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Thread: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

  1. #1
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    Default Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Last year I started looking into shaming (yes, I am that shallow) the rest of my street with my Christmas Light Experience (calling it a show wouldn't do justice to what I had in mind) for 2015. I knew I wanted to outline the house with WS2812 ribbon lights and create a WS2812 string light megatree; so I started to purchase supplies (had to structure the purchases over the course of several months to keep them under the spousal alert system - not that she would really care, but it makes for a better story).

    I purchased a Teensy 3.1 for the mega tree and an Arduino 2560 for the house outline. After countless hours I finally have it all working together using Vixen 3.1 to drive it all. The Arduino uses a different driver for the lights than the Teensy does and that took a while to covert the code and then there was the issue of how to configure Vixen to drive the Teensy megatree. My epiphany came while driving home one afternoon and it came to me: I had to set up the Vixen mega tree to reverse every other strand of my megatree (my tree has 16 strands of 50 lights configured up, down, up, down, etc.).

    Mega tree success.

    The Teensy was a little difficult because of its multiple outputs designed to drive a matrix display, but once you get past trying to force the output and just accept it, it works wonderfully and it's fast. I'm able to drive my 800 light tree with the Vixen Butterfly effect at it's fastest speed without any appreciable lag.

    Please let me know if you are trying to use the Teensy 3.1 (with the OctoWS2811 adapter) do drive WS2812 lights with Vixen 3.1; I might be able to help.

    Craig

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    We love to hear some good reports!

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    What...no video of said tree in action??

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Stormyblade wanted a video, so I braved the harsh winter weather of 60 degrees tonight to get him a video. I'm just about frozen, this south Texas weather is rough.

    https://youtu.be/H9eXbJj_zos

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigM View Post
    Stormyblade wanted a video, so I braved the harsh winter weather of 60 degrees tonight to get him a video. I'm just about frozen, this south Texas weather is rough.

    https://youtu.be/H9eXbJj_zos
    Gosh, now I feel bad... :-P I'm just glad a search party didn't have to be dispatched in that awful weather.

    That video of the tree in action - very nice! Thank you for that.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Hi Craig great job. I am planning to build the same for next year. I will no doubt be asking you for help. I want to have 20 rows of 100 and it will be on my roof of the garage. I live in Alberta Canada so we can get snow and a little colder than you but now much.
    Have a merry Christmas and I will be talking to you in the new year.
    Garnet

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Hi Craig,
    I'm interested in the work you've done using the Teensy 3.1.Currently only own a mega and several Uno's that I use as prop controllers in my Halloween display, but want to add light show this year.I've posted questions in another thread (Arduino Powered Show #26)and then found your thread here.I would be very interested in any guidance you could give. Thanks DarrenT

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    If anyone can share arduino code for addressable rgb for a matrix, that would be great...everything I have found either doesn't work at all OR just displays randomness

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Hi Craig,
    I have a Mega tree with 16 strands of 41 WS2811 12V and two sets of three arches 150 pixels each and a Mega running 32 Solid state relays. I have been running my display with 6 assorted arduinos and a Mac Mini running Windows 10 and Vixen. I sure would like to reduce the number of arduinos. I just got a few teensy 3.2s and some OctoWS2811 adapters. I am really good at the hardware side of things but I am new with the coding thing. If you have a working code for Vixen 3 and OctoWS2811 I would sure love to see it. I can get things to work through 1 data pin but don't know how to code multiple data outputs to work with Vixen. I have searched online for days with no luck.
    Your help with this would be greatly appreciated as Christmas is just around the corner.

    Thanks,
    Walt

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Vixen + Teensy 3.1 (megatree) = Success (finally)

    Hi Craig,
    I'm completely new to this, but I'm excited about the Teensy 3.2 and Octo. How has your design held up? Anything you'd do different? Any details you could give would sure be appreciated!
    Great looking tree!!

    Thanks,

    Shane

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