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Multicast environment

Started by csmith, May 05, 2022, 06:18:53 AM

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csmith

I'm now trying to setup a couple of F48v3 controllers in a multicast environment.  Both controllers are configured identically (though with different static IP addresses of 192.168.2.53 and 192.168.2.54) and the goal is for them to do the exact same thing.

I can setup the player for multicast but I don't see a parameter on the F48 boards for multicast use.

I'll admit I'm still comprehending multicast documentation seems a bit sparse.

Is there a trick to tell the player and controller they're in a multicast environment and to talk to each other?

   
Chuck Smith

k6ccc

Just try it.  As I recall, the Falcon controllers will work on either one without having to tell it what to use.  I have never tried it, but I seem to remember someone saying that a few years ago.
Yes, on some controllers you have to tell the controller if it will be receiving unicast or multicast - the SanDevices controllers I have used for years are that way for example.
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

Poporacer

Seems like a lot of trouble just to avoid a 10 second cut and paste?
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

tbone321

I don't believe that the F48 works in mulricast mode.  There is no way to set the input universes to mult-cast and unless you are using a separate show network for these controllers, using multicast will flood your home network with show data.  As Poporacer said, it seems like a lot of trouble to avoid a few cut and pasts on the player output configuration page.

JonD

#4
Multicast is for the most part dead technology and not something used any longer.  Having two props using the exact same multicasted programming in different locations is going to prevent you from being able to use a lot of really cool software features.  For example, a spot light going from one side of your display to the other would not work using multicast.  In order for entire display and group effects to work, the software needs to know where the prop is.  Even if you want multiple props to play the same programming, you will need separate programming for group effects to work properly.




csmith

My display is geographically large and there's not a place where one can stand and see everything.  Not having to duplicate props/effects eases sequencing and the viewer never knows the exact same thing is happening on the other side of the display.

I ran a test in unicast mode where the sequence talked to just one maxed-out pixel controller.  Data throughput out of the player averaged 12Mbps while all the pixels were dancing to the music.

I duplicated the parameters of that one pixel controller to other identical pixel controllers... though each controller had a unique IP address.  

I configured the player for multicast mode.  No other changes were made to any controllers.

I connected two pixel controllers to my ethernet switch and ran the same sequence.  Data throughput out of the player averaged 12Mbps.  Twice the dancing pixels.

I connected three pixel controllers to my ethernet switch and ran the same sequence.  Data throughput again averaged 12Mbps.  Three times the dancing pixels.

I'm super happy.  Multicast might not be the latest and greatest technology but it's the perfect solution for my needs.  

Thanks for the suggestions!  I see zillions of little pixels at the end of this long, dark tunnel  :)

Chuck Smith

bloojoop

So I just set this up on my test bed.  Yes the f48 works in multicast mode.  Yes as a networking professional I dislike multicast but it does have it's place.  I happen to have a f48 and a f16v4 on my test bed. I started with a blank xlights layout but you would use your existing layout.  

First, uploading to the controller will not work if you have xlights configured for multicast.  I added a couple models and used the visualizer to put them on the f16v4 port 15 and 16 (only right side is powered).  This assigned the channels to the models.  I started with universe 1 and my channels were 1-150 on 15 and 151-300 on 16 yours will likely be quite different.  

I then went to my f48 and set port 1 to channels 1-150 and 2 to 151-300.  Same channels as the models in xlights and I also ensured that the e1.31 tab on both controllers was configured for the same universe(s). In my lab it was just one universe but could be many. 

Then in xlights set the controller to multicast by selecting the checkmark on the controller properties on the controllers tab.  Notice that the IP no longer shows up as xlights will send the data as multicast.   Any controllers on the same network configured to listen for the same universes will receive and process the channel data in the packets.  Since both my controllers were configured for the same channels then this worked exactly as expected.  I put an effect on a single model and both controllers lit up the correct lights.  So yes the controllers work with multicast.  It will take more manual configuration though as the "automagic" method will not allow multiple controllers to be configured with the same channel numbers.  

I hope this makes sense.  This is a classic example of when multicast would be likely the best solution.  We have used this same method for snowflake trees in parking lots as an example where all snowflake trees were configured exactly the same. 
--Ron A.

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