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Perplexed

Started by nayrma, June 20, 2020, 07:27:18 PM

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nayrma

This is my first year with a Falcon Controller and Smart Receiver.  My goal is to have a 900 pixel matrix that is split into 2 strings.  One string is 400 in length and the second is 500.  When I run a test sequence, the first 400 light up but the last 500 never turn on.  My first reaction was "bad string" but connecting the last 500 to the working connection got them to turn on. I have a second matrix and for fun I plugged that one in too to the other pigtail and got the same behavior.  I feel like this is a configuration problem but I am struggling to figure out exactly what is wrong.  Any thoughts on how I can get this working?

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Poporacer

How are you playing your test sequence? From xLights? From the controller itself? Or maybe from an FPPP?

How about some screenshots so that we are not shooting in the dark? (don't take a picture and send it, they are hard to read!) 

The screenshots we need are
1. xLights Controller tab with the controller highlighted
2. xLights Layout tab with the Matrix highlighted
3. Controller E1.31 input page 
4. Controller Output port page
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

nayrma

I do have Xlights configured but not using it at this time.  All of the test sequences that I am attempting to run are being executed directly through the controller.  No idea if this makes any difference but I am running Falcon Player on a Raspberry Pi.  I access the controller thru the network pass-through. I am attaching some screenshots of my test menu, E131 screen and the pixel outputs. 

I don't fully understand the String 1, String 2, String 3 output on the Test menu.  What to the outputs correspond to?

Poporacer

Are you connecting all of the pixels together in one string? Are you power injecting somewhere along the string? 400 pixels is usually more than can be powered through one port of a controller let alone 500 (they can be controlled, just not supply enough power.) Are you sure the pigtail is good? Have you tested it with a Voltmeter?
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

nayrma

400 is one string and 500 is one string.  400 runs fine with power injection along the way.  When I start the new string of 500 to complete all the lights, the second string will not work.  The second string is connected to a separate output on the smart receiver.  I get about 10 lights which are white but no blinking.  First thought was power problem but tested voltage and getting 12V out of the smart receiver output.  This matrix is being powered by a 750 watt PS which should be ample power.  The matrix will draw 54A at full power.  The PS will output 62.  I want to only tax at 80% so thr lights will never be at 100%.

The Smart Receiver is attempting to power the beginning of the second string.  I would think this wouldn't be a problem, since there's plenty of power still available.

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Poporacer

Your math might be a little off. You will need to check the Vendor's specs for your lights and if possible do some real world testing to verify (I have found that sometimes the Vendor specs are not accurate)
Have you tried connecting the 500 pixel string to the 3rd port? What were the results?

Why do you have so many Universes defined? You should only define the number of Universes you are using. Also, your Output port configuration start channels seems rather odd, but shouldn't affect the testing.

What controller are you using? Do you really have an expansion board connected?

If you are only using one Smart Receiver, do you have it terminated correctly?
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

nayrma

So I did a ton of testing today in different configurations.  I removed all the extra universes and just had a bare bones setup.  I updated my controller to output the data for the Smart Receiver to port 13.  It actually works regardless of what number I specify so that's good. 

Once you get to the Smart Receiver, things get interesting.  The "à" output on the receiver outputs as expected.  However if you try 13b, 13c or 13d, there's no output.  The fact that 13a works at least eliminates the string being the problem but I can't for the life of me figure out why the other outputs do not work.  I have a theory that the network cable from the  controller to the smart receiver could be part of the problem but I have no true way to validate that. 

Does anyone know how to actually validate the output of data?

Controller is F16v3.  No expansion board used but as I understood it, you can expose that to set the pixel output for the smart receiver.

Termination and modes were the first things to check.  The smart receiver is set to A and terminated.

If I can't figure this out shortly, I'm going to reach out to David directly to see if he has any direction.

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jnealand

I do not use smart receivers, but as I understand it you do not have a 13a, 13b or 13c.  there is no d.  You have 13, 14, 15, 16.  The abc designation is for when you daisy chain multiple smart receivers together and not for the ports on a single smart receiver.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

nayrma

Thx.  This whole port thing has me all mixed up.  I came from using an E682 last year and this controller is a lot more different.  I'm going to read up on the ports in the documentation so I can understand this better

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algerdes

Just in case: Which output on the F16v3 are you using?  Only serial out one has all 4 of the strings present.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

Poporacer

Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 07:57:16 PMThx.  This whole port thing has me all mixed up.  I came from using an E682 last year and this controller is a lot more different.
That is probably because you are using the controller in a non-standard configuration using advanced methods. Is there a reason that you need a differential receiver?


Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 04:47:18 PMI updated my controller to output the data for the Smart Receiver to port 13.
What do you mean by that? Show us a screenshot of this "update." Are you configuring anything in the Serial Outputs page? A screenshot of that would be helpful as well. Is there a reason you are using port 13? Do you really want to double up the data output?


Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 04:47:18 PMThe "à" output on the receiver outputs as expected.  However if you try 13b, 13c or 13d, there's no output.
Like Jim mentioned, I think you have your numbering confused. IF you have an expansion board (which you do not) your ports on just ONE Differential Receiver would be ports 17, 18, 19, and 20. It is when you get into daisy chaining that you get the A, B, and C designations. The first receiver in the chain would be 17A, 18A, 19A, and 20A. The next receiver in the chain would be 17B, 18B, 19B and 20B and so on. I think you would make your life easier if you configured port 17 for your output.

Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 04:47:18 PMI have a theory that the network cable from the  controller to the smart receiver could be part of the problem but I have no true way to validate that. 
And that is a very good possibility, but with your very strange configuration, it could be a configuration issue.


Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 04:47:18 PMDoes anyone know how to actually validate the output of data?
Yes, but that would require some advanced testing equipment that I doubt you have since you are asking the question. Something like an oscilloscope would tell you.


Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 04:47:18 PMController is F16v3.  No expansion board used but as I understood it, you can expose that to set the pixel output for the smart receiver.
And normally Port 17 would be used.



Quote from: nayrma on June 21, 2020, 04:47:18 PMTermination and modes were the first things to check.  The smart receiver is set to A and terminated.
But if you are only using one receiver, then that is not the correct setting, you would use the normal setting. A is only if you have a B (or B and C) receivers in the daisy chain.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

nayrma

Adding the resolution in case anyone else has similar issues

I didn't have a full understanding of how the additional receiver ports work with the board.  On a whim I decided to update the all Serial Outputs to pixel data (originally had 1).  This fixed the problem and also explained why I initially only had 1 output working.  For me the disconnect in my head is that 1 RJ45 output that affects 4 ports.  In retrospect this makes sense but was confusing at the beginning.  Now I understand how the other receivers will work together and can essentially share a port.

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jnealand

Thanks for posting the resolution it helps other folks who will read this in the future to learn.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

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