Author Topic: The Pi Player , 1 year old  (Read 5075 times)

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2014, 10:42:48 PM »
Capt, you are going to the academy also? I want to see u demo the pi players there in the big room. We can try to get 2 or 3 pi players and three or four display elements.

I haven't got my plane ticket yet, but yes, I should be there.  I think a 2-3 way FPP demo is definitely part of the plan.  I will have a small demo of this at the PacNW meeting May 3rd, but if we could use some of the bigger displays at The Academy, then it would have more impact. :)  We could have one master and a pair of slaves each connected to different elements.
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Chris

Offline toozie21

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2014, 06:20:32 AM »
I already have a sample script to support putting text on a matrix from the command line, but this code still needs some support functions to handle folded strings and directionality of the strings.  I hope to be able to provide a sample of that by release time.

Would this be the feature that allows people doing things like a countdown or other pieces of text to buffer things on the fly rather than prebuild the entire sequence?  That sounds great, I look forward to playing with it!!

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2014, 01:18:02 AM »
I already have a sample script to support putting text on a matrix from the command line, but this code still needs some support functions to handle folded strings and directionality of the strings.  I hope to be able to provide a sample of that by release time.

Would this be the feature that allows people doing things like a countdown or other pieces of text to buffer things on the fly rather than prebuild the entire sequence?  That sounds great, I look forward to playing with it!!

Yes, it will allow you to insert RGB data into a running sequence.  You'll still need something to supply that data.  I was just playing around with it again tonight and using ImageMagick's convert utility, I was able to take a GIF and PNG, convert them to raw RGB data, and display that on a matrix.  To display text, I used the convert utility to make an image that matched the size of the matrix and overlayed text onto the image.  The convert utility can 'draw' text onto a pre-existing or new blank image and save the result directly as RGB data.  Then I used the new 'fppmm' helper binary to enable the memory map block for the matrix, and then copy the raw RGB data file saved by ImageMagick into the memory map and the text appeared on the matrix instantly.  I did this without even having a sequence running, but it will work whether a sequence is running or not.  I do still have a bit of work to do on the import routine to allow it to understand RGB vs BGR etc., folded strings. and directionality (vertical/horizontal), currently it is hard-coded to my horizontal matrix with the starting pixel on the top left.  Some of this support may come as an enhancement after the release since I wasn't planning on getting this far and have other higher priority things I want to get done before the release.

Offline toozie21

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2014, 07:06:30 AM »
Yes, it will allow you to insert RGB data into a running sequence.  You'll still need something to supply that data.  I was just playing around with it again tonight and using ImageMagick's convert utility, I was able to take a GIF and PNG, convert them to raw RGB data, and display that on a matrix.  To display text, I used the convert utility to make an image that matched the size of the matrix and overlayed text onto the image.  The convert utility can 'draw' text onto a pre-existing or new blank image and save the result directly as RGB data.  Then I used the new 'fppmm' helper binary to enable the memory map block for the matrix, and then copy the raw RGB data file saved by ImageMagick into the memory map and the text appeared on the matrix instantly.  I did this without even having a sequence running, but it will work whether a sequence is running or not.  I do still have a bit of work to do on the import routine to allow it to understand RGB vs BGR etc., folded strings. and directionality (vertical/horizontal), currently it is hard-coded to my horizontal matrix with the starting pixel on the top left.  Some of this support may come as an enhancement after the release since I wasn't planning on getting this far and have other higher priority things I want to get done before the release.

Well I am new to this whole arena, but really the one thing I am interested in is a Pixel Matrix so I can replace my large Christmas Countdown, so that is what I've been focusing out.  I have been looking at xLights which has a countdown feature, and it sounds like between that and what you are working on, I might be close.  Where my scenario gets complicated is that I plan on running it from Nov 1 to Jan 1 24hrs a day (which is what I do with my incandescent countdown now), so I don't have a synced display that runs a couple of hours a night.  I suppose worst case scenario is that I create 60 different "sequences" that are one day countdowns and have the FPP play a different one each day for one day only.  Not sure, but I Know you guys are still working through things, so I am keeping fingers crossed that by the end of summer maybe thing will become a little more clearer for me.

Thanks and keep up the awesome work!

Offline jnealand

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2014, 09:27:16 AM »
With the cost of the Pi so low.  You might consider buying a second PI and dedicating it to the sign.  I have a client who has a PI that displays his multistory display directory on a monitor built into a wall by the building elevator.  I do not know what software he uses, but that may be an avenue to explore.  Might be time to think outside of the box of Christmas lighting and just look at general display programs.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline toozie21

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2014, 09:30:36 AM »
Good point on thinking outside the box, I am not sure what all is out there, but it might be worth a viewing at lunch sometime.  The issue is probably converting the values to something the pixels can understand/handle though (which is where the FPP makes its money).

This will be the only thing I have running on the FPP, so it will essentially be dedicated to the countdown.

Online David Pitts

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2014, 10:08:23 AM »
@Tootzie, Your countdown timer will be one of the first apps we will make to drive the new overlay feature. It has been requested several times now. I think you will most likely be set.
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Offline toozie21

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2014, 10:13:44 AM »
I must say, that you guys rock Dave!  I love that the software is FOSS and you guys are putting out a unique product, that works wonders, all while doing it in your spare time.

