View Full Version : F16V2 Reviews

08-18-2015, 02:12 AM
I am shipping the last of the presale #1 boards tomorrow. Please post your review of the board here (good or bad). Thanks for your patience.:)

08-18-2015, 02:47 AM
I absolutely love my F16V2. Quick and easy setup, straight forward user interface and the flexibility to drive an insane amount of pixels.

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08-18-2015, 07:58 AM
I have just received my board on Friday, and managed to get a bit of time at the weekend to have a tinker....
I love it, So easy to set up and I can now run all of my new pixels from this and even run my older dmx dumb strings.
This should make this year bigger and better :-)

08-18-2015, 01:25 PM
Loving mine so far. Still much testing to do. Here's a short list of my initial impression:

1. boots/reboots really fast.
2. live updating of web pages is really nice (no need to keep refreshing)
3. OLED screen is very nice but the font is smaller than I expected and difficult reading for older eyes :blush2:
4. would like more test patterns than just the one RGBW test.
5. its a bit bigger than an E682 so it may not fit in the same space. (I'll need to modify my enclosures)
6. per-string max brightness feature is nice.
7. virtual strings very very nice.
8. having a zig-zag check box seems redundant. A 0 value in the zig-zag should be sufficient.
9. still a few glitches in the universe/absolute enhancement.
10. really really really hoping for update-firmware-via-webpage before many more updates come

I have seen some random lit pixels that may be some sort of timing issue. For example, sometimes when I send a chase sequence a random pixel stays lit after the chase goes by. This is with a FPP ethernet directly connected to F16V2 ethernet so I don't suspect its a network problem (i.e. packet loss). Need to test more.

Overall I'm very very pleased with it. Just a few bleeding edge growing pains but all minor from what I've seen so far. I'm anxiously curious to see how the Pi-piggy-back control is going to work but no hurry there.

08-18-2015, 09:23 PM
Virtual strings make this very flexible...as does the future of connecting with a Pi.

08-18-2015, 11:49 PM
Got my F16V2 mounted in a CG-1500 with 2 Mean Well power supplies. I am VERY pleased with the F16V2. Easy to setup and the board looks awesome!!!

08-19-2015, 09:42 AM
Got my F16V2 mounted in a CG-1500 with 2 Mean Well power supplies. I am VERY pleased with the F16V2. Easy to setup and the board looks awesome!!!
How did you squeese that in? Are both power supplies in the lid? Got a pic?

Clyde L
08-19-2015, 11:16 AM
Very happy with the ability to use universe numbers and channel numbers for string outputs
The string ports are easy to setup across different software.
Nice collection of protocols to run pixels.
Each string can be individually configured for your display element.
Fast boot time
Easy to upgrade/update firmware
Live time data shown as packets are being fed to the controller
Temperature monitor!
One-button push to enter test mode
64 universes can be run !!! Dear God that is incredible. (I'll never run out of channels)
Expansion board, makes the controller a 32 string output board

08-19-2015, 08:41 PM

08-19-2015, 09:41 PM
How do you attach the back panel because the power supplies cover the top screws (at least that's what it looks like)?

08-19-2015, 11:23 PM
I attached the lexan to the power supplies then I glued 6 stand offs to the cover then screwed the panel down. There are 3 screws along the top and bottom

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08-20-2015, 04:30 PM
I've had my F16V2 for about a week. Fabulous device! I have a lot of devices (and they are all good) but if I had to start over from scratch, this is the only board I would get.


08-20-2015, 11:21 PM
Received mine today.


This is freakin' awesome!

08-20-2015, 11:27 PM
Good to hear all the positive things. This is on my list to get next.

08-21-2015, 07:24 AM
Just received my second one. Time for a quick review...

Setup was a total breeze. Love that I can see the IP it receives from DHCP right on the Display.
The biggest pro for this unit is actually David himself. I had a few questions around it. He responded immediately and was super helpful.

Big thumbs up for the Falcon team.

Quick boot
Large number of outputs
Ability to handle 64 universes
Good web UI
No reboot when changing certain settings
Four Serial outs
The price is really great.

Suggestions for a V3:
Add a temperature controlled relay. This would allow adding cooling fans to the box. Better even a PWM dynamic fan control similar to computer fans with speed adjustment based on the temperature.
Maybe split the power distribution in 4 sections. A 100 ct strand of Technicolor uses 7 Amps which would blow the 5 Amp fuses. This can be overcome with power injection but I am not a big fan of having the injection power on a different fuse.
Maybe... Offer a daughter board which has 16 differential outputs with matching receivers. This would help with long pixel runs.

Still have to do a lot more testing but I am very convinced it will work perfect and two of them will drive my roof matrix this year :-)

08-21-2015, 09:03 AM
With the Dmx output, does this mean I could eliminate my RPM bridge for my dumb rgbs and renard controllers?

08-21-2015, 12:24 PM
Robo - yes you could eliminate a bridge. Just make sure to check the help files for the connector pin out.

08-24-2015, 08:34 PM
I have finished testing my main Falcon 16 v2.

