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Thread: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

  1. #1
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    Default What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I have a need to run a Renard SS24 wireless. I have dug through a ton of threads here. The answer used to be Komby. Now it is ESP-01.

    I have looked at several ESP-01 solutions and I am seeking advice.

    I think Bill Porter's (madsci1016) RenardESP is a really nice approach. It seems like this could be easily modified to work in an LOR box as well (I need to check the 485 driver chip on the LOR box first).

    Dirknerkle's (forgot his name) store had a lot of nice gizmo's but it is closed now. One in particular was the ESP-RS485 adapter. That would work for my Renard and LOR. I'm told I can still get the board layout files needed and have boards made somewhere I just don't know how.

    I've seen write-ups for how Shelby's (sporadic) ESPixelStick could be hacked into the 485 driver DIP socket. That might get me going fastest.

    All of these use variations of the ESPixelStick firmware.

    Realizing that "best" is dependent on requirements that I haven't specified, Is there any consensus on the best retro-fit wireless solution for a Renard SS24? Bonus point if it can be adapted for LOR CTB16pc (early and late generation) as well.
    Last edited by Jerry-Rigs; 01-23-2019 at 08:25 PM. Reason: correct owners, typos, and firmware reference

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I followed Shelby's ESPixelStick + RS485 / DMX Hack and it worked perfect. Would need to load dmx firmware on your pics to make it work I assume.
    [SIZE=3][B]8000 + E1.31 Channels (5x E68x controllers)
    128 Renard Channels[/SIZE][/B]
    sequencing with LightShow Pro 2.8 and/or Vixen 3 (using xLights scheduler)
    2 x Pixel Mega Trees, RGB Pixel Roofline, 2 x RGB Pixel Spinners, 11 x Pixel Bushes, 6 x GECE Icicle Arches, 16 x RGB Mini Trees, 2 x Vertical Pixel Poles,
    12 x 10w RGB Floods, 160 Strobes controlled by Arduino
    [URL="http://www.controlthelights.net"]http://www.controlthelights.net[/URL]

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry-Rigs View Post
    I have a need to run a Renard SS24 wireless. I have dug through a ton of threads here. The answer used to be Komby. Now it is ESP-01.

    I have looked at several ESP-01 solutions and I am seeking advice.

    I think Bill Porter's (madsci1016) RenardESP is a really nice approach. It seems like this could be easily modified to work in an LOR box as well (I need to check the 485 driver chip on the LOR box first).

    Dirknerkle's (forgot his name) store had a lot of nice gizmo's but it is closed now. One in particular was the ESP-RS485 adapter. That would work for my Renard and LOR. I'm told I can still get the board layout files needed and have boards made somewhere I just don't know how.

    I've seen write-ups for how Shelby's (sporadic) ESPixelStick could be hacked into the 485 driver DIP socket. That might get me going fastest.

    All of these use variations of the ESPixelStick firmware.

    Realizing that "best" is dependent on requirements that I haven't specified, Is there any consensus on the best retro-fit wireless solution for a Renard SS24? Bonus point if it can be adapted for LOR CTB16pc (early and late generation) as well.
    Bill's boards are nice, but they are "not available" and they use the TX pin instead of the GPIO2 that Shelby's firmware uses so you are limited to the v2 version that Bill put out a few years ago.

    All of Dave's boards were nice, I know i have one of the ESP-RS485 boards that I am not using, his were nice in that you could choose which output pin to use and therefore are able to use Shelby's latest firmware.

    Renard Plus also sells a Renard ESP adapter, while it is designed to plug on to their boards you can change the header plugin to header pins instead and adapt it to any controller, The last time I purchased one, it too still used the TX pin and therefore needed Bill's v2 firmware

    The thing w/ the ESP board, if you were running from the ESP to the controller, 12" or so, you don't need the RS485, you just feed directly to the input pin on the PIC. Bill's boards did this by replacing the RS485 chip on the controller w/ a DIP adapter plugged in to the socket. The RS485, when use in conjunction w/ RJ45 socket just made it easier to wire w/ a network cable (w/ the correct pinouts for your controller)
    Matt

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruppro View Post
    Bill's boards are nice, but they are "not available" and they use the TX pin instead of the GPIO2 that Shelby's firmware uses so you are limited to the v2 version that Bill put out a few years ago.

