Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Sebring, FL
    Posts
    78
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    I asked this on he Falcon forums, but there doesn't seem to be much action over there... so I'll ask here as well...

    I'm looking to maximize my F16v3 with ( 2 ) F16v3 Differential Expansion Boards and ( 8 ) Differential Receiver Boards. This will give me the full 48 ports to use and a possible 16,320 pixels (48,960 channels). I want to initially setup my Universes so I can make use of every pixel (if and when needed) and I don't have to go through searching what universes and channels are available later. I understand it's not a perfect world and channels and pixels won't match up 100%. I will have 6k-8k pixels for my first year. I want to be able to say "I have this new prop and it's near this Dif Receiver Board plugged into Diff Exp Board 1 Port 3, so I'm going to use Universe x with a max of y pixels available and plug it into xLights." So here is how I broke it all down in Excel (and have the first 2 ports and 6 universes setup and running with 216 pixels so far on P1 and 249 on P2 on the F16) so I can keep track of what I'm putting on each port/universe to tag it correctly in Excel and xLights:

    FYI - I have the F16v3 Setup for 512/256/256 split for the 2 expansion boards.

    F16v3 Port 1 - Universe 1 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 170
    F16v3 Port 1 - Universe 2 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 1020 - # Pixels 170
    F16v3 Port 1 - Universe 3 - Start Channel 512 - End Channel 1530 - # Pixels 170
    .
    F16v3 Port 2 - Universe 4 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 170
    F16v3 Port 2 - Universe 5 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 1020 - # Pixels 170
    F16v3 Port 2 - Universe 6 - Start Channel 512 - End Channel 1530 - # Pixels 170
    .
    . - (Repeat above for Ports 3 through 15)
    .
    F16v3 Port 16 - Universe 46 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 170
    F16v3 Port 16 - Universe 47 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 1020 - # Pixels 170
    F16v3 Port 16 - Universe 48 - Start Channel 512 - End Channel 1530 - # Pixels 170

    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 1 (aka Port 17 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 49 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 255 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 1 (aka Port 17 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 50 - Start Channel 256 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 1 (aka Port 17 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 51 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 765 - # Pixels 85
    .
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 2 (aka Port 18 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 52 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 255 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 2 (aka Port 18 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 53 - Start Channel 256 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 2 (aka Port 18 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 54 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 765 - # Pixels 85
    .
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 3 (aka Port 19 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 55 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 255 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 3 (aka Port 19 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 56 - Start Channel 256 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 1 Port 1, Recv Port 3 (aka Port 19 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 57 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 765 - # Pixels 85
    .
    . - (Repeat above for Recv Ports 20 through 47)
    .
    Diff Exp 4 Port 4, Recv Port 4 (aka Port 48 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 142 - Start Channel 1 - End Channel 255 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 4 Port 4, Recv Port 4 (aka Port 48 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 143 - Start Channel 256 - End Channel 510 - # Pixels 85
    Diff Exp 4 Port 4, Recv Port 4 (aka Port 48 on F16v3 Setup) - Universe 144 - Start Channel 511 - End Channel 765 - # Pixels 85

    The first 48 Universes have 170 pixels (510 Channels) each for the first 16 ports - 8,160 pixels
    The remaining 96 Universes have 85 pixels (255 Channels) each for the remaining 32 ports - 8,160 pixels

    I just want to make sure this is correct. I have the laptop running xLights and the F16v3 plugged in to the same switch so there's no wifi delay/acknowledgment. All Diff Receiver boards will be 50-100 feet away using Cat 5. Would there be any potential problems with pre-configuring the universes above? If I get another Falcon or other controller in the future, can I continue to setup the Universes this way on their designated IP's without any issues? Is there a Universe limit? If I decide to build a large matrix, I will probably buy another controller for it and keep the main controller for strings and props. In the future I may buy additional controllers and spread the show around, but I don't have that kind of extra money right now. I bought a controller that says it can control 16k pixels... by golly I'm going to make that happen!

    Power issues are not a concern... I have an endless supply of power supplies to do power injection on these 510 pixel runs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hudson MA
    Posts
    3,524
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    First of all, the F16 series has the ability to put all of the channels it receives into a pool of channels. Then you have the virtual port functionality that lets you grab channels (almost randomly) and align them on any output port.

    In an extreme case (I would not do this but the F16 will support it) you could do the following:

    Configure port four
    • Create a virtual string with one pixel (three channels) that starts at pool channel 1
    • Create a virtual string with ten pixels (thirty channels) that starts at pool channel 16,390
    • Create a virtual string with five pixels (fifteen channels) that starts at pool channel 523
    • Create a virtual string with one pixel (three channels) that starts at pool channel 1290

    This results in 37 pixels driven out to port 4.

    So with this level of flexibility, You can simply define the universes to deliver the 16K pixels worth of data to the channel pool and then pick which channels have data in them and assign them to an appropriate port. On the show player side you map your props to a set of universes that contribute to the pool.

    You still need a spreadsheet to manage your mapping. However, the universe concept is relegated to getting the pool of channels from the player to the F16 and then they become irrelevant.

