Falcon Christmas

Falcon Christmas => Falcon PiCap => Topic started by: Flyrod5518 on November 28, 2018, 08:05:49 PM

Title: Pi cap not working
Post by: Flyrod5518 on November 28, 2018, 08:05:49 PM
Let me start by saying, i'm new to all of these and not an electrician.  My cap had been working coming from a 12v meanwell psu.  It was shut down for a while after Halloween.  I recently started gearing up for Christmas and no power to pi cap from psu.  No green light on cap.  I checked the voltage from the connector coming from the power supply and it is around 12v.   When I have the pi power supply plugged, the green light comes on on the pi cap.  I had been running the pi and pi cap off of the 12v powersuppy through the pi cap.
 Now when I plug the pi power supply in, the green light comes on for the cap.

Any thoughts??  Fuse?

I have a pi cap on a 3 b+ pi

Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: bpos on November 29, 2018, 03:32:39 AM
By Pi power you mean 5v? I don't expect a regulator to go out that easily?  How about check the terminal connection on cap? Make sure they are tight?
Then check the 2amp fuse next to the power connection on the cap? 
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: dkulp on November 29, 2018, 05:17:34 AM



A PiCap on a 3B+ might not be able to provide enough power from 12V.   The buck on there is only rated fro 1.5amp whereas everyone says the Pi3B+ requires 2amp or more.   I would see if you can get it working with either 5v or powered via USB first to make sure it will at least boot up.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: pixelpuppy on November 29, 2018, 07:05:34 AM
A PiCap on a 3B+ might not be able to provide enough power from 12V.   The buck on there is only rated fro 1.5amp whereas everyone says the Pi3B+ requires 2amp or more.   I would see if you can get it working with either 5v or powered via USB first to make sure it will at least boot up.


That is a really good point.  The 3b+ is a power hog compared to the previous models.   I know my standalone 3b+ has issues with 1.5a wall-warts that were fine with older Pi's.  Even 2a power bricks are iffy with the 3b+
I agree a 3b+ would likely have similar issues with a 1.5a regulator on a hat/cap/cape.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: bigwavedave on November 29, 2018, 06:36:21 PM
Does this mean we might need a new revision of the PiCap, to handle the newer Pi's moving forward?
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jnealand on November 29, 2018, 06:43:59 PM
Must mean a PiCap+  David probably needs a project for next year anyway.  But at least we know now to power the Pi3B+ from an external source and not the light PSU.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on November 29, 2018, 07:41:28 PM
Must mean a PiCap+  David probably needs a project for next year anyway.  But at least we know now to power the Pi3B+ from an external source and not the light PSU.

Iíve been using 5-6 Pi3B+ for the last two years, all powered off the PiCap.  I did have the occasional ďFPP StoppageĒ thatís often reported (then again, maybe the limited amperage from the PiCap is to blame?).  But beyond occasional stoppage, zero problems.

This year, Iíve switched all but two to PiZeroW.  No stoppages yet, but itís too early to say (only been running a couple nights).
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: pixelpuppy on November 29, 2018, 10:21:22 PM
Iíve been using 5-6 Pi3B+ for the last two years, all powered off the PiCap.

I'm curious how have you been running 5-6 Pi3+ for the "last two years" when the 3B+ wasn't released until March of this year?  :o

Are you sure you weren't running Pi3B (not "plus")?  Its the 3B-PLUS version (released March 2018) that we're saying is power hungry, not the previous 3B (released Feb 2016)
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on November 29, 2018, 11:15:02 PM
Iíve been using 5-6 Pi3B+ for the last two years, all powered off the PiCap.

I'm curious how have you been running 5-6 Pi3+ for the "last two years" when the 3B+ wasn't released until March of this year?  :o

Are you sure you weren't running Pi3B (not "plus")?  Its the 3B-PLUS version (released March 2018) that we're saying is power hungry, not the previous 3B (released Feb 2016)

Ah that must be it. I didnít realize the + model came out
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: bpos on November 30, 2018, 12:12:12 AM
Must mean a PiCap+  David probably needs a project for next year anyway.  But at least we know now to power the Pi3B+ from an external source and not the light PSU.

