Falcon FPP BBB

From wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Falcon Player on BeagleBone Black

The development team is currently working on port Falcon Player to the Beaglebone Black hardware platform

BeagleBone Black Raspberry Pi
Base Price $45 - shop around $35 - shop around
Processor 1GHz TI Sitara AM3359 ARM Cortex A8 700 MHz ARM1176JZFS
RAM 512 MB DDR3L @ 400 MHz 512 MB SDRAM @ 400 MHz
Storage 2 GB on-board eMMC, MicroSD SD or MicroSD, depending on model
Video Connections 1 Micro-HDMI 1 HDMI, 1 Composite
Supported Resolutions 1280×1024 (5:4), 1024×768 (4:3), 1280×720 (16:9), 1440×900 (16:10) all at 16 bit Extensive from 640×350 up to 1920×1200, this includes 1080p
Audio Stereo over HDMI Stereo over HDMI, Stereo from 3.5 mm jack
Operating Systems Angstrom (Default), Ubuntu, Android, ArchLinux, Gentoo, Minix, RISC OS, others… Raspbian (Recommended), Ubuntu, Android, ArchLinux, FreeBSD, Fedora, RISC OS, others…
Power Draw 210-460 mA @ 5V under varying conditions 150-350 mA @ 5V under varying conditions
GPIO Capability 65 Pins 8 Pins
Peripherals 1 USB Host, 1 Mini-USB Client, 1 10/100 Mbps Ethernet 2 USB Hosts, 1 Micro-USB Power, 1 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, RPi camera connector

Completed Octoscroller Boards

Notice Port Numbers in Green


P10 Power consumption

When determining your power needs, it is suggested that you take the more conservative numbers.  Look at Analysis #2 for more safe numbers.

Power Analysis #1:  Measurements from Patdelaney, calculations from Steve Gase:

Using these panels: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-P10-Indoor-SMD-3in1-Full-Color-Led-Display-Module-1-8-scan-320-160mm/1791940107.html

According to the Aliexpress ratings:   Max power consumption is 500W / M2  and Avg power consumption is 200W / M2

Using a multimeter on the output side of the power supply in-line with the P10 panels.

Single Board Power (Amps @ 5v) Notes
Red .85 n/a
Green .61 n/a
Blue .50 n/a
White 1.37 n/a
Butterfly .85 n/a
2x2 Matrix (4 panels) Power (Amps @ 5v) Notes
Red 2.3 n/a
Green 1.6 n/a
1.1 n/a
White 3.68 n/a
Butterfly 2.35 n/a

Power Calculations:

You can use the info gathered above to estimate your power needs.  

  • With a 64-panel setup, you can multiply the 4-panel number for white by 16 as a worst-case.  (16 x 3.68 = 58.88 amps)
  • You might consider powering the BBB using the same supply (worst-case: 3 amps   58.88 amps + 3 amps = 61.88 amps)
  • Convert to watts  (5v x 61.88 amps = 309.4 watts)
  • Plan for peaks and Power Supply differences by only using 80% of the planned needs  ( 309.4 watts / 80% = 386.75 watts)  
  • A 400-watt 5V power supply will support the powering of BBB and 64 panels!

Power Analysis #2:  Calculations by JonB, expansion by Steve Gase:

Using these panels: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/A-Indoor-320-160mm-32-16pixels-3in1-SMD-1-8-scan-RGB-P10-full-color-LED/32398118617.html

According to the Aliexpress ratings:   Max power consumption is 700W / M2  and Avg power consumption is 280W / M2

Using the "official" max answer from the makers of P10 panels (on AliExpress) is 700watts per square meter.

They are 0.320m by 0.160m, so each panel is 0.0512 square meters

24 of them would be 1.23 square meters, that is 860 watts.

So, you would need three 350 Watt power supplies (since two wouldn't be enough)

Expanding to 64 panels:

64 panels X 0.32M X 0.16M = 3.28M (coverage)

700W x 3.28M2 = 2,293.76W (power consumption)

Planning for 80% usage:   2,293.76W / 80% = 2,867.2W for 64 panels... 9 x 350W supplies.

Note: using 280W (avg) instead of 700W (max) would adjust the number downwards to 1146W for the 64 panels.  It is difficult to interpret the "average" use -- rarely using white?  ...so apply caution when selecting your numbers.

How to install Falcon Player onto BeagleBone Black

NOTE: the instructions below are TEMPORARY, and only needed for pre-1.5 BBB-FP.  
With 1.5, the entire image with operating system and initial 1.5 FP software will be available in a SD-ready image.
Until 1.5 is ready, the steps below will take a general-purpose OS image and add FPP software after the initial boot.

