Supporting FPP development since 2022. Proceeds go to help further FPP development.

FAQs

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You may sell (or give away) the License Key Voucher as part of a bundle with a cape, but vouchers are not to be sold or given away without a cape.

As always, consult your accountant or tax attorney, but we believe they could be considered as an expense on your side so therefore would deduct from your net profit.

No, we do not support transferring a license key from a vendor to a customer. If you want to provide licenses to your customers as part of their purchase, you can bulk purchase license key vouchers from us and give a voucher to your customer when they purchase a cape. This way the license key does not have to be transferred to the customer.

Yes. The license key is tied to a cape, so the license key transfers with the cape if you sell a cape to another user. If you sell a cape to someone else, give them the original order number and License Key information. The buyer can contact sales@FalconPlayer.com and we can assist them in transferring the License Key into their name. This does not apply to vendors. We do not support transferring a license key from a vendor to an end user. Vendors should instead use license key vouchers if they want to include the cost of a license key in their cape sale.

No. In order to (re)sign an EEPROM, the user must supply the license key and order number. We do want to allow individual users to transfer a license if a cape is sold, but we do not support that in a vendor bulk purchase scenario. Vendors may purchase license key vouchers in bulk and give them to their customers when a cape is purchased.

If you built a DIY cape for your own personal use, you can get a free License Key voucher by sending a picture of the cape to diy@falconplayer.com and we will send you a voucher.

If you built one of Scott’s boards for your own personal use, then Yes, you are entitled to a free voucher. Just email a pic to diy@falconplayer.com and we’ll send you a voucher. We don’t even care what color your boards are, if you chose purple, red, green, blue, or any other color in the spectrum.

No. The FPP developers are strong proponents of Open Source, Open Hardware, and the DIY community. As a way of showing this support for our DIY cape users, we are providing free vouchers which can be used to “purchase” a License Key from Shop.FalconPlayer.com for free. If you have a cape which you built for your own personal use, all you need to do is send a picture of the cape to diy@falconplayer.com and we will send you the free voucher. The cape must be setup to use either a programmed physical EEPROM or a Virtual EEPROM provided with FPP. After securing a License Key, the EEPROM will be signed and allow full functionality on your DIY cape.

Yes! The Falcon Player developers are strong proponents of Open Source, Open Hardware, and the DIY community. If you are using a cape that you built yourself for your own personal use, send a pic of your assembled board to diy@falconplayer.com and we will send you a voucher which will allow you to get a free License Key to enable advanced functionality in FPP when using the cape.

Yes. If you built your own cape for your own personal use, we will give you a free voucher to get a license key for that cape. Take a picture of the cape with your email address on a piece of paper and email the picture to diy@falconplayer.com and we will email you a free voucher.

Banks allow a cape to control more direct attached pixel outputs than are physically present on the Pi or Beagle driving the cape. The Channel Output creates banks of pixels by essentially time-slicing the output on a physical port. If there are 24 physical outputs on a Pi, the DPIPixels Channel Output can use 16 of these in bank mode which can create 32 or 48 outputs. In this mode, the first output in each bank is connected to the same physical output on the Pi and are added together to share the same 800 or 1600 pixel max depending on the sequence timing. In this scenario, outputs 1, 17, and 33 must add up to less than the total max. Not all DPIPixels capes support banked mode as it requires extra circuitry onboard.

For licensing key issues, you can open a support ticket at https://shop.falconplayer.com/tickets/ You can also ask questions in the FPP forum at https://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?board=8.0 or on Facebook, but if an issue requires investigation on the web site or signing API, you will need to reach out to us directly via a ticket. Please check the HOWTO Guides at https://shop.falconplayer.com/category/howto/ as well to make sure you are following all the instructions. If you find any issues with the provided instructions, please contact us and let us know.

When using a cape with an unsigned EEPROM, the BBB48String and DPIPixels Channel Outputs are limited to 50 pixels max per string output and are not allowed to use differential smart receivers. If you apply a license key or keys to sign the EEPROM, these limits are removed for the number of outputs covered by the license key(s) applied. The covered outputs are ALWAYS applied starting at the first outputs on a board, you can not select which outputs to cover with a license key.

