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Thread: Mp3 board smoked

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    Quote Originally Posted by adski View Post
    Unfortunately, the Helix is not a controller in the conventional sense - it's a standalone show player in a similar vein to the Pi/FPP. It was ahead of its time, but in today's environment, I fear its time has passed. I made the transition when the FPP was released and haven't looked back.

    Dave
    I would agree with Dave's statement. With the FPP now available, at a much cheaper cost, the Helix has really been obsoleted. I will still continue to try to support the legacy Helix users to the best of my ability but I'm not selling any new systems.
    Greg

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    Alright can someone point me in the Pi direction so I can check it out for next year. But for this year I need this gear running.
    Thanks

    Sent from my SM-N900W8 using Tapatalk
    This is the year for my Mom.She passed away Feb 12 2012 and this year is dedicated to her and her memory.I will finally have it all finished and set to music all for her as I promised.Heres to you Mom (Dec 10,1944 - Feb 12,2012.I love you...

    Now on the web [URL="http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/"]http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/[/URL]

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    i will get one in the mail to you today.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    It would be nice if the Pi/FPP player could output in Helix format so that I could use the Helix daughter boards to run my led strings until either the Helix boards fail or I completely transition to RGB pixels and give up on led strings.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMurdoch View Post
    Or if you are not a programmer, point me to the helix protocol specs and I will see what I can do in FPP to support it for next year.
    The problem in supporting the Helix in fpp is that it has an onboard mp3 player. Without that player it will not boot correctly as checking the mp3 player is part of boot up. Not sure if it is possible to sync it as a slave ( helix node board ) or not. Might want to ask Greg about this

    blinky flashy. I love this stuff
    This is the year for my Mom.She passed away Feb 12 2012 and this year is dedicated to her and her memory.I will finally have it all finished and set to music all for her as I promised.Heres to you Mom (Dec 10,1944 - Feb 12,2012.I love you...

    Now on the web [URL="http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/"]http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/[/URL]

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    Quote Originally Posted by PRD View Post
    It would be nice if the Pi/FPP player could output in Helix format so that I could use the Helix daughter boards to run my led strings until either the Helix boards fail or I completely transition to RGB pixels and give up on led strings.
    I totally hear you. The transition to pixels is a huge step and money. Not really sure what to do.

    blinky flashy. I love this stuff
    This is the year for my Mom.She passed away Feb 12 2012 and this year is dedicated to her and her memory.I will finally have it all finished and set to music all for her as I promised.Heres to you Mom (Dec 10,1944 - Feb 12,2012.I love you...

    Now on the web [URL="http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/"]http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/[/URL]

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    Quote Originally Posted by PRD View Post
    It would be nice if the Pi/FPP player could output in Helix format so that I could use the Helix daughter boards to run my led strings until either the Helix boards fail or I completely transition to RGB pixels and give up on led strings.
    I admit I know little about the helix system but a quick read of a wiki page tells me this might be possible with a little work. FPP supports rs485 dongles which could be used to communicate to daughter boards and the xbee is a serial device I believe which could also possibly be integrated to support synced network nodes if the protocol is published.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    You might want to talk with Greg on this idea. The daughter boards are also rs485 communication over cat5 so I am sure something can be done but again best to talk to him as he designed it

    blinky flashy. I love this stuff
    This is the year for my Mom.She passed away Feb 12 2012 and this year is dedicated to her and her memory.I will finally have it all finished and set to music all for her as I promised.Heres to you Mom (Dec 10,1944 - Feb 12,2012.I love you...

    Now on the web [URL="http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/"]http://kraftchekchristmaslights.webs.com/[/URL]

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Mp3 board smoked

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMurdoch View Post
    I admit I know little about the helix system but a quick read of a wiki page tells me this might be possible with a little work. FPP supports rs485 dongles which could be used to communicate to daughter boards and the xbee is a serial device I believe which could also possibly be integrated to support synced network nodes if the protocol is published.
    There are two major issues with using the FPP to control Helix boards. The first deals with the daughter boards. There really isn't a protocol per se that drives the daughter boards. The daughter boards don't have any intelligence on them; they are essentially four serial-in/parallel-out chips that directly drive the SSR boards. So each daughter board requires three RS485 lines do drive them (1 for clock, 1 for data, and 1 for strobe). They don't have any feed through capability so each board would require three RS485 dongles on the FPP and the FPP would be responsible for updating 32 channels over 30,000 times per second (256 levels of intensity at 60 Hz). This would rapidly eat up a lot of I/O lines/USB ports on the FPP and put a computational burden on the FPP for little return.

    The second issue is a little easier but I don't know if anyone would be interested in pursuing. It would be possible to replace the Helix Network Controller (the first Helix Main Board in a Helix Network) with the FPP and have it drive all of the Helix Nodes. The Helix Network Controller is responsible for starting the sequences, playing the music and providing the synch timing for all of the Helix Nodes. It uses either a XBee radio or a single RS485 connection to communicate with the Helix Nodes. The transmission protocol is fairly simple and once a sequence is playing it only requires a six byte message to be sent out every event period. There are a few other messages required at the start of a sequence (a start sequence message that includes what sequence to show), end of a sequence (an end sequence message to tell the node to go idle), and during idle times (a keep alive message sent every second so the nodes know that the network controller is still connected). This would all be possible without any modifications to the Helix firmware or the Helix Network Supervisor. The only thing the Helix users would have to do is demote their current Helix Network Controller board to a Node and do some special channel mapping in the Helix Network Supervisor.

    I'm sure there would be some additional things necessary to make this work. One that I can think of right away is the FPP would need to know the 8.3 format of the name for each sequence. The Helix uses a fairly simple FAT32 implementation and only understands 8.3 file names. There will probably be other gotchas that will come up during the implementation phase but I'm willing to work with someone if they want to try and take this on.
    Last edited by gmbartlett; 01-01-2016 at 04:10 PM.
    Greg

  10. #20
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    Default Mp3 board smoked

    I agree, it sounds like connecting to daughterboards would be too complex and resource intensive.6

    I am slowly converting parts of FPP to C++, and one of the things in the back of my mind has been to make the FPP MultiSync code based on a base class and a "FPP MultiSync" class similar to how I am doing in other parts of the code such as the channel output and media output areas.

    If there is interest, and you have anything describing the sync protocol, I could keep helix in mind when I get to converting this part of FPP and could try to make FPP control helix nodes.

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