UltiBlink RGB


UltiBlink RGB

The easy way to start creating with lots of RGB LEDs

$18.00

About

Overview

The UltiBlink RGB is a prototyping board with a microcontroller and three LED driver chips for artists/makers who want to be able to use a lot of thru-hole RGB LEDs in their projects without any hassle. It is fully Arduino-compatible and has everything you’ll need to drive up to 16 RGB LEDs right out of the box. The provided library makes programming this board as easy as the iconic Blink.ino demo sketch, hence the name.

The RGB variation of the UltiBlink board is excellent for initial design and programming of projects that use RGB (not single-color) LEDs. Unlike the SL version, this UltiBlink is fully breadboard-compatible, and you even won’t have to solder the LEDs, as they can be just inserted in their slots for prototyping.

As the LED drivers are current-sinking devices, common anode RGB LEDs must be used (LEDs not provided).

Expanding

Once the 16 RGB LEDs of a single UltiBlink are not enough, you can expand your possibilities with an extension board (see below) or two. The UltiBlink RGB board has five standard output pins that these extensions can be connected to. These outputs are used throughout all the UltiBlink boards, so you may even connect, say, a BlinkeyBlinkey to your UltiBlink RGB.

There is also a place for an RTC (Real-Time Clock) chip on the UltiBlink, as well as battery connections. You may solder one yourself or get your UltiBlink with it installed, as well as a handy battery compartment on its own little board (see Options tab).

Available colors: white, blue.

Normal price: $21.95 + shipping

Sale price: $18.00 + FREE shipping!

Specs

Microcontroller Atmel ATmega328p @ 16MHz
LED controller 3 x DM634
LEDs supported 16 x Common anode thru-hole RGB LEDs
Operating voltage 5 V
Programming voltage 5 V
Available digital I/O pins 13 (see manual)
Available analog pins 8
Programming interfaces ISP
UART (bootloader pre-installed)
Data interfaces I2C (10K pullup resistors installed)
SPI (shared with LED drivers)
Dimensions 60 x 30 mm (±0.5 mm)

 

Schematics (pdf)

 

Default package contents:

1 x UltiBlink RGB board

2 x 1x9 male pin connectors

1 x ISP 2x3 male pin connector

1 x UART 1x5 male pin connector

1 x IN 1x5 male pin connector (angled)

1 x OUT 1x5 female pin connector

 

Ultiblink-rgb-sizechart

Options

The board is supplied as a kit byt default. The kit includes the board itself with soldered SMD components and a set of pin headers to be soldered by yourself.
There are additional options you can select at extra cost:

Fully soldered board add $3.00
Female ISP header (useful if programmed using Arduino) add $0.50
DS3231 RTC chip + battery holder(*)

acc-battery-on420

add $1.50
MicroUSB power adaptor(**)

acc-usb

add $0.50

The options can be combined in any way possible, please contact me with your express wishes.

(*)CR2032 battery not included due to post-office rules. Please provide your own.
(**)The MicroUSB adaptor has Vcc and GND connections only. It cannot be used as a MicroUSB breakout board. It comes with a 1x5 male pin header for convenience; you can remove three middle pins if you want.

Programming

The UltiBlink RGB can not be connected to the computer directly; you’ll need a programmer. Any generic Arduino board can act as such thanks to the Arduino ISP sketch.

There are two programming interfaces present:

- ISP (In-System Programming). The easiest way to program the UltiBlink, as you’ll just need to connect it to your Arduino following the instructions in the ArduinoISP sketch present among the pre-installed examples in the Arduino IDE. A dedicated ISP programmer can also be used, such as a USBtinyISP one.

- UART (serial). UART pinout includes the DTR line that controls an automatic reset function. You’ll need a programmer for this interface: either the dreaded FTDI or a more safe, affordable and recommended CP2102 one.

Any software capable of programming Atmel chips can be used, but I recommend the Arduino IDE to program the board, as it is easy to use and understand. In the IDE, select ‘Arduino Pro or Pro Mini’ in the Tools > Board menu, then ‘ATmega328 (5V, 16MHZ)’ in the Tools > Processor menu. If using ISP (either Arduino or a dedicated programmer) make sure to select the correct option in the Tools > Programmer menu and upload your sketches with Sketch > Upload Using Programmer option (or just Shift-click on the Upload button).

The DM63x library can be found here: https://github.com/Ontaelio/DMdriver.

Manual

UltiBlink RGB Extension

Expand UltiBlink capabilities or use it with your Arduino

$12.50

About

The extension board is, in fact, an UltiBlink RGB without the microcontroller (one of its sides is unpopulated). Basically, this is a breakout board for the DM634 LED drivers aimed at hosting 16 thru-hole common anode RGB LEDs (not provided). While its main purpose is expanding the number of RGB LEDs the core board can handle, it is not in fact tied to the UltiBlink RGB. You can use it with the Blinkey Core, with your Arduino, or even with any other microcontroller board (provided you can write the program to do it).

The angled 5-pin connector intended for the IN interface provides the way to install the extension vertically on the breadboard. The output interface can host other UltiBlink extensions, both RGB and not.

And yes, you can turn it into an UltiBlink RGB by soldering the missing stuff on the microcontroller side.

Colors available: blue, white.

Normal price: $14.75 + shipping

Sale price: $12.50 + FREE shipping!

Specs

LED controllers 3 x DM634
LEDs supported 16 x Common anode thru-hole RGB LEDs
Operating voltage 3.3 - 5.5 V
Installed REXT resistors 3 x 2.2 kΩ
Interfaces UltiBlink 5-pin
Dimensions 60 x 30 mm (±0.5 mm)

Default package contents:

1 x UltiBlink RGB Extension board

1 x IN 1x5 male pin connector (angled)

1 x OUT 1x5 female pin connector

Ultiblink-rgb-sizechart

Programming

The Arduino DM63x library can be found here.

The extension board comes with a standard 5-pin UltiBlink interface (see manual above), so programming it with any UltiBlink board with DM634 LED drivers is pretty straightforward: just change the number of drivers accordingly while declaring the DMdriver object.

If used with an Arduino board, connect the IN interface as follows:

 5v -> 5v
 DAI -> Arduino digital pin 11 (MOSI)
 DCK -> Arduino digital pin 13 (SCK)
 LAT -> Arduino digital pin 9 (or any other free pin)
 GND -> common ground

Note that RGB LEDs tend to consume current, so it is a good idea not to connect the UltiBlink extensions directly to the 5v pin on the Arduino. If you use more than one extension, always use an external power supply!

With other microcontrollers, I suggest using SPI interface, but the drivers can also be bit-banged. Check the DM634 datasheet.