Author Topic: Basic Set up  (Read 1782 times)

Online Poporacer

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Basic Set up
« on: March 19, 2018, 09:29:38 PM »
I think I have a decent understanding (but then again, probably not!  :-\) Let me know if my thought process is correct here. I have most of the items I need and as soon as I have enough to put together a test, I will see if I can actually make it work.

Let me know if this is a good setup or what I can do to improve it. I like JNealand's thought process of limiting the wires.

Lights-
I plan on having a Mega Tree, some leaping arches, a few mini trees and house, eave and windows outlined.

Controls-
I plan on having a router (or Switch) connected (Wired) to my internet, then a PI 3 B wired to the switch and set up as a Master. I would have a Pi 3 B located by the Mega Tree and  connected to Falcon F16V3, the Pi would be set up as remote and connected wirelessly to the Master. The F16V3 would control the Mega Tree, Arches, and mini trees. Then I would have another Pi 3 B set up as Remote, connected wirelesly to the Master. This Pi would be connected (wired) to a Falcon PiCap and this would control the house lights. I will probably need another Pi and PiCap to handle all the lights? If all goes well, then I will add a Pocket Beagle and Pocket scroller to control some P10 panels.

Does this look like a good set up? Any suggestions? Is there another controller I could use besides the PiCap that would give me a couple more outputs? It looks like the F8B is a controller that could connect to a Pi and control 8 strings but I don't see where to buy one (or 3)??
I am not quite sure what a F8-PB is. Is it the newest version of the F8B?

Thanks for your help
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Offline JonB256

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 06:07:08 AM »
The Pi3b you have as Master could easily drive your F16v3 with E1.31 data if you connect to same switch. One less Remote to keep updated.

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Offline jnealand

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 07:52:41 AM »
My show router and master Pi are inside the house so that there are no wires going from inside the house to outside the house.  I do have them mounted on an outside wall on the front of the house inside a closet.  My FM transmitter is also mounted in the closet.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 08:33:38 AM »
My show router and master Pi are inside the house so that there are no wires going from inside the house to outside the house.  I do have them mounted on an outside wall on the front of the house inside a closet.  My FM transmitter is also mounted in the closet.


I do the same thing.   I love having no network cables running around the yard (even though I'm a "network guy" by profession).  8)
-Mark

Offline k6ccc

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 02:00:21 PM »
I'm largely the opposite.  I am a radio guy (I run a regional public safety and local government trunked radio system for a living).  These days, that means more IP networking than radio.  I firmly believe that wireless is great and wonderful - WHEN you NEED wireless.  If you don't need wireless, a cable is almost always better.  Although my E1.31 network is one of the 7 SSIDs available on my WiFi system, it is only used for testing.
My lighting networking is a little different in that most of it is used year round, so it has to be something neater than wire draped around the yard.  For E1.31 year round, there are two SanDevices E6804 controllers that both have their cabling in conduit.  For other stuff, there are two LOR RS-485 networks that are also all in conduit.  For Christmas (prior to 2018) the only additions were a pixel tree that has a single Cat-5 cable and a single extension cord that is 15 feet overhead for less than 10 feet from the house to the top of the tree.  Additionally there is a single LOR network Cat-5 cable that runs about 15 feet from a conduit box where it connects to permanent wiring in conduit to some arches.  That cable is held down with tent stakes every few feet to avoid a tripping hazard.
For 2018 there will be a little more because of the addition of a P10 panel, P5 panel, some singing faces, candy canes, and a spiral mega-tree.  Most of that will have the cabling in conduit (at least all but the last couple feet).  I think I have one more conduit I want to run, but I think it will all be in the crawl space under the house - only a box on the front of the house.
One advantage that I have had is that at the time I first got into controlled lighting, I was in a major front yard landscaping project - as in take the entire front yard down to bare dirt and start over.  As a result of that, it was easy to add conduit.  My front yard is about 85 feet long in the longest dimension and there is almost a quarter mile of conduit buried.  Gives me lots of options!
BTW, one of my standard recommendations if you have multiple types of networking - use different color cable.  For example, in my case, Green = E1.31 network, Purple = RS-485 (LOR in my case), Blue = "normal" home LAN, Yellow = non-ethernet (mostly analog video over Cat-5), White = WiFi network 1 (4 SSIDs), Gray = WiFi network 2 (currently 3 SSIDs), several other colors for other specialized LANs
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
Jim

Online Poporacer

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 05:48:46 PM »
Thanks for your responses, I appreciate the insight. What about the question I posed about a controller like the PiCap but has a few more ouputs? And about the F8B and F8PB?

