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Thread: Second year growing pains

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
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    Default Second year growing pains

    ****TLDR - Expanding from last year and configs aren't quite jiving and causing weird issues****




    I bought a bunch of ready-to-run stuff last year, but between shipping delays and work I was only able to get the MegaTree up and running. My other control boxes sat in the garage with the pixels. The setup was a Hinkspix Pro 16-channel SPI card, long-range 4-channel card, transmitting to a smart 16-channel control box and a smart 16 AC box.

    Last year's setup was cake, the main board with the 16 port SPI card ran the mega tree, 800 pixels with 2400 channels. The only design issue was the SPI card was port 17-32, but it was no issue with setup. Configured it and it ran perfectly. This year I used the same config and added the new box running my house lights.

    This year, problems started as soon as I set up the mega tree. One whole strand on the tree was dead. Figuring I'd deal with it later, I shifted port 22 around so it was in my first strip so it'd be less noticeable. During troubleshooting, at one point, that strand lit up but it lit up with a test pattern sort of configuration and it stayed on even without broadcasting out to lights. When I get the strand to not light up there is still a single white light on the bottom. I did some configuring and that trouble strand moved from port 22 to 27.

    The second issue is I was using the long-range board and everything seems to be fine until I got to port 5 and they refused to light up. Testing in the HinksPix channel by channel shows the SPI ports that run the tree were also turning on portions of the house lights connected to the long-range board which seemed weird. One port would light up 8 pixels across 2 design features. Another port would light up 15 or 16, a third would light up all of those and a couple of a few other features, and a fourth would light up the rest connected to the first 4 ports. I was never able to get port 5 to light up at all.

    Tonight I reset the config, reconfigured a whole new config, and got similar results. My AC box I have set up for 2 singing trees isn't even configured and it lights up the whole thing between ports 1 and 2 on the smart 16 long-range board. None of my house lights light up until port 5 which makes sense since it's on the second ethernet port with the AC plugged into the first port, but I'm not sure why only some light up on port 5 and others light up on port 6 and 7, but still not all of them. I forgot to test by the universe, but I can't see that working if the ports don't read right.

    The current status is testing by port now only shows the main SPI board lighting up the appropriate tree strands with the exception of the funky 1. The LR 16 box lights up SOME of the features but not all of them, and it also lights up the AC stuff on a different LR box that's not configured.

    Troubleshooting for tomorrow. Move the Smart AC board from port 1 to 2 and replace it with the Smart 16 port box in port 1. Check the cable going out to my funky strand on the tree and see if it's a bad ground or something (unlikely, the previous testing showed it was transmitting from the box that way. Moving strands made a difference and the problem stayed on the port)


    Maybe these cuts and pastes will help, It's too late for screenshots. I can update with screenshots in the morning if they will help.

    HinksPix design page
    HinksPix Controller Configuration - 10.0.0.90
    StatusDesignPort ConfigE131 / Artnet / DDPTest OutputsNetworkMisc SettingsResetDebug
    Existing Designs:
    NEW22


    Active Driver Boards Attached to HinksPix PRO

    LongRange 1 LongRange 2 LongRange 3 SPI 1 (16 Ports) SPI 2 (16 Ports) SPI 3 (16 Ports) DMX

    HinksPix Ports 1 - 16:
    LongRange 1
    Lighting Intensity:
    100


    HinksPix Ports 17 - 32:
    SPI 1
    Lighting Intensity:
    100


    HinksPix Ports 33 - 48:
    No Driver Board Selected
    Lighting Intensity:
    100


    LongRange Board 1 Assignments (RED Jacks)

    Jack1:
    CBL1
    Jack2:
    CBL2
    Jack3:
    No Cable Selected
    Jack4:
    No Cable Selected


    Active LongRange Network Data Cables (CAT5/6)

    CBL1 CBL2 CBL3 CBL4 CBL5 CBL6 CBL7 CBL8 CBL9 CBL10 CBL11 CBL12


    Controller Show Design

    Strings



    Add Del Index Name Total Chan Count Univ:#Chan Univ:#Chan Univ:#Chan Univ:#Chan
    1 Kitchen 216 1:216
    2 Bathroom 120 2:120
    3 Front Door 204 3:204
    4 Bedroom 216 4:216
    5 Living Room 351 5:351
    6 Garage 384 6:384
    7 Roof 1242 7:510 8:510 9:222
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17 MegaTree 1 150 17:150
    18 MegaTree 2 150 18:150
    19 MegaTree 3 150 19:150
    20 MegaTree 4 150 20:150
    21 MegaTree 5 150 21:150
    22 MegaTree 6 150 22:150
    23 MegaTree 7 150 23:150
    24 MegaTree 8 150 24:150
    25 MegaTree 9 150 25:150
    26 MegaTree 10 150 26:150
    27 MegaTree 11 150 27:150
    28 MegaTree 12 150 28:150
    29 MegaTree 13 150 29:150
    30 MegaTree 14 150 30:150
    31 MegaTree 15 150 31:150
    32 MegaTree 16 150 32:150
    33



