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Wanting to go wireless

Started by JonD, June 20, 2023, 08:27:10 AM

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Since I do not use the F16v4 in wireless mode I have no experience to add, but I have 12 FPP remotes and I never have an issue with upload speed.  It has always been my opinion that the wireless in the Falcon just is not powerful enough or fast enough to match that of using a dedicated Pi attached to the F16s.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5


I had concerns if the Falcon F16v4 Wifi would cut it, but moved forward thinking worse case I could always fall back on the ethernet connection.  I was not expecting to have issues transferring with a ethernet cable though.  Honesty there is not much difference between the wifi and ethernet as they are both painfully slow.  The stock F16v4 wireless was kind of iffy, but once I attached the external antennas the signal is pretty strong. 

I am crossing my fingers that it is just a glitch that will be resolved soon.


Signal strength does not equal speed.  I'm not a super techy, but I wonder about the speed of processing between the Falcon processor and that of a Pi.  V2 sparse means two things,  1, only the appropriate channel data, and 2. compression/decompression at the local device.  I have no answers just my own questions.  This thread has been educational.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5


If you swap thee SD cards between the Kulps and the Falcon, does the slow copy follow the card?


Quote from: breese on July 21, 2023, 04:20:49 AMIf you swap thee SD cards between the Kulps and the Falcon, does the slow copy follow the card?
The Kulp SD cards have a FPP OS image on them and the Falcon cards are empty, but they are all the same model.  All of the Kulps are uploading fine, and all the Falcon's are not.  It is not the individual card at least.  SD Card Link  I did think about using a different card type in the Falcon, but I am not going to buy another other one unless someone says I have it working and use this one.  Jim N. is using Falcon's, but uses a Pi to run them.  Looks like Ron A. is only using Kulp controllers (at least what I have seen in pictures of past posts)  Daniel Kulp suggested it should work okay, but he has mentioned in other posts he does not own a Falcon board.  I am not sure any one else is actually doing this.  Maybe someone that is will jump in and have some advice.


Quote from: jnealand on July 20, 2023, 07:25:04 PMI wonder about the speed of processing between the Falcon processor and that of a Pi.
I work from home and have restrictions on what I can do.  I could install a Pi within the Falcon controller box, and should have no issues managing the Falcon Pi, but to manage the Falcon Controller behind the Falcon Pi is complicated.  Technically it could be maneuvered around and a Pi in a Falcon controller box is not completely off the table, but I want to avoid that if I can.

The Kulp K8Pi appears to upload just fine.  It takes a little bit to compile, but once things start to transfer it goes quickly.  The Falcons appear to upload if you leave it all afternoon.  I think technically it is working, just slower than slow.  It is taking 3-4 hours to upload presently, but I only have 2/3 of my controllers out.  I assume the upload speed is going to be a lot worse when everything is connected. 

I am having issues with the Master FPP Pi player though.  When I installed the permanent lights before the 4th, I threw out a couple of controllers and played red white and blue lights for a few days without any issues.  Now having more FPP Connect problems with the Master Pi player than I am with the Falcons.  Not sure if it is the Multisync, or the 24 FPP updates since July 1st.  Before MultiSync...the FPP Player would only show in FPP once, but now it is showing twice.  Once for each network interface.  When I try to FPP Connect upload to the Master FPP player, it takes forever and then displays a bunch of could not upload errors.  It also becomes unstable and I have to power cycle it all the time.  Still trying to get to the bottom of it. 


Follow Up:

Trying to go wireless ended up being a complete waste of time and money.  It does look like the Falcon F16v4 series works with multisync, but Falcon suggested I would never be happy with the solution.  They said it was never really designed to use at the scale I was trying to.  It works fine for smaller displays, and one that is static all season long, but I would never be happy transferring a larger show that constantly changes all time to them.

I did consider installing a Pi in each controller, but the truth be told I was not seeing how it was going to make my life any better.  Having to manually pull the power cord after every OS upgrade was an issue for me.  People joked...just flip a breaker (which I thought was funny), but that is not going to be a realistic option.  I would prefer to spend ten minutes running an ethernet cord to everything, instead of 10 minutes resetting the coffee maker, microwave, air fryer blinking clocks after a breaker flip for every OS upgrade.  Worse... one upgrade took out my usb wireless drivers rendering it a brick.  The solution was to attach to an ethernet cable and modify the boot file.  While a minor inconvenience when the controller was sitting on my kitchen table, it would have been a large task outdoors in a winter storm.  Until the Pi is able to soft reboot, and no longer has network adapter issues after every OS upgrade I am tapping out.

I am not all trying to suggest that multisync is a bad solution.  It is pretty impressive how it works.  If you had a situation such as a busy sidewalk that you absolutely needed to get rid of an ethernet cord that people would trip over, or a very large display, it would be worth its weight in gold.  In my case, my house is surrounded in Cat6 network outlets, and it is not a big deal to connect every thing with an ethernet cable.

Thanks for everyone's help and advice!


Sorry to hear this.  Well it is nice to have options.  With 12 FPP remotes I have not had the issues you seem to have had with repowering so I am sorry you found that to be a stopper.  I do many Pi's (3, 3+, 4 and zeros) along with a couple of Beagles as remotes and I do not recall ever having to power off every remote for an upgrade.  Mostly it has been the zeros and then only with a major upgrade like from 5 to 6 to 7. I only do major upgrades off season and inside my workshop.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5


I hear about people not having issues, but they never bother to share their secrets! :)

I can always update without issue, but if I select "OS Upgrade" it is a guarantied not to restart after the upgrade.  All I have to do is wait an hour, manually unplug the Pi for a few seconds, plug it back in, and all is good until the next OS upgrade.  I never had the issue until last year.  Not sure if it started with 6.0 or when I upgraded my player to a Pi4.  I know some get along fine, others have to reset all the time, and some have to reset half their inventory and other half updates fine.   I have 2 Pi4 (8gb-ram) and 6 Pi4 (4gb-ram) and all 8 devices do it every single "OS Upgrade".  Very easy to recreate.


I too have to reboot after some (most?) OS Upgrades.  Don't know why. Just happens from time to time.
(I have not kept track, just keep moving forward.)
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

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