If he does an update tell him to look into the power forward/backward situation as well. You can actually power the PiCap/Pi  from port 1 or port 2 as well. I think it needs a diode in between the power terminal and the port power.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on December 05, 2018, 09:45:11 PM
I have 3 remote pi3b+ís running falcon pi caps and 1 seems to have a tough time and occasionally stops in the middle of a show(loses WiFi access and FPPD stops). Iím guessing this is the cause of it. Whatís the proper way to power the pi3b+ with the picap on then?
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: JonB256 on December 06, 2018, 07:36:50 AM
I use the PiCap on the 3B very successfully, but the 3B+ shows a lot of voltage problems in the logs, so I don't put PiCaps on them.

I ordered some higher amp rated regulators but the initial desolder attempt didn't go well so I stopped since I had a few 3Bs available.

Dave definitely needs to change his BOM to a higher amp rating.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on December 06, 2018, 07:52:28 AM
Whatís the benefit of running at 3B+ over just a 3B?

I looked at the comparison specs, and didnít notice anything that would be critical to us.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: dkulp on December 06, 2018, 08:05:34 AM



If using it to send out e1.31 or DDP, the gigabit ethernet is great.   Also for running things like ColorLights.

Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: JonB256 on December 06, 2018, 08:32:11 AM

If using it to send out e1.31 or DDP, the gigabit ethernet is great.   Also for running things like ColorLights.

Exactly my current usage!  It is cranking out the E1.31 and DDP !!!
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on December 16, 2018, 06:32:17 PM
Iím too late into the season now but Iím going to have to make some changes for next year for sure. Thereís been multiple nights where Iíve come home and certain picaps are just displaying my background sequence when the rest of the show is running and I have to manually restart them. It appears they never fully boot and arenít accessible via web browser. Crazy thing is I have to disconnect the strings and power distribution about 70% of the time for the pi to reboot properly.

What can I do to properly power these up besides not using b+ís. Cut the power from the pixel outputs? Thatís what it looks like would be the easiest solution. Iíve noticed itís always the picaps running my C9 rooflines which do consume more power.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: JonB256 on December 17, 2018, 06:04:04 AM
what I will probably do in January or later is replace the voltage regulator on my PiCaps with a higher rated one.
I tried desoldering with no luck (I think they used unleaded solder) so I'll just cut off the existing legs and solder a new regulator to the stumps.

The places I have successfully used the 3B+ is with P10 panels because I'm using high wattage 5vdc supplies connected to everything.
My system Master is a 3B+ but it has a 3amp dedicated power supply. Rock solid.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on December 17, 2018, 09:19:10 AM
Now thatís a good idea. Iím not sure I have the skill to pull that off but Iím curious to see how that goes. In the meantime if I decided to just run data (and ground?) to the strings from the cap would that help any? This is my first year running pixels so Iíve had to tackle a lot already this year LOL.

Iím wondering now too if thereís a way to startup the pis with the background sequences disabled to alleviate some power drain on boot?
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on December 17, 2018, 10:09:54 AM
Whatís the 5V current requirement for the 3B+?
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: K-State Fan on December 17, 2018, 10:50:01 AM
I saw a comparison chart of the power requirements of the different pis when the 3B+ came out cannot find it now but I know idle it was about twice the 3B.
Not the chart i saw on twitter still looking for it.
(https://www.jeffgeerling.com/sites/jeffgeerling.com/files/images/pi-power-consumption-model-3-b-plus.png)
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on December 17, 2018, 10:56:47 AM
This looks like the best option (6A), but will require an additional trim-resistor (to set the voltage).   I think I'm going to tweak my Pi Zero W hat PCB to accept this footprint (in case I ever want to use a 3B+):


https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Delta-Electronics/NE12S0A0V06PNFA?qs=sGAEpiMZZMt6Q9lZSPl3RdZc4Qr1yDvS%2fFNK0QVEWhKKQGRih%2fJ7Bg%3d%3d
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on December 17, 2018, 11:20:20 AM
That chart seems odd.  The current converter on the PiHats are rated 1.5A.  The chart shows the 3B+ barely reaching 1A.  Yet people are reporting problems.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: JonB256 on December 17, 2018, 02:32:07 PM
That chart seems odd.  The current converter on the PiHats are rated 1.5A.  The chart shows the 3B+ barely reaching 1A.  Yet people are reporting problems.