If you need a beta tester when the time comes, just let me know (not because I want the software first, but because I would be happy to be of assistance if since you are proving your service to help others.

I've been talking to a lot of people about Matrices as I try to figure out how to build one and the pros/cons of different designs, and I have a feeling that the countdown will be a big hit (since LOTS of people have mentioned to me that they want to incorporate one).

Keep up the awesome work!

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2014, 01:27:33 AM »
@Tootzie, Your countdown timer will be one of the first apps we will make to drive the new overlay feature. It has been requested several times now. I think you will most likely be set.

Last night I put together a simple Perl script using the Image::Magick module to scroll text across my 10x10 test matrix.  Currently, the script writes out the generated 10x10 images as RGB files then loads them into the memory mapped region using fppmm, but I should be able to bypass that temporary file and write the RGB data directly to the memory mapped file with a little more work.

Offline drlucas

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2014, 05:36:58 AM »

I must say, that you guys rock Dave!  I love that the software is FOSS and you guys are putting out a unique product, that works wonders, all while doing it in your spare time.

If you need a beta tester when the time comes, just let me know (not because I want the software first, but because I would be happy to be of assistance if since you are proving your service to help others.

I've been talking to a lot of people about Matrices as I try to figure out how to build one and the pros/cons of different designs, and I have a feeling that the countdown will be a big hit (since LOTS of people have mentioned to me that they want to incorporate one).

Keep up the awesome work!

I really want the countdown for New Year's Eve.

As for the matrix. Today I try to my 32 strips connected to power. Cable management is going to be critical.
Ryan

Offline rjchu

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2014, 05:50:34 PM »


Last night I put together a simple Perl script using the Image::Magick module to scroll text across my 10x10 test matrix.  Currently, the script writes out the generated 10x10 images as RGB files then loads them into the memory mapped region using fppmm, but I should be able to bypass that temporary file and write the RGB data directly to the memory mapped file with a little more work.

Perl? Now you're in my wheelhouse. Does fppmm accept data via command line or stdin? You can easily open a pipe to fppmm instead of writing out to a file with your script.

It'll be fun to get my hands on this and try playing around with it.

Sounds great!

-joni-

Offline toozie21

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2014, 05:54:06 PM »
@Tootzie, Your countdown timer will be one of the first apps we will make to drive the new overlay feature. It has been requested several times now. I think you will most likely be set.

Last night I put together a simple Perl script using the Image::Magick module to scroll text across my 10x10 test matrix.  Currently, the script writes out the generated 10x10 images as RGB files then loads them into the memory mapped region using fppmm, but I should be able to bypass that temporary file and write the RGB data directly to the memory mapped file with a little more work.

This is awesome!  I am getting so pumped, you guys rock! 

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2014, 06:07:40 PM »
The fppmm helper program is used to turn on and off the memory mapped channel blocks.  It also has a command line switch to tell it to copy a file into a block.  I initially tested using Imagemagick's convert utility from the command line to convert png/jpg/gif files to raw RGB for copying onto the test matrix.  fppmm  could be extended to accept 'streaming' data or one frame of data via stdin.  I also need to work on the config options to allow it to support different matrix configurations, right now my dev copy is hardcoded to the config of my test 10x10 horizontal matrix with the first channel on the top left.

I normally prefer Perl, but the main reason I used it for this is that it supports memory mapped files while I think PHP does not.  The script is also meant to be an example of how to stuff data into the memory mapped blocks so others can enhance or create their own scripts.



Offline idleup

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Re: The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2014, 01:37:18 PM »
CaptianMurdoch, I am a current Vixen user who was pointed to this forum and the Falcon Player because I need to display text messages dynamically on a pixel matrix and was told you were working on it with the FPP. I am excited to try this out, the script that you mentioned in this last post is it completed yet? Also, I have not purchased a Pi yet so I am pretty ignorant to using it but does it have a unix shell which allow me to write my own PHP and/or shell scripts to remotely pull and convert data from RSS Feed?

Thanks,
Matt

The fppmm helper program is used to turn on and off the memory mapped channel blocks.  It also has a command line switch to tell it to copy a file into a block.  I initially tested using Imagemagick's convert utility from the command line to convert png/jpg/gif files to raw RGB for copying onto the test matrix.  fppmm  could be extended to accept 'streaming' data or one frame of data via stdin.  I also need to work on the config options to allow it to support different matrix configurations, right now my dev copy is hardcoded to the config of my test 10x10 horizontal matrix with the first channel on the top left.

I normally prefer Perl, but the main reason I used it for this is that it supports memory mapped files while I think PHP does not.  The script is also meant to be an example of how to stuff data into the memory mapped blocks so others can enhance or create their own scripts.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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The Pi Player , 1 year old
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2014, 01:12:50 AM »
FPP runs a standard version of Linux with full access to the command line via ssh and both PHP and Perl are installed by default.  I replied to your message in the other thread as well about the script.

 

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