Random flashing lights. Not matching up with the preview

  • Hi there! Noob installer here and first PI/Backlight project

    So after hours of scouring the forums and google, I figured it was time to make a thread.

    -I've got Hyperion alpha 10 (was previously running 6) up and running.
    -Got the capture card setup and showing a live preview so I know thats working right.

    -Both the Pi and the LEDs are on the same ground from the same source.

    -Using Rasperry Pi 3 B+ with the GUI desktop installed (I have a feeling this is probably related to why i'm having such issues)
    -I have this installed despite instructions to just use raspian lite or Hyperbian because for whatever reason I cannot get WIFI working without it (Ive done the wpa supplicant and spent hours on this, cannot find a fix, even worked when I initially got it! But I digress, just giving context)

    Anyways, before I was getting 0 response from the lights at all. I found a thread saying to disable the PI's audio in the terminal as it might be conflicting with GPIO 18 and that seemed to have kind of helped. At least now the lights are flickering to different random colors instead of just hanging there stalled out.

    So LEDs and Hyperion are working but I'm just getting garbage outputting on to them.

    If anyone has some ideas on where to go from here? Honestly this PI 3 has been nothing but a nightmare from the second I've turned it on and will probably just pick up a Pi 4 since the one I have for a arcade cabinet is working perfectly, but I figured i'd at least ask before dropping 100$

  • a PI4 is not even better than a PI3 so that saves the trouble.

    I think your troubles has to do with the fact that PWM can not run freely.

    the things you see on the lights now is probably just audio static within the audio driver > PWM and GPIO18 on Hyperion.NG needs to have root privileges

    and/or you need a level shifter to boost the signal.

    You need to run hyperion as root with this configuration (device 'ws281x) PWM

    first is dtparam=audio=off in config.txt boot section.

    if that doesn't work> in terminal of raspi;

    sudo systemctl disable --now hyperiond@pi

    sudo systemctl enable --now hyperiond@root

    sudo reboot now

    copy and paste this code line with ctrl/shift +V in terminal then press enter


    sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/hyperiond@.service

    Remove the User sessionline and save with CTRL+O and exit CTRL+x.

    Don't forget to reboot

  • Thanks for the reply! So I wouldn't get a 4 over a 3 because it's better but more because this one has been acting a bit sketchy since I got it even before diving in to Hyperion.

    So I turned dtparam audio off in the config. Just to be safe I went ahead and ran the lines again cause you never know. This is actually what got the lights to flicker instead of just completely unresponsive.

    I acutally picked up a few level shifters the other day so I'll try that next!

    The last one I need to try (I may have already? I'm not over there anymore) is to remove the User Session. I'll give that a shot tomorrowand get back to you for a progress update.

  • How can a pi4 not be better than a 3 Lightning-guy77 , cmon look at the specs :D price wise its a no brainer too - think its like £3 of a difference.

    Mr.Shakes i had similar probs with my 3b, worked great for a while but then it just got unstable, random freezing, hdmi issues, it still works to this day but but theres just something underlying with it and has been since day 1, maybe it was baked for too long , who knows.

    If in doubt fire in a MCU - I was sceptical at first but it really does make a big difference, yes the pi can do it but the MCU just does it better. Plus going down that route your isolating any PWM issues , Pi can do its thing and MCU can do its thing

    Good Luck

  • How can a pi4 not be better than a 3 Lighting-guy77 , cmon look at the specs

    i meant ( sorry didn't clarify) > PI4 new hardware will sometimes give problems to run ledstrips and software of Hyperion at.

    ofcourse technically the Pi4 is better, but with Pi3b it always runs. ;)

  • Off topic, but what about 3a in this comparison?

    little brother (successor)

    PI3a+ doesn't have ethernetport jack, only WIFI ( in the back of picture) RAM is only maxed at 512MB, only one USB port and small formfactor.

    big brother ( first)

    PI3b+ has 4 x USB port, a maximum of 1GB of RAM and ethernetport AND WIFI > you can see its much more advanced but bigger formfactor.

  • but does 3a have problems running led and hyperbian was what I was asking really

    no, 3b is just more powerfull/faster and smoother. but cost more and that is what you want to know

    ask Mike72 he has this setup.

  • james2brite excluding the fact you are hijacking Mr.Shakes thread im really struggling to grasp why you are so hell bent on reducing your costs as low as you can possibly go when your scrimping on the wrong components, not only is the 3a slower but it only has 1 usb port. Yet you have went all out and are praising your capture card to the nines and in an ideal world youd want to be running that on usb3 to achieve the best possible results - USB3 is something that the pi3b also lacks despite it having a blue port they share the bus speed across the rest of the ports/ethernet

    If you are planning to include this as a component to your high end projectors would you not want peace of mind that when its all up and running there is no bottlenecks instead of asking a low powered computer to run the Hyperion webserver that can be CPU hungry at times, plus deal with video content up to 4k and produce the SPI or PWM signals to the LEDS

    Maybe its time to listen to some of the advice you have already been given or do some research on the numerous posts that are in the forum already and workout a gameplan that suits what your trying to acheive.

  • Nah still figuring it out and no worries to the threadjacking, it's all good info to me. So figured out the wifi problem (you miss capitalizing one letter.....) and did a clean install of hyperbian.

    Lights still just kinda doing whatever they want. Hyperion is still working and capture card still functional with live preview

    Oddly enough I attempted to do the

    sudo systemctl disable --now hyperiond@pi

    sudo systemctl enable --now hyperiond@root

    And now it's saying these files don't exist which is odd as they've always been there before so that's definitely giving me pause.

    Did manage to edit the config.txt file in boot and turned the audio to off. Still no change.

    Oh and for the record, I am using 2813 LEDs. From my knowledge the only difference is it has a added data line but just a FYI.

    And that's about where things stand! I'm gonna keep tinkering with this in the meantime until I hear back on this thread. I WILL figure this out! Just let me know if I need to provide more info that might be pertinent!

  • davieboy

    The grabber with loop out from james2brite is a standard card with macrosilicon chip, probably like many others it cannot work with USB3.0. ;)

    regards pclin

  • So update: It's working. Not sure what I did, I messed around with some DMA channels and LED inputs, did a few reboots of the Pi and capture card and noticed it was actually doing the idle background animation, which holy shit! Progress! It's doing something! Did the live preview and noticed capture card wasn't working. Cycled it and messed with the color order and boom. Works! Mostly!

    It still has a pretty constant flicker to it so it's not perfect just yet. Either way thank you for the help folks!

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