It performed fantastic.

I had some problems last year with some 4 channel AC DMX controllers that the F16v2 now drives flawlessly. Ran continusouly for over 20 hours with absolutely no failures or glitches.

It is easy to configure because of the onboard display that you can easily see the IP address of the unit and it has it's own built in web based configuration program.

I also like it because I can eliminate a lot of pixelnet cabling in the yard because each of my two F16v2s can provide both DMX and pixelnet to my yard via a single E1.31 cable between the house and the F16v2s located in two different secions of the yard.

Dave has done an excelent design job on this controler, as well as his previous Falcon units as well.

I will be using a F16v2 with an expansion board to run my 32 x 147 pixel strip grid. This I will be testing by next weekend if Ray got my strips shipped out as promised.

It will be even easier to use once Dave gets the web based firmware updater completed.

08-24-2015, 11:31 PM
I've had my F16V2 and an expansion board since just before the EXPO in Fort Worth. It was one of the first finished boards with the OLED screen.

I have connected all the different 3-wire strings I own to it. TM1804, TM1809, WS2811. All have worked perfectly.

Currently, I have a Falcon 16-B (Beaglebone Black based) setup to output Multicast on my show network. The F16V2 picks it up when active. Goes Idle when it stops. The OLED always makes that very easy to see.

The amount of configuration options in the String Ports page is what really makes it work. All the string types available, the "RGB Order" choice to compensate for vendor changes, Null pixels.

Two standout options, though, are the use of Virtual Strings and the Brightness adjustment. I can put together a string of different pixels (they do have to be the same type) and set them as virtual strings. My strips are RGB order, but my Pixels are BRG order, so I can actually put them together as a virtual string. If you get pixels from a new vendor batch that seem too bright compared to the older version you already have, just drop their brightness to match.

Like Mr. Christmas also said, the DMX or Pixelnet Bridge option will allow me to reduce some of my complex CAT5 runs from previous years. Fewer boards, fewer wires.

A big Thank You to the Falcon developers. A lot of thought went into these features.


08-26-2015, 02:50 PM
I received my board and set it up really quick. My #1 compliment is the ability to configure each individual port to the pixel length, null nodes, RGB order, etc. Since I am using the board to control lights on the house, it really comes in handy with different size windows and eaves. Fit my need perfectly. Thanks Dave and others on a well designed board and software.

08-28-2015, 08:06 PM
I finally have my setup installed enough to do a little testing. F16V2, Expansion board, 4 power supplies, and a network switch all mounted in a box to go under the megatree. The controller has worked beautifully from the start, setup took no time at all. I won't be using a lot of the features, I mainly got it for the 32 outputs. I just need the fix so that I can start my universes at 24 and I will be all set to put it out for the season.

Here is a quick video of the controller driving half of the strings for my new megatree, using 12 outputs, looks good so far. https://youtu.be/38IrxUShSHc

Martin Siebring
Parker, CO

08-31-2015, 01:23 AM
Anybody else notice any oddities in the built-in test pattern?

I assumed it was a sequenced pattern of Red, Green, Blue, White, repeat. I also was pretty sure my bullet strings were RGB order, but when I try the test it comes up BRG so I change the setup on the port configuration page to BRG and the test then show RGBW. Ok good.

Then I hook up the network, fire up Xlights and do an RGBW test it lights up GBRW. Hunh? Set the controller port config back to RGB and the Xlights test now lights in the correct order (as I originally suspected) but the F16V2 built-in test appears out of order again.

Anybody else notice this or am I going color-blind :freak:

08-31-2015, 02:21 AM
I have seen some oddities. i will fix it in next version.

08-31-2015, 04:51 PM
I have seen some oddities. i will fix it in next version.
Thanks, David. I'm still a big fan of this controller and I don't mind a few growing pains.

Since you're already in there planning a fix or two, I also noticed a very teeny tiney minor thing that I think may just be a cosmetic typo, or maybe its just me. But as a programmer myself, I know we fellow programmers tend to be a little bit OCD about the little things so here goes...

The OLED display shows a spinning animation when E1.31 data is received. But it appears to me the sequence is -|/\ which creates more of a random motion than a "spinning" motion. To simulate a "spining clockwise" graphic I think the sequence should be -\|/

I know, I know, its almost ridiculous for me to bring it up :blush: but if my suspiction is correct, its a super simple quickie typo fix for whenever you happen to be in there fixing something else. I know when I do coding its very easy to miss some of the small cosmetic things. On the other hand, if its spinning exactly the way you intended thats fine with me too. :v:

08-31-2015, 05:10 PM
I actually tried to fix that. The code is correct still cannot find out why it does that.

