This is me bumping this (can you bump threads in Google groups?) I

(Michael Sime) #1

This is me bumping this (can you bump threads in Google groups?)

I wound up designing a 2x Teensy system that allows control over different patterns & speeds & even sections (using a modified octo)…of course I had to work with a local maker to do the nitty gritty programming…

but of course I now have one of my regular clients that wants 10 MORE of these ‘servers’ built by (of course) this TUESDAY 12/15/15! and there’s no way I’ll get my boards from the board maker people in time…so I’m back to one long thread of pixels strung thru 10 or so blades in a rack…

I’m playing around with christmas lights again, but it’s still random-random…I’m hip to your suggestions, but have no time to tinker and learn the code…I dunno if this is kosher here, but I’l gladly pay someone to come up with some groovy server code for me to try out! HELP!


(Daniel Garcia) #2

A tight time frame like this, at this time of year is going to be tricky for finding help. I know for myself, work is ramped up till the end of the year, as is the out of band contract work that i’m doing (and on top of that for myself, I have NYE party lighting projects to complete, as well as a couple of other projects, but hey - at least I still have time to add nifty toys to FastLED for you all :slight_smile:

Any chance you can pull on the person who helped you out before to work with you this time?

(Stefan Petrick) #3

I could imagine that some constrained noise might look nice.

Also: Dynamic bargraphs (from green to red) always look very technical…

(Michael Sime) #4

yeah, the guy who helped me program the ‘real’ controller is less than responsive on deadline…

one of the controls we did in the big board allows for the picking of 5px sections out of 50px ‘strips’ out of each of the 8 outputs of our ‘octo’…and one of the animations is a ‘VU (peak) meter’ with a random input going…(unfortunately, he did it in C++ and I can hardly make heads of tails out of it…probably my favorite animation though

(Marc Miller) #5

Here’s some groovy code for you to try out @Michael_Sime . Happy holidays!

It’s still based on @Mark_Kriegsman 's holiday lights code but heavily tweaked in areas with some additional variables added you can play around with. There’s new more unified server rack like color palettes, and the lights mostly stay on now.

I only have a Neopixel ring (just 12 pixels, one of which went bad!) with me for testing at the moment so I really don’t know how this code will feel when spread out over a few hundred pixels but we can hope for the best and you can tweak away on the variables. Best of luck getting your project done next week.

(Michael Sime) #6

+Marc Miller you ROCK! will drop this on a machine as soon as I get into the office & send a video…many many thanks!

(Michael Sime) #7

@marmil so I loaded it up this morning, and at first, it was PERFECT…BUT (there’s always a but) it seems that after awhile it just sorta peters out and stops blinking…or at least it slows wayyyyyy down…any thoughts?

(Marc Miller) #8

Hmmmm. Not sure. I left it running on an UNO for three hours and it was still going fine on my 12 pixel Neopixel.
Which makes me wonder… How many pixels are you running? And how long until you notice it’s petering?

(Marc Miller) #9

I just tested how many FPS I was getting. With 12 pixels and it was about 400. Then with NUM_LEDS set to 300 it was about 84, and visually the nice blinking effect was broken! Bleh.

(Michael Sime) #10

not quite that many…I had set it to 120px, but also tweaked a bit trying to increase the rate of blink…when I go back to your original, it seems ok, proving once again thatI’m a moron…I think in my attempt to make it ever so slightly more active, I killed it…

I just burned a new board in the garage and am testing again with your original sketch…running 60px strung between my bench & the magnifier lamp…

when I borked it, trying to make a bit more activity, I increased activity & twinkle chance–
#define FADE_IN_SPEED 220
#define FADE_OUT_SPEED 250
#define DENSITY 65
#define ACTIVITY 15

also, I left all the palettes active, whereas on Marks, I would turn most off…

do those lines just define the available colors that any given LED might make? that doesn;t have anything to do with pattern/speed or anything, right?

(Marc Miller) #11

@Michael_Sime Here’s an alternate updated version which runs ok with 300 pixels. Not nearly the same snappy look as the first one running only 12 pixels, but still might give you enough pixel action to be acceptable. If you’re running less then 300 pixels with this version then it will just get better (and you might need to tone some variables down).

I wonder if you could send the same data out to two separate strips at the same time (to have a lower pixel count in the code, thus get a better speed)?

I won’t be able to help much more as I’ll be out of town early tomorrow and away from the computer.

(Marc Miller) #12

In your tweaking I think you made ACTIVITY too high. Just raise that one a tiny bit, like 3 or 4 more at a time.

(Marc Miller) #13

With my new holiday_server_rack_300 version (, try these values for use with 120 pixels:

#define FADE_IN_SPEED 245
#define FADE_OUT_SPEED 190
#define DENSITY 250
#define ACTIVITY 200

(Michael Sime) #14

you mean you’re not on-call to help some poor schmuck on a deadline who you don’t know except for some ramblings on a google group? huh!

anyway, tried the last, with the following tweaks:
#define NUM_LEDS 120


#define FADE_IN_SPEED 245 // 0-255 smaller number is slower
#define FADE_OUT_SPEED 245 // 0-255 smaller number is slower
#define DENSITY 100 // 0-255 smaller is less dense
#define ACTIVITY 50 // Use a slghtly larger number for a more “activity”
#define TWINKLE_CHANCE 60 // 0-100 How often to add a twinkle
#define REPEATE_CHANCE 30 // 0-100 Percent chance of changing the same pixel

and so far I’m digging it…will have to try it on a rack in the morning…

I just wish I knew EXACTLY what each parameter is doing, because as in other things, what I THINK ‘activity’ or ‘twinkle_chance’ should be, I don;t think are…

I just keep pressing buttons until the machine do what I wanted it to do…

and thank you VERY much for all your assistance…

(Michael Sime) #15

@marmil ahhhh…you made me think…so I went back to your original-original, and changed nada except for pin#, so I could see what you thought you made…and yes, THAT pattern over 100 or so pixels is exactly what I’m looking for!