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).
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!
||Atmel ATmega328p @ 16MHz
||3 x DM634
||16 x Common anode thru-hole RGB LEDs
|Available digital I/O pins
||13 (see manual)
|Available analog pins
UART (bootloader pre-installed)
||I2C (10K pullup resistors installed)
SPI (shared with LED drivers)
||60 x 30 mm (±0.5 mm)
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
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
|Female ISP header (useful if programmed using Arduino)
|DS3231 RTC chip + battery holder(*)
|MicroUSB power adaptor(**)
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.
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.