Expand a show across the street

Discussion in 'The Family Room' started by richardd, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. richardd

    richardd Full Time Elf

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    Not sure where to ask this questions.
    He is the situation, I live on a dead-end street and the front of my block is narrow so I want to expand my show, next door to me is a vacant lot own by my neighbor and he said I can put lights on the lot and that will be easy. Two houses across the street have said I can use their yards and I was wondering what the best way to “light” up the houses across the street. What hardware would I need?

    Currently I use a Pi to control the show


    Thanks for your help
     
  2. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I am sure someone that has done this will be able to help you more as I have only read about it.
    But you are on the right path with the Pi. You from what I believe will need another pi and use wifi making the second one a slave and then just basically do what you have been doing, lights, power action :)
    I would do a lot of testing with the range and interference aspects before the major reveal though, as the last thing you want is to have it drop out as soon as you start getting a few visitors.
     
  3. Kitman

    Kitman Full Time Elf

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    The easiest way to expand the show is to use more Raspberry pi's, for my display I have 5 raspberry pi's 1 master and 4 slaves, all worked flawlessly for the entire season, however range is going to be your worst enemy.


    For 3 of my slaves I just used the Wi-pi USB wireless cards and they worked great for me, however for the other slave the little wi-pi USB card wasn't good enough, I had some interference from a plug pack which meant that even 10 meters from my wireless it only had enough signal to barely function and when it dropped out and the master couldn't see it the whole show for some reason lagged until it was able to sync up again and then the show sped up to catch back up to the master, really didn't look great. In the end I got a TP-Link usb wireless adapter that included and external antenna and then I had no issue with signal, so you may need to ensure that the wireless cards you use can handle the distance.


    The Raspberry Pi 3 has built in wireless but this will possibly not make it across the street as that has very limited range so after 15 to 20 meters it will be like using the wifi hotspot at a mcdonalds, just give up.


    As long as the neighbours are happy to power their part of the show, then the only connection required at their house is a power point and your set.


    Definitely set it all up and test it in the backyard / shed first before going live, and also run the whole sequence through at least once before light up to make sure it will work. However with traffic and people comes interference and what was once working may not work so as much pre planning as you do may not cover off all scenarios.
     
  4. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    As a suggestion on the wireless side of things - a couple quality access points in bridge mode on either side of the road may be a good option..

    Can't speak for how well e1.31 goes over wireless though!
     
  5. Kitman

    Kitman Full Time Elf

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    You don't really need to worry about the e1.31 going over wireless as the slave raspberry pi's would be controlling the shows across the road, there is only sync packets that get sent from the master to the slave and I never noticed any speed hits on my wireless with the 5 raspberry pi's running, was streaming netflix on 2 tv's in the house while my show was running and neither of the tv's showed lower quality and the show never skipped a beat.


    That's the benefit of setting them up as slaves, the master doesn't need to send all the sequence details to the slave just a packet saying where it's up to right now so very little data. The only issue you have is the music, the slave raspberry pi's only play the sequence and not the music so if you want the music playing from some speakers at the neighbours house then you have to get the audio from the master over the road, but if you have an FM transmitter well then an FM radio over the road will get audio out of speakers, I like having speakers as well as FM (which isn't setup yet) as I got a lot of walk past people who would miss out otherwise.
     
  6. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I don't have speakers out of my Pi anyway. I just have a stereo tunes to the fm station like the rest of the audience, so that shouldn't be a problem, just have a radio over the road.
     

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