Author Topic: Falcon equivalents to SSC  (Read 4441 times)

Offline arw01

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2017, 02:47:03 PM »
Sam I don't know what that board does, but did you already order it and it's coming?  We could split the shipping..

Offline zwiller

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2017, 03:13:44 PM »
Sam I don't know what that board does, but did you already order it and it's coming?  We could split the shipping..
And so it begins...   ;D 
Sam
 Last year's video: https://vimeo.com/150560653

Offline jnealand

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2017, 03:18:05 PM »
Just because you have DLA pixelnet does not mean you can't run e1.31 also.  I ran 5 remote Pi 3s last season.  Three were attached to Falcon F16v2s, one was attached to a DLA 16 port Active Hub which also had DMX out going to a Lynx wireless transmitter and the last Pi was connected to a Falcon F16v1 which is a pixelnet controller.  My Lynx wireless was used to control a floodlight and my tune to sign which are all the static elements I had in use, maybe next year I'll get a few more static items out of storage.  So lots of options to mix and match.  It is all good.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline twooly

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2017, 06:21:51 PM »
Yeah. He has been waiting for two years or longer. Sorry.

:) you've been busy to say the least. 

If you want to release the programer code I'm glad to make the updates, I know VS studio to probably do them.   Along with changing the string types to just the color choices  ;)

Offline tbone321

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2017, 08:09:07 PM »
Let us also remember that that the ETD is also an e1.31 device so you would still be using e1.31 out of FPP.

Offline jnealand

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2017, 08:26:01 PM »
Only if you are using an ETD.  I did not this year, but I did last year.  Now I use a $3 usb2rs485 dongle and pixelnet open on FPP.

Offline lonewolf41

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2017, 09:24:18 PM »
These are questions I think most of us asked ourselves when we started over here.  I will give you my take.  First off, RJ holds the crown of cheapest pixelware.  I don't think there is any argument.  The question is whether the additional cost is worth it?  I remember when I got my first F16v1 and it was like $110, I was skeptical.  I mean it was easily cost 2x the ZeusV2 (3x the Zeus v1) but as fate would have it I was really pulling my hair out in frustration of the DLA concept.  (Replacing hub fuses galore/getting on a ladder to pull a SSCs/reprogramming it inside only to mount it again and channel order was off...)  So I gave it a shot and for some reason the Falcon concept just really clicked for me.  I had an epiphany using test mode.  Later, I am tweaking channels and color order in the comfort of my house...  Then I tried the Falcon hub  Far superior to DLA in every way.  Keith, there are 2 in for sale area.  Buy them now.  Trust me. 

Fast forward to today and now the F16v2 and v3 are $200.  While I think there are worth it, I am not confident I need to replace all my controllers with them but the V2 and V3 are E1.31 controllers and E1.31 is now the standard and pixelnet is old school.  A summary, pixelnet is good for 16k, but E1.31 is good to 63k.  You could do universe offsets and use pixelnet to beyond 100k but I think it might be a PITA.  You, may not  Also, for some reason (cost?) most guys prefer running tons of channels from a single controller instead of my preference to run a port per prop.  Thats just the way it is but thats not gonna be cheap to do.  In the end, I am gonna mix things up and add a few new controllers but will mostly be F16v1.  My SSC pigtails are failing and no way I am gonna resolder them.   

I have 2 extra Falcon ATX kits but IIRC you can buy these at other places.  Generally Dave does a feeler post for interest and if there is enough he runs it again.  I am moving away from the battery box and ATX and all but my last hubs are CG1500 with power supply inside.  Works well. 

I have some interesting developments regarding dumb stuff.  Ive been try to get David or Corey on board with dumb stuff for some time but theyre just not buying it.  As fate would have it, I think I found something even better than I was originally asking for.  How about a 2811 pixel based controller for dumb stuff? 
http://www.hansonelectronics.com.au/product/2811dc15/

This thing has been around since 2013  Developer is Alan Hanson (AAH handle here) and is well known genius in the DIY Aussie Christmas Lighting community and is the Southern Hemisphere version of David Pitts if you ask me.  I have actually approached him to consider doing a group buy for the above since we could save a ton on shipping and he is agreeable.  We are working out some the detail now but I hope to create an interest thread and if we hit a decent amount well do it.  I think theres a good chance it will.  I never heard of it so I trying to pass the word.  I plan to run it with some floods, spots, and other stuff and basically eliminate my dmx stuff.  If anyone is remotely interested give me sign.  Alan has only sold one in the US (to me!) but these are extremely popular in AUS (he sold hundreds).   

OK, starting to make more sense.  I didn't realize the F16 was 1.31 vs. PixelNet...nor did I realize the channel differences.  The extra channels available could be great for someone needing them.  I am not there yet with less than 10,000 channels, but I know others are way above that.  I haven't experienced the channel numbering issues and haven't had to change out but a couple of controllers and they were all on the ground.  I think I have only blown 2 fuses, but I know how you felt so I can see how the features you describe could be very attractive. 

