Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: What Controller Now?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,925
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    https://www.advateklights.com/products/pixel-control
    I have used there controllers for commercial installs.. they work great

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    384
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Now a second Falcon F16v3 has failed inthe EXACT same way as the first did a couple of years back. (Thread here) Coincidently, it has failed at almost the exact same time of the season. I cannot have one of my main Pixel boards failing just as I am ready to turn the lights on for the season.


    Personally, I am done with Falcon controllers. It is time to switch to a more reliable and more widely available board. Preferably from a a manufacturer who is willing to respond to inquiries.

    I had considered Sans, but I have had a technical ticket open on the site for nearly three months without a response. So Sans is not high on my list.

    I am seriously considering the controllers from ExperienceLights.com. Does anyone know if I can reuse my Falcon long range receivers with the Long Range Pixel Controller from ExperienceLights or do I need to use their receivers?

    -Tony
    Tony
    Live since 2007
    Putting the Yule back into Yuletide


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    I am not 100% sure you can use the Falcon receivers with the Experience Controllers, but you can you the Experience Receivers with the Falcon boards, so I am guessing they can talk.

    According to some of the posts I have seen on the Xlights Facebook page, the Experience receivers auto detect where they are in line, and if you add a Falcon in there with them, you still need to set the dials and dipswitches on the receiver.

    I picked up a few Falcon boards throughout the year, and a few V4 receivers, but really like what I am seeing from the Experience Controller line, and am going to try and pick at least one up for next year. The availability, the price, and the features make it very intriguing to me.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts
    9,555
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    [SoapBox]

    FWIW, one of the concerns I've always had about large, centralized controllers is that if something goes wrong, a large part or possible all of the show goes down. That's one reason why I decided that every prop (or perhaps two props) had their own controller -- if it went down, it's only a very small and almost imperceptible part of the show. And the likelihood that all controllers might go down is a very far-fetched possibility.

    I know many folks prefer the security of wired communications, but I have 76 wireless controllers in my show this year, and each one is performing exactly as intended. Admittedly, some of those controllers manage only one, two or three channels, but some of them are pixel controllers that use gobs of channels. Certainly, wireless may not be the best solution for the hi-def matrices that are popular these days, but by dividing the rest of the show among individual controllers is a pretty sound way to prevent a disastrous situation from happening. I also appreciate that for some users, the congestion of their local wireless communication is a deterrent to the implementation of a completely wireless show. But certainly a combination of wired and wireless can certainly work, too.

    I'm pretty anal about lighting effects that miss their synchronization with music, but I've found that wireless provides an acceptable level of performance. Do wireless controllers sometimes miss a beat? Yes, once in a while they do. Does it matter in the real world? No. Viewers can't see the whole show simultaneously as human attention and vison can't comprehend that scope.

    Could wireless have solved the Chief's issue this year? Probably not completely, but I'm certain it could have mitigated much of the issue, resulting in perhaps a slightly abbreviated result, but a positive result nonetheless.

    Just some thoughts from an old geezer... FWIW....

    [/SoapBox]

    http://digwdf.org/store/
    Even though the DIGWDF Store has been closed for almost five years, it's still awesome!
    User guides, documentation and other files are still free and available for downloading.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    99
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    With all due respect to Falcon, I'm more of a manual control type of person. This is why I have the SanDevices controllers. They use the Parallax Propeller p8x32a chip. I get the kit version because I enjoy the soldering and building the board. Best thing is, if anything breaks/fails, it's all replaceable parts. The parallax chip, as all the parts, are easily obtainable through Mouser or Digi-key. Everything is through-hole solder chips and sockets. Do you get all the fancy advanced features? No. But you do get an extremely reliable board that you can fix yourself. If you want something a little more feature rich, you can always build an open source Scott Hanson PB16 addon. The PB16 addon is a DIY (you might be able to buy prebuilt) PocketBeagle pcb that replaces the Parallax Propeller chip. It then runs Falcon Player as the controller and gives you all the features that FPP has.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newtown CT
    Posts
    6,049
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Hi Dirk. ESPixelStick has taken a big step towards making large WiFi shows viable by using the FPP remote mechanisms and playing from a local SD card. So that should be one less issue to contend with and is in line with the "More smaller" controller models.

    FYI: I use multiple F16s in my show and none of them use all of their ports. I reserve the extra ports to be able to run wires into another area of the yard if a controller goes down and no spare is available. I did lose my street side center controller once and my mega tree and central controllers filled in the gap nicely until I could replace the broken controller.


