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Discretely Controllable DMX Driven RGB Pixels

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Archive for October, 2009

The DHL Fairy…

Posted by JEC on 30th October 2009

… dropped off a well-worn package Thursday morning.  14 Kg of halfway-around-the-world happiness are now spread out on the workshop floor.

I’m now the proud owner of 1000 pieces of waterproof addressable RGB node:

Smart 12mm Waterproof RGB Chain

A while back, I scanned blueprints of the house into the computer, and then imported them into the CAD program.  It appears that we need ~ 960 nodes to cover the rooflines, raingutters, windows and main entrance arch.

The controllers are coming along nicely as well.  I’ve currently got a single data output which can drive 300 nodes at a 25.5 Hz refresh rate.  With some optimizing, those numbers should reach 340 nodes (2 universes of DMX) and 44 Hz frame rate.

Then, it’s a simple matter of cloning the output drive code as many times as are needed, up to the limit of my firmware and the ethernet processor.  Supporting 2048 nodes (13 universes!) in a single string would be wonderful.

Monday afternoon I’m expecting a batch of controller circuit boards as well.  These boards will contain the ethernet controller.  We now have sample code which pulls data from the ethernet interface at 7+ megabits / second.

So the jump from ‘barely stable system at 10 Hz and 1 universe of Art-Net’ to ‘screaming fast’ should be significant.  Switching from serial SPI mode (3 pins) to parallel data transfer mode (14 pins) makes a huge difference.

Onward!

Posted in 2009 Project, Drive Gear | 3 Comments »

Asian Node Control – Update

Posted by JEC on 15th October 2009

It’s been a busy couple weeks…

News: we have the beginnings of an Art-Net interface for the new 4-wire nodes from Asia.  For being totally unoptimized, it’s running fairly well.  The Art-Net input code currently barfs if more than a single universe of data is present on the wire, or if a single universe is updated at more than ~ 10 Hz.

However, it’s very satisfying to see the node appear and properly complete the ‘handshake’ process with Artistic License’s ‘DMX Workshop’ software suite.

We now have an official Vendor / Product ID from AL as well.

Next step is to streamline the code, remove the ugly bits, and increase throughput to support 2-4 universes at ~40 Hz refresh.

Onward! Thanks for visiting.

Posted in 2009 Project, Photo / Video Clips, Pixels | Comments Off