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Choosing P4 Panels / Colorlight

Started by clonida, February 28, 2024, 11:52:00 AM

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0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

clonida

Hi there! 

I am about to buy and mount a small outdoor screen and I am totally overwhelmed by the number of variables involved. I would like to ask for your help on some concerns.

I am clear that the panels are going to be P4 but I am undecided

  • P4 64x32px (1/8)
  • P4 80x40px (1/10) 
  • P3.9 64x64 (1/16) 

I understand that the lower the scan the brighter, but All 3 models have different pixel densities and in the end they seems the same equivalent. I don't know which one to choose.

On the other hand, datasheet from Colorlight 5A 75 card, show this:

CardArea of every cardLink
A-75BFull-color: 256*256 PixelsLink
A-75EFull-color: 128*512 PixelsLink

Tanking into account that my screen will be something near to 320px x 120px , will I need 2 cards? A-75E seems to fit but not sure if that mean 128px only for width and 512px for height? , or can I alternate width and height?

Last but not least, I could have more panels than ports so in that case, whats difference between connecting each panel directly to an output port or use a daisy chain between panels? (see attach)

You cannot view this attachment.

Any help is welcome, thank you in advance.
Regards

CaptainMurdoch

I will let others comment on the max they have driven on a single colorlight, I only have 30 p10 panels connected to mine, so I'm not stressing things.

The main thing I will point out is how FPP treats the panels.  FPP does its own layout of the panels and pixels.  When you setup the Channel Output in FPP, you will tell it where each panel is located in the matrix and what output number and panel number the panel is on the output.  FPP handles all orientation and layout of panels and it maps the channel data into the order and layout that the ColorLight card is expecting.  Attached is a copy of my layout to show the kinds of things this allows.  This is the Advanced panel layout UI, but most of this is supported by the simple UI.  I have the 30 panels on 4 outputs, so all outputs do not have the same number of panels.  I have some panels upside down and some turned on their side.  FPP sees this as a 292x64 "matrix", but there are holes in it because this single ColorLight is actually driving 3 matrices in 3 side-by-side windows.  The gaps are the window frames between the windows.  I might not use the odd panel layout if I were rebuilding, but it was what was easiest at the time.  The main point is to show that the specs on the ColorLight card only apply for how things are physically connected.  The panels don't have to be laid out in the manner that the ColorLight expects unless you plan on using a ColorLight sender card to drive the receiver.  If FPP is driving the receiver, then you can do all kinds of things.

FPP does the same amount of work whether you use 1 chain of 8 panels or 8 chains of 1 panel each.  The network traffic is lower if you use one output because on the network, one row of pixels equates to one (or more for wide displays) network packets.  The amount of traffic doesn't matter as much on our size displays.  The panel refresh can be quicker with shorter chains, so if your layout allows, I would use more outputs with fewer panels on each.
-
Chris

MikeKrebs

This is not a commercial. I am a customer of wired watts, not a spokesperson. Go here:
https://www.wiredwatts.com/bamk/w5h4yo5e1mspwlbd1ccps64
or here if you want to do your thing
https://www.wiredwatts.com/build-a-matrix-kit

Build a kit similar to yours (first link). Look over the BOM and it will help. These are P5 not P4 but you can extrapolate.

clonida

Quote from: CaptainMurdoch on February 28, 2024, 04:20:15 PMI will let others comment on the max they have driven on a single colorlight, I only have 30 p10 panels connected to mine, so I'm not stressing things.

The main thing I will point out is how FPP treats the panels.  FPP does its own layout of the panels and pixels.  When you setup the Channel Output in FPP, you will tell it where each panel is located in the matrix and what output number and panel number the panel is on the output.  FPP handles all orientation and layout of panels and it maps the channel data into the order and layout that the ColorLight card is expecting.  Attached is a copy of my layout to show the kinds of things this allows.  This is the Advanced panel layout UI, but most of this is supported by the simple UI.  I have the 30 panels on 4 outputs, so all outputs do not have the same number of panels.  I have some panels upside down and some turned on their side.  FPP sees this as a 292x64 "matrix", but there are holes in it because this single ColorLight is actually driving 3 matrices in 3 side-by-side windows.  The gaps are the window frames between the windows.  I might not use the odd panel layout if I were rebuilding, but it was what was easiest at the time.  The main point is to show that the specs on the ColorLight card only apply for how things are physically connected.  The panels don't have to be laid out in the manner that the ColorLight expects unless you plan on using a ColorLight sender card to drive the receiver.  If FPP is driving the receiver, then you can do all kinds of things.

