Tombstone with p5 panel

bpratt

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Mar 31, 2019
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Jimboomba, Queensland
Doing my first 'hello weenie' show this year, and was thinking about putting a p5 panel on the bottom of a tombstone, where I could put up random names through the different sequences.

Bought a couple of these at the Brisbane mini https://www.inkcreations.com.au/product/classic-tombstone/ and there's room down the bottom part that I will cut out and fit a regular p5 panel in place there.

Now this is where I'm not super sure on a couple of things.

Can I use a Pi Zero with a RPi-P10 card attached to it, and then by simply using 16pin ribbon cable run it to the next tombstone with a p5 panel in it, which alongside the first one ? I'm assuming there would be about 1 to 1.5m of ribbon cable between them.
Do I need to run one Pi Zero with RPi-P10 on each one? seems a waste of resources if one can drive the two panels, albeit with a longer than regular cable between the 2 panels.

I'm thinking in xlights have it as one model, but with a sub-model for each panel.

Should I be using a Pi 3b instead of the Pi Zero ?


The plan with the panels to be 'boxed up' behind the tombstone prop with corflute based 'box' behind the panel to protect the back of the outdoor panel and other electrical bits, and siliconed to protect it from dampness.


The pixels on the prop would be 5v pixels, and perhaps draw the power from the psu powering the p5 panels, and therefore the smart receiver there too. That would mean I'd need to drag 230v extension cable to it, the cat5 cable for the smart receiver, and another cat5 to bring data to the Pi ?


Your thoughts and suggestions are most welcomed. :)
 

Indigogyre

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Hello,

I bought 2 of these last year and plan to use them this year like you.
https://boscoyostudio.com/product/p5-megachromastone/ and

This is a complete kit with controller for the p5 tombstone:

My thoughts are that a zero would be fine for a single tombstone but if you want to chain them together I would use a 3b+ personally. If chaining together I would make some custom jumpers that were more durable then the standard flat ribbon cables. The use of a PI and RPI-10 card comes down to finances and what materials you have on hand.

I have tested the RPI-10 on the Zero 2 and it does work.

My plan is to use a pi zero 2 w/ the RPI-10 card per tombstone since I only have 2 that will be on either end of my yard maybe 5m - 10m away from each other. I already had the zero 2s before the world went nuts so it's easy for me to say that.

NOW, don't think me insane BUT have you thought of using colorlight cards to control each P5 panel? The cards are cheap and available in the us for about $30 each. You can daisy chain them together with normal good quality network cable and can runt hem off a single Falcon player with a 1GB network port on it, whatever the physical flavor is.

Physically controlling comes down to the amount you want to pay to do it really. There are many alternatives.

Now, for xLights I modeled the tombstone outline as a model and the p5 as a different model and just arranged them in the layout to look sort of like the tombstone prop.
 

Skymaster

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I'd be concerned about the cable length and possible data quality issues. The HUB75 interface runs at a pretty high frequency, and wasn't designed for runs more than about a foot or two or so long.

I'd with Indi's suggestion of multiple colorlights. Would be a bit more work to set up, but then you just have ethernet everywhere. Can be chained between them or all come back to a gigabit switch.
 

bpratt

Senior elf
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
562
Location
Jimboomba, Queensland
This is a complete kit with controller for the p5 tombstone:

My thoughts are that a zero would be fine for a single tombstone but if you want to chain them together I would use a 3b+ personally. If chaining together I would make some custom jumpers that were more durable then the standard flat ribbon cables. The use of a PI and RPI-10 card comes down to finances and what materials you have on hand.

I have tested the RPI-10 on the Zero 2 and it does work.

My plan is to use a pi zero 2 w/ the RPI-10 card per tombstone since I only have 2 that will be on either end of my yard maybe 5m - 10m away from each other. I already had the zero 2s before the world went nuts so it's easy for me to say that.

NOW, don't think me insane BUT have you thought of using colorlight cards to control each P5 panel? The cards are cheap and available in the us for about $30 each. You can daisy chain them together with normal good quality network cable and can runt hem off a single Falcon player with a 1GB network port on it, whatever the physical flavor is.

Physically controlling comes down to the amount you want to pay to do it really. There are many alternatives.

Now, for xLights I modeled the tombstone outline as a model and the p5 as a different model and just arranged them in the layout to look sort of like the tombstone prop.
good thoughts.

That wired watts package looks great to keep things watertight.

maybe I need to look at using my old BBB and Octoscroller I have kicking around here for the second one.
These two tombstones will be right next to each other, and I thought the not so excessive ribbon cable run might be okay, but no guarantee.

The colorlight idea sounds rather interesting though.

With xlights, yes that's sort of how I was thinking about it too.
 

bpratt

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Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
562
Location
Jimboomba, Queensland
I'd be concerned about the cable length and possible data quality issues. The HUB75 interface runs at a pretty high frequency, and wasn't designed for runs more than about a foot or two or so long.

I was concerned about that too, which is why I was asking about it.

I do think the colorlight cards isn't a bad idea too.
 

Indigogyre

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Jun 26, 2021
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Oh, the resurrection of an old thread! ARISE !

Below are some of the results of my testing and how I ran my props. I had 2 of the P5 Tombstones and each was setup differently.

1. Internal Raspberry Pi 4 running FPP with a rPi-P10 hat sealed with silicone caulk. The Pi was sealed into the P5 case structure and is not accessible at all. If something goes wrong with the PI I will need to take apart the prop. This also goes for some updates that might be required. I'm more concerned about getting access and updating the OS and FPP than something going wrong.

2. Colorlight 5A-75B card sealed with silicone caulk. This is also sealed into the P5 case but is hands off once configured. There will be no need to open the case unless there is a physical problem inside.

It was a bit more work stuffing the Colorlight card into the case but in the end I think it was worth it. After I've had a chance to run the Tombstones and watch them in action the Colorlight card responds and looks better in my opinion. I won't be using anything except Colorlight cards going forward to drive any panels. Just wanted to follow-up with things I learned since putting them together originally.


P5Tombstone01.jpg



P5Tombstone02.jpg


 
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