    All of Dave's boards were nice, I know i have one of the ESP-RS485 boards that I am not using, his were nice in that you could choose which output pin to use and therefore are able to use Shelby's latest firmware.

    Renard Plus also sells a Renard ESP adapter, while it is designed to plug on to their boards you can change the header plugin to header pins instead and adapt it to any controller, The last time I purchased one, it too still used the TX pin and therefore needed Bill's v2 firmware

    The thing w/ the ESP board, if you were running from the ESP to the controller, 12" or so, you don't need the RS485, you just feed directly to the input pin on the PIC. Bill's boards did this by replacing the RS485 chip on the controller w/ a DIP adapter plugged in to the socket. The RS485, when use in conjunction w/ RJ45 socket just made it easier to wire w/ a network cable (w/ the correct pinouts for your controller)
    I am very happy with my Renard ESP adapter, 2017 show i have 4 of them running at they were flawless. I have the Gerber files for Daves ESP-RS/485 boards. Wanna print some up here soon

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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I connected a cheap RS485 board to an ESPixelPop and flashed it with Shelby's firmware, DMX option to create a universal DMX receiver. I've used this successfully with a Lynx Express and a couple of Renard (DMX firmware) to control my AC strings. I think I've got about $8 invested.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    DaveMcK's got it.

    It's not rocket science. But the simplest and cheapest way to make an SS24 wireless is to remove the U5 chip from the SS24, use four 1N4001 diodes in series to drop the voltage from 5v to 3.4v connect that to pin 8 of the SS24's U5 socket and the other end to the ESP's +V pin, connect the ESP's ground to pin 5 of the SS24's U5 socket, and connect the ESP's output pin (either TX or GPIO2 depending the the firmware you use) to pin 1 of the U5 socket. This will form a basic wireless setup -- you may also need to add some capacitance (100uf or so) across the ESP's +V/GND pins and tie a couple other of the ESP's pins to +V via 10k ohm resistors for more stable operation. Total cost: about $4.

    http://digwdf.com/store/
    The DIGWDF Store has closed. Thanks to everyone who supported us through the nearly seven years we were open!
    The store will remain open for downloading documentation and other files, including Gerbers and DipTrace design files.

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    How far are you needing to go wireless? If it is any distance I would recommend using Xbees instead of wifi.

  13. #8
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I am not an electronics guy but I am not afraid of a soldering iron. I am slowly learning to do more than plug things together.
    I am a computer geek. I am comfortable with internet networks. I have an investment in wifi and have wifi gear to spare. I can re-purpose wifi. I would like to maintain some commonality to enable reuse.
    I know little about XBee. Yes, I could learn at some opportunity cost. There may also be a sacrifice in commonality.

    Although Xbee and other technologies have their place in IOT, ESP's seem to be the current way to go.

    I have a current project and expected future needs. Current project LOS distance is about 40ft at shortest, 200ft at longest.

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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by JLStout View Post
    How far are you needing to go wireless? If it is any distance I would recommend using Xbees instead of wifi.
    Not true, i have connected to my ESP modules a good 100 feet away. All about line of sight.

  15. #10
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry-Rigs View Post
    I think Bill Porter's (madsci1016) RenardESP is a really nice approach. It seems like this could be easily modified to work in an LOR box as well (I need to check the 485 driver chip on the LOR box first).
    I made a simpler PCB (no active components, just socket and connectors) for Bill's RenardESP - it allows use of EITHER 485 chip (and daisy-chaining controllers). I made it for myself, but had a bunch made that are just sitting around. If the other options don't work out and you want to look at Bill's board again, let me know if you need any adapters.

    Jimboha
    Last edited by jimboha; 01-24-2019 at 03:20 PM.
    Springville, Utah

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