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Any known issues with xlights updating FPP models?

Started by SoftwareGuy, November 27, 2020, 04:57:24 PM

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SoftwareGuy

I'm using xlights to run my show. I've got a Falcon Controller (F16v3) using E131 protocol. Pretty basic setup: PC, xlights, one controller.

When running from the PC to the controller, the show runs fine. However, when I try to run the show with FPP xlights does not update the output models. I use FPP connect. Connection to FPP works fine. Sequences transfer just fine. But the E131 outputs (I believe xlights calls these models) do not transfer at all.

I'm running the latest versions for all software: FPP, xlights, and the controller itself.

This is the 3rd year I'm attempting a show and this is the part that always gets me. I still can't say I really understand universes, channels, how everything fits together as well as I should. So maybe I'm making a really simple error.

The only thing I can think of that might be screwing stuff up is that I'm not using sequential ports. I'm using port 1, 5, 7, and 16. Maybe that's confusing the software somehow but I kind of doubt it. Also, using sequential ports would be a problem for other physical, hardware related reasons. But if that's the issue, at least I'd know it.

Before I really dig in to the software or maybe config FPP manually, does anyone know of any bugs here? Or maybe anything I might be forgetting?

Poporacer

Quote from: SoftwareGuy on November 27, 2020, 04:57:24 PMI use FPP connect. Connection to FPP works fine.
But did you set the UDP to all?


Quote from: SoftwareGuy on November 27, 2020, 04:57:24 PMThe only thing I can think of that might be screwing stuff up is that I'm not using sequential ports. I'm using port 1, 5, 7, and 16. Maybe that's confusing the software somehow
Nope, not a problem at all


Quote from: SoftwareGuy on November 27, 2020, 04:57:24 PMBefore I really dig in to the software or maybe config FPP manually, does anyone know of any bugs here?
Nope, no bugs, just user error.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Reys Dad

I just got caught by that UPD to all setting too.

Poporacer

Quote from: Reys Dad on November 27, 2020, 08:51:39 PMI just got caught by that UPD to all setting too.
And there are many people that select All, when they really want none! Depends on your configuration!
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

SoftwareGuy

Ok, I have looked around both xlights and the controller interface and I can't find anything about UDP or UPD (not sure which of you spelled it correctly). I know what the user datagram protocol (UDP) is but not sure where/how that affects FPP.

If someone can point me to a menu location or whatever this acronym stands for, I can hopefully do the rest.

Many thanks.

Poporacer

It is an option to select in xLights when you are using FPP connect
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

SoftwareGuy

Ok. I found it. Turns out I wasn't actually even fully connected to the FPP... I somehow got it into a state where I was able to upload fseq files fine but didn't see the UDP option because the Falcon wasn't fully connected and therefore wasn't updating anything other than the sequence files I was uploading. I'm sure this is my fault. Between connecting to the Pi through direct to PC wire, wireless connection via the pi's FPP network, and ultimately direct connection to the router, maybe the network was put in a weird state. I also tend to have security fully locked down on my PC, so that may not have helped.

I spoke to Keith tonight and got the FPP Connect to fully connect (where I could see the actual Falcon connection in the upper part of the window, not just the option to upload sequence files in the lower part of the window) set the UDP option properly, and I'm able to update the E131 channel outputs just fine.

The E131 channel outputs look fine. (I've got the Enable 1.31 box checked)
The controller is pingable from the FPP.
I can run a display test from FPP and all my pixels light up correctly.
When I check status, it says the show is running in the main playlist.


BUT...
I still can't get the show to work from the FPP.

I don't have an obvious problem anymore. Everything seems to be lined up to work well but it - just doesn't. No idea why. Any ideas? I think if I can solve this one I'll have a working show.

dkulp

Did you re-upload (with FPP Connect) the fseq files after you got the UDP output stuff working?    If uploaded prior, then it's likely that the sparse file didn't have the ranges you need to output in it.
Daniel Kulp - https://kulplights.com

SoftwareGuy

Ok... reuploading worked. Thank you for the suggestion.

For the benefit of anyone who might be reading this (or maybe me, next year, after I forget everything again) I think the issue I initially experienced with Falcon connect was network related.

My home network is on a subnet: 192.168.0.x
My falcon controller is on a subnet: 192.168.1.x
FPP defaults to a subnet: 192.168.8.x

Trying to get things done over these boundaries didn't work... but I think it kind of did - which is what threw me off because I didn't really notice the subnets being different.

FPP connect kind of "half connects", maybe, because of IPv6. fpp.local is pingable when I'm on my home network across network boundaries, but only on the IPv6 address. Despite having first read about IPv6 in 1998, it's still a mysterious beast that, I guess, somehow magically routes across network boundaries differently than IPv4.

So I think FPP connect kind of saw something was available but couldn't connect because IPv6 doesn't appear to be fully supported in xlights.

My show is running! (I hope all the people walking by at 3AM appreciate it)

Poporacer

Quote from: SoftwareGuy on December 01, 2020, 03:56:57 AMI think the issue I initially experienced with Falcon connect was network related.

My home network is on a subnet: 192.168.0.x
My falcon controller is on a subnet: 192.168.1.x
FPP defaults to a subnet: 192.168.8.x
Definitely a network issue and in case others are reading here is some additional information. Most networks are defined by a subnet. A subnet is the first 3 sets of numbers in the IP address. So your home network is using a 192.168.0.xxx subnet. Typically devices can only communicate directly with each other if they are on the same subnet. Devices in one subnet no nothing about any device on a different subnet or that a different subnet exists. In order for devices to communicate between subnets, there has to be some sort of "directions" provided to the network so that they can communicate. 

FPP is configured by default to use DHCP so if it wired to you home network, it will get an IP address in your home network's subnet automatically. If it cannot connect to any network, THEN it will use the 192.168.8.1 address as a Wi-Fi tethering address.
Just some more info
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

SoftwareGuy

Yeah, the thing that threw me off was that fpp.local was pingable but I noticed it was only pingable via IPv6 much later.

SoftwareGuy

Hopefully the powers that be will forgive such an extreme necro-post but I'm finding myself spending time solving the the same problem again. And I didn't complete my answer above.

So again, for the benefit of anyone who might be reading this (or maybe definitely me, next year, after I forget everything again) here's how to fix the network config.

But first, the problem, hopefully even more crisply stated than before:
The problem is that the FPP won't output to pixels using test or any other method.
YET FPP is accessible via webpage (when connected to FPP wlan0 network), and
FPP is pingable from computer hosting xlights, and
Falcon controller works perfectly fine, can run sequences, is accessible from browser.

The issue, as stated above, is that the subnet for falcon controller is 192.168.1.x, my computer is also set at 192.168.1.x, and the FPP is 192.168.8.x. So FPP cannot talk to Falcon controller. The browser CAN talk to both controller and FPP because it retains two IP addresses: one for the physical ethernet port and one for the wireless used to connect to FPP. So just because the computer connects to both and everything looks fine, it doesn't mean controller and FPP can magically talk across subnets (I'm sorry that this is super elementary stuff but I'm SoftwareGuy, not NetworkGuy... and hopefully I'm not OnlyGuyThatDoesNotGetThis).

The Solution
Add a static IP address on FPP to the eth0 adapter on the 192.168.1.x subnet (because I do not connect this to my home network so default DHCP won't work).
Adding a static IP is easily done through the FPP web interface. Status/Control > Network > Interface Settings.

Now FPP wlan0 retains the same IP but eth0 binds to an IP with the same subnet as the Falcon controller and they can finally have a chat. 🥂

Support FPP

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