Converting the BlinkM into the world’s tiniest Arduino


The BlinkM “Smart LED” is a great little device on its own accord. It allows for complete control of its RGB LED using a built-in microcontroller, enabling the user to do a wide array of things that normally require PWM to accomplish. At just over half an inch square, this little device might also be the smallest Arduino on the market.

The BlinkM packs an ATiny85 micro controller, which allows it to be flashed with the Arduino bootloader thanks to the people over at the [High-Low Tech group at MIT]. They did some tweaking of the Arduino IDE configuration files and incorporated some core library code created by [Alessandro Saporetti] to get the job done – all of which is available on their site.

Once the code is uploaded to the BlinkM, you essentially have a micro Arduino running at 8MHz with a built in LED and 2 I/O lines (5 if you snip off the LED). It’s a great device to have on hand if you feel like a full-fledged Arduino would be overkill in your project.

Stick around to see a video tutorial of the reflashing process.

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Interactive LED block wall


[Dave Vondle] from IDEO Labs sent in the large LED pixel wall he built using BlinkM modules, an Arduino, and Flash to control it. The overall result is a blindingly bright, large, public display for people to interact with. The best part about the project is that [Dave Vondle] documents everything; from hardware to schematics to source code. Unfortunately, he was forced to remove the wall due to construction, but since every part of the project is open source, it lends itself to be easily recreated. I’m sure we’d all like to see a wireless controller hookup to play pong on the streets of Chicago.

4 LED RGB controller

4rgbled-angle-rainbow_thumb (Custom)

[Steven] was inspired by the BlinkM and Shiftbrite modules, but really wanted something that could be controlled via RS232. He decided to build his own RGB LED module capable of PWM that fit his needs. He’s using a PIC16F628 microcontroller as the base. Each module has 4 individually addressable LEDs with multiple intensities for each color. The units can be daisy chained as well. The schematics and PCB files are available on his site for download.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

Wireless BlinkM control


[John] has been working with several BlinkM RGB devices. He’s created a controller to talk to each of the BlinkMs wirelessly and change their behavior. The core is an old relay tester box used to test telephone circuits. Each of its four knobs are connected to the analog inputs on the Arduino. The signal is transmitted using RFlink devices. Each BlinkM is paired with an ATmega168 and receiver. The control box also has a switch to send the same signal to all of the devices at the same time. The transmit and receive code are available on his site. You can find a video of it embedded below.

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