Making BlinkStick Nanos

Go behind the scenes to see how BlinkStick Nanos are built! In this video I cover everything it takes to make the device: solder paste, component placement with pick and place machine, reflowing in a modified toaster oven, depanelization, programming, testing and packaging. That’s a lot to cover in under 14 minutes!

BlinkStick as an Internet connectivity status indicator

A member on BlinkStick forums asked for some guidance on how it would be possible to use BlinkStick to display Internet connectivity status. Loved the idea so I build a quick sample script in Python to accomplish this.

Script works by checking connectivity to Google DNS server’s IP address. This approach avoid errors when DNS is not available, but the Internet connection is still up and running. When connection can be established, BlinkStick will light up green. When connection is not available, BlinkStick will start pulsing red and will turn green back again when connection is reestablished. Script tries to connect to Google DNS server every second so the notification is almost instant.

I tried to make the script as compact as possible and also documented most of the code to make it easier to understand and change.

Example: Display Internet connectivity status

BlinkStick Client 2.0-RC9 released with OSX support!

BlinkStick Client on OSX

New BlinkStick Client 2.0-RC9 has been released. Fixes and improvements in this release:

  • Mac OSX support, tested on Mavericks and Yosemite.
  • New icons for UI
  • Latest version of GTK 2.12.30 supported

OS X release does not support the following notifications yet:

  • Ambilight – ambilight effect by calculating average color of the screen
  • Application – active application trigger
  • Disk Space – notification about disk space used
  • Keyboard – ability to use keyboard shortcut to trigger a pattern

The support for these notifications will be added in the future releases.

Download the new release:

OSX release requires Mono runtime which can be downloaded by following this link:

http://www.mono-project.com/download/

BlinkStick Forums is the best place to get support and ask questions.

BlinkStick Client 2.0-RC8 released

BlinkStick 2.0-rc8_2016-03-15_18-01-33

New BlinkStick Client 2.0-RC8 has been released. Fixes and improvements in this release:

  • Fix crash when BlinkStick is detected first time
  • Optimize overall CPU usage
  • Optimize ambilight notification to send data only when color changes
  • Added _duration_ parameter for standalone BlinkStick.com server

The overall CPU usage has dropped significantly. Huge thanks goes to amazing community at BlinkStick Forums for reporting this issue.

Download the new release BlinkStickClient-Setup-2.0-rc8-x86.exe.

BlinkStick Forums is the best place to get support and ask questions.

Latest edition of Raspberry Pi Geek features an article about BlinkStick!

raspberry-pi-geek-blinkstick-article

Dmitri Popov has written and amazing article about BlinkStick and it is featured in the latest edition of Rasperry Pi Geek!

<..> Born as a single relatively simple LED device, BlinkStick has evolved into several distinct products. Each BlinkStick model has unique characteristics that make it suitable for specific projects and purposes. <..> All BlinkStick models have one thing in common, though: They feature bright multi-colored RGB LEDs that can be controlled individually. <..>

Dmitri has written an overview of BlinkStick devices, a tutorial about setting up BlinkStick on the Raspberry Pi and some great examples on how to utilize the super bright LEDs on the device. Raspberry Pi Geek is a fantastic magazine so head over and subscribe if you haven’t done so already! 🙂

Read more…

BlinkStick Client RC7 released

New version of BlinkStick Client application RC7 has been released!

  • Added Keyboard notification to play pattern when keyboard combination is pressed
  • Ability to use standalone BlinkStick.com server
  • Option to turn off BlinkSticks when exiting application

You can find more details about standalone BlinkStick.com server by following this link.

Download the new release BlinkStickClient-Setup-2.0-rc7-x86.exe.

BlinkStick Forums is the best place to get support and ask questions.