Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,182
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    Greetings to the usual suspects in the community and new faces alike! First time back on since January after my off season break. I had started incorporating more wireless pixel pops/stick type devices the last two seasons. But still used my existing e682 controller for my 800 12v pixel mega tree. It started becoming apparent last season that it was on its way out with multiple outputs failing. Considering the exponentially lower cost of the wireless Esp boards compared to a traditional controller, I started wondering about the feasibility of switching to these for the tree and rest of the display. Given the limit each can control, my concern or question is if that many WiFi boards will have any issues? In any form, but mostly I wondered about signal interference or the ability for the show router to deal with that many streams while keeping it in sync or avoiding lag. I had tried to switch to running from directly on the show pc via vixen, to fpp, but had horrible issues and had to switch it back to run last season. Info in my old threads, but hoping somehow to figure that out this year, and that would hopefully be running the show. Any feedback is appreciated as I start preliminary planning for this year's show.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newtown CT
    Posts
    5,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    The cost per port for an F16v3 is ~$14. The cost per port on a pixel stick is closer to $20. Not sure your going to save money. Next issue is that the Pixel Sticks are WiFi driven devices (I know some people add Ethernet CAT5 support). If you want large numbers of pixel sticks on a network then you should move to a version that can store the fseq files on a local SD card. That reduces the WiFi bandwidth to just the FPP Sync packets (one per frame) and they are very small. Doing that makes many of the WiFi drawbacks go away. You would need to use a show player that can send FPP Sync packets.

    FYI: Some ESPixelStick implementations (Unify Branch for example) have added support for a local SD card and in the case of using an ESP32, have added a 2nd port bringing the per port cost down to the $15 range.


    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.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Folsom, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    XmasinVancouver, for me, removing wired devices and going 100% wifi reduced the appearance of lag. That also meant I needed good access point and a good router. I ran a 1000 pixel tree and 90 pixel star on 2 ESPixelStick v2 ran seamless.....I was 100% multisync ESP-01's (29 devices) off a single FPP, but I did need to go 2 AP for proper line-of-sight of wifi. The 2 AP also kept my wifi signal high enough the abundance of neighbor's wifi didn't seen to influence my network signal to each device.

    Not sure 1 would mix ESP-01 and SD onboard devises. They may add some lag into the system. Being 100% wired or 100% ESP-01 has value in consistency.
    In Lights Therapy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,212
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    I think that Jon Chuchla has said that one wireless access point is good for 28 universes. So as long as you are below that limit with whichever wireless devices you decide to use, you should be OK. But, in some cases, it can take a lot of tuning to get minimal lag. I think Dirknerkle said he had 79 wireless devices connected a couple of years ago.

    I personally have been running 20 almost full universes on 13 ESP devices. I run ESP devices exclusively for communications. Cost for my implementation of ESP devices is about $5.00 each. (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...ni-Motherboard)
    Kevin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newtown CT
    Posts
    5,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    Using ESPs with fseq files on a local SD card removes that bandwidth limit. You can have virtually as Many ESPs as you like with NO impact on WiFi settings. As a matter of fact, most of the tweaking done to the AP no longer needs to be done. The sync packets are small and there is only one per frame for the entire show.


    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.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,182
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    The cost per port for an F16v3 is ~$14. The cost per port on a pixel stick is closer to $20. Not sure your going to save money. Next issue is that the Pixel Sticks are WiFi driven devices (I know some people add Ethernet CAT5 support). If you want large numbers of pixel sticks on a network then you should move to a version that can store the fseq files on a local SD card. That reduces the WiFi bandwidth to just the FPP Sync packets (one per frame) and they are very small. Doing that makes many of the WiFi drawbacks go away. You would need to use a show player that can send FPP Sync packets.

    FYI: Some ESPixelStick implementations (Unify Branch for example) have added support for a local SD card and in the case of using an ESP32, have added a 2nd port bringing the per port cost down to the $15 range.
    HI Martin, nice to hear from you again, hope you had a good spring/summer so far. So what I'm hearing, is that my concern could be valid? That too many WiFi sticks could cause issues with the network. How many is considered a lot though? I had been using a mix of espixelpops 12v version and wemos d1 mini boards. My plan last year was to transition running directly from the show pc with vixen, to running it from fpp on a RAs pi. This ended up being a disaster due to currently unknown reasons and since it was already time to go live, had to just do the original. Assuming not too many changes.... I have 800 pixels on the mega tree, 800 spread over 8 mini trees (100 each), 180 x 2 columns ( so 360) , then call it 3-400 spread over 4 window outlines and a door frame. This is in a pretty compact area, maybe 25' wide and 20' vertical. (first two floors of a townhouse with a very shallow lawn)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newtown CT
    Posts
    5,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    E1.31 can quickly overrun a WiFi network. As has been mentioned, about 80 universes for a high quality, well tuned dedicated network at a 50ms refresh rate is about the limit. Switching to ESPs that have a built in SD card and can participate in an FPP player network removes the need for all of that tuning and reduces the bandwidth needs to almost nothing. That also means that the only limit to the number of ESPs on the network is the capacity of the AP to support the number of connected devices you are using.

    PM me if you want to set up a time to work through your FPP issues (sooner rather than later).


    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.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Folsom, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    Using ESPs with fseq files on a local SD card removes that bandwidth limit. You can have virtually as Many ESPs as you like with NO impact on WiFi settings. As a matter of fact, most of the tweaking done to the AP no longer needs to be done. The sync packets are small and there is only one per frame for the entire show.
    Martin, I think you are omitting some information that is VERY IMPORTANT to run fseq files. You cannot just load a fseq file from Vixen to run on the SD card and play thru the ESPixelstick. Also cannot use compressed files. From my playing with the device you will either need to use DDP protocol or strip the file to the actual channels used for that ESPixelStick. Although easy to do when you understand it, it is still not a friendly task.
    In Lights Therapy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,182
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    Martin, I think you are omitting some information that is VERY IMPORTANT to run fseq files. You cannot just load a fseq file from Vixen to run on the SD card and play thru the ESPixelstick. Also cannot use compressed files. From my playing with the device you will either need to use DDP protocol or strip the file to the actual channels used for that ESPixelStick. Although easy to do when you understand it, it is still not a friendly task.

    I was actually going to ask about exactly this. A little rusty, but remembering the forkineye firmware, I just remember it basically playing back external source being transmitted. I don't recall any interface or mechanism to playback a local source/fseq/sd card. So I'm having trouble picturing how that works or if it uses a different firmware or even some kind of fpp? Secondly, I had about 6 of a mix of 12v espixelpops and wemos d1 mini boards in use last year. I had heard a lot of people singing the praise of the esp32's and their potential. Do you guys have any examples and/or recommendations for some of the esp32's, especially an example of the one mentioned that can use two outputs? As well as any examples or recommendations for any other devices with the sd card support that are known to work or can be used for this purpose?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,212
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Transition from e682 + Esp devices hybrid to all pixel stick/pops?

    Sounds like your setup would be about 8 - 10 ESPs to drive about 2500 pixels. That should easily be accommodated by a relatively modern wifi router. Espixelstick firmware is good for 680 pixels at 50ms. I split my 800 pixel MEGA tree into 2 halves of 400 each. Works great.
    Kevin

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •