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Radxa Rock Pro

Started by ChristmasBug, January 01, 2015, 11:37:32 AM

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Quote from: ryanjennings on January 05, 2015, 11:05:31 AM
I was also wondering about replacing controllers and hubs with slaves?  Running lights from the output pins of a pi or BBB and pixels from the pwm pins.  Kind of like you have done with the output pins on the pi already.  I know there isn't any support for pixels at the moment.  Maybe that isn't really any cheaper and ends up more complicated?

The Pi won't be able to drive a lot of pixels directly even if we do get WS2811 support added to FPP.  FPP can already drive direct-attached WS2801 pixels, but it's for small numbers of pixels.  It is much better to do this kind of output in hardware rather than trying to generate the specific clocking signal needed for something like WS281 in software on the main CPU the OS is also running on.  The BBB has a PRU on board which can be programmed to output to WS2811 and other pixel protocols, but the BBB also comes at a price premium compared to the Pi.  There are also add-on boards which can be put onto the BBB to shift the output voltage to the 5V the pixels need.  I think this starts getting you up into the price territory of the dedicated hardware boards though, so I don't know if it would be worth it to put a bunch of BBB boards out in the yard when you could put more purpose-specific controllers.  I think it really goes back to what problem you are trying to solve and how complex of a solution you want.  If you are running all wired then you may as well send the channel data over the wire out to remote devices.  If you are linking locations (across the yard or across the street) together via wireless then to me it makes more sense to get the sequence/channel data as close to the controllers as possible so there is as little wireless traffic as possible.  With FPP this could be a Remote FPP instance running a direct-attached FPD or F16 v2 or sending out another protocol over a USB to serial interface.


I think that clarifies things for me.  Just wanted to understand where things were headed.

Thanks for all the help.  Its pretty amazing the system you guys have put together here. 


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