vixen controlling arduino atmega

razataz327

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Dec 26, 2012
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Didsbury AB
Hi all. I am starting early this year to make sure I get my display ready for Christmas.
I am planning to do the following. Any good comments are welcome


Using vixen software to control multiply atmiga 2560 boards that will be controlling hundreds of relay boards connected to thousands of led light strings.
Will Vixen control multiply boards, is yes how many and how? If not which software will?
Thanks for the help
Garnet
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
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Sorry if this sounds rude, but that sounds like a painful way to control Christmas lights of any kind.

How many lights are we talking about and what type ?

There are plenty of E1.31 (Ethernet) and DMX controllers out there.
 

keithsw1111

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From experience the arduino route is definitely more challenging.


I have about 10 of them distributed around my house for some smaller elements like a handful of relays and up to about 500 pixels. For bigger elements you really need a more powerful controller.


I use arduino megas combined with ENC28J60 ethernet boards for a base cost of about US$10 per controller ... it is a price hard to beat as long as you dont consider your time ... you will invest a lot of time in getting them all working and reliable ... particularly as the number of channels increase as they struggle to keep up with network data.


If you do decide to go this way then you can grab my arduino code here: https://bitbucket.org/keithsw1111/arduinodmxws2811 This code will quite happily run relays and/or WS2811/12 pixels.


The sequencer itself is not that important. Any sequencer that outputs E131 data can drive these including Vixen & xLights.
 

razataz327

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Didsbury AB
Well I have the w5100 and the mega 2560 hooked up and sketch is running. Having some trouble seeing how to hook up the 5 relay boards to the mega and to talk to vixen. I am new to this so please forgive my lack of knowledge. I can build all the display and do the wiring etc but the computer stuff is new.
I had a friend use your sketch and have it working now we are trying to hook up the rest.. Thanks very much for your help
Garnet
 

glock9mmowner

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Oct 19, 2016
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keithsw1111 said:
From experience the arduino route is definitely more challenging.


I have about 10 of them distributed around my house for some smaller elements like a handful of relays and up to about 500 pixels. For bigger elements you really need a more powerful controller.


I use arduino megas combined with ENC28J60 ethernet boards for a base cost of about US$10 per controller ... it is a price hard to beat as long as you dont consider your time ... you will invest a lot of time in getting them all working and reliable ... particularly as the number of channels increase as they struggle to keep up with network data.


If you do decide to go this way then you can grab my arduino code here: https://bitbucket.org/keithsw1111/arduinodmxws2811 This code will quite happily run relays and/or WS2811/12 pixels.


The sequencer itself is not that important. Any sequencer that outputs E131 data can drive these including Vixen & xLights.
Curious how exactly this works as far as uploading the code into the Arduino - or do the dependencies go automatically when you build it? Still a newbie when it comes to the Arduino boards, pretty good with FPP and RPi but I can build rather cheap controllers with the Megas...Mind explaining the process?
 

keithsw1111

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When you build it you set the config in the global.h file. From then on all pixel data is sent across the network. Everything you need is uploaded when you send the sketch to the arduino. These boards don't have enough memory for an operating system. It's just a bootlegger and your program.
 

glock9mmowner

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Excellent - I will order a shield as this would be cheaper than running a Pi. I appreciate your quick reply. If I have any questions do you mind if I message you?
 

glock9mmowner

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Mind explaining your folder structure? I downloaded your code and extracted it but I think the way its extracted does not preserve how your dependencies need everything. Getting a lot of errors on compile for .h files trying to find things.


I appreciate your help in advance.
 

glock9mmowner

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Well, got the code to compile now just curious as to what pins I can use for communicate to some WS2811 pixels?
 

glock9mmowner

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Oct 19, 2016
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OK - Pin 24 when using Xlights the lights just do the same pattern regardless of what data I send...


I assume that this can receive E1.31 data via unicast? Forgive my ignorance as I am still learning how all this stuff works.
 

keithsw1111

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In global.h you define a universe number lets say you chose universe 100. The data sent to that universe goes to pin 22, universe 101 would go to pin 23, universe 102 to pin 24 and so on.


If the lights are doing a pattern but you are not sending data then are you in one of the test modes? or is it just the startup pattern which flashes through the colours then stops?


In debug.h you can also turn on debug output ... debug messages are sent on the serial port back to your PC and tell you more about what is going on. The downside is it also slows things down but when you are just getting it going it can be really helpful.


If you join the zoom session tonight after 7pm i might be able to get you going a lot faster than trading messages here.
 

glock9mmowner

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So I have tried debugging but its just a bunch of useless junk. Only pin 24 seems to every act like its going through the boot up and idle function, the rest of the ports never do it, which is odd.


I can see the ethernet shield light up like mad when I tell XLights to send data over unicast to the IP I assigned...just nothing happens. I can post any additional info as you like.
 

keithsw1111

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It would be good if I could get you online and do a walkthrough. It will make it a lot faster to debug.

To cleanup the junk ensure your serial speed in the terminal is set to 115000
 
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