My complete DIY E1.31 setup

Discussion in 'Show Off Arena' started by elnino, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. elnino

    elnino Full Time Elf

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    Hi all, I have not posted here much but I've been working hard on my christmas light project for a while now.


    This will be the first year I'm doing lights so I think I'm not doing too bad although time is rapidly running out!


    First of all, I have built 4 X E1.31 64 Channel PWM controllers based on 2 Arduinos (each) and a cheap Ethernet module. One arduino handles all of the Ethernet/E1.31 stuff and the other controls the PWM via shift registers. They talk to each other via i2c. These are for the dumb light strips and some 3W RGB leds among other things.


    Cube.jpg cube2.jpg


    I have enough strip to outline my main front walls but I'll only be using the dumb strips - I don't have the budget for smart pixel outline this year.


    The strips are mounted in polycarb end cap as per https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/mounting-rgb-strip.1463/page-2#post-12130 but mine are a bit different

    strips.jpg


    Here is a snap of the item details from Bunnings
    Polycarb Strip.jpg


    The 3W RGB Leds are built from individual components and JB welded to small heatsinks. For power, I am using diodes to drop the 5v to the right voltage for the Green and Blue and then another one for the RED. This works perfectly and I have used this method on other projects with great success. I have 20 of these.
    3w LED.jpg


    These will be inside coro minitrees in my front yard (something like the ones @ HolidayCoro). I was quite impressed by the result of a single 3W LED



    View: http://youtu.be/7SMoHMpCcr8



    I have also developed an Arduino based Pixel controller. Currently this is only running 20 pixels but it will handle much more than that. With an Arduino Pro Mini and an ENC28J60 Ethernet module, this makes a E1.31 pixel controller for less than $10!


    The individual pixels are mounted in a bunch of Solar garden lights - This was a tedious and time consuming process but the result is ok. I bought a few hundred bare WS2812b chips and intend to use more them around the display but I have not decided how yet.


    On the shopping list still is some WS2812b strips for some hoops.


    Finally, I also have written an app in VB to act as a E1.31 controller too that will display images on a computer screen based on 'channels'. This can be used as singing faces etc but it also supports video. For this, you set up a list of channelx=picture.jpg in an ini file and simply treat it like a normal controller. I'll get some examples of this soon and post it in a seperate thread.


    This is a demo of some of the components

    View: http://youtu.be/a5w_BCBMmaY
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Some great stuff there. Hope to hear more about it. :)
     
  3. damo1271

    damo1271 Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Fantastic work!
    The pixel controllers sound interesting especially if you can increase the count.
     
  4. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    did you have any packet dropouts using that ethernet module?

    i use ws2801 ic's to do the lights so my arduino's just spit out pixel data,
    but using the i2c is a cool way esp with the chips out there to do the PWM stuff..

    Super great work
     
  5. OP
    OP
    elnino

    elnino Full Time Elf

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    So far I have not noticed any packet loss but I am using unicast, not multicast. The reason for that is that each controller does not get slammed with packets constantly, only when it needs to receive them. That way, the arduino has more time to process the packets that it needs to, rather than wasting processor time to enumerate packets.


    The downside to that is it's a little more complicated to set up but to me, it's negligible.


    I'm hoping to get my pixel strings soon to do some more testing but from other peoples reports, it should be good for ~500 pixels per arduino. The pro mini are about $2 each, the ENC28J60 ethernet modules for about $3. So at $5 for a controller, who cares if you have to reduce the pixel count per controller IMO...
     
  6. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    i never got that module working for e1.31 even tho i tryed..
    Jago did a E1.31 to 4 universe unicast, but lost packets over 25ms
    an that was with the uno an its ethernet dongle..

    i also use komby's arduino wireless system with the pro mini's (there super cool)
     
  7. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Probalby unlikely you'll be able to implement IGMP with the Limited space you've got in the micro, but something you probably can do is set the multicast hash filters on the ENC PHy chip. then the phy will ditch the packets before the processor has to see them. On its big brother ( ENCJ600 ) this will give you head room up to about 80 Universes, before the network stuff becomes an issue.
     
  8. OP
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    elnino

    elnino Full Time Elf

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    Interesting, I had not thought of that. It can see it can be done but TBH, I have no idea on how to achieve it just now and for me, effort vs reward for me to research it and modify the arduino library to support it is not really warranted. It could be helpful if someone needs pure universe control (maintaining multicast) but on an isolated network with unicast I'm fine with manually maintaining the IPs of the controllers.
     
  9. damo1271

    damo1271 Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Having looked some more into the Arduino I would be very interested in giving these a try if they can do even just one universe. I have some elements that are a long way (10-15m) from the principle controller, and rather than running null pixels, a simple, cheap controller would seem much better, then I can use a long run of Cat5 which doesn't suffer from degradation over the same distances.
     
  10. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    damo go "komby" wireless, thats how im doing all my pixel window frames that are inside the house..
     
  11. damo1271

    damo1271 Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Thanks, Alec I hadn't seen these before. I'd still prefer cat5 cables to wireless and it doesn't look like Komby do that.
    I will do some more research.
     

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