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Using Blinkytape controller with more than 60 LEDs


I recently purchased the Blinkytape controller ( along with a 5m, 150 LED WS2812B strip ( I'm using the BlinkyTapeDirect example in Processing to try to control the lights, but only the first 60 are ever being lit. I changed the code to initialize the BlinkyTape class with 150 LEDs, and I also changed the for loop to iterate 150 times, yet still only the first 60 lights turn on.

Another post on this forum led me to believe it could be a power issue (although I was skeptical, because exactly 60 LEDs were active), so I switched the power source from my computer's USB (5V,2.5W) to my iPhone charger (5V, 5W). (Note that I am using the light strip's second power line now, leaving the first one unplugged, and leaving the data and ground wires hooked up to my computer's USB.) No change, still only the first 60 lights are illuminated.

Any help or advice or literature any of you can point me to would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  • Hi Evan,

    Cool! The controller can handle up to 255 (or 256?) LEDs, however by default it's programmed to only control 60 LEDs. Your power setup sounds good.

    To enable the extra outputs, you'll need to use Arduino to re-program the device (We'll get this built into pattern paint soon, hopefully). There are instructions for setting that up here:

    I just uploaded a new version of the Arduino library with an example that can work with 255 LEDs. Once you install Arduino and the BlinkyTape library, you should be able to open the 'LotsOfLeds' example in the blinkytape examples section. I configured it to support 255 leds by default, however if you want to reduce it to 150, you can change the line in BlinkyTape.h:

    #define LED_COUNT 255


    #define LED_COUNT 150

    or whatever number of LEDs you would like. The reason we don't have this set up by default is that there is an inverse relationship between the number of LEDs and the maximum framerate. I'm hoping to add a feature that dynamically adjusts the output length depending on how much data you send it, but it's a little tricky.

  • Perfect! Works like a charm. Thank you!!!
  • isn't there a way to address even more lights than 255? I'm talking about 400 or even more, by having the blinky loop a small pattern indefinitely, regardless of how many lights you add on? I have a pre programmed TSSOP20 with hundreds of color patterns on it, and will address upwards of 2000 leds! I can tell they just loop a 15bit tall pattern over and over to save flash. Is this something I would have to change/add to the pattern paint software? Is it even capable of something like this? I'm trying to decode the Tssop, but haven't had much time yet to really dig into it. Let me know if I am just rambling nonsense.
  • Yes, you can do that, however you'll need to program it in Arduino. The BlinkyTape (and PatternPaint) support 300 LEDs natively now (as of the latest version), and will support up to 500 in the next version.
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