Software Downloads:

The following list of software tools will be useful in installing the image:

Description: URL:

The "official" BBB Debian OS image needed by BBB-FP:

7-zip (used to extract compressed files)


Win32DiskImager (used to write the blocks in the image file to a raw device -- the micros SD in this case)


Putty (allows a windows machine to login into a linux machine using the SSH protocol)


(use the "Installer" link...)

IPScan (scans your network to find used addresses, the MAC/harrdware address, and manufacturer of he NIC)


(#1) Prepare the Micro SD card:

  1. Download the Debian OS image using the link above
  2. Download and install 7-zip (if you don't have it) using the link above
  3. Extract the image by right-clicking on the Debian compressed file and using the 7-zip menu to extract the file into the current directory
  4. Connect the micro SD card to your windows machine using USB flash card reader)
  5. Download and install Win32DiskImager (if you don't have it) using the link above
  6. Run Win32DiskImager as administrator (right-click on the icon and select "Run as administrator")
    1. Select the extracted Debian image file
    2. Select the drive letter for the micro SD card
    3. Select "Write" and wait for the image to be written  (NOTE: this can take up to 10 minutes depending on the speed of the components)
    4. Eject the micro SD card

(#2) Prepare the USB Flash Key:

  1. Insert the USB Flash Key into your windows machine
  2. Format using "device defaults"
    1. Ensure that Fat32 is selected
    2. "Quick format" is OK
  3. Eject the USB Flash key

(#3) Assembly:

  1. Remove the Beaglebone Black rev.C (BBB) from the box
  2. Insert the prepared Micro SD into the BBB underside slot
  3. Insert the prepared USB flash key into the USB port
  4. Connect a network cable to your home network with access to the internet !!
  5. Connect the power cable, a 5v 3 Amp supply is suggested. 

Special Instructions:

  1. If you have a micro HDMI cable you can connect it to an HDMI monitor so you can view the boot process.
  2. While holding down the 'user boot' button, apply power to the board. Continue to hold the 'user boot' button until the USER LEDs begin to flash. (Not everyone needs to do this step for some reason. It forces the BBB to boot from the SD card according to some sources.)

(#4) Getting the IP Address for the new BBB:

Wait 5 minutes for the BBB to boot, then look for the IP address

  • [Easy] After the unit has completed booting you should be able to ping it and connect using hostname "beaglebone"
    • Ping will display the IP address of the BBB
ping beaglebone
  • If this doesn't work try step #2 below... and if no success, try step #3...
  • [Not too bad] Using IPScan (or NetScan, or info obtained from your router) to locate the IP address for the BBB
    1. Download and install IPScan (if you don't have it) using the link above  (Note: the portable 'Run' option allows you to use the tool without installing it)
    2. Scan your local network
    3. Look for entries with the "Texas Instruments" manfacturer... (Note: TI is used for the BBB NIC)
    4. If more than one address, pick the address more likely to be accessible/routable from your PC
  • [More trouble]  To troubleshoot, you will have to connect a keyboard, monitor and a mouse to your BBB.
    1. Using a powered USB hub, replace the USB flash key with a USB hub at the BBB's single USB connection.
    2. Move the USB flash key to the USB hub
    3. Connect keyboard and mouse to the USB hub
    4. Using a special micro-HDMI cable, connect the BBB to a HDMI monitor
    5. After the unit has competed booting you can open a terminal window and type ifconfig to get the IP address
    6. If necessary, repeat the preparation of the micro SD card in Step #1 and watch the progress on the monitor as you retry the boot procedure

(#5) Prepare your new BBB for FP:

  • Download and install Putty (if you don't have it) using the link above
  • Log into the BBB using the IP Address found in (#4) above.  Log in as "root".  (Note: There is not yet a password assigned to root)
  • Optimize the space on the micro SD card.  Run the following command:  (it will produce messages that look like errors -- but can be ignored)
  • Set the root password so that the BBB can continue to be reachable over SSH after the FP software is applied
passwd root
  • Reboot the BBB to prepare for the next step...
  • Wait about 5 minutes for the BBB to reboot

(#6) Download and run the Falcon Player installation script: 

  • ​​Using Putty, the same IP address identified in (#4), and the new root password assigned above, connect to the BBB

Download install Falcon Player install script:

wget -nd --no-check-certificate https://raw.githubusercontent.com/FalconChristmas/fpp/master/SD/FPP_Install.sh
  • Run the newly-retrieved script:  (Note: This will take about an hour.)
chmod 700 ./FPP_Install.sh
  • After the installation has completed, you can now reboot the BBB. (Note: After it reboots the new user "fpp" has been created with the password "falcon" for future login activity)
  • Wait about 5 minutes for the BBB to reboot

(#7) Configure your new BBB-FP:

Using the Chrome browser, configure your BBB-FP with the IP address found in (#4) above.   (ie: