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Newbe with some questions

Started by ddavis1086, October 21, 2021, 09:18:18 AM

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ddavis1086

Hello all. I am new to all of this and have some questions please. 

I would like to control 6 strings of rgb pixels. 3 would be 50 pixels each and 3 would be 100 pixels each.

What is the minimum controller I could use that could be expanded for next year please? 

Also, I want to put this controller out in a garden area. How do I connect it a Raspberry Pi running xLights. Is there a Wifi connection available from controller to my network inside the house? Not sure how that part works.

All and any help is appreciated.

k6ccc

There are LOTS of ways to do this.  Here is MY opinion...

I am not a big fan of one massive controller that controls everything (either locally or with expansion devices).  I am also not a fan of massively long strings of pixels.  Both work, but have a larger impact WHEN (not if) something fails.  I have become very fond of the Falcon controllers as of late.  Dan Kulp also makes very good controllers, but I have no experience with them.   Either will run DDP of E1.31.  DDP is a more efficient protocol.  I used SanDevices controller for all my E1.31 for years and was very happy with them, but they are getting old and largely abandoned (too bad).  IMHO, avoid Holiday Coro controllers like the plague.
For your existing six strings, assuming they are in pretty close to the same area you could run a Falcon F16 with lots of room for expansion or a F4 if you combine a couple of your strings.  Unless you REALLLY need to use wireless, I would use Ethernet cable to connect the Pi to the controller(s).  

As I said, there are lots of ways of doing this.  This has been my opinion.
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

ddavis1086

Thank you for the input. It's all helpful. What is meant by FPP please? Just trying to understand how to get started with this.

Thank you,

Dennis

JonD

I believe FPP stands for Falcon Pi Player.  It is software that can be loaded on a Raspberry Pi which is a small hobby computer.

k6ccc

Quote from: ddavis1086 on October 21, 2021, 01:01:22 PMWhat is meant by FPP please?


Originally FPP was Falcon Pi Player.  However generally it is now just Falcon Player because it can be run on things other than Raspberry Pi.
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

jnealand

Falcon Pi Player was the original.  But since then has been expanded to run on other platforms like Beagle Bone.  So No it is really just the Falcon Player, maybe we could use the second P to be Plus since it does a lot more than just play sequences, such as scheduling shows, managing triggers and other types of inputs, controlling multiple players using multisync, testing lights, and more.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

rayster

I am with you. Falcon Player Plus sound good.

Ray
Ray
Using K8-B, Rpi 3b w/PiHat, Rpi 3b+ w/ PiHat, K4-PB

tbone321

If you are looking for a minimal controller for this year, I would look at the Kulp K8-PB.  It is a small low cost controller that has 8 ports and can be expanded further if and when needed.  It is based on the Pocket Beagle so it does not come with a network interface but it does have a USB port so any linux compatible USB network adapter should work.  Since you said that you want to put this controller out in the garden, I would suggest a USB to WIFI adapter.  You can order it from the Kulp site when ordering the controller or get it from Amazon for a few dollars less.  You can also order a SD card from them with FPP already loaded and ready to run.

You would also need a power supply and a case for it and I would suggest a CG-1500 case if you intend to put it outside.  That case will also give you enough room for the power supply that will be needed to power both the controller and the node strings.  Just get a power supply that matches the voltage of the nodes you intend to be using.  The K8-PB will run on either 5V or 12V as long as the jumpers are set correctly.  As said before, this controller is based on the Pocket Beagle which makes it a player / controller.  Since it runs FPP itself, there is no need to connect it to a separate Pi running FPP to run your show.  Just load the sequence files into it and set up your play lists and schedules, configure your ports, and you are up and running.

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