Introduction: Rgb Pixel Christmas Light Show Part 3: Falcon Player (fpp)

About: I love all things programming from making a Led blink on a arduino, to controlling a whole Christmas light show from my phone with raspberry pi and other hardware. If you'd like to see the light show, check ou…

In this insctrucable, i'm going to show you how to setup Falcon player, which is a show player, on a raspberry pi. If you want to see part 1 of this series click here and click here for part 2 with xlights. So what is falcon player? It basically takes the sequences you made in part 2, and then sends them to the controller when you want to have your lights turn on. Falcon player runs on a raspberry pi, a beagle bone, and some other devices. This step also contains the hardest step of setup a light show which is the nework settings. But i will try to explain it the best i can. If i doesnt make sense to you at the end, watch this playlist from canipater christmas on Falcon player here. Now let's get started.


Raspberry pi or beagle bone with power supply

8GB - 32GB micro sd card

access to your home router

ethernet cable

Step 1: Installing Falcon Player

So i will be showing you how to setup falcon player 4.0 on a raspberry pi, but it's mostly the same settings with a beagle bone. So go to github and download fpp. I will link it here. Scroll down to the latest release and get the package for you. If you have a raspberry pi, get the fpp pi-image by clicking it. If you have a beagle bone black, get the fpp bbb-image. Then put your sd card into your computer and format it in fat32. 8GB - 32GB micro sd cards should work fine. If you have a 64GB or higher sd card, you need to get special software in windows to format it in fat32. Mac computers should be fine. Then get a imaging software such as etcher and flash your image to the sd card. This will take several minutes. Once done, take the sd card out and put it into the raspberry pi or beagle bone black, connect a ethernet cable to your router, and then connect power. You do not need to plug in a monitor, key board, or mouse. But you may want speakers later. After waiting about 1 minute or so, open a web browser and type in http://fpp.local. If your browser says it cannot reach this page, then you need to log into your router and find the ip address or the raspberry pi and type that into your browser. After the page loads, you will see the falcon player web interface.

Step 2: Set the Time

So the first thing you should do is set the time. So click the status/control page, then click fpp settings. Once you get there, click time, then set your time manually, or pick a time zone.

Step 3: Network Settings

We are now beginning the hardest step of a rgb pixel light display: The network (bum, bum, bummmmm!) So go to status/control and click network. First thing you do is go to the bottom of the page and click enable routing between devices. Then in the middle of the page at the top, you will see 2 buttons: eth0 and wlan0. Click the wlan0. Then click the circle that says static. Now, look at the top where it says falcon player-fpp. There should be a group of numbers like 192.168.something. Put the same number into the box that says ip address. Then in the netmask box, put then in the gateway box, put in the number that is in the ip address box, but change the last set of numbers to 1. Then below where it says wpa ssid, put the name of your wifi into the box, then put your wifi password in below. Now click update interface, then click resart network. You should now be able to unplug your raspberry pi from your router. Then go to diffrent pages on the fpp interface to check that the wifi is working. Now go back to the network page and this time click eth0. check the static circle again. Then in the ip address box, type in 192.168 then any number between 0-255 as long as this set of numbers is different then the numbers of your wlan0 ip address. So if your ip address is for your wlan0, then type in 192.168.2.something in the eth0 as long as the third set of numbers is DIFFERENT then the other number. finally for the last set of numbers, you can type in any number between 2 - 254. Then in the netmask, put Leave the gateway blank. Now go below to the host/dns settings, and click manual. Type the gateway number of your wlan0 into dns server 1. Then just type in the second one. Finally click update dns, then restart dns. You made it through the first part of the hardest part of a light display! We will talk about the other hard part in part 4 of the instrucables.

Step 4: Putting Your Xlights Sequence Into Fpp

Now you are going to add xlights sequence into fpp so it knows what to play. First go to content setup, then file manger. Next, click the button that says select files. Your files should show up. Go to your xlights folder and find your sequence you want to put into fpp. You will see 3 files of your one sequence. Make sure you add the fseq file. For example, i named my sequence joy to the world demo, so it should say joy to the world.fseq. You can drag and drop your file into the box. Now you have to find the music file. This will be the file that you put in for music in step 5 of the previous instructable. Once you found that file, drag and drop that into fpp. You should see in the sequence tab of fpp your sequence file, and your music file in the aduio tab. If your sequence popped up in the uploads tab, then you grabbed the wrong file.

Step 5: Creating a Playlist

The next step is to create a playlist. Go to control tab, then playlists. At the top, you will see a bar that says create new playlist. Enter a playlist name, then push create. Mine will be demo. Now you can scroll down and enter a playlist description, but this is optional. Then go down a little further and you will see something that says edit playlist entry. Where is says type, select sequence and media. If you do not have music with your sequence, select sequence only. Then go down and select your sequence name, then media. You can leave the video out at default. Then click the add button, then save button.

Step 6: Setting Up a Schedule

Finally for the content setup tab, you need to go to scheduler. First you click the add button. Then Click the avtive checkbox. Now setup the times you want your show to run by selecting the start date, the end date, then the days you want it to run on. Next select the playlist you just made. For me it would be demo. Then select the times during the day when you want your lights to come on. You can then select how you want it to stop. Hard stop means right at the time you select, the lights will stop. Even if the sequence is not over. Graceful means it will finish the song, then stop. And finally, graceful loop means it will finish ever song in the playlist, then stop. After you setup your schedule, click save.

Step 7: Setting Up a Output

In this step, you will setup a output to tell fpp how many universes to send to the controller. Remember setting up channels and universes in xlights? well you got to enter that information here. Go to input/output setup, then channel outputs. Click the check box that say enable e1.31 output. Then click output count and set it to 1, then click set. This number will be different tho when you are setting up a real display. This is just for the demo. Set the output type to e1.31 multicast. Set the fpp start channel to 1, then set the univers count to 2. This njumber will also be different in a real display. Set the universe size to 510, then click save. That is all you need to do!

Step 8: Test and Finish

You can test to see if the audio is working, but you can't test the lights just yet. You will be able to tho in the next instructable! First, plug in headphones or speakers into the raspberry pi. Next go to the status/control page in fpp. Now select your playlist, then click the song, then push play. If you setup everything right, you should here your song. You can adjust the volume below the playlist selection. When done, you can push stop now. Thanks for reading this instructable! If you have a question or think i left out something, leave a comment. In the next instructable, I will be showing you how to setup a f16v3 to work with fpp on a raspberry pi. If you have a falcon controller, but not the f16v3, the setup will be slightly different, but you can still follow along. If you are using a different controller, then the next instructable will not work for you. As soon is part 4 is out, i will link it here: