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

  1. #11
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I would like to be able to use the latest (v3) ESPixelStick firmware because I think it is more likely to stay up to date.
    I understand that the RenardESP requires a particular version because of a pin assignment change in later versions of the firmware.

    The 2 designs that make the most sense to me are Dirknerkle's ESP-RS485 adapter and Bill's RenardESP.

    The ESP-RS485 is compatible with Renard SS and LOR (and standard DMX) because it is going thought their RS485 port. It has jumpers to choose the ESP-01 output pin so it can run the v3 firmware. It has jumpers to configure between Renard Serial, Renard DMX, Standard DMX, and LOR DMX. It needs power but that can come from the 9v pin on the AUX header of the LOR or there are convenient points on the SS to pull power from as well. Although Dirknerkle's store is closed I think I can still buy the board designs and send them to someplace like Oshpark to get boards made. The BOM and instructions are still available as well.

    For the RenardESP, Oshpark has the board design already so I could by boards. BOM and instructions are available too. Out of the box, the RenardESP is incompatible with the v3 firmware. However, I have seen a simple hardware mod (cut a trace and solder in a jumper) that allows selection of the output pin. I think that would make it compatible. I think the RenardESP is also compatible with LOR because of the way it plugs into the RS485 chip socket. That bypasses the conversion from serial to RS-485 to serial. It also pulls power from the controller's RS485 socket. No additional wires. It is a very clean installation. I identified the RS-485 transceiver chips on my LOR boards and looked up their datasheets. Although I am not an electronics guy, they sound similar and at least have the same pin-outs. SO I think the jumper socket would work. Here are the chips from the 2 types of LOR boxes I have.
    LOR gen2 chip.jpgLOR gen3 chip.jpg
    Will the RenardESP socket plug work with them OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimboha View Post
    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).
    Jimboha
    I'm interested but I'm not sure I follow you. "a simpler PCB ... for Bill's RenardESP". Does that mean your board needs Bill's board or does it replace Bill's board?
    Wait, I may get it. Do you use the approach Dirknerkle mentioned above but put it all on a board with connectors to make a clean install? I don't know enough to add a caps and resistors to the right spots so Dirknerkle scared me off a little but if you have all that worked into a board with sockets and connectors, I am very interested. Can it use (or be modded to use) the correct output pin for the v3 firmware

    Aaaahhhh, I seem to remember a thread where someone was talking about "minimally populating the RenardESP board". Is that what you and Dirknerkle are talking about. I'll have to go find the the thread again.
    Last edited by Jerry-Rigs; 01-25-2019 at 02:21 PM. Reason: re-attached images

  2. #12
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by jimboha View Post
    I made a simpler PCB (no active components, just socket and connectors) for Bill's RenardESP
    Jimboha
    Is the voltage regulator on the RenardESP considered an "active" component?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Oops- my bad for confusing you. Thad's a typo: not simpleR just SIMPLE.

    I called it Ren* and it works WITH Bill's Board, and ONLY works with his board. It allows his board work with the other 485 chips. As a side benefit, it allows you to daisy chain other Renards off the one with the RenardESP.

    I made a post of it here back in March:

    [URL="http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?50589-ESP*-for-RenardESP-(Bill-Porter)&p=491359#post491359"]ESP* for RenardESP (Bill Porter)]

    That post has photos and description.

    I'd be happy to send you a sample to evaluate. Just PM me your address if interested.

    NOTE: I can't see your attachments above to check to see what 485 chip(s) your LORs use to confirm that this should work with them or not. Can you re-attach them?

    I stress - it ONLY works with Bill Porter's RenardESP board. If you don't end up using that board, then this will be of no use to you.

    Jimboha
    Last edited by jimboha; 01-26-2019 at 11:24 PM.
    Springville, Utah

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  5. #14
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by dim bulb View Post
    Not true, i have connected to my ESP modules a good 100 feet away. All about line of sight.
    He is talking about 200'. That is pushing it with wifi IMO.

  6. #15
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I reattached the images in post #11. Here they are for reference.
    LOR gen2 chip.jpgLOR gen3 chip.jpg

    The distances involved involved depend a number of factors. It's for a school play. The school lighting is not up the challenges of what the director wants. If I can get reliable results from the control booth to the stage 200' away using a ubiquity AP, I will go that way. If testing shows it is too far, I will have to run cat5 to an near-stage vantage point and set the AP there giving a max distance 20'. The distances are conservative estimates, as much as 50% high.
    Last edited by Jerry-Rigs; 01-25-2019 at 02:48 PM. Reason: reattach images

  7. #16
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    Jimboha,

    Thank you for your offer. I reviewed the REN* that you talked about. It would not help in my circumstance. I have a Renard SS24 that has 2 RS-485 chips. The RenardESP is designed for SS board.
    I have no clue about the LOR chips. I could only identify one (what I think is the ) 485 chip on each board and they do daisy chain. The chip in question is an 8 pin DIP which I do not think can run 2 ports without (I think) a very complex support circuit.

  8. #17
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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
    He is talking about 200'. That is pushing it with wifi IMO.
    Not if you are using an AP like the Ubiquity Nanostation Loco M2, mine is good for over 300'. And they can go up to 10 Km (under ideal conditions of course)
    Matt

  9. #18
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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
    Aaaahhhh, I seem to remember a thread where someone was talking about "minimally populating the RenardESP board". Is that what you and Dirknerkle are talking about. I'll have to go find the the thread again.
    Starts here, http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...264#post425264

    RenardESP1.jpg Renard ESP.jpg

    All you need is the ESP socket, 200F capacitor, 0.1F capacitor, 3.3V regulator, and header pins, or you could solder the wires to the proper through-hole on either the header or where the socket for the ribbon cable goes. And if you are wanting to replace the 485 chip, a DIP adapter. And of course the ESP module itself.

    Although it would probably be cheaper to just use another 8 pin socket and solder the wires to the proper pin, the DIP adapters for some reason are the most expensive part outside of the ESP.
    Last edited by Ruppro; 01-25-2019 at 11:40 PM.
    Matt

  10. #19
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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
    Jimboha,

    Thank you for your offer. I reviewed the REN* that you talked about. It would not help in my circumstance. I have a Renard SS24 that has 2 RS-485 chips. The RenardESP is designed for SS board.
    I have no clue about the LOR chips. I could only identify one (what I think is the ) 485 chip on each board and they do daisy chain. The chip in question is an 8 pin DIP which I do not think can run 2 ports without (I think) a very complex support circuit.
    Yes, for the SS series Renards, you do NOT need my board.

    As for the LORs, there is a chance that the board can work if the pin-outs for the communications chips are the same. It looks like BOTH the 81487 & the 65HVD3082 have the same pinout as the SN65176B and ST485 commonly used in Renards. This actually means that Bill's board alone should work with your LORs - so my board has no value for you. My board works with the sn65lbc179.

    Jimboha
    Springville, Utah

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  12. #20
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    Default Re: What is the current (Jan 2019) best way to run a Renard SS wirelessly

    I did a site survey last night. LOS distance from control desk to prop is 50-60ft depending on prop placement and it is unobstructed. I am intending to use a Ubiquiti NanoStation loco M2. The event will undoubtedly have plenty of cell phones present.

    I think either the M2 (2.4GHz) or the M5 (5Ghz) will be fine for the event but I think the M2 will give more flexibility in the future and is ~$15 cheaper. Thoughts?

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