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Thread: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

  1. #1
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    Default Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    Hello all,

    I recently moved and I think I need to reevaluate my controller situation. My current setup consists of one e682 controller with a pi 3b remote, 40 esp espixelsticks, and a p5 panel with a pi 3b remote. Also using a pi 3b+ as a master with a nanostation loco m2 AP. Everything works great at my old home, but I'm a little concerned the WiFi traffic is more contested in my new neighborhood. So I'm trying to decide if I should try the following:

    1. Split the e1.31 traffic onto 2 separate nanostations set to different channels.

    2. Upgrade some or all the espixelstick controllers to v4 with sd cards and set them as remotes.

    3. Use one of the other controller types (beaglebone) to replace the espixelstick controllers I already have and set them as remotes.

    I really like my current controllers as it is very easy to setup and dismantle. I have concerns with #2 above as it will require maintaining 42 SD cards, which sounds problematic.

    I look forward to the responses!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    The ESP V4 software allows you to upload and delete via the browser. The transfer rate is not great but you do not need to physically touch the devices.

    Are you using Vixen or xLights? Both can generate the files the ESP needs.

    IMO, you should do anything you can to remove E1.31 traffic from the WiFi. WiFi was not designed for real time traffic (like E1.31) and can be difficult to make work properly.


    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/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    The ESP V4 software allows you to upload and delete via the browser. The transfer rate is not great but you do not need to physically touch the devices.

    Are you using Vixen or xLights? Both can generate the files the ESP needs.

    IMO, you should do anything you can to remove E1.31 traffic from the WiFi. WiFi was not designed for real time traffic (like E1.31) and can be difficult to make work properly.
    I'm currently using xlights. If I use option 2 I'll have to reconfigure xlights to properly parse the sequence files for each remote. I'm a little concerned that I'll be dealing with SD card corruption issues with 42 remotes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    The ESP V4 software allows you to upload and delete via the browser. The transfer rate is not great but you do not need to physically touch the devices.
    I forgot to ask, is there an installer for the esp32 version of the v4 firmware or do I need to download the Arduino ide and install the required dependencies?

    Would it be worth it to upgrade to the esp32? I don't have a need for 2 outputs but does it run faster/more stable than an esp8266 due to better hardware (dual core vs single, faster clock speed)?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    no the installer is not ready yet. yes the esp32 ui is more stable due to more available ram. yes the ui is a bit more responsive due to an extra cpu. yes it supports more pixels due to more ram.

    at the moment you need to load the sw using the arduino ide.


    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/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    no the installer is not ready yet. yes the esp32 ui is more stable due to more available ram. yes the ui is a bit more responsive due to an extra cpu. yes it supports more pixels due to more ram.

    at the moment you need to load the sw using the arduino ide.
    Thanks Martin,

    One more question, I plan on using a nodemcu variant of the esp32. Do you know which pins on the sd card connect to the corresponding pins on the nodemcu? I was able to figure this out for the esp8266 variant.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Espixelstick controllers with SD cards

    each varient is different. i purchased a version that had th sd card built in. on the admin screen there is an advanced checkbox. that turns on settings on the device screen for selecting which io pins are connected to the sd card.


    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/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

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