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Controlling BlinkyTape with Switches

edited November 2014 in BlinkyTape Fun
Hi, I'm interested in building an interactive device with BlinkyTape that includes changing the programming on the BlinkyTape using a physical switch. For example, if the switch is on one setting, the BlinkyTape remains totally lit with white light. If you flip the switch, it animates a programmed image using various colors.

Can anyone give me advice on how to achieve this? With Arduino, perhaps? Or is there a simpler way of doing it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  • Hi Jon,

    Cool idea. It all depends on how many different programs you want to have, what type, and if you want to cycle through them in a certain order or switch between them arbitrarily.

    If you want to cycle through in an order it should actually be pretty easy to do so with just the tape and some hardware. Since the controller is basically an Arduino, you can write something very similar to this: if you just want to cycle through with button presses.

    But there are a couple of caveats: the controller itself doesn't have much memory, so the patterns will have to be algorithmic (rather than drawn via PatternPaint or something similar.) Also, things get trickier if you want to switch between patterns arbitrarily - there's basically one input pad available, so it might be possible if you can set your switches etc. to feed in a voltage a certain range for each control setting.

    Alternatively, you could hook the tape up to a Raspberry Pi and use Python or Processing to control the tape - this is maybe a bit more straightforward depending on what you're planning.
  • Thanks so much! I really just need two modes: one in which all of the LEDs are white, and one in which the LEDs light one after another. I may try more complicated things later on, but that's where I'm starting.

    Do I need a separate Arduino? How do I connect the button to the BlinkyTape?

  • If that's the case,of course you'll need to ground it, set it up as a voltage divider or in another scheme - consult general Arduino/electronics docs for that) but you should be able to do everything right in place on the BlinkyTape controller itself.

    Keep us posted!
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