If you think that's odd: With 3 different 3B+ setups using PiCaps, one of them never had a problem with a 2amp supply. The others were never happy until they had a 3amp (15watt) supply. Always had voltage warnings in the logs.

My solution was to drag out a 2B and 3B and ran the PiCap on them. My 3B+s are now used to drive Colorlights or run without PiCaps (until modified after January 6th goes by)
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: K-State Fan on December 17, 2018, 03:35:32 PM
This is the one i was looking for.


(https://raspi.tv/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Pi-power-usage-chart-incorporating-Pi-3B-plus-768x402.png)
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on December 17, 2018, 03:37:39 PM
Question: If I only used the 2.5a wall adapter to power the pi and only sent data and ground from the string ports do you think it would help or is the cap itself draining the power needed?

What colorlight are you using? Canít let these b+ go to waste right  :) ;D

Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: JonB256 on December 17, 2018, 06:46:08 PM
If you used 2.5a to power the Pi from the Micro-USB, and you move the PiCap jumpers to isolate the power between them, it will be more stable.

The power jumper positions are silk screened on the underside of the PiCap.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on January 14, 2019, 09:19:52 AM
If you used 2.5a to power the Pi from the Micro-USB, and you move the PiCap jumpers to isolate the power between them, it will be more stable.

The power jumper positions are silk screened on the underside of the PiCap.
I finally have some time to experiment with this and will report back. I have another question. To power the pixels directly (no power ran from piCap) I plan to come off of a distro board, do I tie the ground from the distro board in with the strings ground as well? Or can I just run the power to the pixel string from a fused power connection?
If a diagram helps let me know. I'm a screen printer by trade lol!
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: Bwinter on January 14, 2019, 09:42:08 AM
Pixels will need to be grounded to both the PiCap and distribution board
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on January 14, 2019, 09:48:50 AM
Pixels will need to be grounded to both the PiCap and distribution board
Thank you! What's the best way to make that kind of a connection? I'm used to soldering 2 wires together, but haven't done 3 before.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: pixelpuppy on January 14, 2019, 11:18:43 AM
What's the best way to make that kind of a connection?


IMHO the best way is to always run a Ground WITH your Data - never run data as just one wire.  In other words, when you come off any controller with "data only" make sure to still use two wires: 1 for ground and 1 for data.  Its an electrical circuit so people need to stop thinking that data is only one wire.   Its really two - but with 3 wire connections, the ground is a shared conductor.
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on January 14, 2019, 12:30:59 PM
What's the best way to make that kind of a connection?


IMHO the best way is to always run a Ground WITH your Data - never run data as just one wire.  In other words, when you come off any controller with "data only" make sure to still use two wires: 1 for ground and 1 for data.  Its an electrical circuit so people need to stop thinking that data is only one wire.   Its really two - but with 3 wire connections, the ground is a shared conductor.
That makes sense thank you. So I will then run the Data/Ground from the PiCap, and then Power/Ground from the distribution board. Sound correct?
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: pixelpuppy on January 14, 2019, 01:09:06 PM
That makes sense thank you. So I will then run the Data/Ground from the PiCap, and then Power/Ground from the distribution board. Sound correct?


Exactly!  :D
Title: Re: Pi cap not working
Post by: jbrockw on January 14, 2019, 03:10:36 PM
That makes sense thank you. So I will then run the Data/Ground from the PiCap, and then Power/Ground from the distribution board. Sound correct?


Exactly!  :D


Awesome! Thanks for the help!