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Ed K

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Everything posted by Ed K

  1. Thanks for the offer. I saw your picture of the back of the entire prop, which, for now, is sufficient for me. My P10 prop plan is significantly less ambitious than yours, but that will help spend more time learning how to control a P10 prop. My main unease was how to communicate from LOR S4 to a P10 panel prop. I want to treat a P10 prop just like I treat every one of my other pixel props for purposes of sequencing with LOR S4. You and brichi have really helped me today with that hurdle. Summary: Pi loaded with FPP and with a unique IP address, with a Pi HAT that is connected to the first P10 panel from one of its SPI ports. I walked through Falcon Christmas' Falcon Player website, read their Pi/FPP written documentation, and reviewed posts of issues others have had and resolved (that's always a good source for lessons learned). BTW, here's a decent Rasberry Pi ihtro video. (Geez, when I posted the URL to this video, the image posted here came out UUUGE.)
  2. Darn it, my bad. Yes, first P10, not a pixel string. But thanks for helping me figure the actual DMX connections.
  3. Thanks again. Path of DMX data over E1.31: My dedicated show PC's Ethernet port ------> Cat 5 cable --------> PiHat's RJ45 port (PiHat sits on top of a FPP-loaded Pi) --------> PiHat SPI port -------> pixel string Does this look correct?
  4. LOL, I just noticed another detail in your reply, caniac. I ALSO must get and attach a PiHat - is that correct? Again, I am completely new to Pi, FPP, and P10 sequencing. I will have only eight panels.
  5. Ahh, got it, thanks very much. Short memory on my part - this was info that was in one of the prior 6 pages of this thread, probably from you.
  6. Excellent coaching, caniac, thanks! How I setup the SD card and thumb drive is info I can get from some related threads, including from Falcon's website, from what I understand.
  7. Thanks, this really helps me. I feel more confident now, given your confirmation that I need to assign a unique IP address to the BBB (or, to a Pi, which is what I want to use) . The BBB (or Pi) can be configured as a device for interpreting DMX signals sent to it from LOR S4, through it's Ethernet port, and getting that data to the smart pixels. From what k6ccc said, I understand I can use a Pi, instead of the BBB/Octoscroller combo, to drive the pixels on a P10 prop. I've learned through this thread, and your posts, that I need to get FPP loaded onto the Pi, for this to work. Also, if I use the Pi, do I still need the Octoscroller? I think the O is unique for the BBB, correct?
  8. Thanks for the quick reply. Unicast-only guy here!! Given your response, a P10 prop is sounding more doable for me, because the E1.31 networking part of a pixel prop (e.g., P10 panels connected as a single matrix) is the part I understand. I only want to build an 8 panel P10 prop for a message/Tune To sign, so 16 X 32 X 8 panels = 4,096 smart pixels. That's only 25 universes: 4,096 pixels / 170 pixels per universe, rounded up. If I use a Pi (ignoring the Pi learning curve for me, which is fine), you cleared up something key for me -- I can, and will need to, assign a unique IP address to the Pi. To clarify for me: In LOR S4 Network Preferences, I must identify every universe that I want to assign to the Pi's unique IP address (e.g., my planned P10 prop will require 25 universes). Correct? If I properly configure the Pi (big assumption for me), is the Pi the only substantive equipment I need between my PC's Ethernet port (ok, via a network switch) and the first P10 panel? I know I also need some supplies, such as: a power supply for the Pi, a power supply for the P10 panels, wires/ribbon to connect the first P10 panel to the PI's GPIO connector, a ribbon between each panel, etc.
  9. brichi, Thanks very much for taking time to post your P10 experience here. I've read through this thread, and it appears you have P10 panels that you now can control using LOR S4 or S5 software. Is that correct? I use only LOR 4 (both PE and SS) to sequence all my lights (about 95% smart pixels), using five E1.31 controllers (four of which are AlphaPix controllers). Though I'm far from being an expert, I know how to set up E1.31 controllers and LOR to control my pixels (e.g., Network Preferences, SE, PE's preview design, Visualizer, SS). Is your P10 panel assembly now just another prop in your S4/S5 sequences. For example, did you set up your P10 prop in PE's preview design? Did you set up your P10 prop in Visualizer for SS sequencing? Both PE and Visualizer make adding a matrix prop pretty easy. How have you physically attached the P10s and BBB (and other req'd hardware?) to the E1.31 controller? Off of a DMX port on the E1.31 controller? Or, do you connect your P10 prop with a Cat 5 cable to the PC you use for your show? These questions really expose how little I know about adding a P10 prop to my LOR show. :-) I'm trying to understand how to include the P10 prop as just another prop in S4, so that I can then sequence it's addressable pixels just like I do for every other pixel prop. That is, I don't want to run my planned P10 prop independent from my other pixels. Hopefully, other PE and SS-only users will be helped from your solution.
  10. Ed K

