Falcon Christmas

Falcon Christmas => Falcon F-16 Pixelnet Controller => Topic started by: David Pitts on October 11, 2014, 06:28:14 AM

Title: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 11, 2014, 06:28:14 AM
So far a few good things to report.

1) I received the boards for Falcon16v1.
2) I received all boards for Falcon16v2 beta version.
3) My SMD oven works really good.
4) The FPGA/Microcontroller board boot fine. Both FPGA and Microprocessor.

I am waiting on a small 1.27mm pitch header before I can test the PHY board. Man that thing is small.


[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 11, 2014, 06:28:58 AM
PHY Board

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Steve Gase on October 11, 2014, 08:33:47 AM
Very nice!  is the store open for pre-orders? :)
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Frankr on October 11, 2014, 09:01:42 AM
Wow looks great David. That jack board is tiny.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: JerryPlak on October 11, 2014, 09:05:16 AM
Humm I need to add this to my wish list!!
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: rdebolt on October 11, 2014, 10:12:35 AM
Looks AWESOME!!!
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: smeighan on October 11, 2014, 02:17:53 PM
Wow, so your version 2 board is 16 strings , each string can have 680 pixels?

Amazing!

This board will set the standard for all controllers. That FPGA chip is huge.

sean
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Livermore-Dad on October 11, 2014, 02:19:56 PM
Was meaning to give the falcon boards a spin last year. Maybe this year it will happen!

Tory
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: JonB256 on October 11, 2014, 04:47:10 PM
Dave, you are missing some solder on a few pins just below the word SPARTAN on the FPGA. (ps, if you don't someone to look, take lower resolution pics!!!) :)
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 11, 2014, 08:28:42 PM
That is where i messed up the pads when i tried to fix solder bridge after reflow. Luckily the pins were not used. First error in about 200+ chips.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 16, 2014, 03:29:17 AM
I have tested the Pixelnet input section and all is working great.

I am receiving 4 universes of Pixelnet with no problem. Now need to send it over to the FPGA's memory. I may try to see if I can raise the baud rate in FPD, F16v1 and F16v2 to support larger channel counts. We will see.

I spent some time this week and learned a little about FreeRTOS and I am using that now. I am loving it. Very nice real time operating code that allows you to organize the processes much cleaner and efficient. The processor seems to be purring right along. So far so good.



 
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 18, 2014, 04:03:17 PM
Here is a glimpse of the F16 Expansion Board (F16EB or we can name it something else). This board would connect to the F16v2 and give 16 more string ports. 

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: JonB256 on October 18, 2014, 06:23:22 PM
Wow. 32 channels of 3 wire or 4 wire pixels, with a Falcon Pi attached on the bottom. That is one powerful pixel pumping package.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 18, 2014, 06:34:06 PM
I am very happy about the last test. I finally got my male/female 1.27mm headers that are used to connect small (size of RJ-45 connector) PHY board to FPGA/uC board. I am happy to rport the PHY board is a complete success. :) Yeah.

Looks like this version hardware is sound. I just need to test RS-485 outputs but that should be good too.

 
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Steve Gase on October 18, 2014, 07:43:44 PM
Wow. 32 channels of 3 wire or 4 wire pixels, with a Falcon Pi attached on the bottom. That is one powerful pixel pumping package.

By problem in the past was finding affordable power supplies to drive a 16-string hub or controller...  does the v2 allow multiple power supplies so that all 32 strings can be fully exploited?
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on October 18, 2014, 07:45:04 PM
The F16v2 and F16EB both have inputs for 2 power supplies.  So if you had both connected you could use up to 4 power supplies. See picture.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: JonB256 on October 19, 2014, 05:53:30 AM
My problem in the past was finding affordable power supplies to drive a 16-string hub or controller...  does the v2 allow multiple power supplies so that all 32 strings can be fully exploited?

Looks like two power connectors on the main board and two on the Expansion Board since it will need its own supplies. Amperage calculations may be needed if you actually go for 32 pixel strings.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Qmouse on January 04, 2015, 09:09:12 PM
David,
Any estimated time frame on the purchase of the new boards. Are you taking any pre-orders.