We do want to provide a level playing field for cape vendors, but feel that the capes made by the FPP developers deserve an exception. Over the years the FPP developers have spent tens of thousands of hours developing and supporting FPP. Dan wrote the code which all Beagle Capes are using to drive pixels. David is the original author of FPP and his Pi cape which uses the DPIPixels Channel Output was designed working with Chris Pinkham. We feel strongly that this pre-signed EEPROM ‘advantage’ is warranted given the time these developers have spent on FPP. If another Cape Vendor were to step in and start contributing to FPP with the same level of dedication, we would consider allowing that vendor’s capes to be pre-signed.

Yes, you should go ahead and get a voucher now and you can also redeem the voucher now if you want. The deadline is for the voucher distribution. There is no deadline on the redemption of the voucher or the installation of the license key.

No. The Falcon Player project is not considered a charitable organization and does not have 501(c)(3) status.

You are welcome to use the ‘Donate’ button at the top of the https://FalconChristmas.com/forum forum web page.

Yes. You are welcome to purchase vouchers ahead of time and give one away with each cape purchased. Make sure that you are getting a voucher for the correct number of outputs.

In order to keep a level playing field, we do not allow cape vendors to sign their own EEPROMs. You can pre-purchase a license key voucher and give it away with a cape to allow the purchaser to get a free license key and sign the EEPROM via the signing UI.

I’m sure if there were enough X’s in that number we might debate it, but we would prefer that people were contributing to FPP and the community. Currently we do not allow cape vendors to sign their own EEPROMs.

EEPROM stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. So while it says Read-Only, it can actually be erased and re-written, but the number of writes may be limited. FPP uses EEPROMs on capes to store cape configuration and vendor information. Most FPP-compatible capes created in the past few years include an EEPROM on them.

A Voucher is essentially a coupon for a specific license key. A voucher may be redeemed during the checkout process to grant the purchaser a free license.

For the purpose of discussion around FPP, a “3rd party” refers to a non-developer who is selling capes.

FPP supports ‘offline’ signing of EEPROMs. For instructions, visit the HowTo at https://shop.falconplayer.com/2022/04/28/howto-offline-signing/

Yes. A license key may only be applied to a single cape. If you have 5 capes, you need 5 license keys of the appropriate level for those 5 capes.

On paper, “Falcon Player, LLC” and the falconplayer.com domain name are owned by Chris Pinkham who is one of the founding developers of FPP, because unfortunately someone has to deal with the tax man. The site and fees collected are used to help support active members of the FPP development team.

Yes. If you purchased a cape with more than 2 string outputs from another vendor on or before July 31, 2022, your cape is “grandfathered in”. Email sales@falconplayer.com with a picture showing proof of when the cape was purchased and how many outputs it has and we will send you a free voucher. NOTE: This does not apply to PiCap clones because they do not need a license key to continue functioning as they always have.

No. If you purchased a cape with more than 2 string outputs from another vendor on or before July 31, 2022, your cape is “grandfathered in”. This doesn’t mean it’s old, that’s up to you to decide. What it means is that we will issue you a voucher to get a free 48-output license key so that your system will continue to function as it always has. Email sales@falconplayer.com with a picture or something showing proof of when the cape was purchased and we will send you a voucher. If you purchased a cape after the above date, you will need to purchase a license key of the appropriate size to fully enable the pixel outputs on your cape. Some vendors may have elected to include vouchers with their capes, so you may have received a voucher from your vendor when you purchased the cape. This offer does NOT apply to PiCap clones as they do not need a license key to continue functioning as they always have.

Yes. License keys are stacked on an EEPROM based on their $$ value, not the number of outputs they cover. Stacking two 2-output $5 keys is the same as adding a single 8-output $10 key. If you stack a $5 key with a $10 key it will enable 16 outputs (the same as a 16-output $15 key). Stacking another 16-output $15 key would cover 48 outputs total on that cape since it would be the same as purchasing a 48-output $30 license key.