FPP does the same amount of work whether you use 1 chain of 8 panels or 8 chains of 1 panel each.  The network traffic is lower if you use one output because on the network, one row of pixels equates to one (or more for wide displays) network packets.  The amount of traffic doesn't matter as much on our size displays.  The panel refresh can be quicker with shorter chains, so if your layout allows, I would use more outputs with fewer panels on each.
Thank you very much for your detailed explanation which I understand perfectly well but which raises even more doubts  ;D

So seems you exceed the 256x256 "max" res that Colorlight seems to support, is this to FFP's credit or just Colorlight false limits?
Can you detail a little bit more about the refresh rate? My understanding is that regarding the fps / rate you send data from FPP to the Colorlight, it's the card responsible for repeating and maintaining a high refresh rate (usually 1920hz) so how exactly the chain can affect to the refresh rate?

Thank again for your support  :-*
 
Quote from: MikeKrebs on February 28, 2024, 09:55:50 PMThis is not a commercial. I am a customer of wired watts, not a spokesperson. Go here:
https://www.wiredwatts.com/bamk/w5h4yo5e1mspwlbd1ccps64
or here if you want to do your thing
https://www.wiredwatts.com/build-a-matrix-kit

Build a kit similar to yours (first link). Look over the BOM and it will help. These are P5 not P4 but you can extrapolate.


I appreciate your efforts. I think I have decided on the screen, my doubts are more technical about which panel to choose between the 3 P4 models.

Poporacer

Quote from: clonida on February 28, 2024, 11:52:00 AMI am clear that the panels are going to be P4
Is there a reason that you want P4 specifically? Unless your audience is going to be closer than 10' you are probably not going to gain any benefit by using a P4

Quote from: clonida on February 28, 2024, 11:52:00 AMI understand that the lower the scan the brighter
The scan rate doesn't typically define the brightness

If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

CaptainMurdoch

Quote from: clonida on February 29, 2024, 05:09:51 AMSo seems you exceed the 256x256 "max" res that Colorlight seems to support, is this to FFP's credit or just Colorlight false limits?
Can you detail a little bit more about the refresh rate? My understanding is that regarding the fps / rate you send data from FPP to the Colorlight, it's the card responsible for repeating and maintaining a high refresh rate (usually 1920hz) so how exactly the chain can affect to the refresh rate?

I think the specs on the 5A-75B are 512x256 and I'm only 256x64 as far as the ColorLight is concerned so should be well within the ColorLight specs.  FPP can work around those specs though because FPP doesn't need to use the same layout of the panels that the ColorLight thinks is true.  I realized this morning that I forgot to attach the image I referenced.  Maybe it will explain more.

I am using outputs 1-4 and have the ColorLight configured as a 256x64 matrix with 8 panels on 4 outputs.  The ColorLight software is limited in how it can lay out panels, so the ColorLight thinks I have them in 4 horizontal rows.  In FPP, I setup the true panel layout.  This means I can't use the ColorLight sender software to drive my matrices, but that doesn't matter to me since I"m using FPP.

I believe we have one FPP user who put a single line of P10 panels across the front of their house and I believe all they used was a single ColorLight card with FPP.  The ColorLight believed it was a compact matrix of maybe 6x7 panels with 6 outputs of 7 panels each, but FPP knew it was actually 6 outputs of 7 panels that were physically laid out as 1 row of 42 panels and FPP mapped the channel data accordingly.

With the refresh rate, the less data that has to be clocked out an output, the more time you have for refresh so you can do faster refresh.  If you have 8 panels on 1 output, it takes 8 times as long to output the data as it would with 8 panels spread across 8 outputs.  That means you can only refresh 1/8 as often if all panels are on the same output.  Most panels have an upper limit on refresh rate, so in some cases it won't matter, but it does help to spread the panels across more outputs if the layout and cabling allow.
-
Chris

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