Open Lighting Project News – January 2015

Happy New Year, and welcome to the inaugural issue of OLPN, the newsletter for the Open Lighting Project community. Topics covered in this issue include:

  • USB Hotplug Support
  • A New GPIO Plugin
  • A way to reduce latency jitter
  • … and much more.

USB HotPlug Support

Hotplug support for certain USB devices was added recently, closing issue #374 [1]. This involved changing to asynchronous libusb calls and can be enabled by starting olad with the –use-async-libusb flag. Once enabled Anyma uDMX, Eurolite, Sunlite USBDMX2 or Velleman K8062 interfaces can be added and removed while olad is running. We expect to make async mode the default in an upcoming release and remove the old synchronous code entirely.

The change to asynchronous mode will also help with the upcoming Windows support.

[1] https://github.com/OpenLightingProject/ola/issues/374

A new GPIO Plugin

A new output plugin was committed [2] that allows control of the GPIO pins on hardware like the Raspberry Pi. Each pin can be configured with a DMX address, and a rising and falling value at which it will turn on or off. The GPIO plugin will be available in the upcoming 0.9.4 release.

[2] https://github.com/OpenLightingProject/ola/tree/master/plugins/gpio

Open Pixel Control Support

Open Pixel Control [3] is a simple protocol for controlling LED strips popular in the hobbiest and maker communities. Support for the Open Pixel Control protocol was recently added to OLA.

[3] http://openpixelcontrol.org/

Thread Scheduling Options

The Linux and Mac kernels allow the scheduling policy of threads to be changed.
olad now has options to adjust the thread scheduling policy, which has been shown to significantly reduce the latency jitter [4].

[4] https://wiki.openlighting.org/index.php/OLA_Thread_Scheduling

OSC Rigger’s Remote

Both David Kent [5] and Gunther Seiser [6] released an Open Sound Control (OSC) based “Rigger’s Remote” for use with the TouchOSC [7] App.

[5] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/open-lighting/Q2GXgoqhLoo
[6] https://groups.google.com/d/msg/open-lighting/gkI3M0U-fws/3hw852Xl-P8J
[7] http://hexler.net/software/touchosc

Website Changes

The Open Lighting wiki has been moved to https://wiki.openlighting.org. Links to opendmx.net URLs will continue to work.

Additionally, our site layout has been better organized, there is now a usable mobile version, and all web sites under the openlighting.org domain are now fully SSL-enabled.

Enttec Aleph 2 ET now working with OLA

Thanks to Christian Hortolland’s persistence and the work of Juan at Enttec [8] we can confirm Enttec’s Aleph 2 now works correctly with OLA.

[8] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/open-lighting/vC0EDKrnxCo

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This issue of Open Lighting Project News was edited by Simon Newton and John Musarra.

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