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Thread: BeagleBone Black

  1. #1
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    Default BeagleBone Black

    Are there some instructions regarding using a BeagleBone Black for controlling a bunch of LED matrix devices? They are available from a bunch of places like https://www.digikey.com/en/products/...10420/12719590 but I guess I also need a power supply, extension board to connect the LED matrix devices, power supply for the LED matrix, some casing to put everything into (based on all threads I read you build your own plexiglas case and put the rest of the electronics behind it, possibly with some fan). I think the housing for the LEDs I can handle. I am just not sure about all the things I need to control them.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    There are several capes out there for the BBB to control panels. P10, P5, etc.
    Most I've seen are using an Octoscroller with their BBB (or an OctoPlus). The Octoscroller is a product of Kulplights.
    Again - There are others, as well.
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    my first hit was the wiki on the green site.
    https://www.diychristmas.org/wiki/in...Matrix_Display

  4. #4
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    Thanks for that link. That looks pretty interesting. I probably will buy this from Wired Watts that has the BBB rev C for $60 and the Octoscroller for $28. Or Kulp Lights for $93.

    https://www.wiredwatts.com/bbb
    https://www.wiredwatts.com/octoplus
    https://kulplights.com/product/octoplus/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    Ok, so I have those 4 P5 panels but the article from @MikeKrebs doesn't quite tell me how hook them up since I have them as 2x2. Attached is what I think I have to do, i.e at the bottom left start with the BBB board. Then connect the bottom left with bottom right. Then go from bottom right to top right (though the cable I got is too short). Then from the top right go to the top left. From what I read one port on the BBB supports up to 5 P5 panels so I think I am fine using just that one port.

    P5Panels.jpg

  6. #6
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    For better control, use a Colorlight card instead of an octoscroller.

    https://www.wiredwatts.com/colorlight-5a-75b

  7. #7
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    You are correct; you can do that. Included cables are designed to go end to end not from bottom to top. You will have to either find a way to get the BBB near inputs using two ports or find a longer cable.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    As Mike stated, you'll probably need a longer cable. eBay and Amazon can ge your friends here -- I bought a spool of the 16-conductor flat ribbon cable along with the specific types of connectors to build custom length cables. I also bought a small vise so I could press the connector onto the ribbon cable with equal pressure. YouTube videos were of great help for that.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    I think I got it. So I could use two outputs from my BBB. One driving the lower two panels and one driving the upper two panels. Since I only have a total of 4 panels I probably don't care except it might make programming more complicated (not sure how that will work out). I might end up just buying another longer cable so I can connect the lower two panels with the higher two panels. I would assume this is a pretty common setup.

    @dim bulb why are you saying the colorlight is a better setup. I might invest in it if it saves me time in the long run.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: BeagleBone Black

    Using two outputs on the Octo is not any harder to program than using one, and using two outputs would give you higher refresh rates. I would put the BBB between the two rows and use the short cables you have to run the two rows off of two outputs.
    Dan Kulp

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