Data Topology

One of the stellar features of Fadecandy is that the software is cross-platform, with versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.

It also uses a client/server architecture, meaning the tasks of rendering animation and communicating with the Fadecandy USB boards can take place on separate machines on a network (or on the same system, if you’d prefer).

With tiny and super-affordable Linux systems like the Raspberry Pi, it’s not unthinkable to dedicate a whole machine to the server task. Linked to a wireless network, it accepts connections from other systems and forwards data to the Fadecandy USB hardware.

This all means…

  1. The server-side hardware can be assembled into a tidy package with just a single power cord protruding…no visible rat’s nest of wires…you don’t even need to run a USB or Ethernet cable to the outside.
  2. You can kick back with your favorite laptop and write animation code without being tethered to the Fadecandy hardware. How cool is that?
Disregarding power for the moment, here’s how the parts communicate:
The new Raspberry Pi Model B+ seems tailor-made for this. On the prior page we determined that three Fadecandy USB boards will meet our needs. The Model B+ has four USB ports…sufficient for the Fadecandy boards plus a USB WiFi adapter. Once set up, the Raspberry Pi will operate “headless,” with no monitor or keyboard attached…a USB hub is not required, further simplifying the cabling.
This guide was first published on Aug 11, 2014. It was last updated on Aug 11, 2014. This page (Data Topology) was last updated on May 22, 2019.