Offline JonB256

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 08:38:49 PM »
What about the question I posed about a controller like the PiCap but has a few more ouputs? And about the F8B and F8PB?

I have used the F8B and had great success.  Don't have an F8PB (don't need it with two F8Bs and some older F16Bs and F16v2 and F16v3 boards.
I have a LOT of Falcon / FPP hardware. I think the F8PB is about the only one I don't have. :(

Do you have specific questions about the F8B?  It has so many output capabilities that it may seem overwhelming.

Online Poporacer

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 10:19:20 PM »
Is the F8B just a controller that can be connecte to a Pi with 8 outputs? Where can you buy and F8B? What is the difference between the F8B and the F8PB?

Offline JonB256

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 07:29:14 AM »
Is the F8B just a controller that can be connecte to a Pi with 8 outputs? Where can you buy and F8B? What is the difference between the F8B and the F8PB?

The F8B attaches to a BeagleBone (normal size, "Black" or "Green") board, not to a Raspberry Pi.
Dan Kulp designed and distributes these.
Dan also designed and distributes the F8PB (for Pocket Beagle), a small version of the normal BeagleBone

I have some BeagleBone Blacks and some BeagleBone Greens. Very similar but not quite the same. The Green does not have HDMI Video output but is otherwise much the same. The lack of Video out eliminates a problem that I had (and others) with radio interference with mini USB Wireless modules like the Edimax.

Here is the primary discussion about the F8B (also shown as the F8B+):   http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,7210.0.html


Online Poporacer

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 09:01:16 AM »
I had a feeling that they were for the Beagles. Is there something similar for the PI? I already have a couple so I would like to use them. I see that in some discussions that you cannot use the BeagleBone Green Wireless because of some pin out issues. Does that apply to the BeagleBone Black Wireless. I would think that having the wireless already part of the board would be less troublesome? Or is there an advantage to having an external WiFi? Does the Pocket Beagle support wireless?

Thanks for the info. I am gathering all the parts I need and sequencing a song in hopes to be ready for Christmas.

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 09:41:51 AM »
Is there another controller I could use besides the PiCap that would give me a couple more outputs? It looks like the F8B is a controller that could connect to a Pi and control 8 strings but I don't see where to buy one (or 3)??
I am not quite sure what a F8-PB is. Is it the newest version of the F8B?
For a Raspberry Pi, the PiCap is your best option.  But you are not going to get more than two WS2811 pixel outputs on a Raspberry Pi due to its limited PWM capability.  I think there is a Pi hat with 3 pixel outputs but one of them is WS2801 and the other two are WS2811.   If you want more pixel outputs the BeagleBone is much better because it has many more programmable outputs.   The F8B is a great controller. Dan introduced those last year and I used one in my show.   It was sold in a group-buy that is over now but Dan may have a few left over.   This year, Dan came out with the F8PB which is basically the same thing but works with the smaller and less-expensive PocketBeagle.  There is a group buy going on right now for the F8PB, but ends next week I believe. 

More info on the F8PB (and PocketScroller) Group-Buy is here:
http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,8864.0.html

I personally like the F8PB a lot.  It is very compact and very powerful.  However, the PB does not have onboard Ethernet like the BB has.  For me that's not an issue because I run all my controllers as FPP Remotes and all run WiFi Sync.  The F8PB controller provides a single USB port which can be used for a USB-to-Ethernet dongle if you need wired Ethernet or, as in my case, a USB WiFi.

Online Poporacer

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Re: Basic Set up
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 10:44:50 AM »
Thanks a million Pixelpuppy!
I guess that is why I couldn't find any controllers for the Pi with more than 2 strings. I think I might pick up a PB and F8PB to have on hand just in case I get that far on my display. I might use one of the Pis with a Matrix adapter for my P10s. I don't think I will ever have more than 12 panels.... at least not anytime soon and then there might be something better out. I think I will have several props that are close enough to each other that I could control them from one location. Just run power and set up the WiFi.

 

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