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Thread: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

  1. #171
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    Anyone who would like one please PM me. I will mail a board to you for $2.00 to cover shipping and packaging.
    Thanks for sharing your bounty with the community.

    There is no antenna on the ESP 32, or, your ESP 32 has not arrived?
    The TTGO T8 ESP32 has a basic internal antenna. For best WiFi performance it supports an external antenna (requires modification to the PCB).
    Information is here:
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR...l-wifi-antenna

    WiFi RSSI (signal strength) is shown on the Home tab, which can be used to decide if an external aerial is needed. And for sure, the external WiFi antenna is highly recommended if your ESP32 is in a metal box.

    BTW, if the WiFi connection is randomly lost then that typically indicates a WiFi signal quality problem. External WiFi antenna may solve this or try moving PixelRadio closer to your router. But if PixelRadio's web UI is randomly reporting a "disconnect" message then please see the project's known issue notice:
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelRadio#known-issues

    if my ESP32 has already connected, do I need to do any more programming (other than getting it to work with the Pi), once the board is built (I could not find anything).
    You must configure the controller that you want to use.
    Information is here:
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR.../ControlTab.md
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR...al/LocalTab.md

    And the controller you decide to use will need to receive commands from your RPi. So in a sense you will need to do some programming there. I don't use a RPi in my show so I can't offer any advice on this, but others will no doubt share their methods once they've figured it out. And maybe a kind soul will write a FPP plugin that is specific to PixelRadio (fingers crossed!).

    I also notice in the build instructions, there are some jumpers that need installed. Just letting others know there are some instructions in the build.
    Basic build instructions (which discusses jumpers and other things) is here:
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR...-assembly-tips

    @all
    There's a lot of useful information at the project's GitHub documentation area. Budget about an hour of reading -- A worthwhile investment of your time.

    I recommend everyone start here: https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR...cs/User_Manual
    As you finish a page simply follow the link at the bottom to move to the next section.

    Also review these pages:
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelRadio/tree/main/src
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR..._Printed_Parts
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR...n/docs/Artwork
    https://github.com/thomastech/PixelR...ual/xLights.md

    - Thomas
    Last edited by ThomasLED; 05-26-2022 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Added more links.

  2. #172
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    The random disconnect issue has been greatly reduced in the new IDF that came out three weeks ago.


    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.
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  3. #173
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    The random disconnect issue has been greatly reduced in the new IDF that came out three weeks ago.
    Thanks for the heads up. Would be nice to find the new ESP32 IDF 4.3.0 release reduces the random Websocket disconnect problem. PixelRadio would be using this release by now but it causes PlatformIO build issues (due to changes in the LITTLEFS library). So the temporary workaround has been to use IDF 3.5.0.

    I won't be able to investigate further until PlatformIO's Core 6 problem is resolved. That's because my PlatformIO builds are a PIA due to a bug that affects some installations; I'm one of the lucky losers that has the issue.

    - Thomas
    Last edited by ThomasLED; 05-26-2022 at 09:13 PM.

  4. #174
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    Hi All,

    I am still waiting on all the parts, but I have about 90% in at this point. But, just toying around with my Docker setup and figured I would try to connect the FPP to the PixelRadio.

    So, I put together a FPP to PixelRadio MQTT NodeRED flow I'm sharing here. I added some neat features.

    - Zip file with JSON Flow and Instructions

    Once you connect your PixelRadio and your FPP to your MQTT broker you can start up NodeRED and import the included JSON file. This just needs a couple of steps to setup if you have the broker, FPP, and PixelRadio.

    - Holds three static free text variables you can set it and forget it.
    - station (stationMessage)
    - msg2
    - msg3
    - Monitors for the Song Title coming from FPP and removes Msg2 to display "Now Playing: <mediaTitle>"
    - Monitors for the Artist coming from FPP and removes Msg3 to display "Performed by: <mediaArtist>"
    - If Title is missing the script attempts to pull the name, this just means you should update the meta data on the mp3. If the name doesn't come over it just re-uses the static msg2 instead.
    - If the artist is missing it just uses the static msg3 instead.
    - If the Music stops or the FPP stops sending song details it will simply go back to the static values automatically
    - Full instructions in Zip file and within the NodeRED flow.

    This took a little bit to get the timing correct so I did add in a variable to set the time in seconds if you need to do that for your setup.

    If you download it and use it let me know if it worked for you. I hope you like it.
    Last edited by sonic777; 05-29-2022 at 03:22 PM. Reason: add instruction location
    2012 - Current : I light things up and I know stuff, it's what I do!

  5. #175
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    Uh-oh...powered on my PixelRadio today and got this...I haven't done a thing with this since last week when I powered it on and went through the various tabs/menus...any way of figuring out what went dead, or am I looking at building a whole new board?

    Edit: adding 2nd image showing board health.

    Bad PR.JPGBad PR2.JPG
    Last edited by Stormyblade; 05-29-2022 at 11:20 AM.

  6. #176
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    I would suspect (1) that the jumper is incorrectly installed at J9 or (2) the 12V supply is missing and you are running on USB power.

    Beyond that I suggest using the voltmeter:
    Check voltage at J8-2. Should be 12V.
    Check voltage across C19. Should be 9V.
    Check voltage across C26, should be 9V.

    - Thomas

  7. #177
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    No, I checked the jumpers and they are fine. It was running fine last week and I have done absolutely nothing to it. Also, it's running off the 12V plug only - there is nothing else connected.

  8. #178
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    Let me know what you measure at the three locations.

    - Thomas

  9. #179
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasLED View Post
    Let me know what you measure at the three locations.

    - Thomas
    J8-2: 12.25V
    C19: 300-350 mV
    C26: 300-350 mV

  10. #180
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    Default Re: PixelRadio, a DiY FM Transmitter with RDS RadioText

    The 9V VReg supply is bad. Maybe as simple as cold solder connection on U3 (L7809), so reflow all connections on U3.

    Check orientation of C19, might be backwards (reverse polarity).

    Or could be a short somewhere on the 9V supply. To check for that you can power down, remove jumper J9, reapply power and then measure voltage on C19 to see if 9V has returned.

    - Thomas

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