I need someone to explain this to me.

Blinkenschild, The RGB LED Display For Every Occasion

turd

One morning [overflo] decided to protest the European Parliament’s stance on equine rights of defecation, a cherished liberty dating back to the time of Charlemagne. The best way to do this is, of course, blinking lights. He calls his project Blinkenschild, and it’s one of the best portable LED displays we’ve seen.

The display is based around fifteen RGB-123 LED panels, each containing an 8×8 matrix of WS2811 LEDs. That’s 960 pixels, all controlled with a Teensy 3.1. Power is supplied by fifteen LiPo cells wired together in parallel giving him 6 Ah of battery life. Clunky, yes, but it’s small enough to fit in a backpack and that’s what [overflo] had sitting around anyway.

The animations for the display are generated by Glediator, an unfortunately not open source control app for LED matrices. Glediator sends data out over a serial port but not over IP or directly into a file. Not wanting to carry a laptop around with him, [overflo] created a virtual serial port and dumped the output of Glediator into a file so it could be played back stored on an SD card and controlled with an Android app. Very clever, and just the thing to raise awareness of horse and Internet concerns.

Video below.

UPDATE: Check out [overflo's] clarification in the comments below.

 

Comments

  1. vonskippy says:

    What a load of horse defecation,

    • well, actually,

      viennese fiakers (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiaker)
      are allowed to piss and shit on the streets.

      They are not allowed to leave their coaches for even a minute,
      so there are strange regulations involving their bowel movements:

      a fiaker is allowed to piss on the street, but only THROUGH the right back wheel whilst parked.

      a fiaker is allowed to shit on the street, but only cowering between the two right wheels of the coach whilst parked.

      hope that helped.

  2. 1.21Gigawatts says:

    Guy Fawkes masks are so yesterday.

  3. kommune78 says:

    The software is called Glediator.

  4. kommune78 says:

    “Gledator sends data out over a serial port but not over IP or directly into a file”

    It does both, actually. I wonder if anyone looked at the Sw at all.

    • overflo says:

      how can i send the glediator output format over IP?
      without artnet or other encapsulation datastructures?
      i looked at it for a while before i decided to build my own serial dumper.
      also the “animation recorder” was not available when i started work on this project and i am not sure it will actually record the geldiator raw output format or something else..

      the documentation is a bit lax on this software .. but on the other hand its fun to explore all the different options.

  5. garym53 says:

    Don’t be mistaken, don’t be misled, he’s not a horses arse, he’s a horses head!

  6. bjuhy says:

    In US he’d be quickly tazered.

  7. Mystick says:

    I… don’t understand what the protest is about. Is there enforced constipation in the equine community?

  8. g2-5ca9371d4c8fcf9ee34c036d48c348c6 says:

    I built this thing and i want to comment on some hickups in the article.

    1. In this video I did not protest anything at the EU or otherwise.
    I just put on that horsemask and walked around in front of the parlimant for fun.
    We had fun.

    2. The animations are not send via android but are stored on a microSD card.
    The Android app gets a list of animations and lets you pick what to show and what text to display.
    The plan was to send the data directly from the android device but the bandwidth over bluetooth serial was not stable enough.

    3. When i started this project there was no “dump to file” and i am not sure wether the animation recorder option now available really outputs the glediator dataformat.
    A quick hexdump tells me it does not, But this might be wrong, i might check this out in the future.

    4. Its [overflo] not [overflow] but thats probably a typo as brian got it right in 2 out of 3 mentions :)

    Thanks for the writeup!

    :*
    -flo

    • Mike Szczys says:

      Thanks for the clarification. I updated a couple of things in the post.

      Fantastic project!

    • Ren says:

      I’m pretty sure [Szczys] was writing tongue-in-cheek (finger in palm?) when he stated the reason for the protest.

    • gabriel says:

      glad you are not in the papers-please-US

      in the US, you have to call the cops when you are going to protest, otherwise they can take you to jail with some bogus peace disturbance claim.

      Also you have to only take paper signs, not even a pole to raise it… other wise they can tazer you and jail with some bogus blunt weapon claim.

      yeah, it is really fun to raise your voice in the US. land of the free.

      • overflo says:

        Do you want some fries with that freedom?
        Also we offer free refill, sir.
        Do you want some free refill coffee with that freedom sir?
        Upgrade your freedom to kingsize and you get a little plastic toy made in china with it.
        FOR FREE. as in freedom.

      • pcf11 says:

        You’re still free enough to leave the USA if you don’t like it that much. Don’t let the border hit you on the way out!

      • jascha says:

        tl;dr: we have rights instead of freedoms.

        seriously though:
        on a demonstration this *can and will* be regarded as a weapon as soon as the demonstration gets ordered to disassemble.
        even a thick winter coat is a passive weapon if the police wants it to be.

        but:
        we in austria have taught our government that they can not stop demonstrations with force or law,
        whenever they responded with force to our anti government protests our protests got bigger, whenever they forbid a demonstration the demonstration got bigger instead.

        i bled more than once and have more than one scar from that time (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarz-Blaue_Koalition no article in english available, let your browser translate)
        i got arrested about 20 times, spent about 30 hours in single confinement on two occasions, police followed me to my home, sued me, stole from me (flags, coat, waterbottles, flyers, stickers), beat me up, police carried me out of my school and broke into my home (or the thieves decided to leave the 50 euro but to take some of my political pamphlets instead…).
        all of it never even went in front of a court or into the ekis registry,
        its all in my austrian governmental records though (except the break in, police even refused to record it because “nothing was stolen”)
        and i know that there are about 100-200 people in vienna who experienced the same stuff back then.

        so, as you see, some of us have bled and fought for that right to demonstrate, even in recent years.

        nowadays kids on demonstrations are goofing around about stuff that i actually witnessed and they cant imagine stuff like that happening to them any more.
        this is because i and others have had a tough time and it fills me with joy and sadness,
        joy because we actually changed something,
        sadness because most of the people that demonstrate nowadays do it because it is cool not because they want to transport a message.

        the main difference remains though and i know that this is the reason why i did not spend the last 15 years in and out of prison:
        we have rights instead of freedoms.

      • i would love to answer:
        we have rights instead of freedoms,
        but unfortunately,
        its the same in europe,
        our cops just dont have tasers (yet)

  9. 4ndreas says:

    I use for my LED panels the Pixelcontroler software, nice animations and open source http://pixelinvaders.ch/?page_id=160.

  10. ibisumgrav says:

    Absolutely love this project, and overflo has to be one of the most interesting hackers in the Metalab scene these days – there’s not a corner of the place that hasn’t been infected with his love. If anyone from the Hackaday crowd comes for a visit, be sure to check out every single blinky thing in the place – overflo probably had a lot, if not all, to do with it.

    My only desire is that I one day get my own blinkenschild .. can’t wait to order it from http://hackerspaceshop.com/ overflo! :)

  11. g says:

    Hey “equine rights of defecation” Doesn’t have a wikipedia article.
    The true frontier of the internet.

  12. overflo says:

    I built this thing and i want to comment on some hickups in the article.

    1. In this video I did not protest anything at the EU or otherwise.
    I just put on that horsemask and walked around in front of the parlimant for fun.
    We had fun.

    2. The animations are not send via android but are stored on a microSD card.
    The Android app gets a list of animations and lets you pick what to show and what text to display.
    The plan was to send the data directly from the android device but the bandwidth over bluetooth serial was not stable enough.

    3. When i started this project there was no “dump to file” and i am not sure wether the animation recorder option now available really outputs the glediator dataformat.
    A quick hexdump tells me it does not, But this might be wrong, i might check this out in the future.

    4. Its [overflo] not [overflow] but thats probably a typo as brian got it right in 2 out of 3 mentions :)

    Thanks for the writeup!

    :*
    -flo

    • awesome overflo is awesome,
      soo glad to see your project here :)

    • CrazeUK says:

      Hi Flo.

      Great work. I can see many uses for this.

      I would love to build something like this.. Do you have an instructable for it?

      • g2-5ca9371d4c8fcf9ee34c036d48c348c6 says:

        well there is the projectpage on http://hackaday.io/project/363-Blinkenschild
        but no real instructable tough..
        the hardware is super straight forward.
        attach the rgb-123 to a teensy3.1,
        check out the arduino compatible source from github
        wire an sd-card module to the teensy and some bluetooth module and you are good to go..
        and the lookuptables.
        either wire the modules exactly as i did or you need to make a new lookuptable for the 960 leds. thats a lot of work..

        actually. maybe i SHOULD make an instructable, but i got soo little time at the moment.
        there are more important things to do now..

        but once you have the modules blinking the rest is cake. ;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s