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Welcome => Learning Center => Topic started by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 10:20:30 AM

Title: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 10:20:30 AM
Inspired, I bought a string of 100 pixels and attached them to pin 18 on a Raspberry Pi 3b+. Using Adafruit's library, I was able to control all of them.
I installed FPP. In Input/Output Setup->Channel Outputs, I selected the Pi Pixel Strings tab and created 1 entry wiih a start channel = 1, Pixel Count = 100.  It correctly reports 300 channels. Under the Status/Control->Testing section->Enable Test Mode, I see all of of the LEDs sequencing through their colors. If I limit the number of channels, I can control the number of pixels lit. So, it looks like that's all working.
I put together a quick sequence in xlights to see if it would work. I added a E1.31 lighting network with 1 universe and set the last channel at 300. I then created 5 single line models with 20 pixels each. Xlights plays the strings in the preview fine. When I copy the fseq into FPP and go to the Display Testing tab->Sequence tab and click play, the lights blink quickly.

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Any other info I can provide to help with diagnosing?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 10:46:09 AM
here's some screen shots (http://imperialclub.org/~maevans/fpp/test1/) in case a lot of this isn't clear. I'm likely not setting this up correctly in xlights or fpp
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: CaptainMurdoch on January 19, 2019, 11:30:42 AM
Check to make sure you have the "Output To Lights" option turned OFF in xLights or switch FPP to 'standalone' mode on the FPP status page while you are testing local sequence playback.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 11:36:37 AM
Did an audio file get loaded to the Pi?

“Lights blink quickly” is what I see when I accidentally have an audio file loaded when trying to use a PiHat (i.e., GPIO 18/19).
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 04:21:11 PM
I did a quick vide (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uFvfw-oDFQ)o to show what I'm seeing with the "blink"...
I'm not using a PiCap. This is connected directly to pin 18 on the Raspberry Pi.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 04:27:32 PM
What sequence do you have loaded (do you have a .fseq file loaded)?  Is it supposed to do something more than that?

Do you have an audio file loaded?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 04:42:17 PM
It's just a simple sequence, no sound. I copied the sequence to the depository above (http://imperialclub.org/~maevans/fpp/test1/). There's a screenshot of the sequence  (http://imperialclub.org/~maevans/fpp/test1/xlights-Sequencer.png)there as well. It's about 30 seconds long according to XLights.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 04:57:04 PM
Since Display Testing works fine, you should look closer at the sequence in xLights.

How is the string modeled?  The screenshot shows “columns”—how are those modeled?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: CaptainMurdoch on January 19, 2019, 05:23:14 PM
Check the “output to lights” setting in xLights.

If xlights is sending data to the lights and fpp is in bridge mode then you have bridge mode data fighting with the sequence data from the test page.  XLights tells fpp to turn the lights off and the fseq tells fpp to turn them on.  The lights blink....
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: thaistalyn on January 19, 2019, 05:40:54 PM
For the "Strings" did you set the connection settings in Xlights?...Port 1 , Protocol - WS2811?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 07:45:58 PM
Thanks for all of the follow up and questions!
Each Column is defined as follows:* # Strings - 1* Nodes/String - 20Lights/Node - 1Starting Location - GreenIndiv Start Chans - not checked  Start Channel - 1
Column 1 Start Chan = 1, End Chan = 60Column 2 Start Chan = > Column 1:1 (61), End Chan = 120Column 3 Start Chan = > Column 2:1 (121), End Chan = 180Column 4 Start Chan = > Column 3:1 (240), End Chan = 240Column 5 Start Chan = > Column 4:1 (241), End Chan = 300
That stuff seems OK. But, I must still be missing something...
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 07:52:34 PM
20 lights per node is your problem
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 08:02:06 PM
here's a better screenshot (http://imperialclub.org/~maevans/fpp/test1/xlights-layout.png) of the layout page. I didn't have the connection defined. I did that. Same behavior.

i'm copying the fseq file over to fpp and running the test there. So, I have FPPD Mode set to Player (Stand Alone).
any other ideas?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 08:03:01 PM
OK Bwinter. How should I set that up?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 08:05:45 PM
1 light per node, unless you’re trying to do something that I’m not away of

You might be better off just creating your own string and generating your own sequence, instead of trying to dissect what someone else did.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 08:07:19 PM
You have five columns (of 20 lights)?

But you’re just simply trying to get a single strand working.  Just model a single strand, then drop an effect on that strand.  Then export that fseq to FPP and play that
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 08:23:03 PM
You're right; I want to see a sequence of any kind working. So, I set up a model with 1 string, 100 nodes and dropped a sequence on that.

Same issue.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I thought this would be the simple part  :)
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 08:25:37 PM
What’s it doing?  What’s it supposed to do?

