Blinkytape not connecting or resetting

When my Blinkytape first arrived it worked fine, I had it connected via the USB ports on a Logitech G500 keyboard to my iMac. I was running through PatternPaint and the Arduino sketches and they were all working, until at one point all the LEDs were supposed to turn white. At that point the tape went out and OS X said my USB port was drawing too much power.

I've since connected it to a powered hub. However, when I connect the Blinkytape to the hub most of the LEDs flash white then fad to sort of a yellowish orange, except that the one LED furthest from the USB port is orange and the next 9 LEDs are off. The tape is not recognized at all by OS X, not even a "Device Not Recognized" error.

I've tried the resetting trick with the two needles on GND and the hole, but that had no effect. Is my tape dead or is there another reset mechanism I can try?


  • Hmmm, well description was not quite right - if I plug it into just a USB power source the lights stay white (dark LEDs and orange LED at end still the same).

    My powered hub has a little green light that turns on over the port when you plug something in. When I plug the Blinkytape in it first turns green then the light fades out. While it's green (for about 2 seconds) it looks like the Blinktape is recognized, running system_profiler SPUSBDataType gives this:

    Product ID: 0x0307
    Vendor ID: 0x050d (Belkin Corporation)
    Version: 0.00
    Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
    Location ID: 0xfd130000 / 5
    Current Available (mA): 500
    Current Required (mA): 2

    Arduino Leonardo:

    Product ID: 0x8036
    Vendor ID: 0x2341
    Version: 1.00
    Speed: Up to 12 Mb/sec
    Manufacturer: Arduino LLC
    Location ID: 0xfd132000 / 6
    Current Available (mA): 500
    Current Required (mA): 500
  • Hey Jim,

    You know - it sounds like the power draw is peaking at a point above what most USB hubs will allow - this is very, very possible with an Arduino sketch. (That report confirms this with the available/required current lines.) That will result in the the computer cutting power to that port - and, I think, odd behavior with your USB hub.

    This is why we have the brightness set to about 90 in our default sketches - I'd recommend keeping that line in there.

    Fixing it might be a little tricky in terms of timing - I'd get the Colorswirl sketch ready in arduino, make sure the device and port are set (you shouldn't need to touch these, actually, unless you've changed them since, it will save the last one) and then the tricky part - click the 'Upload' arrow and _only then_ plug the tape in. With any luck it will reset & flash the tape before it starts drawing too much power - you might need to try it a few times and vary the timing to get it before the computer shuts down the port.

    Let us know how it goes and feel free to email if you need a quicker answer.
  • Any luck, Jim?
  • That didn't work on my iMac where I had been trying this, the device doesn't load before power gets cut off.

    I tried installing the environment on a Win7 x64 machine, the tape behaves better on a USB3 connection - the LEDs stay white, although there are still some on the end out and the one at the very end is still red, but Device Manager shows an Arduino Leonardo connected. I still can't program it though, when I try to upload a sketch I see a new BlinkyTape device show up briefly then it disappears and I get an error about there not being a device on the port, even though the Arduino still shows connected on Com4. I may not have installed everything properly, I'll go through the install steps more carefully tonight.

    The original failure came on one of the existing sketches, though unfortunately I don't remember which one. I hadn't tried modifying anything yet, I was just stepping through the BlinkyTape examples and admiring the pretty lights.
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