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

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    850
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by xGROMx View Post
    Watch ebay or start planning for next year. Your a bit late to start. Get the parts and start playing with it mid year.

    I have to agree, to a point. You can build a mini-tree this year, probably with strips 25-pixels high and a topper. Come up with a plan that's scalable to 2400 pixels for later, but this year targeting a mini-tree of 12 strips of 25 pixels is doable. You would learn a lot about how to build a real mega-tree in the process. I wish I had done that myself (I started big, then went smaller...now ready to go bigger again). Because it's only 4 foot tall, you can do the whole thing--topper and all--standing up. No ladders, pulleys, et. al.. The whole thing can run on 1 channel. So much simpler.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    299
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Another option, if your willing to wire the pins by hand, is the wt32-eth01 module using wled. This can drive up to 8 outputs with ethernet or wireless. I'm using six of these in my show this year connected by ethernet and they work great. They can be purchased in larger lots on aliexpress for about $9 each. Technically out of spec since there is no level conversion from 3.3v to 5v, but I've been doing this for years without any data issues.

    On a side note, most of my show is using esp modules with espixelstick firmware and wifi (e1.31 with about 40 controllers). It works great, but I hit a wall with 24 universes of data. Going forward, new props will be connected via ethernet using the wt32-eth01 modules.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    384
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by dirknerkle View Post

    Could wireless have solved the Chief's issue this year? Probably not completely, but I'm certain it could have mitigated much of the issue, resulting in perhaps a slightly abbreviated result, but a positive result nonetheless.
    I agree Dave.

    In fact I have already replaced three of the props with Renard Plus ESP WiFi Pixel Controllers and working on getting the others replaced. The only spot I have a high pixel density is a 370 node prop (singing face), which can be covered by a Renard Plus 4 Output Combo (if/when Phoenix can produce again).

    Quote Originally Posted by gingrbredman View Post
    I am not 100% sure you can use the Falcon receivers with the Experience Controllers, but you can you the Experience Receivers with the Falcon boards, so I am guessing they can talk.
    I ask Experience Lights and they responded the same day, even though it was Thanksgiving they still responded, nice. (I have had a tech question open to Sans since 03OCT22 and still no response.)

    According to Experience lights "Our Long Range outputs are compatible with most receivers in Dumb / Standard mode, but in Smart mode our controllers will only work with Falcon V4 compatible receivers." Given that, I also have some Standard Differential Receivers from Wizard of Wire which should also work.

    At a cost 31% less than the Falcon F16v4 board, I can buy two Experience Lights controllers and have a spare on hand.

    According to Experience Lights they are also shipping same/next business day, so I will have a chance to get them in the show this year, to cover the items I can't cover with Renard Plus ESP WiFi Pixel Controllers. Which is nice, because I will not have to rebuild my long range receiver boxes.

    -Tony
    Last edited by ChiefWarrant; 11-25-2022 at 04:49 AM.
    Tony
    Live since 2007
    Putting the Yule back into Yuletide


  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Bloomingdale Ga
    Posts
    590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    I started this madness in 2015 with 1 E682 and 4 RenardPlus boards. I added a Falcon 16v2 (Red Board) the next year. I used the Falcon 1 year, then sold it and bought 2 more E682 kits and stayed with that for a few years.
    I Really like building things and when Scott came out with his line of DIY boards I was all in. When I order boards from JLCPCB the minimum amount is 5. Build all 5 use 1 or 2 and have spares for in case. There is a wide variety of options to choose from. Pocket Beagle boards, Beagle Bone Black, differential, receiver, expansion and so on. The newer boards have SMD components and board can be ordered with those already installed. I like to do it myself with all through hole parts, but that's just me.
    I like a centralized controller with backups in hand. I use the FPP Player remote setup and it works Great. I will run this year with a main controller with a differential output board and 3 receiver boards throughout my yard with cat5 and a power supply at each. Backup power supplies, controllers, PB's, BBB's, and receiver boards if needed. Last three years none of the backup were needed. I did try to swap out a PB in year 1 and fried it as i plugged it into board wrong, UGG. Live and learn. I think was the same year I fried a RPi by applying 12v to it. Got to have backups.
    This would not do you any good this year as you need something now and maybe you prefer not to build it. If you would like to try one, I have a BBB board I could send you with BBB and FPP license. If you want to keep, we could talk price later. PM me if interested.
    The ExperienceLights line does look good but to each there own. I just like building things.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 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
  •