BlinkyTile control using the FastLED library and an Arduino or Teensy
Arduino
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README.md

BlinkyTile + FastLED

BlinkyTile control using the FastLED library and an Arduino or Teensy

Demo Video

This tutorial will guide you through connecting a BlinkyTile sculpture (I made the standard dodecahedron) to a microcontroller. The same basic instructions will apply to just about any microcontroller, but we'll be using an Arduino Uno. I've also tested with a Teensy 3.1.

Note: You should already have your BlinkyTile sculpture assembled and tested with the light buddy board. See the BlinkyTile page for more information and assembly instructions.

Hardware

Circuit Wiring

  1. Make sure your Arduino is disconnected from your computer and is not powered on.
  2. Connect the cable to the BlinkyTile adapter board. BlinkyTile Adapter Board
  3. Insert male-to-male jumper wires into the other end of the BlinkyTile adapter board cable. I used red for power, blue for data, skipped the address wire, and black for ground. Double-check your connections and ensure the proper order before proceeding. You can check them with the light buddy board, if you have one.
  4. Connect the other end of the jumper wires to your Arduino. Red connects to 5V, black to either GND, and blue connects to Digital 0 (RX, not A0!).
  5. Check your connections again. Seriously. :)

Software

  1. We'll be using the Arduino software to program the microcontroller. Download and install 1.0.6 (not 1.5.x): http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
  2. The FastLED library will be used to control the BlinkyTile LEDs. Download the latest version (3.0 or newer) from the releases page: https://github.com/FastLED/FastLED/releases
  3. The DmxSimple library will be used by FastLED internally. Download it here: https://github.com/PaulStoffregen/DmxSimple
  4. Follow these instructions to install the FastLED and DmxSimple libraries: http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/Libraries

Code

  1. Start the Arduino software if it's not already running (make sure you restart it after installing the libraries).
  2. Create a new sketch (program) by clicking the New button, or the File->New menu.
  3. Copy the code from here: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pup05/BlinkyTileFastLED/master/BlinkyTileFastLED.ino
  4. Paste it into the Arduino editor.
  5. Click the Verify button. If it fails to compile with errors, ensure you followed the steps above. If you're still having problems, feel free to open an issue here: https://github.com/pup05/BlinkyTileFastLED/issues

Upload

  1. Connect your Arduino to your computer's USB port using the proper cable. The ON light should turn on, but your BlinkyTile will probably not light up.
  2. Click the Upload button. After it completes, your BlinkyTile sculpture should light up and start cycling through several different patterns. The cycle takes about a minute to complete before it restarts again.

Conclusion

That's all for now. In part two (coming soon), I'll walk you through creating your very own patterns using FastLED!