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List of BeagleBone Based Controller/Capes

Started by dkulp, January 16, 2019, 08:20:53 AM

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A little about BeagleBones:  BeagleBone are an ARM based micro computer very similar to a Raspberry Pi.   It runs FPP just like the Pi.   If you've setup FPP on a Pi, you can do so with a Beagle as it's exactly the same thing.   However, for our use cases, a Beagle is much more powerful than a Pi.    While the newer Pi's have faster ARM core (and 4 cores instead of 1), that is not useful for our use case (other than faster bootup time).    The thing that separates the Beagles from the Pi is the dual 200Mhz PRU (Programmable Realtime Unit) cores combined with the multitude of GPIO output pins (55 on full size Beagle, 44 on PocketBeagle).   The ARM cores on the Pi and Beagle run Linux and subject to interruptions and such (like processing network packets, UI requests, SD card, etc....) which makes using them to drive pixels unpredictable.  The 2 PRU's on the Beagle are completely independent and can provide very predictable timing that is necessary for ws2811 pixels.   Thus, we can run FPP on the ARM core to handle all the network IO, UI, FSEQ parsing, etc... and just have it pass data to the PRU's for output.     The PRU's have full access to ALL the memory, thus they are not limited in storage space like some of the other micro controllers (like Arduino's).    Driving 48 strings of 1000 pixels (144K channels) is possible as there is plenty of memory.

This is a list of BeagleBone based controller/capes that work with FPP.     Please send dkulp a note to add additional entries.

wx281x Controllers - these controllers primary job is to drive "3-wire" ws281x pixels.  They use the PRU on the BBB to handle the ws281x timing.  Some of these also support using the second PRU to provide either DMX or PixelNet outputs.  Some have RTC's.   Some provide both fused pixel output and RJ45 differential outputs.  Etc....

F4-BNo longer available4 Port with 1 DMX output and RTC.,2290.0.html
F16-BNo longer available16 Port with 8 DMX/Pixelnet outputs and RTC,2242.0.html
F8-BAvailable8 Port with 3 configurable RJ45 ports for DMX or differential strings,10534.0.html
F32-BAvailable32 Port with 4 configurable RJ45 ports for DMX or differential strings,10538.0.html
F8-PBAvailable8 Port with 3 configurable RJ45 ports for DMX or differential strings.
Uses a PocketBeagle.,10533.0.html
F40D-PBAvailable10 RJ45 differential ports providing 40 strings.
Uses a PocketBeagle,10597.0.html

P5/P10 Panel Controllers - these controllers are used to drive P10/P5 panels using the HUB75 interface.   Due to the sheer amount of data that P# panels use, they use both PRU's to optimize the output, one to load data from memory onto the PRU's and the other to send the data to the panels.

OctoScrollerAvailable8 outputs, can drive up to 96 P10 panels,10599.0.html
PocketScrollerAvailable6 outputs, can drive up to 72 P10 panels
Uses a PocketBeagle,10598.0.html

Other Capes:

Daniel Kulp -

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