I got the North Pole (almost) completed.
This is the last episode for the P10 sign build. The sign acts as a “tune to” sign and general information about the display, namely a pointer back to this blog. It will run simultaneously with the display, but will run independently of any sequences playing at the time.
An optimization I’d love to add is current time and temperature. The BeagleBone Black does have internet connectivity so I am sure something like that is possible, but I may have to get creative with a solution for that. This will have to wait until I have more time to play with it and time is running out. I still have a lot to do to get everything ready for this year’s show.
I’ll be sure to post an episode about it if I can actually pull it off!
Update: Several people have asked for the xLights XML file I used to run the P10 sign so posting here: P10 Message.xml
Updated with a simpler step to flash the eMMC.
This covers all the steps needed for the full installation of the latest FPP 1.9 Stretch image for the Beaglebone Black. It includes the software tools you’ll need to download to format the SD Card and write the image to the card for both Windows and Mac.
Latest images are available at http://dankulp.com/bbb
If you have a brand new BeagleBone Black, I’d almost say one of Dan’s images is required. I started with the old 1.5 image and upgraded to 1.9. The panels skipped every other line. I started over with one of Dan’s newer images and the problem went away.
The high-level (TLDR) procedure is:
- Format a 16GB micro SD card with SD Formatter. Free download available from sdcard.org.
- Download the latest image from http://dankulp.com/bbb.
- Write the image to the SD Card. Multiple options/tools available.
- Boot the BeagleBone Black to the SD Card. New users, see note below.
- Flash the eMMC.
- Boot from eMMC and finish configuring the BeagleBone Black.
Note: If you are familiar with setting up a Raspberry Pi with Falcon Player, this procedure is different. The Raspberry Pi setup is a software installation where the BeagleBone Black setup is a software image. On an image, the software is already installed, you just need to boot it. The BeagleBone Black takes about 30 seconds to boot. Once it has booted, you are up and running. I suggest you flashing the eMMC to boot off internal memory, but it isn’t required. That just lets you use an SD card for the data and leaves the single USB connector open for a USB WiFi card. Your own personal needs will determine what you actually need to do to complete the setup. If you aren’t sure, try following the steps in the video.
I did discover a bug with the 2×2 vertical panel configuration. I had to set the Falcon Player arrows backwards for that configuration to display properly. The 2×2 horizontal configuration worked fine with the correct settings.
One other thing I added was an Edimax USB WiFi adapter http://amzn.to/2jsMJjo. I tried a couple of other USB adapters and they would not work. The Edimax worked flawlessly.
This is how I built my P10 Panel Enclosure for my DIY North Pole sign.
The enclosure started out with a 1″ x 6″ x 8′ White PVC Trimplank from Home Depot. I used a 10″ x 84-Tooth Laminate/Non-Ferrous Metal Cutting Saw Blade to make the cuts. They are expensive, but I already had one for cutting acrylic sheets and it cuts through it like butter. The miter cuts were tricky to line up and I probably could have done a better job with that. The blade cuts a 1/8″ slot which I used to hold the clear acrylic securely.
I drilled 1/8″ holes in the bottom plate every 4″ on both sides to let moisture drain if needed. Eyelets through the top are sealed with silicone to prevent moisture from coming through the top.
The electronics (power supply, BeagleBone Black & a SanDevices E6804 pixel controller sit on a tray I made from 1/4″ PVC facia board (don’t have a link for that). It makes mounting the electronics easier and raises them up a little in case moisture gets inside the enclosure.
In this episode, we go through setting up the Beagle Bone Black with an Octoscroller and connect 4 panels in various configurations. I also go through the xLights and FPP settings.
The general steps to setting up these panels are:
- Install Falcon Player onto the BeagleBone Black
- Install the Octoscroller
- Connect your panels to the Octoscroller
- Power everything up
- Configure Falcon Player for your setUp
- Test your panels
The video walks through each step and demonstrates a working configuration.
I got a P10 LED Matrix Panel Kit to make a “Tune To” sign for the display. This video starts as an unboxing video and then…
I bought this P10 panel kit from DIY LED Express. It came with:
- 4x16x32 panels
- 1x BeagleBone Black
- 1x 16GB micro SD car & adapter
- 1x octoscroller
- 1x 5V power supply
- 4x ribbon cables
- 4x mounting brackets
- 2x panel power pigtails
- 1x power wire
- assorted hardware
I ran into trouble while making the video so I had to cut this one short so I could do some research on the issue. I got everything working in a 2×2 configuration with the panel oriented horizontally, but was having trouble when I turned the panels vertically. I’ll do more research and report back next week.