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Thread: Future Direction

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Future Direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeph View Post
    I've just discovered the PropController, and do not yet know what it's capable of, but I'm interested in learning development. Everybody using Spin seems to say it's fun and powerful, so that intrigues me.
    If and when you get to the point where you want to jump in I have some boards left over, just PM me.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Future Direction

    I just got a couple, thank you very much Ben. It seems to me from reading this entire section, that the prop is an extremely powerful processor and a wonderful match to the hobby. It also appears that a few of the devices that were born from the prop have become some of the hottest new things in the hobby since Phil enabled us to dim. Somehow, I always seem to jump aboard the boat as it's pulling into the dock and tying up for the winter. I currently have 4 E681's, 2 bare RPM E1.31 to DMX bridge PCBs and one BOM, along with 2 of your Ethernet Propcontroller PCBs. (Further, I have 3 ELORs due to my choice of Software) I'll use the Sandevices gear and one RPM board for my display this year. I purchased a Prop Ed kit and your PCBs to try and learn.

    What I don't see is much audience participation. I believe that's because the things that came from Ben, Jim and Robert were what was needed for access to RGB pixels and E1.31 to DMX/Renard. They fit well into the plans people had for the big "WOW" that comes from pixel addition to their display. Sean Meighan's work making a tool that can create sequence data is a perfect addition to that WOW. LOR has a programmer "ItsMeBobO" who's making tools to help users create some fantastic stuff for pixels. The availability of the hardware, which IMHO is very inexpensive for what it can achieve coupled with the work these programmers are sharing is making the use of high channel count RGB displays full of LEDs and Pixel devices very available and afforable. With no need for any development in their plans to create DIY displays.

    This is why I think all the work Ben did to create this section and these tools has recentlybecome stale. I can think of 30 things I'd like it to do, but I'm just learning it. At the same time I have an entire display to build and sequence (using a substandard software that is struggling to keep up with the times) Ben has shown how willing he is to help with the code and it's all available for anyone to tweak and adjust to fit their needs. But for as powerful as the Prop is, it seems to be a little too much for the DIYer who's here to make blinky flashy.

    Here's my point (I know, long winded...) IMO, the future direction would be much clearer if more people knew and understood more about the code. Mainly because it would help them to understand how powerful the prop is. To guys like me it's a mystical beast people like Ben, Robert and Jim have learned to tame. I see where Ben says learn Spin language. More than anything, I would like direction on where to begin. As it stands, it's just a foreign language I need to learn. I want to order Shrimp in Lobster sauce, and the propeller chip is looking at me like I have two heads. It thinks it's supposed to be dimming pixels and I'm ordering Chinese take-out in a language meant for sentient beings not a silicon chip. But who has time to learn a new a new language? I had a few ideas to improve on a product currently available but I have no idea how to make it happen, that comes from the genius of the guy who made the thing. But I can't gamble my display on getting someone else to code some firmware for me. And the work you gentlemen do to write this firmware and debug it is plainly beyond the ability of people like me. So, what do I need to do to learn enough to even ask you for assistance? It's clear to me that all of you are willing to help. Jim has been wonderful while I helped to test a board he made. This entire section indicates how willing you are to spend time matching firmware to people's needs.

    ...and what can I do to help? I firmly believe if I jump on board and can acheive enough skills to make something someone needs... then maybe I can help the guys down here at my laymen's level to make some hardware they'd like to have.

    Jeff

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Future Direction

    Jeff your situation isn't a unique, I was there myself at the beginning. For me hardware and firmware development is a means to an end. I started with the Prop for a work project that needed video, then to continue my learning I created a "fully featured" dimmer for myself. And while no one but me was interested in it I figured I could break that design into pieces later, which is where the PropController came from. It's part development board and part swiss army knife and is meant as a tool for learning and making cool stuff. It gets you over the "I need hardware to make firmware" hurdle.

    So if you are new where do you start? For me I need to decide what I want to make. From there it's a matter of stitching together and creating new code to make it happen. For me if I have a purpose in mind its easier to learn how to code and ask good questions when I get stuck.

    The interesting thing about the PropController project is much of the hard work is done. There are objects and drivers for most of the things we do here that are tested and ready for use. I think the reason things are stale here is because people aren't creating new projects and I don't really have a need for anything specific at the moment. With that said I have started work on a DMX/ACN tester and was thinking about making a 4-6 universe DMX sACN node. In both cases I'm likely going to be the only person that uses them, since they will be feature rich as opposed to inexpensive, but the code will be available for others to use on their own projects.

    As always I'm happy to help with any projects and who knows you could be creating the next big thing...but you need to start with and idea.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

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