License Keys come in 4 tiers based on the number of pixel string outputs being licensed. The four options cover up to 2 outputs, 8 outputs, 16 outputs, and 48 outputs. License Keys may be stacked, but normally it would make sense to just get the higher tier, for instance a single 48-output key is best if using all outputs on a 16-port board if it has onboard ports plus differential and/or expansion board ports.

No, a license key stays with the first cape it is registered to. Once the license key is applied to a cape, it is tied to that cape. The Pi/BB/PB device Serial Number is also recorded in the signed EEPROM and FPP checks that serial number to make sure it matches the device when FPP starts. This is done to prevent someone from copying a signed EEPROM to multiple capes. We will grant a transfer exception in the case of a lightning strike or something similar that breaks a cape beyond repair, but we do not support moving license keys around because we have no way to remotely disable the key on the first cape.

A good portion of money from sales and donations is fed directly back into supporting FPP. This applies in multiple ways including buying hardware to test FPP on such as new Pi/BB/PB versions, providing capes and other hardware to the support team members, and even traveling to shows to teach classes. While creating the DPIPixels output CaptainMurdoch/Chris made extensive use of a USB oscilloscope that was purchased previously when working on creating another FPP Channel Output a few years ago. This isn’t a worthwhile paying job for us, there is no way we will ever get back enough for the literally tens of thousands of hours the team has spent creating and supporting FPP. If we charged a going rate for custom programming to create and support for FPP, the cost of this project would easily have exceeded multiple millions of dollars since we created FPP in 2013.

Yes. The existing RPIWS281X Channel Output that drives 2 strings of 1600 pixels on a Raspberry Pi will continue to function as long as the rpi_ws281x library maintainer supports the library. DPIPixels is not required for using 2 strings of pixels on a Pi. The advantage of switching to DPIPixels is more outputs (up to 24), and the onboard audio on the Pi does not have to be disabled. If you want Pi pixels and audio without having to use a USB dongle, you can use the 2-output license key and switch to DPIPixels and get your onboard audio back, but you do not have to switch to DPIPixels if you don’t want to.

No. The IRS has not made it easy over the past few years for Open Source projects to gain 501(c)(3) status, so the Falcon Player developers have chosen not to pursue this. We would rather spend our time coding new features and fixing bugs than dealing with lawyers and the IRS.

Currently the only capes which contain signed EEPROMs are Kulp capes sold by KulpLights and various other vendors. A new Pi cape for the DPIPixels output is under development by David Pitts and will include a signed EEPROM when sold. Capes by Dan Kulp and David Pitts which contain a signed EEPROM (the original PiCap does NOT have an EEPROM) are sold with full functionality and do not need a license key applied. When a cape from a 3rd party vendor is signed, it is signed using the ‘fp’ (Falcon Player) signature and contains information about the device the cape is attached to and the license key which was used to sign the cape. After a cape EEPROM is signed, the only real difference between a Kulp/Pitts cape and a 3rd party cape is the fact that the 3rd party cape is tied to the Beagle or Pi the cape was signed on. If the cape is moved to another Beagle or Pi, the cape must be re-signed using the same license key and order originally used in the FPP EEPROM signing UI. This is done to prevent someone from copying a signed EEPROM and installing it on multiple capes without having to buy license keys for each cape.

You are free to stay on FPP v5.x for as long as you want. You won’t have access to DPIPixels, bug fixes, or other enhancements, but as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We can not guarantee that there will not be changes in FPP Connect that break older versions as we do not test older versions and instead focus our development and testing on the latest FPP version.

Not currently. As it stands now, the main benefit of applying a license key is removing the pixel limits on the BBB48String and DPIPixels Channel Outputs. We do not feel that it makes sense to offer trial licenses since otherwise the software works the same with and without a limit.

