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Thread: Neighbors want in on the action

  1. #1
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    Default Neighbors want in on the action

    Hi,

    Somewhat newbie here. I ran a show last year with an F16V3 controller, roughly 4000 pixels on different props and house outline, and a whole lot of wire. Used XLights for sequencing. A few issues here and there, but got it running pretty well for my first year.

    Well, now the neighbors want to be part of the action. I have a differential expansion board and a couple differential receivers I plan to use for the neighbors to my immediate right and left. But I have neighbors across the street that also want to be part of the show.

    So, the question here is, how to be able to connect them to the show (say with 500-800 pixels)? Would it make sense to use the differential expansion board to send the data, run cat 5 to some sort of wireless bridge transmitter at the street, then run cat5 from the bridge receiver at the other side of the street and run cat5 to a differential receiver at their location or is there a better alternative? If I'm on the right track here, what would you suggest to use to transmit the data across the street? Their house is roughly 1000 ft. away.

    So the crux of the question...How is it best to connect wirelessly and be able to transmit enough data to run pixels? I welcome your comments and suggestions on hardware and protocol.

    Thanks!

    Mark

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    You’ll find many people who run the show wirelessly. FPP/raspberry Pis

  3. #3
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    If you get a WIFI signal from your house on the other side of the street, I'd definitely put a Raspberry Pi or BBB running in remote mode over there. No pixel data would go across the wireless so speed is less critical.

    If you cannot get Wifi, FPP does have a plugin to allow use of LoRa modules for multisync and they can go miles, but that's a bit more complex to setup as you'd need to get the modules, usb->tty adapters, figure it all out, etc....
    Dan Kulp

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    Quote Originally Posted by dkulp View Post
    If you get a WIFI signal from your house on the other side of the street, I'd definitely put a Raspberry Pi or BBB running in remote mode over there. No pixel data would go across the wireless so speed is less critical.

    If you cannot get Wifi, FPP does have a plugin to allow use of LoRa modules for multisync and they can go miles, but that's a bit more complex to setup as you'd need to get the modules, usb->tty adapters, figure it all out, etc....
    ^^^^what he said. A PI in remote mode. You put a signal repeater at the street, and you will have no issues going across the street.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    At a previous company we used a directional antenna and with no changes in gain went 2km (had to tweak the protocol timing a bit). If you can replace the antenna with a directional version then you can turn the output power down and aim it at the PI across the street. Since it is still pretty close, the protocol timing wont be impacted. Just make sure you have clear line of site. Put the antenna on your roof and the PI on the other side should also be on the roof (or give the PI a remote antenna on the roof). No trees in the way etc... All nice and legal.

    FYI: We kept playing with settings, antennas and radios until we got to 32km while staying within legal power limits. Those were costly antennas and super sensitive receivers, but it worked. Even with directional antennas, the fresnel zone was huge and killing reflections was a royal PITA.


    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.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    For across the street, consider a few pixel-sticks.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    What everyone replied above is correct, but I didn't see anyone point out a little detail that might not be obvious to you. A differential expander is not a network device. It can't be made to work via wifi. Even though it uses RJ45 connectors and Cat5 cable, it's not ethernet. You won't be able to convert that to wifi and send it across the street. Extending pixel data via wireless is generally not something that's possible. But extending network is certainly doable. In any case, you're going to need at least one controller of some sort on that side of the street. Whether you send sACN network data via wireless and have only one show player, or if you send multisync data via wireless and have a show player on each side of the street, those are both network based methods. Differential pixel data cannot be routed like this.
    If you're just talking a few hundred pixels, an ESPixelStick is a good cheap wifi based controller for a single string of lights. (up to about 680 pixels). Making sACN work well over wifi often comes with a good deal of challenges. You might consider the FPP master/slave approach as it's easier to make work reliably over wireless.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    Be careful what you wish for. You might run a few thoughts past twiest about multi-home shows. His last one was 36 houses and I'm sure his comments will be most helpful as you navigate this...

    http://digwdf.com/store/
    The DIGWDF Store is closed for all sales. Thanks to everyone who supported us through the years!
    User guides, documentation and other files are still free and available for downloading.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    Quote Originally Posted by dirknerkle View Post
    Be careful what you wish for. You might run a few thoughts past twiest about multi-home shows. His last one was 36 houses and I'm sure his comments will be most helpful as you navigate this...
    His involved a completely new/unique method of transmitting data. Far beyond what's needed to just reach across the street...

    The OP is a pretty simple request: how do I get a show across the road? Wireless Pi/FPP and ESPixel seem to be the most straight-forward solution (with obvious splits in each camp as far as what they think is the easiest).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Neighbors want in on the action

    Quote Originally Posted by dacyberguy View Post

    Their house is roughly 1000 ft. away.
    To clarify: 1,000ft as in 333 yards (three football fields) away?

    True, you might be looking at a more complicated setup, than just a normal wireless route.

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