Author Topic: Resolved - What am I doing wrong?  (Read 1422 times)

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Resolved - What am I doing wrong?
« on: January 12, 2016, »
As I mentioned before, I am making my first foray into RGB, and I am a little stumped by the behavior of my pixel systems.  I can't get them to talk properly to my strings.  For testing, I have two systems in play, both fed from a Lynx Etherdongle.

The first is a Zeus 16 feeding a 96 node string.  When I power the Zeus on, the string's first pixel usually (not always) lights, and nothing else.  I tried flashing the Zeus, and it seemed to work (the entire strings started flashing), but now I can't get anything from the Zeus other than that 1 continuous light, whether I try sending data from Vixen 3 or from the config tool.

The second is a 16 port active hub feeding an SSC.  It is a V1 modded to V3.  I verified I have 12V power on the SSC.  I can see the data steaming from Vixen or the config tool, as the case may be.

First of all, I want to verify my understanding that Vixen 3 does not require a driver for Pixelnet.  I read that one can employ the embedded E1.31 ACN streaming protocol.  The instructions for the plugin say to put it in the ~/plugin directory, but under Vixen 3 there is no such directory.

Assuming I am good up to the ETD output, how do I proceed in order to troubleshoot / fix this?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, by lrhorer »

Offline chrisatpsu

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3726
  • ahhh, yes... my new blink-i-nator 3000!!!
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, »
Here's a good starting point 

Checklist...

__ Has the chips on the Zues been programmed?

__ Has the Etherdongle been programmed with the Pixelnet firmware?

__ Is the Etherdongle out port (black, doesn't have lights n the port) have a cable connected from it, to the 16 port Active Hub Pixelnet In port?

__ Is there a cable from the pixelnet output to the Zues?

__ Is the Active Hub being supplied with power from a computer power supply with all the white inputs being plugged in on the hub?

__ Does the Active hub have both pixelnet Universe jumpers set to "1"

__ Is your Zues Programmed for channel 1?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, by chrisatpsu »
To rule the entire tri-state area!  What's that? Perry the Platypus!!!

Offline chrisatpsu

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3726
  • ahhh, yes... my new blink-i-nator 3000!!!
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, »
Had to edit the checklist to change over to a Zues

I guess you can go straight to the Zues also, and forget about the active hub for now in testing..   forgot the zues also has a built in hub onboard.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, by chrisatpsu »
To rule the entire tri-state area!  What's that? Perry the Platypus!!!

Offline taybrynn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2028
    • RockinChristmas
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, »
Is this a zeus v1 or v2 (v2 has 16 universe jumpers).  Shouldn't matter.

I would put the Zeus last, some of mine seemed to work best that way.  PLus having the active hub upstream allows
you to use it as a pixelnet splitter, which is handy and gives other connectivity options.

go from PC --> network sitch --> Etherdongle -> Active Hub ---(PNout)---> Zeus  ch#1--> 96 node string
                                                                                 |
                                                                                 +---------SSC ---> rgb test string?

Makes sure the Zeus is terminated, unless your using that universe downstream, in the example above you would not, so terminate it.

Make sure all PIC chips are flashes with firmware.

Makes sure all zeus channels are programmed that you want to use.

Make sure the smart string utility you use to program them is the right version, this is here is gets confusing.  Go to the wiki -> smart strings for the links.
The ss utility for the zeus and ssc are not the same!   Even betweem ssc v3 and ssc v4 ... also not the same.
So make sure you program the zues with the ss zeus utility (under zeus in the wiki).
and make sure you program the ssc v3 mod with the ssc v3 utility (Not the zeus version).

You might want to download lights and use its tester ... might at least eliminate any potential vixen problems for now.

If you get it working with the xlights tester, then switch to vixen 3 after that.



Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Has the chips on the Zues been programmed?
How do I check for sure?  I did not build any of this equipment.  I've read through using a PIC programmer, but I don't have it working, yet.  Is there a preferred / required compiler I should choose?  The MPLAB software won't come up unless I choose one.  (Or did I select the wrong target somewhere?)

