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Thread: Random channels flickering FPP + Renard

  1. #1
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    Angry Random channels flickering FPP + Renard

    To keep things simple...
    I have a setup currently running 2 Raspberry Pi's with FPP (an old version...new version is NOT an option, it flat out doesn't work): 1 Pi is running Renard controllers, the 2nd running Lynx Express.
    (no music right now since its early season)

    It works perfectly fine with my 'test sequence' (one that simply steps through the channels one at a time) but when playing a "real sequence" I'm getting random channels flashing/flickering from the Pi with Renards.
    Some aren't too bad but others are a random-flicker mess...it seems to be particularly bad when there's allot of fades on/off (& I'm not sure what it does since I haven't been outside when its happening, but there's one sequence where it dims/flickers the the whole house just slightly .lol. my only guess is its firing all channels simultaneously? (maybe even both Renard & Lynx) that would certainly be enough of a load to do it)

    There's an occasional quick blink off with channels that are "on" from the Pi with the Lynx (this one isn't so bad, still annoying I can live with it, no extra channels flash on when they shouldn't)

    I really can't figure out why its doing what its doing. as noted, my "test sequence" works perfectly, as does FPP's "test mode", but then play a regular sequence & it acts up.
    I've "rebooted" both the Pi's & controllers, still get the same thing.

    I'm putting the blame 100% on FPP, not the controllers! Sequences are the same as last year, as are the controllers (pretty much same lights setup as well.) Only chance is a different version of FPP than last year (done because a SD card died in one of the Pi's) all settings are set exactly the same though, I double & triple checked that!

    FPP has been nothing but trouble this year, I'm really starting to hate the thing....so sick & tired of dealing with getting it to even work at all. Unfortunately there are no alternatives
    (sorry for the rant, but I'm at this point so fed up with it)




    Oh and its un-related, but I have some lights on a timer that run overnight when the main show is off...even though they are turned off, there is a very dim glow (timer has a relay, not a SSR). Unless you look closely you don't see the dim green glow, so I'm now worried. Just an oddity .lol.
    24 Ch/486dx 33mhz PC

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Random channels flickering FPP + Renard

    FPP would just be sending out serial data directly to the controllers so not sure you can blame FPP. Are you using the same sources for AC on both sides of the controllers? Set up a test sequence that ramps all the channels all together at one time.

    You can play your sequences from your PC to see if eliminating FPP and the PIs makes any difference.

    The low glow is probably because the lights need a snubber. Basically, they can't shut down the SSR completely. You can put a resistor or an incandescent bulb on the the circuit with the trouble some lights and it will probably go away.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Random channels flickering FPP + Renard

    Thanks for the reply!

    The Renard controller & its SSR's are on separate circuits, & Lynx Express is on another circuit (then channels with heavy loads run only 120v SSR's (so the actual loads are split off onto other circuits)
    but its the same setup as last year (with one possible exception that I didn't think about - the Renard controller and both Pi's are on one of those computer battery backup units - & I think I replaced that unit this past summer. Maybe its messing with the AC waveform? (The Pi's need to remain on that, but maybe I'll try plugging the Renard just into a normal outlet) ).
    Also on the Renard SSR's, all channels with LED lights have a little 20-bulb incandescent set - used for snubbers, that was something I found I needed for proper operation years ago. .lol. (Lynx does fine without it except the icicle LEDs where its a ton of bulbs)

    I actually already have a "all fade on/off" sequence (its set as the last sequence to play at shutdown - originally made because on occasion FPP would leave channels on - some of my sequences purposely have channels that stay on at the end & are on at the beginning of the next sequence)
    It occurred to me to try that as a test right after posting this, and other than the Renard & Lynx being slightly out of sync it worked perfectly.

    I really don't have a way to play sequences from the PC directly to lights (not sure even how to do so anyway). The PC with Vixen used for sequencing is in an upstairs bedroom, Renard controller is in the basement.


    The timer for 'after-hours' sets with the dim glow uses an actual relay rather than a SSR, so shouldn't need a snubber. I did try plugging a set of incandescent mini's into the existing LEDs & LEDs still had the dim glow.
    It even does it using a switch instead of the timer. I can live with that little oddity...I doubt the average person would notice anyway.
    24 Ch/486dx 33mhz PC

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Random channels flickering FPP + Renard

    Tried moving the Renard off the battery backup, still get the same result.
    24 Ch/486dx 33mhz PC

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Random channels flickering FPP + Renard

    Just a final update on this. FPP was to blame:
    I put a different (older) version on the Pi where the lights were acting up, & it works just fine now.
    (I've no idea why it was doing what it was, since output settings were exactly the same & same sequences/etc). Maybe a bug in that version of the FPP software?
    Not gonna mess with it anymore...
    24 Ch/486dx 33mhz PC

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