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DynamoBen
01-03-2012, 01:59 PM
chilloutdocdoc and I were in chat the other night talking about future PropController based devices and we came up with a model to help guide development efforts.

What we were thinking is that all of the controllers would be DMX to keep costs down and allow for wider adoption. To driver these devices I will create a node/bridge. The node will convert from sACN to DMX or Renard (users choice, port by port). The DMX based devices will include a AC Dimmer, and DC Dimmer (may be one in the same). Does this seem like a good model? What have we missed?

The only "odd ball" is the pixel strings, which I think could be driven from the Ethernet node. The issue then is a RS485 adapter board would need to be created for the pixel string or I would need to build in a "bypass" jumper to get around the RS485 transceiver on the node board. Thoughts?

budude
01-03-2012, 03:50 PM
Hmm - but a bridge already exists in the form of RPM's E1.31 bridge - it does both Renard and DMX as well - I'm not sure I see a point in creating an identical device?

DynamoBen
01-03-2012, 04:03 PM
Hmm - but a bridge already exists in the form of RPM's E1.31 bridge - it does both Renard and DMX as well - I'm not sure I see a point in creating an identical device?

True. The bridge I'm designing is based of RPM's but uses the W5200. It also has 5 ports instead of 4 and has a microSD card. There will be no need for "special" booting to get to a configuration webpage since the W5200 has additional sockets, and the microSD card will make creating a more friendly webpage easier. This is sort of a "second generation" device.

rjchu
01-03-2012, 05:21 PM
If you've got the know how and are inclined to do it, go for it. I'm with Brian however and know that the additional port or capability for a more "friendly" web UI warrant a new piece of hardware. How often do folks expect to have to reconfigure these things?

-joni-

DynamoBen
01-03-2012, 05:36 PM
If you've got the know how and are inclined to do it, go for it. I'm with Brian however and know that the additional port or capability for a more "friendly" web UI warrant a new piece of hardware. How often do folks expect to have to reconfigure these things?

So then what would you rather see created?

rjchu
01-03-2012, 06:30 PM
So then what would you rather see created?

Well, since you asked.... ;)

A few of my neighbors are looking at getting in on the madness next year now that word of our display going wireless has spread and they've seen video of tweist's neighborhood on YouTube. So I'm thinking something that would let them, and other DIYC newbs toe dip would be nice. Something like a Ren16SS married with half of a Ren48LSD with the option to add components and a xbee radio on board for wireless control of the whole thing.

-joni-

DynamoBen
01-03-2012, 06:44 PM
Something like a Ren16SS married with half of a Ren48LSD with the option to add components and a xbee radio on board for wireless control of the whole thing.

So 1/2 AC dimmer, 1/2 DC dimmer. By "add components" what do you mean? For wireless would you rather do xbee or WIFI? A WIFI interface is about $30 (W5200 is $20).

Update: Should this device be WIFI directly or DMX, which could be from a WIFI node?

mschell
01-03-2012, 06:56 PM
I'd vote for the WIFI or other wireless device that can handle the thruput of DMX as well as Renard. The XBee stuff is great, and works well, but doesn't have the bandwidth for DMX.

chilloutdocdoc
01-03-2012, 09:08 PM
Interesting requests...

I think the wireless idea is great. WIFI is a great choice. A lot of power possible. Should be plenty for DMX (multiple universes even?). My only concern with wireless is it's lack of reliability when the signals get crowded. Some testing might be needed for this, but what if all of your neighbors are blasting Wifi data and happen to choose the same channel that you do? That being said, I'm not out on the wireless idea... just maybe a provision for switching between wifi/wired?

As for a half and half board. Interesting concept. Great idea that I frankly would've never thought of. I'd be interested in seeing what voltages people would like to use on the DC side (5,12,24 seem to be the common ones). Would definitely have to use different connectors and make it quite obvious as to the difference between the AC and DC version. How many channels on each side? 8 AC and 24 DC? I think too much larger than that and the board will become huge. (Unless we go for smaller packages, not people friendly). My other concern is that if we use transistors like the LSD, you can't run too long of a strip of the 5050 rgb strip, or RGB leds, due to the current limitations... At 400mA you're limited to:
Voltage LED's
5 -------- 20
12 ------- 60
24 ------- 120

I'd like to see some more input from what people would like. I'm thinking the first priority would be user-friendly (documentation, setup, etc) along with reliability, form factor, and following that cost.

budude
01-03-2012, 10:02 PM
IMO mixing an AC and DC dimmer in the same box would be a bad idea - for sure someone will wire up something to the wrong something and kablooey! It sounds like you're asking for a larger variety of controller sizes - both AC and DC? It would not be a hard thing to create a Ren24LSD, etc.

chilloutdocdoc
01-03-2012, 10:13 PM
I was mulling over the same thing after posting. It's a good idea... Just... How easy is it to mix up a part (especially if it's in the same package...) What about a smaller, but higher current DC board? Maybe something around 24 channels @ 2A per max? Personally, I prefer more lower count boards then less high count boards, but a lot of people like centralized stuff...