Author Topic: Would It Be Possible to Enhance The Falcon F-16 To Support DMX-512  (Read 772 times)

Offline tcom_jim

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Posts: 21
  • Kudos: 0
   I ordered two F-16s and a FPD last week to begin using RGB strings for the 2014 Christmas season.  I have two LOR CTB16PCs that I have used for my incandescent lights for the last two years and I will continue to use them for at least one more year.

   I am placing my FPP/FPD in my garage where I currently have my LOR DC-MP3 which is near where I will have 1 F-16 and 1 CTB16PC.  I then plan on running a 60 foot PixelNet cable to the other F-16 on the south side of my house where I will have the other CTB16PC installed as well.  It would be nice to be able just run the one PixelNet cable between the two sides of my house, rather than running another Cat5 for the DMX-512 between the two CTB16PCs.

   Since I'm transitioning from incandescent to RGB, the most strings I will need in 2014 on the south side of my house is 5, leaving 11 ports free in the F-16.  (I realize an F-8 would have been more than adequate, but I wanted the ability to expand in future years.)

   I was wondering if the F-16 could be enhanced to take two string ports and use them as a single DMX-512 port.  In my case, I need only one such DMX-512 interface, and it would be fine if the two string ports were dedicated, i.e. ports 15 and 16 could either be RGB strings or DMX-512, or even a different PIC firmware load that dedicated two string ports to DMX-512.

Jim

   
Jim

Offline David Pitts

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: Falcon, CO
  • Posts: 3,904
  • Kudos: 74
Re: Would It Be Possible to Enhance The Falcon F-16 To Support DMX-512
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 04:11:23 PM »
Sorry for delay on answering this request. The controller used just so happens to share the serial out pins with SPI out pins. We use SPI pins to drive all 16 outputs. There are four SPI output pins, one for each group of four outputs. So if we stopped using the any pin for SPI and switched it to serial we would lose 4 pixel outputs not just 2. That is first barrier. I was able to do it of Falcon 8 because we only used two SPI ports and there was a free serial port pin to output DMX. I am thinking of a single Pixelnet to DMX board. They are testing one over on DLA but the availability of DLA products is always hit and miss. So we might just have to roll our own. Maybe make it do two universes of DMX as an option. Maybe make the board work as an add-on for next version of Falcon16. The new version of Falcon16 was ready to be sent to board house. We added an extra Pixelnet output for a total of two outputs. Not sure if I want to hold it up for a DMX add-on modification.
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

Offline tcom_jim

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Posts: 21
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Would It Be Possible to Enhance The Falcon F-16 To Support DMX-512
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 08:13:10 AM »
Thank you for your reply.  This was a "nice to have", but I can understand the problem with giving up 4 string ports.  I had looked at the F-8, but the last status that I saw indicated that the DMX-512 was not supported initially.  Since it supports DMX-512, I probably should have ordered one F-16 and one F-8, rather than the two F-16s.

As I've thought about it, it probably makes sense to run the separate DMX-512 to my other CTB16PC and then I can just connect my laptop to the LOR USB dongle when I need to run the hardware utility or update the firmware.   But going forward, I think I will be interested in the PixelNet to DMX board that has been discussed elsewhere as my AC power lights become a smaller part of my Christmas lighting.

Thanks again and I'm looking forward to getting all of this together to start testing for next season,

Jim

 

Back to top