    FYI: I do play pool magic in my configuration to compensate for some differences between how my window frames are set up in Vixen and how they were physically built. In vixen my windows start in the bottom left corner and go clockwise around the frame. Due to power injection, my frame string actually starts half way up the left side of the frame and goes clockwise (total 100 pixels). I use virtual strings to output the 2nd half of the left side through the end of the frame and then a 2nd virtual string to output the first half of the left side.
    • 1st virtual string on the port: 85 pixels starting at channel 46
    • 2nd virtual string on the port: 15 pixels starting at channel 1

    I send the data from FPP to the F16 as pixel 1 - 100 with windows 2,3,4,5, door 1, 2 etc in a contiguous set of channels packed into 512 channel universes.


    2019 - Going to visit my Daughter in New Zealand (again). I will be dark for the 2nd year in a row. Sigh..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manhattan Kansas
    Posts
    236
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    Why would you want to send pixel data for 16,320 pixels when you are only using 8,000?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hudson MA
    Posts
    3,524
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by K-State Fan View Post
    Why would you want to send pixel data for 16,320 pixels when you are only using 8,000?
    I would not but the OP asked a salient question. No harm answering it (even if it is a silly thing to do).


    2019 - Going to visit my Daughter in New Zealand (again). I will be dark for the 2nd year in a row. Sigh..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Sebring, FL
    Posts
    78
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by K-State Fan View Post
    Why would you want to send pixel data for 16,320 pixels when you are only using 8,000?
    As someone new to this controller, universe, and pixel hobby, I don't know why I would want to do it. I only know in my mind, logic was dictating that I setup all the universes ahead of time so I know what I have to work with per port and adjust props accordingly. To me, the controller wouldn't send out data for all 16,320 pixels, only the pixels/channels that xLights rendering tells the controller to send out. Why would the controller broadcast all 96 universes all the time if the show only called for 12 universes at that time? This is my thinking, but apparently it's not how people do it. I want to make things as simple as possible (if there is such a thing) which is why I presumed setting the universes ahead of time and mapping out the ports in xLights and an Excel spreadsheet for props would be the simplest, or at the very least keep me organized. I may get 3 months into this and realize I took a wrong path, or be happy with the way I did it to start with. I'm trying to utilize the experience of others on this forum. This is why I started in November 2018 for my first pixel display in December 2019.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hudson MA
    Posts
    3,524
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    Then the real thing you need to ask yourself is "What refresh rate" do you want for your show. A 25ms (40fps) aka real motion refresh rate limits your ports to a bit over 600 pixels when using the popular WS281x pixels. The next question is how often do you want to inject power. 5v pixels need fresh power every 50 pixels. 12v pixels need power every 100 pixels. Next factor is distance from the controller. Longer runs become unstable unless you add data buffers or null pixels and use better wire.

    There have been many conversations in this forum on these topics. The universe side of the conversation is not your real limiting factor and it is easily adjusted with minor patching magic.


    2019 - Going to visit my Daughter in New Zealand (again). I will be dark for the 2nd year in a row. Sigh..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    326
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    This is thinking about the problem wrong and one of the main reasons why we need to move on from e131 as much as we can.

    1. Build your props to match xlights models.
    2. Use the strings setting as a proxy for number of controller connections.
    3. Reserve but donít define a block of 100 universes for each controller. But just define the number you need for your pixels. Use the one output option to keep your setup tab at one line per controller.
    4. For each model that is connected direct to a port start it in channel 1 of a universe.
    5. For each model connected to the end of another model use model chaining
    6. Use controller upload to configure your controller.

    Doing so avoids a bunch of inefficiencies inherent in your design.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Sebring, FL
    Posts
    78
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Universes/Channels/Pixels Setup on F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    Then the real thing you need to ask yourself is "What refresh rate" do you want for your show. A 25ms (40fps) aka real motion refresh rate limits your ports to a bit over 600 pixels when using the popular WS281x pixels. The next question is how often do you want to inject power. 5v pixels need fresh power every 50 pixels. 12v pixels need power every 100 pixels. Next factor is distance from the controller. Longer runs become unstable unless you add data buffers or null pixels and use better wire.

    There have been many conversations in this forum on these topics. The universe side of the conversation is not your real limiting factor and it is easily adjusted with minor patching magic.
    I've been through the power injection info inside and out and have no issues with that - I will be running mostly 12V but have ordered some 5V for certain things. I will not have the first pixel starting too far from the controller, but if for some reason I need to, I have some null pixels to help with that. I have been through many threads here and other forums, along with FB lighting groups. I could not find much about specifics I was asking about universes so I asked the question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by keithsw1111 View Post
    This is thinking about the problem wrong and one of the main reasons why we need to move on from e131 as much as we can.

    1. Build your props to match xlights models.
    2. Use the strings setting as a proxy for number of controller connections.
    3. Reserve but donít define a block of 100 universes for each controller. But just define the number you need for your pixels. Use the one output option to keep your setup tab at one line per controller.
    4. For each model that is connected direct to a port start it in channel 1 of a universe.
    5. For each model connected to the end of another model use model chaining
    6. Use controller upload to configure your controller.

    Doing so avoids a bunch of inefficiencies inherent in your design.
    So I did recently watch the xLights video about uploading the setup directly to the Falcon controllers. I'm guessing this is how many people do it. I wasn't sure if that is how I would or should configure it. Thanks to all who are responding as I'm able to put more pieces of the puzzle together.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •