Falcon Christmas

Falcon Christmas => Falcon F-16 Pixelnet Controller => Topic started by: Gary on November 10, 2017, 12:47:34 AM

Title: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: Gary on November 10, 2017, 12:47:34 AM
It looks like I have a F16v1 (I'll call it Controller 1 for clarity's sake) that isn't passing a Pixelnet signal properly from the Output 1 or Output 2 jack.

When in FPP Test mode, Controller 1 is getting a PixelNet signal from my F16-B and shows the test pattern on a test pixel string just fine, but another F16v1 I have (I'll call it Controller 2) daisy chained to Controller 1 using either the Output 1 or Output 2 jack doesn't have its test pixel string show the test pattern. However, the Pixelnet LED on Controller 2 flashes quite happily. :)

At first, I thought that it was Controller 2 that was at fault, but if I take the Pixelnet cable from my F16-B directly into Controller 2, the test pattern flashes fine. I also have a Controller 3 that can pass PixelNet to Controller 2 and Controller 2 shows the test pattern fine.

If it's relevant:
Controller 1 is on Pixelnet Universe 2 & 3 (has Active Pixelnet)
Controller 2 is on Pixelnet Universe 3 & 4 (has Passive Pixelnet)
Controller 3 is on Pixelnet Universe 1 & 2 (has Active Pixelnet)

For clarity's sake, I can take the Pixelnet output from my F16-B and plug it directly into each of my F16v1 controllers one at a time, and the test pattern works on them all.

What could be the problem with Controller 1? All 4 universes of Pixelnet should simply pass through from one controller to the next, whether a controller is programmed to do any blinky flashy with the channels/universes or not, correct?
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: zwiller on November 10, 2017, 07:52:48 AM
Head scratcher...  I tend to agree that it shouldn't matter and just passes PN BUT I swear I ran into the same thing before and jumpers were off.  I think there is a little more going on than the just wire pair (I think the signal must return or something).  Also had a similar issue and it was simply the dang cat5 cable.  Maybe old or corrupt firmware on Controller 1?  Reflash maybe. 

Maybe related? http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=615.0 (http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=615.0)  At work but pretty sure all of my F16v1 are passive. 
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: rdebolt on November 10, 2017, 12:47:58 PM
With Controller 1 being an "Active" pass through you may have a problem with one of the 490 chips. What happens if you remove the chips and install jumpers to make it passive and not active? With Active the pixelnet is getting regenerated and it may not be regenerating correctly. Or you could swap the chips between the 2 active controllers and see if the problem follows them.


Roger
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: Gary on November 10, 2017, 02:21:29 PM
With Controller 1 being an "Active" pass through you may have a problem with one of the 490 chips. What happens if you remove the chips and install jumpers to make it passive and not active? With Active the pixelnet is getting regenerated and it may not be regenerating correctly. Or you could swap the chips between the 2 active controllers and see if the problem follows them.

The controller in question with Active Pixelnet doesn't have anywhere to place jumpers (nothing is soldered into that spot--the circuit board is just bare there). I see in http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,615.msg4516.html#msg4516 there is a suggestion of removing the 4 chips and putting in wire jumpers, but the image was deleted, so I wouldn't know where to put them.

The thing is... is each chip for one PixelNet universe (i.e. 1 wire pair)? Which one is responsible for sending the signal to make the next controller in the daisy chain make its Pixelnet status light flash? Or would "scrambled noise" caused by a bad chip on Controller 1 in turn being received by Controller 2 make Controller 2 "satisfied" enough to make the Pixelnet status light flash?
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: Gary on November 10, 2017, 02:24:10 PM
Head scratcher...  I tend to agree that it shouldn't matter and just passes PN BUT I swear I ran into the same thing before and jumpers were off.  I think there is a little more going on than the just wire pair (I think the signal must return or something).  Also had a similar issue and it was simply the dang cat5 cable.  Maybe old or corrupt firmware on Controller 1?  Reflash maybe. 

Maybe related? http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=615.0 (http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=615.0)  At work but pretty sure all of my F16v1 are passive.

I checked, re-checked, and checked again my jumpers and Falcon Controller Software setup as well and they all look. I checked some cables recently with a CAT5 tester, but I'll check the ones in question again.
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: zwiller on November 10, 2017, 03:47:59 PM
Pics of my v1.0.  At this point I am with Roger, pull chips and jumper.  Good luck!
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: JonB256 on November 10, 2017, 04:00:02 PM
note that the jumpers on Max3 are "odd" in that they crisscross. One jumper is on the underside of the board.
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: rdebolt on November 10, 2017, 09:22:29 PM
Before soldering anything you might do what I suggested and swap the chips one a t a time and test on working controller. I may be able to find a chip if you need one. I'm not 100% on that and I would need to do some digging, but let me know.


Roger
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: zwiller on November 11, 2017, 06:41:31 AM
Thanks for pointing that out Jon, that is the actual issue IIRC.  So controller 1 is v1.0 and controller 3 is v1.03?  Maybe just some cat 5 wire in the sockets.
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: Gary on November 11, 2017, 06:54:41 PM
If I find only one chip is bad, can I do the ol' "stick wires into the IC socket" trick for just one socket, or is it all or nothin'?
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: JonB256 on November 11, 2017, 07:08:15 PM
You could just do just that one. Those chips just "clean and amplify" a potentially weak Pixelnet data stream. If you don't need to pass all four Universes, just put good chips in the sockets for the two Universes you want to pass.
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: Gary on November 12, 2017, 11:12:33 PM
I was removing the chips and noticed that one was coming out much easier than the one previous. Upon closer inspection, the whole socket was coming out. I turned the board around, and it looks like 2 of the sockets were only tacked/soldered in by two pins.  ::)  In my defense, I didn't assemble the board myself.  ;D


I soldered the rest in place and all is good now.  :)
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: rdebolt on November 13, 2017, 08:02:36 AM
Glad you got it going Gary!


I am still fighting! >:(


Roger
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: zwiller on November 13, 2017, 08:11:45 AM
+1;  Must not be the first version board. 
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: Gary on November 13, 2017, 09:51:46 PM
+1;  Must not be the first version board.


Why do you say that? Did you have a similar issue with your F16v1.03 board?
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: zwiller on November 14, 2017, 08:03:53 AM
No issues with the newer ones.  It's just that replacing chips/resoldering socket would not fix a v1.0 since board pinouts were off on them. 
Title: Re: F16v1 Not Passing a PixelNet Signal Through Properly
Post by: JonB256 on November 14, 2017, 08:31:37 AM
No issues with the newer ones.  It's just that replacing chips/resoldering socket would not fix a v1.0 since board pinouts were off on them.

True - the pin layout on the first board was based on the SMD version of the Max chip, not the DIP version. They weren't quite the same even though they have the same # of outputs. I had a two of them and soldered in cris-cross jumpers to compensate.