The core of FPP is a combination of both GPL and LGPL while other parts are actually covered under other licenses such as the MIT license. A complete list of the licenses which apply to FPP code is located in the /opt/fpp/LICENSE file and the FPP github repository. This file received a lot of updating for FPP v6 to clarify what licenses applied to what code since some of the code we are using is not our own and some code we have written is not GPL or LGPL. LGPL is used for the main libfpp.so library which contains most of the brains of FPP. The LGPL license is traditionally used for libraries to allow non-GPL programs to link against those libraries. FPP also includes multiple Channel Output libraries, some of which were completely written by the FPP developers and some which were written by FPP developers but use other external libraries such as the rpi_ws281x and spixels libraries. The new DPIPixels and existing BBB48String Channel Output libraries are not GPL or LGPL, they are covered under the CC-BY-ND license which allows us to redistribute the source code for the Channel Outputs but does not allow modifications to be distributed or derivative works to be made. The license key currently enables advanced functionality in these non-GPL DPIPixels and BBB48String Channel Output libraries.

FPP is made up of two primary parts, the “player” portion and the “controller” portion. The controller part of FPP allows FPP to control pixels which are directly attached to a Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, or PocketBeagle SBC (Single Board Computer). The player portion of FPP is everything else. FPP can be used as a player to send show data to physical controllers as well as other FPP systems acting as a controller. The player portion of FPP is free and open as is most of the controller portion of FPP. The two primary controller Channel Outputs that are included with FPP are the existing BBB48String output and the DPIPixels output which is new in FPP v6.0. The BBB48String output supports driving up to 48 strings of pixels on a BeagleBone or PocketBeagle and the DPIPixels output supports driving up to 24 strings of pixels on a Raspberry Pi. The FPP developers use the sale of FPP-based controller capes to help support the development of FPP allowing us to continue to develop the core player portion of FPP and keep the player fully open and free for users. When a FPP-based controller cape is purchased from PixelController.com or KulpLights.com, the purchase is directly supporting FPP developers. The developers want to continue to allow 3rd Party cape designers to build and sell FPP-based controller capes and providing License Keys to enable enhanced functionality on 3rd Party capes is a way of supporting FPP development while purchasing these 3rd Party capes.

In FPP, look under the far right “Help” main menu and click on the “Credits” menu item to get a list of active contributors.

When an EEPROM is signed using a license key, the serial number of the device the cape is attached to is programmed into the EEPROM. At startup, FPP checks the serial number in the EEPROM against the serial number of the device. If the two serial numbers do not match, FPP will not enable the licensed features. This is done to prevent someone from taking a signed EEPROM and copying it to multiple systems bypassing licensing. We do allow a cape to be moved to another system, but the EEPROM must be re-signed using the license key so the new device serial number can be stored in the EEPROM.

No, but if you get a license key, you are able to get your onboard audio back. The PiCap from PixelController.com and all other PiCap clones use the RPIWS281X Channel Output in FPP. This Channel Output does not require a license key for full functionality and will continue to work as-is. One major limitation of the RPIWS281X output is that it requires disabling the onboard audio on the Pi. In addition to that limitation, the RPIWS281X output only supports two string outputs on the Pi. The new DPIPixels Channel Output supports up to 24 strings of pixels attached to the same Pi and allows the onboard audio to remain enabled. All existing PiCap and PiCap clones will continue to work with the RPIWS281X output, but a 2-port license key will be required to use the DPIPixels output which would allow the onboard audio to remain enabled eliminating the need for a USB audio dongle when outputting pixels from a Pi.

No. All current-version Kulp capes come with a pre-signed EEPROM. This includes capes purchased directly from KulpLights.com as well as capes purchased from other vendors which sell Kulp capes such as WiredWatts.com. If you have an older Kulp cape which pre-dates the inclusion of EEPROMs, you should be able to use the Virtual EEPROM for your cape which is included with FPP. The Virtual EEPROMs for the original Kulp capes are signed as well.

If used correctly as intended by their designers, BeagleBones and PocketBeagles use Capes and Raspberry Pis use Hats. You will probably just hear and see us using the term Cape to refer to both Beagle Capes and Pi Hats. This is partially due to the fact that the Pi Hats require a specially formatted EEPROM which we do not require since FPP has its own EEPROM format which is cross-platform and usable on both platforms.

