Author Topic: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy  (Read 27741 times)

Offline JonB256

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2015, 07:40:40 PM »
Gary, when you have 50 pixels connected, what do see if you configure the output for 40 or 45 or 49 or 55 pixels?

Offline zwiller

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2015, 07:42:13 PM »
Gary,
I tried replicating and did not have any issues with ETD and 2811 flex.  I was running an old version of XL but just installed newest and no change.  I am a bit fuzzy on how you are setting XL.  Can you post a screenshot of XL settings when problem occurs?  Just want to confirm I was doing it correctly.  You gotta be testing in complete darkness to see pixels lit @ 1,1,1  ;D

Thanks for the kind words, yep, LSP.  They are planning a new release so stay tuned...

Try going into the F16 utility and shorten the pixel length to say 25 pixels.  (Jon beat me by a few seconds...)  See if last 3 pixels still act up.  BTW the voltage is not low enough to be a problem IMO. 

Maybe this part of the equation, but shimmer is weird...  Wasn't until last year running FPP that I could even output shimmer.  LSP scheduler or Conductor never could. 
Sam
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Offline David Pitts

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2015, 07:48:03 PM »
I use on/off to test never shimmer.
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Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2015, 12:01:36 AM »
1) What is your 'F16 to first node' distance?  Is it possible this distance is unnaturally short for testing purposes?  Maybe the strong signal output of the F16 is somehow corrupting nearby nodes where the weaker signal from the SSC is OK for such a short distance.  If it is crazy short, you might try running out a dozen feet or so.

2) How long is the 'pigtail' coming out of your last node?  Seems like normally there is 18-20 inches of wire after the last node.  I've never known that to be a problem, but possibly in a test situation with a bunch of hardware in a small space, it is enough wire to be picking up some spurious signals. ... or possibly your nodes have an even longer 'tail' which might be an even better antenna.

To test this, you might first try to coil any length of excess wire up in a ball, that should help cut down on its 'antenna' nature.  Or if you plan to anyway, go ahead and crop it down to something minimal...like a few inches.

The wire before my first node is about 4-5 inches. The tail end was about 4-5 inches as well. That's the way they came. I'll try rigging up some extra wire between the controller and first node. It just bugs me that it works fine on an SSC, and yeah, I know that each pixel receives and re-creates the signal, so this doesn't make sense.

What is a safe voltage range for 12-volt pixels? I'm tempted to try varying it. The power supply I have for my SSC I'm borrowing is around 11.8 (what's how it came, and I didn't want to mess with something that's not mine), whereas my Falcon F-16 v1's power supply is spot on at 12V. Each power supply has a voltage adjustment if necessary.

Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2015, 12:13:59 AM »
Gary, when you have 50 pixels connected, what do see if you configure the output for 40 or 45 or 49 or 55 pixels?

The last 3 pixels on the string I'm working on are causing problems. If I configure 47 or less pixels, I don't see any issues. If I do 48, 49, or 50, I get flickering/red. Anything beyond 50, I still get the problem on the last 3 pixels.

Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2015, 12:23:39 AM »
Gary,
I tried replicating and did not have any issues with ETD and 2811 flex.  I was running an old version of XL but just installed newest and no change.  I am a bit fuzzy on how you are setting XL.  Can you post a screenshot of XL settings when problem occurs?  Just want to confirm I was doing it correctly.  You gotta be testing in complete darkness to see pixels lit @ 1,1,1  ;D

Maybe this part of the equation, but shimmer is weird...  Wasn't until last year running FPP that I could even output shimmer.  LSP scheduler or Conductor never could.

I can easily see the pixels when I have Shimmer at 1,1,1 in a normally lit room. Since shimmer is supposedly weird, I used Twinkle for my attached screen print. On the Standard Tab, I was getting random colours, so I had to switch to the RGB tab, and to get white, the lowest I could get it to on the smaller sliders is 5,5,5 and the problem was still occurring--at a greater brightness, mind you.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2015, 08:14:59 AM »
I gotta ask...  Have you ever actually counted to verify there are 50 pixels?  Wonder if there might be actually 53 and the red is some kinda data thing.  Shouldn't matter but my experience with these sort of gremlins is they tend to be more simple fixes than one would expect.  At least we can hope!  ;D

Can you post a screen shot of the F16 utility screen showing programming?  My gut is also telling me a grouping thing might be going on. 

Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2015, 12:32:04 AM »
Okay, I tried adding 6 feet of extra wire to the beginning of the string, and only the last pixel displayed the problem.

Using a 6-foot cable at the end of the string, the problem was pretty well eliminated (a wee bit of flicker on the last pixel, but nothing to be concerned with). Interestingly, if I only had the (-) hooked up, all three had flicker, but the 48th pixel had a bit less flicker. If I only had (+) hooked up, the 48th pixel had a lot less flicker, but still flickered. If I had only the data line hooked up, it didn't make a difference. Having both (-) and (+) hooked at the same time, it appeared the same as having all three hooked up.

What does this mean?

Offline corey872

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2015, 12:33:09 PM »
Well that is interesting.

It is starting to sound like a case of strong data transmission and abnormally short lead wires.  I've never really heard of or noted an issue like that, but I guess stranger things have happened.  I'm out on the road for the next several days, but will try and replicate some of this and probe some data lines when I return.

When you mention the 6ft of wire on the end of the string, did you still have the 6ft on the beginning, too?  I would wonder what happens if you put ~12, 15 or even 20ft of lead at the front of the string?
Corey
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Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2015, 01:28:04 PM »
I used only one 6-foot length of 3-conductor wire for my test; I just moved it from one place to another. I don't really want to start hacking my 100' roll up into seemingly random length pieces. I was planning on using CAT5 cable between my controller and the pixel strings (with a 3-conductor waterproof connector combining the pixel string and CAT5 cable). I wasn't planning on doing it so soon, but I guess I can get a head start on firming up my controller locations, and measuring the appropriate length CAT5 cables to reach where I want my pixel strings.

Edit: Note that some of my pixel strings would be starting less than 6 feet from my controller, so unless having the additional "electrical mass" (for lack of a better term) of 3-conductor waterproof connectors solves the problem fixed by short lead wires, I guess I'd have to live with extra coiled cable before my strings? By "electrical mass", perhaps the capacitance--or lack thereof--of the cable is what I should be referring to?... I'm not an electrical engineer, so I may be talking nonsense here.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:43:42 PM by Gary »

Offline zwiller

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2015, 02:48:14 PM »
I recall Ray having to "mod" some strings with a resistor...  Maybe that's an option?  I would be curious if lowering voltage would help...  I don't think you will ruin anything adjusting the voltage.  Happy to read of some progress at least.

Are these the lights: http://www.diyledexpress.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_59 

Offline JonB256

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2015, 07:46:28 PM »
I know you don't have a uAmp handy (yet), but if the signal is "too hot" or "too something" then wouldn't a uAmp clean it up?

Offline corey872

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2015, 08:59:08 PM »
Adding a resistor to the data line would be one way to get the "electrical mass" gary mentioned.  Though doing that would be pure speculation at this point.  I'll try to set up my F16 with a 50 node string and see if I can replicate the issue, or even if not, probe the data line and see what it looks like at different points through the string.

Another interesting point is that you say this only happens when the RGB values are identical, but it goes away if any value is set different?  Three equal numbers should (I think) mean transmitting three equal sets of data... again, it is speculation, but I would be curious if that could set up some type of signal resonance.  Whatever it is, it sounds like a pretty unique situation!




Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2015, 02:06:19 PM »
I recall Ray having to "mod" some strings with a resistor...  Maybe that's an option?  I would be curious if lowering voltage would help...  I don't think you will ruin anything adjusting the voltage.  Happy to read of some progress at least.

Are these the lights: http://www.diyledexpress.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_59

It's these lights, except during the pre-sale there was a green wire option (to keep the wife happy):
http://www.diyledexpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_44&products_id=267

Offline Gary

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Re: Inconsistent Blinky Flashy
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2015, 02:10:20 PM »
I know you don't have a uAmp handy (yet), but if the signal is "too hot" or "too something" then wouldn't a uAmp clean it up?

I do have some uAmps and Afterburners on order and am curious to find what difference it would make. Trouble is, I don't know if I'd have enough uAmps and Afterburners to deal with data issues on short wires--I only considered it for long runs!

 

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