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08-31-2015, 05:27 PM
You know you may be right. I need to go home and look at the code again

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08-31-2015, 05:37 PM
Sounds like a possible timing issue with the display. Now leave him alone so he can ship mine. :)

09-01-2015, 12:19 AM
I fixed the issue with animation. It seems when I wrote that code I may have been up for many hours. I did not have the ability to generate a simple variable that counts from 0-3 continually to choose correct line to draw. :)

09-01-2015, 01:32 AM
I fixed the issue with animation. It seems when I wrote that code I may have been up for many hours. I did not have the ability to generate a simple variable that counts from 0-3 continually to choose correct line to draw. :)
No worries, we've ALL BEEN THERE :blush: Glad I was able to help out in some small way :wink2:

09-01-2015, 01:47 AM
BTW, when you fix the BRGW test pattern, maybe you could add an off cycle to the sequence before it repeats? But only if thats another quick easy fix to throw in with the next release thats coming soon. I'm thinking about this due to the other wacky problem with certain pixel strings and red flicker with random stuck full red.

Of course I previously cast a vote for more test patterns (incl. all-white at various intensities and some chases). But that can wait until much later. I also have more on order and most important right now is getting presale-2 in my hands :freak:

09-01-2015, 03:41 AM
I am also removing Zigzag enable from webpage. Great suggestion on just using count.

09-01-2015, 08:02 AM
Zigzag is used alot. Why would you remove it?

09-01-2015, 08:12 AM
Zigzag is used alot. Why would you remove it?

He's not, just the check box which is not really needed to do a zigzag.

09-01-2015, 10:45 AM
Maybe I am starting to loose it. I have noticed one oddity: an occasional white flash of pixels. I think someone else had mentioned this too.

I basically use Madrix to run a color scroll. So far I only use one output with 50 WS 2812B pixels connected. The board is powered by a bench power supply set to 5 Volts.

Any idea what could cause this? I have seen odd behavior when running too long of a cable, but that is not the case. (Less than 1 ft) I have also seen odd behavior when the speed of the SPI signal was too high....

09-01-2015, 01:38 PM
There has been an update to fix issue where the first bit of 2811/2812 code was 150ns too long. it will be in the next release.

09-01-2015, 06:33 PM
Is it safe to say that the next release will be in the group buy boards coming mid September?

09-01-2015, 06:40 PM

09-07-2015, 09:46 PM
I am amazed. Got my board and it is up and running. Worked right out of the box. Set up xlights and unicast right to the device.

One note is that the default is set to 50 pixels per channel. I soldered and un did three times before I checked the pixel length on the webpage. Could not figure out why putting two strings together did not run the second string. In addition, the last pixel, the blue was not outputting.

Great device!!!!!!!


09-08-2015, 07:17 AM
It is important to know that the Test Mode does require you to be configured for the lights you have connected. Type of pixel, length of pixel, voltage, etc...

09-08-2015, 10:00 AM
I just finished putting together a 60 x 107 pixel matrix for a buddy last night. 6,420 pixels controlled using a single F16V2 with the daughterboard. It was the fastest controller config I've ever done. The interface is simple and easy to use. Now if I could just wrap my head around the changes in xlights4!

01-04-2016, 01:29 PM
Just finished my 2015 season with 2 Falcon 16V2's and loved them. So happy I just ordered a third and bought 3 extender cards. I love the ability to configure the IP from the board and onboard display, and love being able to see how hot the board is running. I got 10' more on my cable runs using the Falcon compared to my SanDevices. Obviously the best pixel controller available!

01-04-2016, 06:39 PM
I ran my last show last night and my F16V2 (with extender) has been flawless - not a single issue of any kind. The same can be said for my upgraded E681's as well so either are a great choice. I would say the Falcon is the way to go for future large controller purchases however as the SanDevices line has been in a bit of limbo towards new development (what happened to the that new super-small controller that was previewed?). I would not hesitate to suggest using a Falcon to anyone - great job Dave!

01-04-2016, 07:33 PM
Another sucess story here. I used three F16V2's spread around my yard and each one was fed with a wireless FPP remote. Everything ran like clockwork. :thup2:

01-04-2016, 09:15 PM
Great to see all the reviews. Can't wait to get mine.

04-30-2016, 11:52 AM
I just got my F16V2 last weekend, and I've been spending a good amount of time with it. This thing is incredible for its flexibility, ease of setup and just how well it all integrates together. I'm really impressed.

I'm experimenting with some 5050 8x8 matrix RGB panels, and of course they use a different RBG pattern than standard 2811's... but no big deal. Just change it on the hardware!

Also, I love the ability to combine pixels virtually into a single one for some display models. This will make my life a lot easier for sure!

I did run into a big today, however. All the pixels started acting really weird - so I posted a message about it on the F16 forum. Within 30 minutes, David sent me a PM and had me call him. He explained what was going on, and gave me a newer firmware release - even monitored the progress as it updated. Although I didn't need the help, it was appreciated and it was great talking to him.

Where else can you get that kind of support? And yes, the firmware update did fix the issue and I'm right back to creating models and having fun in Xlights.

Amazing. I'm going to buy another as soon as he gets caught up on shipping the current batch!

04-30-2016, 04:11 PM
Now you know why I own four of them.

Chris A
05-12-2016, 10:29 AM
This board is great, but most important, if there is any issues at all, including set-up or user error, David will be there to help you through ANY issues you might have.