There are several ways to contact the development team including direct email using the email addresses in our commit logs. You can also send an email to vendors@falconplayer.com or message Chris Pinkham (CaptainMurdoch) or Dan Kulp (dkulp) on the web forum at https://FalconChristmas.com/forum/ On the forum, we currently maintain a private dedicated sub-board for vendor discussion which you are welcome to join. We are also contactable via Facebook and the FPP group there.

We do not intend to require licenses for any currently existing features other than the two primary pixel channel outputs which are part of the controller portion of FPP. We are constantly improving FPP adding new features and functionality and we want the core of FPP to remain open and free. We may at some point in the future add new channel outputs which may require the license key if we feel that they make FPP an even more attractive and valuable controller solution.

The License Key flavor does not have to cover the total number of string outputs on a cape. If you have an 8-port cape with 3 quad-differential outputs and a 16-output expansion header, the total number of output is 36. If you are only using the 8 onboard string outputs and 1 quad-differential port, you only need to use the middle tier License Key which covers up to 15 string outputs.

License Keys are used to digitally sign the EEPROM for a cape. This can be an EEPROM included on the cape or a Virtual EEPROM provided with FPP. FPP checks for a signed EEPROM at startup. If the EEPROM is signed, the enhanced functionality in the controller portion of FPP is enabled for the number of outputs covered by the License Key.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes! The Falcon Player developers are strong proponents of Open Source, Open Hardware, and the DIY community. If you are using a cape that you built yourself for your own personal use, send a pic of your assembled board to diy@falconplayer.com and we will send you a voucher which will allow you to get a free License Key to enable advanced functionality in FPP when using the cape.

FPP is made up of two primary parts, the “player” portion and the “controller” portion. The controller part of FPP allows FPP to control pixels which are directly attached to a Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, or PocketBeagle SBC (Single Board Computer). The player portion of FPP is everything else. FPP can be used as a player to send show data to physical controllers as well as other FPP systems acting as a controller. The player portion of FPP is free and open as is most of the controller portion of FPP. The two primary controller Channel Outputs that are included with FPP are the existing BBB48String output and the DPIPixels output which is new in FPP v6.0. The BBB48String output supports driving up to 48 strings of pixels on a BeagleBone or PocketBeagle and the DPIPixels output supports driving up to 24 strings of pixels on a Raspberry Pi. The FPP developers use the sale of FPP-based controller capes to help support the development of FPP allowing us to continue to develop the core player portion of FPP and keep the player fully open and free for users. When a FPP-based controller cape is purchased from PixelController.com or KulpLights.com, the purchase is directly supporting FPP developers. The developers want to continue to allow 3rd Party cape designers to build and sell FPP-based controller capes and providing License Keys to enable enhanced functionality on 3rd Party capes is a way of supporting FPP development while purchasing these 3rd Party capes.

No. If you purchased a cape with more than 2 string outputs from another vendor on or before July 31, 2022, your cape is “grandfathered in”. This doesn’t mean it’s old, that’s up to you to decide. What it means is that we will issue you a voucher to get a free 48-output license key so that your system will continue to function as it always has. Email sales@falconplayer.com with a picture or something showing proof of when the cape was purchased and we will send you a voucher. If you purchased a cape after the above date, you will need to purchase a license key of the appropriate size to fully enable the pixel outputs on your cape. Some vendors may have elected to include vouchers with their capes, so you may have received a voucher from your vendor when you purchased the cape. This offer does NOT apply to PiCap clones as they do not need a license key to continue functioning as they always have.

No. The FPP developers are strong proponents of Open Source, Open Hardware, and the DIY community. As a way of showing this support for our DIY cape users, we are providing free vouchers which can be used to “purchase” a License Key from Shop.FalconPlayer.com for free. If you have a cape which you built for your own personal use, all you need to do is send a picture of the cape to diy@falconplayer.com and we will send you the free voucher. The cape must be setup to use either a programmed physical EEPROM or a Virtual EEPROM provided with FPP. After securing a License Key, the EEPROM will be signed and allow full functionality on your DIY cape.

Yes. If you built your own cape for your own personal use, we will give you a free voucher to get a license key for that cape. Take a picture of the cape with your email address on a piece of paper and email the picture to diy@falconplayer.com and we will email you a free voucher.