    Matrix panels Sequencing

    Thanks for the link to the thread.
  11. Ed K

    Matrix panels Sequencing

    I agree 100%. Would be easy, peasy, if the E1.31 controller knew how to handle the P10s as just groups of smart pixels. I don't know of an E1.31 controller that can take the wires from the first P10 cable, and then logically address all the remaining pixels connected. What IC (chip type) do I set for the P10 Pixels? Is there a V+, V-, and data wire from the first P10 panel? How do I get to the n +1 pixel from the controller (where n = the maximum pixels supported on a single SPI port)? The Australian group has some videos on P10s, but none identified how to use an E1.31 controller can be used, similar to smart pixels (universes, channels). It appeared the P10s needed a Beagle Bone and Octoscroller between the P10s and E1.31 board (at least, that's how I interpreted one of the videos).
  12. Ed K

    Matrix panels Sequencing

    Another SuperStar user here interested in jerry72's subject.
  13. In any good organization, there are backups for key individuals (think "key man insurance"), should an individual leave or otherwise no longer work on a specific program or project. Does LOR have a backup resource(s) in place for Brian, in the event that Brian no longer develops or supports SuperStar? A backup plan would ensure continued SuperStar support and improvement at the same level Brian now provides. Brian has the key knowledge, creativity, inspiration, and skills that seem critical to the viability and growth of SS. If he quit or otherwise no longer were available, SS development and support could be impacted. Heck, even Warren Buffet needs a backup plan (think, succession plan).
  14. Ed K

    Backup for Brian and SuperStar

    Awesome!! And just to note, my post had nothing personal about it, nor do I have a wit of inside LOR or Super Star Lights information. As a former head of a consulting company, we managed this issue in order to ensure seamless customer delivery during any turnover. Now, back to my sequencing with SuperStar.
  15. Ed K

    Image positioning

    Negative x,y positions simply mean the image is starting somewhere off the "page" of your display or prop. For example, to start an image one pixel to the left of the start of a 30 pixel wide matrix, the starting x would be -29. If the ending x is 0, then the image moves across the matrix, with the image as you drew it (at least on the x axis). Repeat for y values, to bring an image down a prop (e.g., a matrix). The beginning y would be negative.
  16. Ed K

    Spirals in Superstar

    I have a bunch of different spirals on my four mini trees that I created in SS. Use the morph effect. For a spiral going counter clockwise (if looking down on the tree from the top), place your first morph on the far left vertical string of the tree, with start ("1") of the morph at the top pixel and end ("2") of the morph at the bottom pixel. Then, start a new morph at the next point on timing grid, on the vertical string 2nd from the left, again starting at top, ending at bottom of string. Repeat for strings 3 - n, with n = number of vertical strings on your tree. Effect in SS sequencing window at the top will like a step pattern when you get done. Keep the lengths of every morph the same. The longer the morphs are, the slower the spiral.
  17. Ed K

    S5 to SuperStar Visualization Process?

    SuperStar is not limited to just matrixed prop. I use SuperStar to sequence all kinds of props. More than 90% of my pixels are not in a matrix. I have rooflines, windows, yard edges, four mini trees, and some arches. I sequence all of them in one large SuperStar sequencing grid, laid out in the grid exactly as I specified in Visualizer (in other words, don't use the default).
  18. Ed K

    Pixel Editor vs Super Star

    I prefer SuperStar over Pixel Editor, but only by the smallest of margins. SS lets me control each pixel, which for many effects I create, is crucial. I can do some effects in SS that I cannot do in PE. One example are spirals on my mini trees that begin at the bottom of a blank tree and move up (like I am uncovering the spirals while they turn). Once you spend a few concentrated hours on SS, you'll really start to get it. Also, the support for the product is fantastic, and personal. The SS author, Brian, is known to provide personal assistance on an actual copy of your sequence. Two keys to SS results are to: (1) first build your display in Visualizer (which takes some work), and (2) import and place the Visualizer file on SS's sequencing grid how you want it. These two steps are a bit hard to learn at first, but are crucial in being able to insert new props later and in more easily building sequences. I used Pixel Editor for one entire sequence on all my props, and found it really useful and powerful. Pixel Editor seems to me to be much easier to use at sequencing an entire prop (not individual pixels), and has at least one built-in effect (butterfly) that I can't do on SS. All of the primary effects in PE (e.g., colorwash, curtain, and meteors) are chosen from a pull down menu, which makes that part really easy. PE has great built-in overlay capabilities, meaning you can layer one effect over, or under, another effect on the same prop for some tricked results. And, support is 5-star: immediate, clear, concise, and useful. Objectively, I think SS and PE are about equal, but have much different capabilities. I prefer SS for its ability to control each pixel, while also having SS tools that allows me to sequence entire props easily.
  19. I thought a simple diagram of my layout might help a few who, like me, are relatively new to this hobby. This was my first time using pixels for Christmas lights. Attached is how I laid out my display this first time. I distributed the four E1.31 controllers across my yard for various props. I assigned a unique IP address to each E1.31 controller. I placed three of these four controllers near my eaves, and I use them to control C9 type pixels on my roof, in addition to controlling 12mm pixels on other props. On one E1.31 controller, I wired a 3 channel RGB dumb DMX controller to the E1.31 controller’s DMX port, and used that dumb controller to control my flood lights. I assigned a unique Unit ID to each LOR controller. I use the CTB16 controller to turn my LED-lit Tune In sign on and off (yes, I only use two of the 16 extensions). I use a single LOR CCR and controller for each of six windows (so, six CCRs/controllers). I use a seventh CCR/controller for two, 50-pixel arches (I cut the CCR, and soldered a connection between the two halves). I use my desktop PC exclusively for my lights, and I do not have it connected to my home network. I plug my LOR “USB to RS485 Converter” into one of my PC’s USB ports. I plug the Cat 5 cable from the LOR converter, and a second Cat 5 cable from my PC’s Ethernet port, into a 2- jack wall port in my home office. I wired that inside 2-jack port (using two Cat 5 cables in my attic) to a water-resistant, 2-jack port that is under one of my eaves. At that outside eave port sits the Netgear switch.
  20. My LOR Control Panel is running, and the CP's red light bulb icon is on my task bar. When I right-click on the Control Panel's icon in my task bar, I no longer get any popup menu (the one with a number of LOR programs and settings). I have version 4.3.26 running.
  21. DevMike, World is good. I shut down all LOR apps, relaunched CP, right clicked on red light bulb in my system tray, and got the menu of LOR apps and functions. Thanks for the response. Ed
  22. DevMike, My state was, and is, exactly as you describe it, but in my OP, I incorrectly used the term "task bar" (where my all my LOR shortcuts are, including CP's). I should have said "system tray" (where the CP red light bulb is). As I originally posted, I still don't get anything when I right click on the CP red light bulb (in my system tray). I've ALWAYS been able to do that, until yesterday. Although I don't hold out much hope, I will close everything down, relaunch CP, and try again. I'll let you know.
  23. Why is it called Pixel Editor? I can't use it to edit an individual pixel. Alternative names, anyone? Aside: PE is an incredible, one-of-a-kind sequencer, with excellent support (including from Matt).
  24. Ed K

    Why is it called Pixel Editor?

    Yep, I knew Matt was behind Xlights. Many hobbyists were somewhat excited/upset that he went to work for LOR. I'm glad he did. PE has a number of different APIs and commands than Xlights (i.e., "unique"). Xlights also is a great sequencing program.
  25. Ed K

    Matrix VS: Pixel Tree?

    Why not a 210 degree mega-tree? My four mini trees are 210 degrees, and they look good from every angle that the public can see. Saves: money, time constructing/sequencing/debugging, power consumption.