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Twas the two nights before turn on.... FPP Success

Started by AussiePhil, January 06, 2015, 11:32:47 PM

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My FPP Story.

It was the night before Christmas..... oh wait...

It was three nights before show start when it was discovered that Vixen 3 was never going to output the sequences that had been done to the real world and I've gone into meltdown and panic only to be saved by the miracle of FPP.

Hardware (Pi and controllers)
1 x B+ Pi running FPP 1.0.x
- Music and sequence playback.
- Copper to Cisco 2750 24 port switch for lights network
- Pi wireless adapter for connection to the real world for time sync
- One fast USB3 drive
- One high quality very fast Toshiba microSD

1 x B+ Pi running 1.0.x
- same connectivity and USB/SD
- Used for video playback independent to sequence playback

Sequences all had a full 512ch * 60 universes of channels defined
Multicast was used at all times

Sequence playback FPP was connected to Gigabit port on the Cisco switch.

Around 6400 Pixels all running from J1SYS P12S/P8/P2 controllers.
LED strings all ran from Ray Wu 27 ch controllers with a J1SYS DR4 handling the E131->DMX.
Interestingly the DR4 had an uptime of 370 days prior to a restart due to a re-configuration.
4 * P12R
2 * P8
3 * P2
1 * DR4
All configured for multicast
No dropped packets reported on any device.

All hardware lives in the metal garage that at times gets well over 50c (122f) during the day and the Pi's just kept running.

Literally on the Thursday night prior to Sat show kick off I followed the instructions to the letter to get FPP install, saved a sequence from Vixen 3, uploaded music and sequence and configured FPP and it all worked first time.

Initial issues I had was I bought a couple of cheaper microSD cards (brand name ones though) that were as slow as a wet week and wouldn't let FPP install. Lucky I had some Toshiba ones for video work that worked perfectly.

I had three instances of lockup where lights stopped but music still ran, all attributed to me playing with the running playlist and schedules whilst a playback was underway. Also at random intervals sequence playback would glitch then re-snyc to the music, this seemed worse later in the night or after a few days.

Occasionally I would lose access to the web page during the night and this would require a reboot but schedule would play and finish correctly. This seemed to occur if the PC went to sleep and woke up again with the status page open.

Some suggestions that I think made it all work:
- High quality and FAST microSD cards
- Fast quality USB drives
- Stable quality 5V power, I used some spare Apple Ipad chargers :)

All sequences saved direct from Vixen 3 as fseq files, mp3 files had a mix of bit rates but all played.

Audio from the B+ was fine and good and was feed directly to a 12ch audio mixer, mixer output went to compressor limiter to provide clean undistorted FM signal and local amped sound.

Overall this is an awesome product the all the people involved should hold their head up high and be proud they supplied joy to hundreds of thousands of people across the world.
Looking forward to some of the things mentioned for V2
Many thanks


very nice phil.

I had two fpp's, slave ran projector on my grarage door, master ran 32K channels.
Never a glitch in 6 weeks.

there is something to be said for "It just works as advertised".
Doesn't always happen with all the software one uses, especially free software

Again, Dave, Mykroft,Capt Murdoch,MaterDaddy Great job!
Littleton, CO Latest releases xLights/Nutcracker Forum Facebook [url=



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