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My 2014 FPP Story

Started by starzen, December 31, 2014, 05:09:35 AM

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starzen


Thanks to all the people involved in building FPP.

originally I had planned to try FPP after Christmas so I could decide to use it in 2015 but after noticing that I definitely had some lag in my pixels I decided to give it a try

I used two FPPs.

A master in my garage that connects to a LOR dongle for my LOR controllers, an entec pro for DMX and also controls E1.31 controllers via cat5.
A slave was set up in my upstairs bedroom to drive a projector.

Initially I had an issue with the LOR controllers not responding correctly to the sequence but I found that if I didn't define all channels of all LOR controllers in the sequence the xlights LOR to FSEQ conversion would mess up the channel numbers skipping the missing channels.

The projector was used to either play a video that was part of the sequence or for sequences that only had audio I made it switch to the second HDMI input which had a simple video player attached that was looping a santa video. The projector is controlled via serial port to turn on, turn off and switch HDMI inputs

The only issue I have and will have to figure out is with the master slave connection. The slave is connected wireless and sometimes seems to loose connection. some days I noticed that the projector sometimes didn't turn on and if I would check I could see the wireless light not on on the raspberry wifi dongle. Other days it would start fine but sometime during the show it would stop responding and when checking the master FPP I would see the slave missing on the multisync page.

will have to check into the wifi issues but for next year I will probably also put some cat5 into the guest bedroom.

I do want to work out the wifi issues though because I am hoping to add some more FPPs using wifi to control lights across the street next year as well.

again thanks for all the hard work

Happy New Year

Mike

CaptainMurdoch

Thanks for the write up.

I wonder if it would be good to have a wiki page with links to successful implementation stories like this to let people know what is possible and how others are using FPP.
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Chris

K-State Fan

Quote from: CaptainMurdoch on December 31, 2014, 08:59:13 AM
Thanks for the write up.

I wonder if it would be good to have a wiki page with links to successful implementation stories like this to let people know what is possible and how others are using FPP.

I think it would be.  I did not know it was possible to hook up a LOR dongle to the pi.  I think this is the first time I am look forward to taking down my lights tomorrow so I can get started hands on with the FPP in the shop.

maffeirw

#3
This seems to be as good a place as any to share my FPP story, thanks to starzen for starting this thread.
After a few false starts, I officially got my show started on December 2, running 2 Pi Units with the majority of my Pixels, some DMX and 11 Renard 24 controllers connected to a Raspberry Pi inside my house. This Pi is hardwired into my network, running an Etherdongle and a multiport USB to rs485 convertor.  It was setup as master and ran the audio transmitter.  To prevent having wiring cross my driveway, I ran a remote Pi connected wirelessly to my network with a USB PixelNet Dongle and another USB to rs485 convertor running additional Pixels and Renards on that side of the driveway. They performed fine for two weeks at which time I decided to add a video projector to the mix.
My first thought was to move everything from in the house to an outside enclosure and drive the projector directly from the HDMI port of the relocated Pi. Looking at the challenge of rewiring everything from inside to an exterior enclosure seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, that late in the show season, so I decided to try another approach. I mounted the projector, connected a third Pi wirelessly and moved my audio transmitter into the enclosure. After setting the projector Pi to master and resetting the interior Pi to remote, I ran the show with 3 Pi Units and with the exception of some rain caused controller issues the setup has run without problems for the two weeks.

The display contains ~3,500 Pixels, ~275 Renard channels and a video projector. This isn't a great video but it should give you an idea of the size of the display


3/14-updated broken link
Luceat lux vestra

CaptainMurdoch

I added links to these two posts to a new page in the wiki called FPP Success Stories

If someone wants to turn this into a table with columns to indicate # of Pi used, protocols used, controllers used, etc. that would be helpful.
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Chris

observationist

That's awesome that the FPP will output native LOR using an LOR dongle.  I've really wanted to set up a Raspberry Pi to run my show, but I didn't want to run my LOR controllers in DMX mode - apparently, that is no longer a requirement.

My question is this:  I assume that the FPP does not play LMS files which means that one would have to use xLights to convert the LMS files to FSEQ files.  Does xLights retain the LOR commands for native shimmer and twinkle when converting the LMS files to FSEQ files?  Clearly, the FPP speaks native LOR and is capable of transmitting those commands...

In other words, now that the FPP can communicate in native LOR to those controllers, can you keep the LOR shimmer and twinkle when using the FPP to drive LOR controllers?

Thanks!

Bshaver

Yes, it does keep the shimmer commands and twinkle as I still have 80 channels of LOR that I use and it ran great for 2014 season. I will continue to use some LOR in native mode for 2015 as well.
Denver Colorado
45,000 blinky blinks mix of pixels and 130 AC Channels (powered by Minleon & Lynx) ALL Powered by FPP and Falcon!

MattBrown

FSEQ files only contain intensity data - LOR shimmer, twinkle, and ramps are simulated during the conversion of lms to fseq format. There is an old version of xLights that played lms files directly and used all of the native LOR commands, but that was before it got merged with Nutcracker.

Matt

observationist

Hmm...  Those are two conflicting posts.  Simulated shimmer doesn't hold a candle against the LOR shimmer where the on/off commands are generated in the controller itself.

Now that the FPP can natively drive the LOR controllers, it shouldn't have a problem sending an LOR shimmer command just like it currently sends LOR ramp up/ramp down commands.  The question is whether FSEQ recently (as recently as they added native LOR support to FPP) now contains language that supports LOR shimmer and twinkle and, if so, does xLights pass that info along during the LMS to FSEQ conversion.

My guess is, that as of now, it does not, but it sure would be nice if it did...

Bshaver - when you ran the LOR sequences in the FPP, did the shimmer look like the true LOR shimmer on your LOR controllers, or did it just look like the lights were blinking quickly (basically, like the shimmer on your non-LOR controllers)?

MattBrown

There is no data in an fseq file that would tell fpp when to use native LOR commands like shimmer or twinkle. The only LOR commands that get sent on the wire are set intensity and heartbeat.

Matt

observationist

Thanks, Matt...  That's what I figured.  Just wanted to confirm.

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