View Full Version : Raspberry Pi and SRR board

10-31-2016, 12:53 PM
I am doing a project for school and my goal is to make a Christmas light show with a raspberry pi and a SSR board. I currently dont know how to hook up these two things and i dont know how to code them. I am aware of vixen 3 but my teacher would like me to code them before I use vixen 3. I know C# a little bit and a little bit of Java but nothing else. I am a NOOB at this so i you could make it easy to do that would be great. Thanks!

10-31-2016, 02:40 PM
I haven't used a Pi for controlling lights.
Perhaps this link could start you off?

Many here use the Pi with Falcon Player for controlling lights.
http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,200.0.html?PHPSESSID=a2c9c977f67e261c560e40c f65f95ff6

What does the school expect you to do vs someone else doing your homework?

11-02-2016, 11:59 AM
Im not asking anyone to do the work I am mainly looking for Tips or people that could point me in the right direction. Mainly I am having issues finding sites that I understand

11-02-2016, 12:51 PM
Dimming vs non dimming are very different mechanisms. And you did not give a lot of details about what you are trying to accomplish.

I do suggest you read the beginners section of the wiki. It has lots of information for you. For instance, you might not want to drive the SSR directly from the PI. How many channels do you want in your show? Do you need just on / off or do you need dimming?

You should look into the FPP software package that runs on the PI. It translates a sequence into a format that can eventually be given to an SSR.

Non Dimming:
Grab an SSRez (it has a new name but you can track it down via this name)
Wire the GPIO so that it goes to the correct pin (via a cat5 cable) to control a channel on the SSR
Program the PI to set the GPIO output low when you want the channel turned on and high when you want the channel off.

That is the basic mechanism. For dimming things get way more complicated. For running a show, things get more complicated.

11-02-2016, 06:27 PM
The link above is a good place to start. Looks like it has code and some diy instruction for the hardware.

I think a Google on sainsmart and raspberry pi will open lots of information for you. The sainsmart relay boards are highly popular ways to interface a small controller to circuits.

11-03-2016, 11:26 AM
I found this guy and I am thinking that his tutorials are great. That's what I'm gonna follow for now and yes I will look for other links and stuff. I will keep posting my progress as much as I can. Thanks!

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11-14-2016, 09:56 PM
Hi there,

I am new the Christmas light hobby myself, but passed a crucial test tonight using SSR relays, Raspberry PI and a Renard Plus WifiPixel setup.
I am using the SSR's to control 8 strands of normal non dimmable christmas LED's, and the WifiPixel to control a strand of 50 WS2811's.

On the Raspberry Pi I installed Falcon Pi Player (FPP) and used Vixen to sequence a song for testing purposes.

I first got the idea from Instructables and followed most of the instructions at this link (http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Christmas-Tree-Light-Show/).
The instructions were a little outdated since he was using an older PI but with a few changes to the tested code correcting the GPIO numbers you can run the test to control the relays.
I had some issues with the WS8201 LED's from adafruit. After following the instructions on the forums linked to the instructions I could run a the included LED test. However, the WS8201's would randomly flash and I couldn't figure any way to turn them off when not in use.

I did some research on this site and one other DIY light site and came across the Renard Plus WiFiPixels. (http://renard-shop.com/home/37-es-wifi-pixel-controller.html) using a set of WS8211's I picked up from Amazon this weekend. I put this together in about an hour (first time soldering)... and tested out the setup tonight.

I'm very happy to report that the Pi with 8 channel SSR and the WiFiPixel ran perfectly.

I hope this gives some other newbies hope and ideas where you can start...


11-15-2016, 01:00 PM
Dimming vs non dimming are very different mechanisms.

Yes, one of the issues for dimming lights that are powered by AC current is that the Pi's firmware needs to be aware of the 60hz cycle that makes up AC current. Typically this is called the "zero cross signal" or ZC, and it happens 120 times every second (twice per 60hz cycle). There are simple circuits to help detect it, but very few SSRs have the capability built-in to provide this.

DIGWDF has such a product, called the ZCSSR if you should ever go in this direction, away from hardware relays and into Triac-based relays.

Kits are available: http://digwdf.com/store/product.php?id_product=228

12-20-2016, 12:05 AM
Check out http://www.lightshowpi.org/ - They have a setup from front to back including how to wire, the SSR. You can use their software to auto play, or use their scripts to manually script your own.