Author Topic: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller  (Read 3090 times)

Offline FIRECOP252

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Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« on: November 12, 2016, 10:22:28 AM »


Ok, so I have not been able to do a show in the past couple of years due to way too busy in life BUT i am thinking of trying to throw up a pixel megatree this year at the last minute. What I am thinking is a pixel tree and trying to find some type of stand alone controller that will just run some random patterns and designs on the tree for looks. I dont have time to do any sequencing so i am looking at something that already has some random patterns built in. I have looked at this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/T1000S-LED-C...MAAOSwZd1VXHcx

but from what I have read these are pretty flaky and some work and some dont.

Not sure if I can get this done but just thought I might give it a whirl as so I dont feel like I have completely stepped out of the game. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
LANCE

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 10:42:59 AM »
A Pi running FPP and a half hour in xLights will get you a decent 'random' sequence.  Then you are ready for the future with some real sequencing.  :)
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Chris

Offline FIRECOP252

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 11:04:45 AM »
Thanks Captain....I still have my Pi's from where I ran my show a couple of years ago.  How would this work without a controller.  Would the Pi alone run 600 pixels?  Could you possibly elaborate?

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 12:07:41 PM »
The Pi can run 1600-2000 ws281x pixels total across two separate GPIO outputs (800-1000 per output).  There are a couple Pi "hats" that provide the level shifting and power for the strings.  David has the "PiCap"in the PixelController.com store and there are a couple others.

Offline FIRECOP252

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 12:20:17 PM »
The Pi can run 1600-2000 ws281x pixels total across two separate GPIO outputs (800-1000 per output).  There are a couple Pi "hats" that provide the level shifting and power for the strings.  David has the "PiCap"in the PixelController.com store and there are a couple others.


So where would I learn about having the Pi run the 2811 pixels across the GPIO.  It sounds like 1 GPIO output would do it for me.  Do I need a Pi hat to do this?  And what is level shifting?(is Pi hat a different option or is that part of using just the Pi).  Lastly a friend mentioned the PiCap but it shows to be out on the website.  Sorry for the  :P  questions but have not dealt with pixels and last I used my Pi it was for Renard and video.  Would using the Pi alone be a challenge for me since I have not done this before?  Thanks for the info Capt.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 02:15:11 PM »
To use ws281x pixels on the Pi, you just need to hook them up (preferably via a hat that has a voltage level shifter built in, and then add a "rpiws281x" channel output on the FPP channel outputs page.  The Pi puts out 3.3v but the chips want 5v input on their data line so the level shifter takes care of that and also provides protection from blowing out the Pi's GPIO pin on the CPU if you connect things wrong or have a short or bad pixel.

Ping David about the PiCap, he just got a bunch in but they may all be accounted for already.  If he doesn't have any, Ron's Holiday Lights had some as well which may be available.  In a pinch you could hook them up yourself using a buffer chip for level shifting, it is a pretty simple hookup.

Once you have the wiring and channel output configured, you sequence them just like anything else.

Offline David Pitts

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 02:52:25 PM »
Good chance I have a few extras. Call/Ping me Monday.
PixelController, LLC
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Offline FIRECOP252

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 03:53:20 PM »
To use ws281x pixels on the Pi, you just need to hook them up (preferably via a hat that has a voltage level shifter built in, and then add a "rpiws281x" channel output on the FPP channel outputs page.  The Pi puts out 3.3v but the chips want 5v input on their data line so the level shifter takes care of that and also provides protection from blowing out the Pi's GPIO pin on the CPU if you connect things wrong or have a short or bad pixel.

Ping David about the PiCap, he just got a bunch in but they may all be accounted for already.  If he doesn't have any, Ron's Holiday Lights had some as well which may be available.  In a pinch you could hook them up yourself using a buffer chip for level shifting, it is a pretty simple hookup.

Once you have the wiring and channel output configured, you sequence them just like anything else.


Ok,  I am assuming the PiCap will take care of all the stuff you mentioned about the level shifting and such?  Thanks for the quick info...always taking care of everyone Captain.

Offline FIRECOP252

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2016, 03:54:28 PM »
Good chance I have a few extras. Call/Ping me Monday.


I will David.  Thanks.  Also is there some sort of documentation on using/setting this up?

Offline David Pitts

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2016, 04:05:17 PM »
Good chance I have a few extras. Call/Ping me Monday.


I will David.  Thanks.  Also is there some sort of documentation on using/setting this up?

Not yet. But I think the FPP side of it is documented in user manual.

Offline jnealand

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2016, 04:34:58 PM »
Using a Pi hat is much simpler than setting up a controller.  A Pi "hat" is just like a human hat, it sits on top of the master, i.e., the Pi or you.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline FIRECOP252

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2016, 04:39:38 PM »
Using a Pi hat is much simpler than setting up a controller.  A Pi "hat" is just like a human hat, it sits on top of the master, i.e., the Pi or you.


sounds like this is the direction I want to go if I can figure it out.  And from what I am gathering the PiCap is the same thing designed for this sort of set up.

Offline jnealand

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2016, 04:45:06 PM »
Hat, cap, Ford, Chevy, they all drive just about the same, just little differences to most folks.

Offline FIRECOP252

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2016, 06:05:48 AM »
So someone correct me if im wrong, but from what Im gathering so far with the PiCap it will be a plug and play type set up by attaching it to the FPP and then connecting however many pixel string to the PiCap and supplying power to the Pixels through a power supply.  Also the setup through the FPP will be a setting in the config section for using the PiCap and I am assuming there you will note how many channels/pixels you are using without having to go through the E1.31 part of this?


Not sure I am wording some of this correct just trying to get a good grasp on this if I am able to obtain one and go this route.  I have looked for any possible extra documentation but not found much reading about it.  If someone knows of any threads I can read to understand better would be appreciative.  I have checked the WIKI and dont locate anything about this.  Thanks a bunch.


Lance

Offline TMerk

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Re: Advice on basic stand alone Pixel Controller
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2016, 08:37:56 AM »
Hi guys, I too would like to do something similar to Lance except with a 600-1000 pixel matrix. No music. So If I am following this correctly I would; Install a PiCap to my pi because the cap gives the proper 5v for the data requirements of the pixels. Wire my my pixels to the PiCap's outputs GND, D and V and keep the data connected to each string and inject power as needed from my power supply while keeping all my grounds connected together. Take a Vixen3 or xlights animation sequence and convert to .fseq and upoad to the FPP then add a "rpiws281x" output in the FPP. Set my scheduler and hopefully I have lights!! Am I on the right track here??


Thanks all, Todd

 

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