Bentley Q
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on January 04, 2015, 09:19:08 PM
March time frame.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: zwiller on January 12, 2015, 07:50:45 AM
Just curious.  I assume the F16(v1) is no longer?  Or will the old version still be available since the v2 seems like another beast altogether?  While I am at it, surely there is no way 1 port can power 680 pixels.  Injection will be needed right?  Not wrapping my mind around the benefits of the larger channel counts.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on February 27, 2015, 06:12:47 AM
I fired the F16v2 project back up. The F16v2 has been sitting on my desk since October when I put it down to get my show up. It was calling out "Build me, build me." I just could not say no.

Over last day I created a software uploader to upload the FPGA file via USB to the Micro. The micro then stores the file on a 4Mbit flash. When the F16v2 boots the Micro grabs the data from Flash and uses it to program FPGA via another SPI channel. All of that is working just peachy. Same FPGA bootloader design i have used on a couple work projects. Now I need to get the software tool to send the micro-controllers firmware so the controller can reprogram itself. I will support USB firmware updates to start but in the end we will support network bootloading through the PI or E131 module.

I have written a great deal of FPGA and processor code to drive Pixels already.

Once we have a solid bootloader I might make the board available to some to help me test.

Recap of specs.

16 Strings with ability to add a 16 port expansion power only board
680 pixels per string, 340 if using expansion
3 and 4 wire
Each of 16 ports a different string type.

Pi Player option. (PI mounted on back B, B+ or V2) 64 universes
4 universe Pixelnet Input option
E131 input option. (64 universes)

4 Dedicated DMX universe outputs



 
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Bshaver on February 27, 2015, 06:58:09 AM
I'll help test.
I wont be able to make it to the CO meet up this weekend or next month. I'll be out of town :(
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: egenoup on February 27, 2015, 07:04:07 AM
You can add me to the list of potential testers...

Charles
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: jnealand on February 27, 2015, 07:44:27 AM
Since I have no interest in getting panels I have no interest in BBB or octoscrollers, but this is the board I have been waiting for.  I'm in.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: bajadahl on February 27, 2015, 07:47:20 AM
David,

You can count on me for any testing regarding the TLS3001 pixels as well as the Minleons (which seem to work with the TLS3001 code on the San Devices boards)  Of course I'll do any other testing that I can think of as well.

Thanks,
Alan

Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: arw01 on February 27, 2015, 09:00:38 AM
Of interest as well, going to be pushing up the channel count substantially this year and ability to handle 2-4 pixelnet universes at once will become critical for some items as they cross the boundaries.

If the Artnet support makes it into the FPP, it's an extra bonus as the "mega tree" will grow to 32 strands of 50 most likely this year.

Alan
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: RichM on February 27, 2015, 04:14:18 PM
If there are any more unspoken for, I would like to test as well.
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: maffeirw on February 27, 2015, 04:21:18 PM
If you need another testor let me know
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: David Pitts on March 04, 2015, 03:41:07 AM
I do not want to get to excited because i have had other good reports turn sour. But...

I was playing around with the FreeRTOS real time OS and I think I have had a major break-through. After many hours of trying different techniques I think I have honed in on the sweet spot.

The PIC32MZ processors main job is to receive data via three optional streams, the Ethernet connector (E131), the Falcon PI Player direclty attached or the 4 universes of Pixelnet/DMX input. After receiving the data it then shuttles it to the FPGA via 4-bit SQI port at 25Mhz or so.

So there is a receive thread (RTOS process) and a sending thread to FPGA (another RTOS process).  Using cooperative scheduling I am able to receive 32K+ channels via E131, update a dynamic webpage 20 times a second and output 32K bytes to FPGA via SQI. Once the FPGA gets the data which it now has :) it will leisurely output 16 or 32 of 680 or 340 nodes respectively Each with ability to output a different pixel type. So this may have been the break I was looking for. Using cooperative scheduling allowed me to pick the spots in code to switch to other process which was vital. The RTOS made easy the switching and locking.


I think i will go to bed now. :)

 
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: Bshaver on March 04, 2015, 07:38:03 AM
 :D

(CLAPPING)
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: JerryPlak on March 04, 2015, 09:33:03 AM
 ;D  8)
Title: Re: Preview of the Falcon16v2
Post by: RichM on March 04, 2015, 04:41:58 PM
Nothing feels better than seeing the light at 3:40am in the morning!