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Thread: Downloading Pixel Radio Software to ESP32 - HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Chambersburg, PA
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    Default Downloading Pixel Radio Software to ESP32 - HELP!

    I built my Pixel Radios some time ago, but I am having trouble understanding the steps to load the software onto the ESP32 properly. I have installed VS Code and added the PlatformIO to it. However, I am not understanding the steps to get the code from GitHub to my ESP32. I feel like I am a good technician, but a lot of coding is beyond my skill set. Can anyone post a set of steps to complete my project?

    Let me know if you need any additional information from me.

    Thanks in Advance,
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2019 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2020 - Emergency Conversion to Falcon F48 with limited wireless
    2021 - 10 RHL Simple Pi Pixel Controllers - 1 Master with 9 Remotes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Newtown CT
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    Default Re: Downloading Pixel Radio Software to ESP32 - HELP!

    You can PM me and I can walk you through the process.

    • Download VS code and platformIO (I know you did this
    • Go to the repo on git ( and click on the big green button marked "Code"
    • Select a download method. I suspect you do not have git installed on your computer so choose the "Download ZIP" option.
    • A file will get downloaded to your Downloads directory
    • Go to your "Documents" directory and create a "Projects" or "Arduino" or some other such named directory (A name that means something to you and is NOT PixelRadio).
    • Copy the downloaded file into this directory
    • Right click the file and select the unzip option
    • You should now have a PixelRadio directory next to the zip file. If you chose the wrong unzip option then you have a lot of files in the directory, but that is ok. That is why we unzipped in a special directory.
    • Open VScode (click the icon in your start menu or application list. I tend to add vscode to my start bar.
    • tell VS code you want to open a new "Folder" (Under the file menu). In VS Code a "Folder" is a project.
    • It should show a list of the files on the left side that should pretty much match the list in the unzipped directory.
    • You need to wait a few minutes for PlatformIO to download all of the libraries and the Arduino framework. There is a message on the info bar (bottom) that indicates "Loading Tasks". Wait for it to go away.

    This where things start to get difficult to explain and are easier to show.
    • Click the build and upload button (right arrow on bottom bar) and let it build. The build will fail and you need to address the issues that come up (usually almost none). The final issue will be are error that VS Code could not opne a required file COM Some number. This indicates everything built
    • Connect a USB cable to the TTGO and tell it to build and upload again. Eventually you should see the TTGO boot and give you a bunch of messages and its IP address.

    Now for the really hard part
    • Close the "upload and monitor" window
    • Click the little alien head (platformIO icon) on the left side menu
    • Select ESP32->general->"Upload FilesSystem Image" (not the OTA version)
    • Again there should be a whole lot of activity resulting in the TTGO getting rebooted and telling you its IP address again.

    Your firmware is now installed.

    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
    Mar 2015
    Bloomingdale Ga
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    Default Re: Downloading Pixel Radio Software to ESP32 - HELP!

    Thomas's directions are on post #116 in the Pixel Radio thread.


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