get into this I want to say that the board, power supplies, and lights are all working, it's probably just a simple error on my part. I've never been very tech-savvy. No matter what i've done, I can't seem to get any signal through to the board via a USB RS485 converter. The setup goes Computer -> USB -> Converter -> Cat5 -> Falcon, and I have also tried Pi -> Usb -> Converter -> Cat5 -> Falcon. Is this where the problem lies? The pixelnet LED on the falcon never lights up, so is it a problem in my converter? I have tried everything I can think of to fix this to no avail. It's most likely a problem in my pixelnet output.

I do have another converter that was suggested in a different topic arriving tomorrow which is USB Converter -> [Wires] -> Falcon. If this solves the problem, How would I wire it up? [Here is the link : http://www.amazon.com/Vktech-Interface-Double-Function-Protection/dp/B00MEBCE6Q/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1428362473&sr=8-15&keywords=usb+to+rs+485 ]

Sorry if none of this makes sense, I'm about to head out, and will check in later. Thanks!


Edit:
Here's a picture if it helps:
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 05:49:45 PM by IamNick »

Offline rdebolt

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 08:34:56 AM »
We need a lot more information. Does the converter work with other pixelnet devices? Exactly what converter is it? Have you flashed and programed the F16. When power is first applied to the F16 does the pixelnet led light, blink or anything?


Roger

Offline IamNick

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 10:41:16 AM »
Sorry,

Converter: LOR Usb-RS485 CAT5 converter.
I don't have any other devices.

The falcon is flashed and programmed

The led never changes.

Also, the new converter should be coming in today which light fix the problem

Offline David Pitts

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 10:43:51 AM »
Nick,

Looking at your picture I am concerned that the heat sync may short the board out. If you do not have a bolt in heat sync make sure it will not slip down and bridge across pins of regulator.
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Offline JonB256

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 11:24:11 AM »
Sorry,

Converter: LOR Usb-RS485 CAT5 converter.
I don't have any other devices.

The falcon is flashed and programmed

The led never changes.

Also, the new converter should be coming in today which light fix the problem

Ok - the LOR USB-RS485 dongle has two problems for use with a Falcon 16.
First - I don't think it can output Pixelnet. It can put out DMX and many have used if for that.
Second - it outputs on Pins 4 and 5 of the CAT5 connector. If you have your F16 setup for universe 1 and 2 (pretty normal), then it is listening to wires 1 and 2 (Universe 1) and wires 3 and 6 (universe 2).

Try changing the F16 input to Universe 3 and see if you get any indications. (Universe 3 uses the Blue pair of wires - 4 and 5)

Offline IamNick

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 11:30:40 AM »
Nick,

Looking at your picture I am concerned that the heat sync may short the board out. If you do not have a bolt in heat sync make sure it will not slip down and bridge across pins of regulator.

Good to know, I'll fix that asap!

Sorry,

Converter: LOR Usb-RS485 CAT5 converter.
I don't have any other devices.

The falcon is flashed and programmed

The led never changes.

Also, the new converter should be coming in today which light fix the problem

Ok - the LOR USB-RS485 dongle has two problems for use with a Falcon 16.
First - I don't think it can output Pixelnet. It can put out DMX and many have used if for that.
Second - it outputs on Pins 4 and 5 of the CAT5 connector. If you have your F16 setup for universe 1 and 2 (pretty normal), then it is listening to wires 1 and 2 (Universe 1) and wires 3 and 6 (universe 2).

Try changing the F16 input to Universe 3 and see if you get any indications. (Universe 3 uses the Blue pair of wires - 4 and 5)

Thanks! I'll do that as soon as I get home and report my findings

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 01:04:40 PM »
Converter: LOR Usb-RS485 CAT5 converter.

I am not sure what chipset the LOR convert has, but if it is not FTDI, then it may not work with PixelNet with FPP v1.0 and prior.  PixelNet requires setting the speed to 1Mbit and with some converters they either don't support this rate or the driver in Linux doesn't support custom rates.  In the master code branch for FPP, I recently committed a change which allows some other USB dongles to work for PixelNet as well but not for DMX.  I have tested a USB dongle with a CH341 chipset and it will work with FPP for PixelNet after the recent change.

The FTDI dongle you ordered should work.  If your Cat-5 cable has the white/orange wire on the first pin then you will use the following connections:  White/Orange wire goes to 'A' connection and the Orange wire goes to the 'B' connection.  If your Cat-5 has Orange first then White/Orange reverse the A/B.   For safety, don't put that dongle in a Windows machine unless you have confirmed you don't have the intentionally-broken FTDI driver version which could brick the dongle if it has a counterfeit FTDI chip in it.
-
Chris

Offline rdebolt

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 05:32:15 PM »
^^^^^What they say, but after you fix David's request the "Pixelnet" led should flash rapidly on applying power. It will NOT blink again until channels are programed using the Falcon Utility and a working pixelnet dongle.


Roger


Offline IamNick

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 05:36:23 PM »
It does not blink, could this be a problem with the LED or a more serious problem? I have already fixed the heatsink

Edit: Apparently my last comment did not post. After wiring it upm I looked more into the new converter, and realized that it is a CH340T chip type, does this mean I need to get the one with FTDI chip? Or will the CH340T work?

Edit 2: I also only have one power supply hooked up because I read the first one powers Channels 1-8 and the circuitry, and Power Supply #2 supplies power to Channels 9-16, should I hook up the second one?

Edit 3: I went through and completely programmed everything, and now the led flashes, give me a few minutes to test the lights and I'll see what I can do. If this works, I'm going to feel like a super-idiot. :p
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 07:02:36 PM by IamNick »

Offline JonB256

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 07:07:23 PM »
Looking at your picture, I'm wondering about your wiring in PT1.

I was thinking that Red was +, Green was - and usually Blue was Data.  If I'm correct, then you have green and blue swapped.

Double check your strings (because they definitely aren't all the same)

Offline IamNick

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 07:28:19 PM »
Lights have been working in test mode, but I can swap it and see what happens.

Edit: Nope. It's GBR for me.

How would I program it if it's going through an RS-485 converter?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 07:42:32 PM by IamNick »

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 07:55:28 PM »
The vktech dongle you linked to is FTDI compatible so it will work with FPP v1.0.   FPP v1.5 should support the ch340 chipset for PixelNet also I believe, that was the change I put in the master code branch the other day, it used a different method to set the 1Mbit speed.  The previous method didn't work with the ch34x chipset dongles.  I tested with a ch341 but I think the 340 will work as well since I believe they use the same kern module in Linux.

Offline IamNick

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 08:15:41 PM »
Sounds good, How would I program the serial converter?

Offline JonB256

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 08:17:17 PM »
Sorry,

Converter: LOR Usb-RS485 CAT5 converter.
I don't have any other devices.

The falcon is flashed and programmed

The led never changes.

Also, the new converter should be coming in today which light fix the problem

Lights have been working in test mode, but I can swap it and see what happens.

Edit: Nope. It's GBR for me.

How would I program it if it's going through an RS-485 converter?
Had not seen that it worked in test mode. Good deal.

Offline IamNick

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Re: Help! Most likely a stupid question with a simple answer
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2015, 08:54:08 PM »
When using the "Falcon Controller Software" to set up the board, I believe i have everything entered in correctly, however when I hit "Program" a popup appears that says "Comport Error Occurred" with no other details. Is there a simple way to diagnose the problem?

 

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