    LongRange Receivers Attached to Cat5 Cable 1 - Shift Mouse to Remove String Name



    Del Type Board ID Physical Port String Start Pixel
    SmartAC 1 1 0
    2 0
    3 0
    4 0



    LongRange Receivers Attached to Cat5 Cable 2 - Shift Mouse to Remove String Name



    Del Type Board ID Physical Port String Start Pixel
    Smart16 0 1 Kitchen 1
    5 Living Room 1
    9 0
    13 0
    2 Bathroom 73
    6 Garage 118
    10 0
    14 0
    3 Front Door 113
    7 Roof 246
    11 0
    15 0
    4 Bedroom 181
    8 0
    12 0
    16 0



    SPI Board 1 - Shift Mouse to Remove String Name

    Physical Port String
    1 MegaTree 1
    2 MegaTree 2
    3 MegaTree 3
    4 MegaTree 4
    5 MegaTree 5
    6 MegaTree 6
    7 MegaTree 7
    8 MegaTree 8
    9 MegaTree 9
    10 MegaTree 10
    11 MegaTree 11
    12 MegaTree 12
    13 MegaTree 13
    14 MegaTree 14
    15 MegaTree 15
    16 MegaTree 16
    Long Range Receiver config, LR and SPI boxes
    Long Range Differential Receiver Configuration Ports 1 - 16

    #Pixels per Port
    50
    -1 in Start Chan to Auto Calculate

    Brightness per Port
    100


    SPI Port Controller Start Channel Pixel Count Controller End Channel Direction RGB Order Null Brightness Gamma
    1 1 72 216
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    2 301 40 420
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    3 601 68 804
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    4 901 72 1116
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1


    SPI Port Controller Start Channel Pixel Count Controller End Channel Direction RGB Order Null Brightness Gamma
    5 1201 117 1551
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    6 1501 128 1884
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    7 1801 414 3042
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    8 2101 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1


    SPI Port Controller Start Channel Pixel Count Controller End Channel Direction RGB Order Null Brightness Gamma
    9 2401 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    10 2701 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    11 3001 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    12 3301 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1


    SPI Port Controller Start Channel Pixel Count Controller End Channel Direction RGB Order Null Brightness Gamma
    13 3601 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    14 3901 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    15 4201 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    16 4501 0 0
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1

    SPI Configuration Ports 17 - 32

    #Pixels per Port
    50
    -1 in Start Chan to Auto Calculate

    Brightness per Port
    100



    Port String Type Controller Start Channel Pixel Count Controller End Channel Direction RGB Order Null Brightness Gamma
    17 WS2811 4801 50 4950
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    18 WS2811 4951 50 5100
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    19 WS2811 5101 50 5250
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    20 WS2811 5251 50 5400
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    21 WS2811 5401 50 5550
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    22 WS2811 5551 50 5700
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    23 WS2811 5701 50 5850
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    24 WS2811 5851 50 6000
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    25 WS2811 6001 50 6150
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    26 WS2811 6151 50 6300
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    27 WS2811 6301 50 6450
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    28 WS2811 6451 50 6600
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    29 WS2811 6601 50 6750
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    30 WS2811 6751 50 6900
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    31 WS2811 6901 50 7050
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1
    32 WS2811 7051 50 7200
    Forward

    RGB
    0
    100

    1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
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    Default Re: Second year growing pains

    I found it easier to do all controller configuration through xLights. After uploading to the controller, it appears to go through a reset cycle, but I have to perform a reset action through the Hinkspix controller webpage for the changes to take effect. This video was very helpful: https://youtu.be/qaY6y_tPwZw


    I also watched a couple of videos that Joe Hinkle put together which step through the configuration design/load process using only the Hinkspix controller webpage. That helped me to understand how things should look after I finished the configuration process.

    https://youtu.be/mVIJJUQ3IO4
    https://youtu.be/OGXq-4g2fvg
    Last edited by Zacf16; 11-25-2022 at 11:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
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    Default Re: Second year growing pains

    OK, one of those videos I'd never seen. I now have the hinks pix lighting up the appropriate universes (except my tree that has 2 bum legs. I'll look into those tomorrow)

    xLights is not cooperating yet, so I'll watch more vids and see what's wrong. Thanks dude, very helpful.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
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    Default Re: Second year growing pains

    Quote Originally Posted by Zacf16 View Post
    I found it easier to do all controller configuration through xLights.
    I had tried the xlights upload yesterday and it gave me grief, but thanks to that video I was able to straighten out my hinkspix config.

    I got into xlights today and really dug into it. Made sure the starting pixels and counts matched, and then looked back to the config page and saw a section I had missed previously. It's off now, but it's closer. The house all lights up as expected, but I have a few open universe numbers between the house and the megatree, and I couldn't make those 0 pixels so there are 8 or 9 pixels unaccounted for somewhere. but it's so close and I'm fairly happy with it. Thanks for the vid!

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