The UltiBlink SL is a prototyping board for artists/makers who want to be able to use a lot or LEDs in their projects without any hassle. It is fully Arduino-compatible and has everything you’ll need to drive up to 48 single-color or 16 RGB LEDs right out of the box. The provided library for the Arduino IDE makes programming this board as easy as the iconic Blink.ino demo sketch, hence the name.
The SL variation started as a small handy side project (Christmas lights) and was initially aimed at single-color LEDs only. Now, however, this is a versatile universal board capable of supporting both single-color and common anode RGB thru-hole LEDs in any shapes and sizes, as well as anything else you may want to connect to the current-sinking outputs (servos and such). Instead of the small RGB LED holes of the UltiBlink RGB, the SL board provides 2.54mm-pitch standard double row connectors, useful for soldering wires or even installing double-row female pin headers.
These connectors do not fare well with breadboard prototyping, though; not just because the slightly larger board covers all the holes (you can circumvent this by using pre-bent jumper wires), but because LEDs legs can’t be bent out of the way without soldering. You may find it useful to install female pin headers on the Arduino-compatible pins instead of the standard male ones and use jumper wires, Arduino-style.
All this makes the UltiBlink SL the best choice for final prototyping and small finished artist/maker projects. The standard UltiBlink 5-pin output provides the means of connecting UltiBlink extension boards.
Available color: blue.
Normal price: $21.95 + shipping
Sale price: $18.00 + FREE shipping!
||Atmel ATmega328p @ 16MHz
||3 x DM634
||up to 16 x Common anode thru-hole RGB LEDs
up to 48 x single-color 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)
||62 x 34 mm (±0.5 mm)
Default package contents:
1 x UltiBlink SL 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(**)
|2 x 9-pin single row female pin-headers(***)
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.
(***)No factory-made 9-pin headers are in stock now; the headers provided will be just cut out of the standard 40-pin ones. Not perfect aesthetically, but working.
The UltiBlink SL 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.