The Future Belongs to the Creators ™

Time to Shrink It Down

The Pixel Wall has been controlled over the network since the first time it was turned on in the lab. Our favorite controller combo is using PixelPushers for the hardware and PixelController as the software on a MacBook Pro. Using a laptop to run the real installation is not an option so the plan was to always find a hardware solution that is low power, low heat, requires little space, and has few moving parts.

The list of hardware platforms includes an Arduino Uno, Raspberry Pi, or a CuBox-i4Pro. The Arduino struggles with the amount of data we’re pushing around to 1200 LEDs. Today we kicked a fresh copy of Wheezy on a Raspberry Pi. After installing the Java ArtNet Bridge for PixelPushers, we were able to run PixelController on the laptop with the bridge correctly sending signals to the PixelPusher continuously for 30 minutes. To run PixelController on the RasPi at the same time, we installed screen and tmux so we could display split screen sessions to monitor command line feedback.


Using the config.properties with the pixConServer RasPi version, this tests went well. There was some delay in the animation on the pixel wall but we’re not sure if that was the RasPi processor getting swamped or network congestion. Regardless, the RasPi has proven itself a viable option.


To push the setup a little farther, we experimented with OSC capabilities of PixelController. Using TouchOSC and the desktop TouchOSC Editor, the example PixelController OSC interface was loaded on a iPad. The iPad was then able to send commands to the RasPi and control the pixel wall.