Maybe one of the concepts I was having the most trouble with is that, like you,  I also like to use one prop per port.  That seems to becomes very expensive using the new Falcon gear, but using one port for multiple props makes it more economical...although I will still have to wrap my brain around how to do that.  It is all starting to come together better now for me.  A slightly different paradigm that I will have to eventually embrace.

Also, thanks for the info on the other items.  I guess I am still somewhat old school with still using an Express and 5 Aethers running wirelessly.  I am also very cheap.   That's part of the reason that 95%+ of the items in my display are hand built by me.  I think there are only 3-4 items in my show that I purchased complete.  Besides...I get exactly what I want that way.  ;D

Thanks again for your patience and walking me through this.  I always love watching your show.  Your music selection and sequencing very much mimics my style so I can relate to what you do and why you do it.  Do you have any video from this year?  I have yet to record mine yet.  Hope to in the next few days.

Thanks again,
-Keith

Forgot to mention, looks like I missed the hubs...unless they were not on the first page.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 09:44:54 PM by lonewolf41 »

Offline lonewolf41

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2017, 09:26:10 PM »
Just because you have DLA pixelnet does not mean you can't run e1.31 also.  I ran 5 remote Pi 3s last season.  Three were attached to Falcon F16v2s, one was attached to a DLA 16 port Active Hub which also had DMX out going to a Lynx wireless transmitter and the last Pi was connected to a Falcon F16v1 which is a pixelnet controller.  My Lynx wireless was used to control a floodlight and my tune to sign which are all the static elements I had in use, maybe next year I'll get a few more static items out of storage.  So lots of options to mix and match.  It is all good.

Your setup sounds a lot like mine.  I may need to pick your brain if and when I get some falcon gear and put it into my display.

Thanks,
-Keith

Offline lonewolf41

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2017, 09:35:41 PM »
Only if you are using an ETD.  I did not this year, but I did last year.  Now I use a $3 usb2rs485 dongle and pixelnet open on FPP.

I know you have mentioned this concept before and I would really like to find out more about it.  Is there info somewhere on how you set it up...both on the hardware and software side?

I have not been very active here, still spending most of my time at DLA.  It is good to see so many familiar faces/names over here.  It is like the gang is still together...we just moved to a new clubhouse.  :D

Thanks,
-Keith

Offline arw01

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2017, 12:13:23 AM »
Yep, most of us are over here with shiny new pixel toys.


Even I pulled out a passivehub run off the F16vr2 for my 4 arches.  I did not put outgoing pigtails on the strips in the pex tubing so needed 4 outputs and was not going to waste a full differential board for them.

The passive hubs would be so much nicer if you could switch which pixelnet universe with jumpers like the Falcon Hub or the later Zues boards.

Offline JonB256

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 06:22:36 AM »

Maybe one of the concepts I was having the most trouble with is that, like you,  I also like to use one prop per port.  That seems to becomes very expensive using the new Falcon gear, but using one port for multiple props makes it more economical...although I will still have to wrap my brain around how to do that.  It is all starting to come together better now for me.  A slightly different paradigm that I will have to eventually embrace.

Thanks again,
-Keith

Keith, once I realized that "one prop, one port" was incredibly wasteful, it has made a big difference.
First use was for Mini-trees.  50 pixels on the tree, 10 pixels on the star. They are totally different models in xLights but I just use a 60 pixel string.
So my 10 trees/stars only use 10 outputs instead of 20. If I really, really cared, I could join them in pairs and use 5 outputs without power injection. If I got really frugal, I could put all 10 (600 pixels) on a single output and do power injection. Somewhere in there is a balance point, but the first one (10 outputs vs. 20 outputs) was a no-brainer.

On my roof this year, I have 5 rows of Boscoyo snowflakes. Staggered as 5/6/5/6/5 (total of 27). No way I was going to use 27 outputs. Instead I used 5 outputs. This did force me to do power injection since each snowflake has 48 pixels. So 27 outputs vs. 5 outputs. No-brainer.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 09:11:01 AM »
OK, starting to make more sense.  I didn't realize the F16 was 1.31 vs. PixelNet...nor did I realize the channel differences.  The extra channels available could be great for someone needing them.  I am not there yet with less than 10,000 channels, but I know others are way above that.  I haven't experienced the channel numbering issues and haven't had to change out but a couple of controllers and they were all on the ground.  I think I have only blown 2 fuses, but I know how you felt so I can see how the features you describe could be very attractive. 

Maybe one of the concepts I was having the most trouble with is that, like you,  I also like to use one prop per port.  That seems to becomes very expensive using the new Falcon gear, but using one port for multiple props makes it more economical...although I will still have to wrap my brain around how to do that.  It is all starting to come together better now for me.  A slightly different paradigm that I will have to eventually embrace.

Also, thanks for the info on the other items.  I guess I am still somewhat old school with still using an Express and 5 Aethers running wirelessly.  I am also very cheap.   That's part of the reason that 95%+ of the items in my display are hand built by me.  I think there are only 3-4 items in my show that I purchased complete.  Besides...I get exactly what I want that way.  ;D

Thanks again for your patience and walking me through this.  I always love watching your show.  Your music selection and sequencing very much mimics my style so I can relate to what you do and why you do it.  Do you have any video from this year?  I have yet to record mine yet.  Hope to in the next few days.

Thanks again,
-Keith

Forgot to mention, looks like I missed the hubs...unless they were not on the first page.

Thanks for kind words.  Nothing new unfortunately.  I got mixed up in converting and editing VHS tapes of my Dad's old 8mm movies as a gift... 

By now I woulda thought there would be popular approach to the opposite of what we're doing (port per prop).  Something that makes sense and be like OK, now I get it, but I haven't seen it.  In 2013 I had spent the entire building props all connected together maximize port use from the DLA pixel count info etc and it was a miserable fail.  I never made it live so I went the opposite and have been solid since.  I knew going into it, it would not be the cheapest route but in the end once you start really comparing the 2 methods, I don't think there is a clear winner.  Dad always says "time or money".  As Jon points out, there are exceptions to the rule.  I will say the differential concept is a potential game changer.  I think it is a 3rd approach and I will be really looking into it.  In the end, there are MANY ways to approach what we're doing now and the cool part is they pretty much all work together!   

Another odd thing I notice the new guys doing is setting up each prop on a separate (dmx) universes.  They are running like 4k channels but the count is beyond 30k...  Could be genius or madness, but I haven't decided.  That said, I divided my house into zones and each zone is on it's own PN universe and it has given some clarity to my layout and there's plenty of room for expansion.  This allowed me to make 95% of my pixels discrete, previously I was using lots of grouping even tho they were smart.  My future sequencing goal is to make much better use of this on the less glamorous props.  Like my live trees in my video.  They're actually my favorite part.  The new sequence will have the other props off so the effect is more pronounced.  The video doesn't do them justice, they look much cooler live. 

Sorry for leading you on, looks like the hubs finally sold.  They were there a lot longer than I ever expected. 

Offline jnealand

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2017, 12:31:08 PM »
I also break my setup into PN universes (4096 channels for the uniniated).  Generally speaking each controller in my yard was a 4096 block of channels.  Worked well and was easy for me to follow.  But I did learn that with the F16v2 and absolute addressing I could put other elements outside of the 4096 block in a controller and it worked just fine.

Offline arw01

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2017, 02:41:48 PM »
I've not quite made up my mind yet if missing absolute channels between the two controllers was the smartest idea yet.  E.g. 5000 channel might be on controller 1 and 5200 might on controller 2, and back to 5350 on controller one.

It was so much easier to just pop into a webpage and change the channel count, color etc from my phone or a laptop than to reprogram it with a jumper set or remember the prior start channel and then having to unplug the element to reset it.

Offline t.jo13

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Re: Falcon equivalents to SSC
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2017, 05:40:24 PM »
Quote
What I like about the DLA gear is I can have a cheap high amp power supply centrally located and then run cheap Cat 5 cable to my elements.  I already have some SSC's that are un-built so I have no (additional) cost there.  It looks like (unless I am missing something) that with the F16, you have to run more expensive wire (18ga, 3-conductor?) out to the elements from the board.  And while it will handle the distance I need (~50'), it would seem to be a more expensive installation overall.  Again, maybe I am missing something.  /quote]

Lonewolf,
Attached is a picture reusing dla power setup with a f16v2.  Its the good old battery box with corsair 750w psu. It was for a dla hub. I got ahold of some atx power boards that dave made and that was the key without having to cut off connectors and such. Had to make a quick switch in november as I needed a way to control some robg floods. Coming off serial port 1 from the f16v2 it gives me pixelnet as needed while having an expansion board with receivers. Then If you look close I came up with a board Idea and with daves help it came out great for using all of the cat 5 Cables I had purchased colorcoded for different lengths from monoprice.
Then just removed some ssc4s and reattached cat5 pigtails. I also changed out some pigtails with the waterproof ones from raywu. Just plug in and done. I have 3 or 4 runs over 50ft and 1  arch hooked to a 75ft cat5 cable ( no sscs ) with no noticable issues.  On the pixelnet output of the f16 v2  I  have 4 pixelnet boards. Each one is on its own universe.Dave suggested I put pixenet first and then add channels for f16v2. It worked great, and I am another one that uses 1 port per dislay item. Not very efficent but it make programming alot simpler for me.  Home some of this helps

Joe

 

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