Making a P5 Panel

Jarrad33

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
66
Hi All

Im looking to start buying parts for my for a matrix.

I have been doing some reading with what Derf did from here.

I want start buying the panels thats last but there is soooo many to chose from on Rays wu's store. Which ones does everyone else use ??
 

ezellner

Apprentice elf
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
98
Location
West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
These are the panels I bought (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32382200566.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.687e4c4dfhfhgi). They are a little more expensive because I bought the ones rated for exterior use (allows the front face to be exposed to the weather although I did fully enclose them). They have worked well over the last two years without issue in a cold climate (Michigan, USA). I found that using a Colorlight card made setup substantially easier due to many combinations of card configurations (different scan rates and the way each panel is segmented for addressing).
 

ezellner

Apprentice elf
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
98
Location
West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
That's the correct Colorlight card (the same one I use) that will allow a good interface with whatever you are using to run your program (I use a Raspberry Pi with mine). You will also need a gigabit speed USB dongle for E131 connection unless you already have that capability. The Colorlight software documentation is poor but there's enough info out there on this and other forums to help you make it work.
 

Jarrad33

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
66
Im really divided in what to buy. Any more info would be great

P5 indoor or outdoor (From what I read some some say one and some say another)
1/8 scan or 1/16 scan
normal LED or Kinglight or others (Anyone know the difference ?)
square or rectangular
 

ezellner

Apprentice elf
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
98
Location
West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
If you are going to enclose your panels to shield from the weather, indoor will be fine. If the front surface is exposed to the weather, you need the outdoor type. Scan rate isn't important (at least as I understand it) IF you are using a Colorlight card. It can handle many different scan rates. If you are driving the panels from a Beaglebone or Raspberry Pi using an add on cape, you need to check the capabilities of the cape since they typically can only handle certain configurations. Square or rectangular simply depends on your configuration. Functionally, they are the same.
 

Jarrad33

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
66
Sorry one more question

why do some P5 panels have 1 power and 2 x 16pin ribbon connections and other P5 panels have 2 power and 4 x 16pin ribbon connections

2 connections

4 connections

would I need more colour light cards for the more connections ??
 

ezellner

Apprentice elf
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
98
Location
West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
The ones with four 16 pin connections are simply two panels joined together. There is an "in" and "out" for each panel. The 16 pin connections can be daisy chained from one to the next so you don't need multiple Colorlight cards to power several. I don't recall the pixel count limit on each Colorlight output but you definitely get multiple panels from one Colorlight output. Note also that the panels you are looking at have different scan rates. Make sure that you buy ones that all are the same scan rate. Depending on your setup, you may need to get longer ribbon cables to reach from one panel output to the input of the next one.
 
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