A New Favorite Controller? Kulp F16A-B First Impressions and Overview

By Kari / November 9, 2020

In the Christmas lighting world, I’ve been hearing more often about the Kulp controller. There are some positive points for going with this controller and I wanted to check it out for mysef.

In this post, I decided to go ahead and purchase my own Kulp controller and give an overview of what I received. I’ll share my thoughts on the controller as well as what to expect.

Daniel Kulp is one of the xLights developers and was involved with creating the FPP software. With this experience, he created and built the Kulp controllers which in my opinion is the next generation of Christmas light controllers. He took what is great from the Falcon controller and then added to it.

Kulp Controller Overview

The Kulp controllers are generally less expensive compared to the Falcon controllers. While this is true to a certain extent, know that if you decide to add a couple of options to the Kulp controller, it will raise the cost.

With Kulp controllers you can purchase additional add on’s such as a 16gb or 32gb SD Card with FPP pre-installed and if you wanted to add the BeagleBone , you could do so. The computer that runs the controller (processor) is what is known as the BeagleBone.

You have the BeagleBone Black and BeagleBone Green. The black comes with an HDMI outlet for video and the green does not include this. Other than that, they are

Kulp Controller Advantages

When purchasing a Kulp Controller, you have a couple of options as mentioned earlier. You can add on the SD Card and you have the option to add the BeagleBone Black or BeagleBone Green.

For myself, I’ve installed the FPP before but it was a challenge for me. So, when I purchased my own Kulp Controller I felt it would be worth it to have FPP pre-installed for me.

Almost all of the Kulp controllers are long range controllers or hybrids. This means that these controllers can do both. I found this to be a struggle point with Falcon controllers unless you wanted added on to it.

With these controllers, they also come with a real time clock, an audio transmitter, and you can even add a FM transmitter. The parts of this controller are very easy to replace if anything should go out over time.

Kulp Controller in Action

One of the hesitations I had before moving forward with the Kulp controller was what I had heard about the set up process. With myself not being very technical, I didn’t want to get into something that would require a lot of setup and confirguration.

As I heard more about the Kulp controllers, I did read reviews stating that this as the easiest controller they had ever set up. That’s when I wanted to give it a try.

I had FPP pre-configured and when I received the controller, I had just set up the power supply and put in the controller address on the web browser. It took me straight to the FPP set up page and I was thrilled.

Once you pull up the FPP Configuration, go to “Input/Output Setup” and be sure to enable the E1.31/ArtNet/DDP Output. You can then link it to your xLights and should be good to go.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Kulp controller was priced fairly and I really appreciate the add ons that potentially made it easier for me in the long run.

It was very easy and simple to get setup. I will definitely be recommending this controller in the future for that reason. One piece I did notice is there is a computer on the back and you may want to set up rubber mounts so that it’s raised, or find a pre-cut mounting board that accommodates for this.

About the author

Kari


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