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Details on your tablet idea

Discussion in 'The Development Lab' started by deblen, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. deblen

    deblen Apprentice Elf

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    Hi All,


    As I seem to be getting more and more lights, pixels now. One of the issues is heat.


    With the technology going at a fast rate, the knowledge in this forum, is it conceivable to be able to this as a joint project.


    Use a Raspberry zero, to send info on temp, volts, amps, control fan speed.


    Turn on controllers one at a time, to avoid current rush.


    Have a raspberry for each controller box, some boxes may have different power supplies.


    All this info via WiFi to a computer, tablet, what ever one can see or manipulate the Zero.


    The money spent on pixels and controllers, is a huge amount, to be able to extend their life, the cost of the above maybe worth the effort.


    Your thoughts


    Deblen
     
  2. Kitman

    Kitman Full Time Elf

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    I can answer 1 part of this, I have a raspberry Pi 2 B+ in the control box for my Mega tree and I have already incorporated the ability to monitor the temperature inside the control box by way of 3 temperature sensors wired into the raspberry pi, the information for the temp sensors is then published via a web page that comes off the raspberry pi.


    The ability to monitor fan speed should also be possible as long as you have fans with 3 pins, you should also potentially be able to change the speed of the fans depending on the temperature inside the box (still need to research this more).


    As for monitoring Volts and Amps, I am sure there would be some volt or amp meter that would be able to connect up to the raspberry pi and a simple library install on the underlying Linux operating system would be needed to read that information (again I would need to search for this.


    I will be running my show with a raspberry pi in each control box with 1 master and the rest slaves so I can have temp readouts for each box, and I am sure most people that are using FPP to run their shows would have more than 1 pi across their network, so what you are proposing isn't that far from being capable as a simple "plug in" style add on for anyone who already has their system set up with Raspberry pi's in all of their control boxes.


    As for turning on controllers to avoid in rush that really depends on how your sequence is set up as to how much current will be used, as having an entire mega tree all white will draw more power than having say a spiral pattern in blocks of say 3 lights lit at a time which would effectively make your tree only need a third of the power compared to all of the lights being on at once so avoiding in rush would be down to setting up your show to gradually start and turning on lights slowly rather than clark griswalding the entire lot on all at the same time.
     
  3. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    1 of the biggest problems I see with your idea is getting hold of the Pi Zeros. They are ramping up the production levels to 50,000 per month but that really is well well below what I expect is required to meet demand. Even in a little country like Aus I could see 1000's or even 10's of 1000's being used per month at the price they are meant to be sold at.
    As far as a couple of things that you want the Pi controlling here's my 2 cents worth.
    Monitoring of temp etc is a little pointless unless it was under automated control. On the night that you go out and the temp stays at 35C for the duration of your show you need something to be done rather than just monitoring it. Theoretically you could be logging in via a smartphone but at times you simply can't do that.
    When it comes to cooling of enclosures I personally think that a well vented enclosure with a fixed speed fan is all that is required. Putting heaps of power supplies and boards into 1 enclosure makes for a cooling and wiring nightmare.
    As for the inrush current that is something that isn't easy to control unless you have staggered starts via relay switched mains. The inrush only lasts a few hundred milliseconds and having multiple power supplies physically close together off the same switch is when things are problematic. Having a decentralised power system allows the extension leads to absorb some of the inrush.
    The BeagleBone Black already has onboard temp sensor which isn't currently implemented with FPP and at least some of the Advatech boards have temperature sensing as well.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    deblen

    deblen Apprentice Elf

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    Hi Kitman and Allan,


    Thanks for the replies, will need to look at the points that you raise, see if I can put some of it into my setup.


    Deblen
     

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