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Thread: HinksPix PRO - New Board - xLights Add-On Capability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Huntsville, AL
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    Default HinksPix PRO - New Board - xLights Add-On Capability

    I would like to share my latest design with you.

    I'm an old fart that designs hardware and software but does not have time for sales and marketing.

    My products are sold at - also support videos, etc.

    HolidayCoro released a series of stackable boards (see pictures below) to support pixel based designs.

    The CPU board was just a vanilla (AlphaPix style) that lacked all the features my previous boards supported.

    I am pleased to present my "HinksPix PRO" board that supports up to three (3) 16 port SPI or 16 port Differential boards (HolidayCoro's stackable design).

    Hinks Pro.png

    The board has two 180 mhz STM32F427 microcontrollers.
    A 10/100 Ethernet Switch.
    WIFI via an ESP8266.
    SD Card
    RTC - Real Time Clock with battery backup for up to 3 weeks.
    1/8 inch Line-Out Audio jack - Drive Line-Out speakers or your own FM transmitter
    Connector for my FM Transmitter that I received FCC approval on in 2018.
    Supports 144 E131 Universes across 48 possible Ports. (Currently supports WS2811, WS2812, WS2812B, WS2813 family of pixels)
    Supports 1 additional E131 Universe for a RS-485 DMX port

    If only two (2) SPI or Differential are attached - then 32 ports at 4 Universes per port are available at a maximum frame rate of 25 msec.

    If all 3 SPI/Differential boards are attached - then 48 ports at 3 Universes per port are available at at maximum frame rate of 50 msec.

    Supports "StandAlone" capability (All Audio and Lighting files are on the SD card) where one board acts as a Master to control the "Slave" boards via WIFI or Ethernet with a synchronization within 10 msec.

    Depending on how many Universes are being directly controlled by the board in StandAlone mode - it can support up to two (2) non-Hinkle boards by sending them their E131 messages directly. Example: You currently own other party E131 pixel controllers. Your display requires 3 controller - one HinksPix PRO and 2 other controllers. Via my xLights related program (more below) - your HinksPix PRO will have the lighting data for all 3 controller on its SD card. The HinksPix PRO board will play directly from the SD card while transmitting the required E131 messages to the 2 other controllers for an in-sync show.

    The xLights team did not like my proposal to add capability directly to xLights to support my various boards so I did the next best thing.

    I wrote xHinks.exe.

    xHinks is a Windows based program that directly uses the data found in your xLights folder.

    xHinks supports the original HinkPix16, my EasyLights boards, and the HinksPix PRO.

    It allows you to communicate and query your Hinkle controllers via Ethernet (maybe WIFI in the future). You can program the controller's E131 Universe table and configure all ports. It allows you to identify non-Hinkle controllers and attach them as slaves when in StandAlone mode. It allows you to create/edit your StandAlone PlayList and Play Schedule.

    All controller related files (PlayList, Schedules, Lighting Files, and Audio) are transmitted over Ethernet to the Hinkle controller.

    I am currently making training videos on xHinks and they will be available shortly from my web site and from the HolidayCoro web site.

    The xHinks.exe application will be available shortly for downloading (after I get my training videos out) from the HolidayCoro web site.

    Here are pictures of the various SPI, Differential boards that work with the HinksPix PRO controller.

    Alpha Pix Flex SPI.pngFlex Differential.pngFlex Diff RCVR.png

    If anyone is interested - I also designed a 16 PORT AC board that works with the HinksPix PRO controller enabling all the capabilities mentioned above.

    Flex AC.png

    Thanks for listening.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Newtown CT
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    Default Re: HinksPix PRO - New Board - xLights Add-On Capability

    Sounds like you have been busy. Very nice.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: HinksPix PRO - New Board - xLights Add-On Capability

    Hey Joe, it looks like xLights added support for the Hinkspix Pro in the 2019.71 release. Does that ring true with you?

    I'm transitioning from my old LOR AC controllers to RGB/controllers. I just bought a Mega tree kit from HolidayCoro but Im waffling on the other controllers... HPPro vs Falcon. Im also struggling with how to handle my sequencing this year. I have a library of 12-3 songs on LOR S5 right now. I hope to use LOR S5 this year with RGB on my windows (maybe roofline) then convert to xLights next year. Don't know if I have time/energy to do both this year. Between new RGB/controller set up and tweeking LOR seuqences or even adding resequencing all in xLights. Augh!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Huntsville, AL
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    Default Re: HinksPix PRO - New Board - xLights Add-On Capability

    Xlights added support for my boards as long as you don't use my "smart" technology.

    Xlights can do simple port config.

    When using my "smart" long range technology, the configuration requires more attention than xlights currently provides. I am working to make xlights be able to configure my "smart" additions but I suspect it won't really happen until 2021.

    I hope that helps.

    Just to let you know, my HinksPix PRO board - using my "smart" technology - will drive AC lights (programmed as if they were pixels).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
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    Default Re: HinksPix PRO - New Board - xLights Add-On Capability

    Hey there @JHinkle - Did xLights add any support for the Smart receivers. I just am getting into the hobby, and xLights seems to work fine with auto generating the configs for the local SPI ports and able to upload the configs. However, definitely am struggling with the LR modules (between dipswitches and chaining and what not) and am not getting any output. I suspect maybe support isn't added yet?

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