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Has the Etherdongle been programmed with the Pixelnet firmware?
I think so.  It says so on the label.

'Same question.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Is the Etherdongle out port (black, doesn't have lights n the port) have a cable connected from it, to the 16 port Active Hub Pixelnet In port?
When I am testing the hub, yes.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Is there a cable from the pixelnet output to the Zues?
When I am testing the Zeus, yes.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Is the Active Hub being supplied with power from a computer power supply with all the white inputs being plugged in on the hub?
Yes.  The 12V supply option kit is on its way from Mouser.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Does the Active hub have both pixelnet Universe jumpers set to "1"
Yes

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
__ Is your Zues Programmed for channel 1?
Huh?  I have tried setting the first address to one on the Zeus using the SSC programming tool V2, if that is what you mean.  If not, then I don't know what you mean.

Offline chrisatpsu

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3726
  • ahhh, yes... my new blink-i-nator 3000!!!
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, »
Ok, for the pickit3, don't use mplab, but the standalone programmer.
To rule the entire tri-state area!  What's that? Perry the Platypus!!!

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Is this a zeus v1 or v2 (v2 has 16 universe jumpers).  Shouldn't matter.
V1.1

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I would put the Zeus last, some of mine seemed to work best that way.  PLus having the active hub upstream allows you to use it as a pixelnet splitter, which is handy and gives other connectivity options.
Standard troubleshooting procedure:  remove any unnecessary elements from the system to prevent their causing additional issues within the system.  I plug in the Zeus when I am testing the Zeus.  I unplug the Zeus and plug in the hub when I am testing the SSC.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
go from PC --> network sitch --> Etherdongle -> Active Hub ---(PNout)---> Zeus  ch#1--> 96 node string
When testing the Zeus:
PC --> network sitch --> Etherdongle -> Zeus  ch#1--> 96 node string

When testing the Hub / SSC:
PC --> network sitch --> Etherdongle -> Active Hub --> SSC --> 12 node string

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Makes sure the Zeus is terminated
It is.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Make sure all PIC chips are flashes with firmware.
See above.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Makes sure all zeus channels are programmed that you want to use.
How?  I have tried multiple starting addresses using the SSC configuration utility V2.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Make sure the smart string utility you use to program them is the right version, this is here is gets confusing.  Go to the wiki -> smart strings for the links.
I've done that, and I am not 100% confidant I have done so.  I remember reading about locking up some of the PICs.  What can I do if that is what I did?

I know I tried V1.0 off the SSC programmer on the SSC.  That selection is grayed out on V2.0.  I know I tried V2.0 on the Zeus, but I may have inadvertently run 1.0 on the Zeus.  Again, what if I did?  I remember reading some of the wrong versions can make the PIC appear to be locked.  If so, how do I un-lock it?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
The ss utility for the zeus and ssc are not the same!
So I gather.  I might have used the SSC utility on the Zeus.  See above.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Even betweem ssc v3 and ssc v4 ... also not the same.
I also rather gathered that, but what about a modded V1?  What should it use?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
So make sure you program the zues with the ss zeus utility (under zeus in the wiki).
Yeah, I've tried that.  As I say, I may have accidentally programmed it with the SSC 1.0 utility.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
and make sure you program the ssc v3 mod with the ssc v3 utility (Not the zeus version).
The file name of the version I downloaded is "SSC Utility Setup 7-10-2011.zip", and it has two files with mod dates of 7-10-11 in it.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You might want to download lights and use its tester ... might at least eliminate any potential vixen problems for now.
I may try that.  Thanks.

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Ok, for the pickit3, don't use mplab, but the standalone programmer.
Is that something distinct from the SSC programming utilities?

Offline chrisatpsu

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3726
  • ahhh, yes... my new blink-i-nator 3000!!!
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, »
I donot see the connectors for the pickit on the zeus. I would place the chips on my ziff adapter and using the standalone programmer, you can flash the latest firmware to the chip.

As for the etherdongle, it does have the connector to flash it. Just make sure all the regular cables are unplugged first.

As far as testing everything, I would set it up using the simplest setup possible. Less items, less things to go wrong.
To rule the entire tri-state area!  What's that? Perry the Platypus!!!

Offline chrisatpsu

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3726
  • ahhh, yes... my new blink-i-nator 3000!!!
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, »
Ok, easier to type on the computer, than the cell phone. 

for the programmer...
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

choose the
Pickit3 Stand Alone Programmer Appver 1.0

What model SSC do you have?
(it will say on the pcb)
To rule the entire tri-state area!  What's that? Perry the Platypus!!!

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I donot see the connectors for the pickit on the zeus.
The Wiki says it does not need an adapter, which doesn't quite make sense, to me.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
you can flash the latest firmware to the chip.
All sixteen of them?  Ugh.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, by lrhorer »

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2016, »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
What model SSC do you have?
The person from whom I bought it said it was a V1 modded to V3.  It does have the little jumper on it specified in the Wiki for the V1 mod.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
(it will say on the pcb)
Not that I can see.  All t says is "Robert Jordan 2010".

My ZIFF adapter looks nothing like the ones in the pictures.  I'll need to see if I can make it work with these PICs.

Offline tbone321

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3984
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2016, »
To program the PIC's on the Zeus, you are either going to need to pick up a socket adapter like the ones from J1SYS or get your hands on a SSC V4 which uses the same PIC as the Zeus.  There is no header on the Zeus for the Pickit because there is no practical way to connect it to a particular PIC on the board.  It does use different firmware than the SSC but there is no issue in loading the Zeus firmware on the PIC while it is in the SSC.  Just don't try and run it like that.  As for MPLAB, make sure to use the IPE version.  That is the programmer version.  The IDE is the developer version which requires a connection to a compiler and is not needed when loading assembled firmware.  The independent programmer has not been fully developed and is really a thing of the past.
If at first you don't succeed,
your not cut out for sky diving

Offline lrhorer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2016, »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
To program the PIC's on the Zeus, you are either going to need to pick up a socket adapter like the ones from J1SYS or get your hands on a SSC V4 which uses the same PIC as the Zeus.
Or use a breadboard.  I have one around here, somewhere.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
There is no header on the Zeus for the Pickit because there is no practical way to connect it to a particular PIC on the board.
Well, I disagree, there.  The brute force method would be to create the board with 16 individual headers.  A little more elegantly, at least 2 of the 5 pins in use are not carrying data.  A bank of NAND gates tied to a rotary switch could easily route the data to / from one PIC at a time for the 3 (or maybe just 2) pins that don't need to be tied to only a single PIC.  If one of the lines is a serial line, then make that a bank of transcievers.  Of course, any such facilities would increase the cost of the build a bit, but not much.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
As for MPLAB, make sure to use the IPE version.  That is the programmer version.
I think I was using the IDE.  I'll give the IPE a shot.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
The independent programmer has not been fully developed and is really a thing of the past.
Um, the sentence "Only use the Pickit 3 utility and not MPLAB to program the firmware" is splattered all over the Wiki, including the section for the ETD, the 16 port active hub, and the SSCs.  This makes me really nervous.  Is the Wiki really that far off?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, by lrhorer »

Offline taybrynn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2028
    • RockinChristmas
Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2016, »
(1) not sure how you flashed the pic(s) for the zeus ... but I'm assuming you knew what you were doing (I use a SSC v4 socket, then connect to pickit2 via ispf)
     but any failed attempts to flash can ofter require a reflash of the original PIC firmware ... so if its anything but flash, program with correct ss version ... then you may
    need to start over.

(2) sounds extremely likely you didn't use the correct version of smart string utility ... as your v1->v3mod and the zeus both need a distinct version to work.
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login