You know that Display Testing is working, so the FPP, connections and strand is fine.

You just need to set up your model properly in xLights.

What’s your start number set to in FPP?  Does that match what you set in xLights?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 08:26:44 PM
There’s nothing about this hobby that’s “simple.”  Every step is a learning step with lots of trial, error and having the ability to trouble-shoot.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 19, 2019, 08:40:24 PM
Here's the FPP output setup, layout, and sequence.
FPP output is defined on port 1, 100 pixels. It reports that there are 300 total channels.Xlights layout has 1 string, 20 notes/String, 1 Light/Node. Controller Connection is set to Port 1, Protocol WS2811Sequence is 5 sec Red, 5 sec Green, 5 sec Blue, 5 sec White, 5 sec Off.

Thanks for all the hints and help. I really appreciate it!
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 09:11:10 PM
I’m not really seeing anything wrong, other than “FPP settings changed” and needs to restart.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 19, 2019, 09:14:23 PM
Maybe put 100 pixels on port 2, just in case you’re actually using GPIO 19 instead of 18.

Display Testing is still working in FPP?  You’re not also trying to connect/control from xLights, at the same time?
Title: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: CaptainMurdoch on January 19, 2019, 09:53:45 PM
Tap tap tap

Is this thing on????  :)

Did you check to make sure that xLights isn’t sending E1.31 data to the Pi still?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 20, 2019, 07:00:48 AM
thanks for all the suggestions!
I don't have XLights running at all. It was never sending data to the PI; it doesn't know it's address. I've restarted FPP multiple times with the same result.

It's really strange that FPP Channel Testing shows all of the pixels cycling correctly. I can even back down on the "End Channel" to 30 and see only the first 10 LEDs cycling. So, I believe FPP is set up correctly. It just seems that the sequence file is not set up right.
I'll tear the config down and and start from scratch including re-installation of xlights and FPP. Maybe there's a step somewhere I'm still missing.
I won't give up if y'all won't  :)
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: CaptainMurdoch on January 20, 2019, 08:24:53 AM
Can you grab a screenshot of the xLights network output page showing the ws2811 output configured.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 21, 2019, 03:15:28 AM

.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 21, 2019, 03:23:05 AM
Sorry. Misunderstood the question. I didn't make any changes on the network page. I left it all as default.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Poporacer on January 21, 2019, 09:29:28 AM
A couple things,
you say that you have restarted FPPD several times, but all of your screenshots have a red banner stating that a restart needs to be done. Also, re-render your sequence and then copy the fseq to your Pi. Maybe your fseq was not properly rendered before?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 21, 2019, 05:07:12 PM
Ok. I re-installed FPP on the PI and I didn't connect my usb sound card. I'm getting sequences now. When I plug the usb sound card in and reboot, AND associate an MP3 with the sequence, it won't play again. Even the sequence test won't work.
So, there's some kind of interference with that USB unit. Still investigating... If I get the piHAT, can I use the R-PI's 3.5mm audio output. If not, what should I be using?
...getting closer...
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 21, 2019, 05:12:30 PM
PiHats don’t work with the 3.5 mm audio
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 21, 2019, 06:31:26 PM
IIRC, the pixel driver uses the same PWM that's used for audio. It makes sense that you can't do MP3 and WS8211 at the same time.

I would have thought the USB audio card I have would work since it doesn't use that at all. Maybe I need to go into the kernel and disable the sound drivers.
So, if I'm going to jump into this with more HW, should I make the next step the Pi-Hat or bite the bullet and get the F4V3 (I'd like to make small steps...)
Thoughts?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: CaptainMurdoch on January 21, 2019, 06:41:47 PM
When you had the USB sound card plugged in, did you go to the FPP Settings page and select the USB card as the audio output device?
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: Bwinter on January 21, 2019, 10:34:23 PM
I use multiple PiHats for my show.  They’re simple to work with, and inexpensive to add a few more (and keep spares for backup).

I’ve never seen a reason to go with larger controllers.  But many people go that route.  Bottom line:  there’s multiple ways to skin a cat.
Title: Re: Noob trying to use FPP RPIWS281X Output only with Xlights
Post by: TikiBird on January 27, 2019, 06:29:26 PM
SOLVED.
Primary issue I had was that I plugged in the USB sound card without configuring it in the FPP Settings page. That affected the sequencing.

I was able to reproduce the problem tonight along with getting it all straightened out. I can create a sequence with sound going out the usb audio card.

Thanks everyone for all your help in untangling this. Next step will be ordering controller. Still deciding between the PiCap or the F4v3. Looks like I've got a week or two to decide since the PiCaps won't be here until Valentines day.