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BlinkyTape Specs

edited December 2013 in BlinkyTape Fun
can you provide the physical specs for BlinkyTape? (width, height) i am investigating housings/diffusers and need to determine a proper fit.



  • Hi amar,

    This is what we've got for Tech Specs now:

    -60 independently controllable RGB LEDs (WS2812B)
    -Atmega 32u4 processor, compatible with Arduino
    -Animation storage space: 22K, enough for 300 frames (compressed)
    -Housed in waterproof silicon tubing (IP67)
    -1 m (39.3”) long, 12.5mm (0.5") wide, 4mm (0.16") thick, LEDs spaced 33mm (1.3") apart
    -USB powered, 5V @ 300mA for a sample pattern (current draw varies with program)
    -Open source hardware and software.

    I hope this helps. BTW - the 1 m is the actual LED section.
  • I've got another question about specs;

    not knowing what the compression ratio for pixels x pixels = frames, what is the maximum length that Pattern Paint can upload to the BlinkyTape? I currently have a 999 x 60 pixel image: that I can't seem to get to work. (it functions fine when loaded up through and run in Pattern Paint but just hangs at 0% for the upload process) Which sucks because I was hoping to go twice as long as that...

    I've tried the various obvious troubleshooting techniqes (unplug/replug close/reopen Pattern Paint, try other files [They worked fine up to 831 x 60:] but to no avail. I can just redraw everything shorter and run the tape at a lower speed, but that would lower the max speed on a few of my animations. :(

    Thanks for any help in advance!
  • I'm glad to see you pushing this to the limit! Sorry about the poor performance- we need to add feedback for when a sketch is too big (PatternPaint detects this, but doesn't show it anywhere). We will hopefully get this patched up soon.

    I tried running your animation through the debug version, and it shows that the sketch is too big for the current compression scheme. There is a total of 19K of space available for the pattern, and this particular one takes 23K, so it is indeed a bit big:

    debug AnimationUploader::startUpload: Sketch size: 8784B, animation size: 23301B, metadata size: 128B
    critical AnimationUploader::startUpload: sketch can't fit into memory!

    I think we can make it fit, though, by improving the compression algorithm (and by optimizing the Arduino program, to open up more room for the animation). In particular, switching to a palleted color scheme would double or possibly tripe the available animation length for this particular animation.

    Also, that pattern is awesome- I kept thinking that it crashed PatternPaint/the BlinkyTape, since the speed of the animation was changing and there was so much flashing. I want to see it working on a BT :-). What program do you use to make them?
  • Damn.

    Well working in IT/QA I'm nothing if not good at breaking things! ^_^;

    I'm still super impressed that you were able to fit the firmware into only 3 of the 22k of space though ;)

    Switching to a Palleted system would totally work for my application so, long as there were something close to the 8 color's I'm using/a few open slots for custom colors, or if there were an option to switch between either a limited pallet, for more available memory , or your R,Y,G,C,B,I,M-K,W, and greater variety. :)

    Lol I'm just pure MS paint, and staring at my screen adjusting one pixel at a time until my eyes start to bleed. Though While working with it I did notice MS paint's propensity to automatically expand the bottom height of an image about 2 pixels for every time you lengthen it by about 100 pixels or so. The first time I tried to upload an image to Pattern paint not realizing that fact it compressed various lights to account for the additional two white LED's at the bottom. (which made me insane for about 20 minutes before I realized what it was doing and fixed my images.)

    My end goal is to either upgrade or fully replace a "Daft Fett" costume I made a couple of years ago: What innitially attracted me to the BlinkyTape Kickstarter was that it had individually addressable LEDs, at three times the density of what my old strips had. So even if I end having to buy a small arduino shield and learn Java, I'll still have come out ahead, considering my current setup only has requires stripped down and hacked together laptop batteries that have given me more than a couple short circuits... ;)
  • Hey- actually I got your animation to fit last night! Using a paletted 8-bit mode + RLE, it can handle all 999 frames. I'll get a new release of PatternPaint out asap that supports this, I just need to add a mechanism to choose the 'best' compression for a given image (probably just run them all automatically, and choose the smallest result).

    The minimum guaranteed length at the moment for any animation (it's paletted, but it should be indistinguishable for most patterns) is about 300 frames. With a more sparse animations such as yours, it can handle 999 frames. For your image that uses <16 colors, it's possible to store even more frames, though we'll have to revisit the compression scheme again (we should be able to double it to 2000 sparse frames). It will definitely need to have a palette editor, though!
  • Awesome! I'm looking forward to it! :D
  • Hello all.

    Is there a document with the reference list of commands/functions available for controlling the standard BlinkyTape? I would like to access that list with the description and syntax of each command/function.
    E.g. LEDS.showColor(CRGB(N, M, O));
    etc, etc

    Many thanks,

  • Hello all.

    Is there a document with the reference list of commands/functions available for controlling the standard BlinkyTape? I would like to access that list with the description and syntax of each command/function.
    E.g. LEDS.showColor(CRGB(N, M, O));
    etc, etc

    Many thanks,

  • Lúcio, I don't think so, but you should look here:
  • Actually we've switched back to a non-forked FastSPI. Have a look here: and especially
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