ThingM blog

What we think, what we like, what we make, and how we make it.

blink(1) mk2s for sale in our store!

Did you miss out on the Kickstarter for blink(1) USB notification light?
Or the subsequent Kickstarter for blink(1) mk2?

You can now get blink(1)s in our online store: http://buy.thingm.com/!

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Each blink(1) mk2 comes with a 5ft USB extension cable so you can put notifications where you want them.  blink(1) comes with a complete GUI application called Blink1Control that hooks in with IFTTT. And blink(1) is entirely open source.

For a limited time, we are also stocking the cool gooseneck USB extension cable that we shipped to our Kickstarter backers.  Unlike normal cables, this one stays in the shape you bend it.  It’s a lot of fun.

blink1-gooseneck-800

Node-RED plugin for blink(1)

Node-RED is an interesting visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things.  It runs in Node.js and looks to have incredible potential.  blink(1) user dceejay wrote a Node-RED package for blink(1) called node-red-node-blink1.

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As he says, it:

“Sends the msg.payload to a Thingm Blink(1) LED device. The payload can be any of the following:

  • a three part csv string of r,g,b – e.g. red is 255,0,0
  • a hex colour #rrggbb – e.g. green is #00FF00
  • @cheerlights colour name – e.g. blue
  • The @cheerlights colours are – red, amber, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, pink, purple, white, warmwhite, black”

Get it here: https://www.npmjs.org/package/node-red-node-blink1

Pimping your blink(1) with bamboo & grass

 
TerjeOfNorway created a great step-by-step guide on how to to make a calming bamboo & (fake) grass home for his blink(1).
 
pimping-blink1
Full guide here:   http://www.terjeofnorway.no/2014/06/pimping-your-blink1/
 
If you are CAD and 3d-printer capable, the original blink(1) enclosure we put on Thingiverse works with the blink(1) mk2 and you can use it as a stepping stone to make your own enclosure.

New Python library for blink(1) & blink(1) mk2

Salim Fadhley has taken on the job of rewriting the basic Python blink(1) library we provided and making it so much more awesome. You can get it here: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/blink1

As he says: “This is a rewrite of ThingM’s original Python library. It includes the following modifications:

  • 100% test coverage on all library components
  • Python 3.x compatible
  • Automatic installation via Python Package Index.
  • Higher level control over the blink(1).
  • Single implementation with pyusb, intended to be installed with admin access or virtualenv.”

He’s also added features like gamma correction and white-point correction. Salim has been pushing his changes to the official ThingM blink1 github and we’re very proud to have it as part of the official blink(1) software set.

 

blink(1)mk2 Windows System Bar Controller using .NET

Jay Collett used the .NET library created by Jean-Francois Talbot (also in the ThingM github) to build a nice & small system tray app that does exactly what he wants.

blink1mk2-dotnet

Read about it here:

http://www.jaycollett.com/2014/06/blink1-mk2-for-the-win/

Jay includes all the source code so you can see how it’s done and modify it to your own tastes.

One of the downsides you might say of the Blink1Control app is it attempts to address the needs of many different use cases. If you want something very specific, building your own custom thing is the way to go. This is why we like Open Source so much: it let’s people customize their products to fit their lives.

blink(1) mk2 pre-orders open, shipping in June

We just opened pre-orders up for blink(1) mk2, our awesome USB RGB LED notification light.  We’re still fulfilling orders to our Kickstarter backers, but we expect to get all them out before June. Then we’ll start shipping pre-orders.

So if you’d like to pre-order your blink(1) mk2, visit: http://buy.thingm.com/blink1

And if you want a blink(1) mk2 before then, join us at Maker Faire! We’ll have a few for sale there.

blink1mk2-cloud-slider-450px

It’s super small, about as big as your thumb, but bright enough to be seen across a room.

The blink(1) mk2 has two independently-addressable RGB LEDs, so you can assign different events to different sides of the blink(1).

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Maker Faire 2014: We’re going. Come visit. Get a blink(1)!

Once again ThingM will be at Maker Faire.  We’ll be in the Maker Shed, demoing our BlinkM family, as well as showing off what the new blink(1) mk2 can do.  So. many. LEDs. And we’ll be just one of many showing off LED projects.

And for the first time outside of our Kickstarter, you’ll be able to get your own blink(1) mk2!  We have a limited quantity on hand for the Shed and they’ll be stocking them for us. (Any backers reading this, yours are shipping now, but come visit us at the Faire if you want more)

Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 is May 17 & 18 at the San Mateo Event Center. It’s mind-blowing and fun.

 

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buildblink: nodejs build light using blink(1)

Brett sent us a message with this cool Node.js add-on called “buildblink“.  It’s a continuous integration build light so you can tell when your code builds break.

Different colour patterns can be configured. Default configuration follows the patterns below:

Patterns

  • Green Successful build
  • Flashing Green (temporarily) Newly successful build
  • Police Lights (temporarily) Newly failed build
  • Cycle Green / Yellow Building & previous build was green
  • Cycle Red / Yellow Building & previous build was red

Currently tested with one build, one light.

It currently works with TeamCity but he plans on adding support for Jenkins and Travis CI.

Check it out on npmjs.org.

 

BlinkM MinMs in SF 49ers Craft Bracelet

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The Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (http://www.gaffta.org/) had a workshop for teachers of middle school students. They created a nice gender-neutral bracelet for sports fans using BlinkM MinMs (http://minm.thingm.com/)

As Grace says:
“The workshop went well. I had two teachers as my students, one who teaches middle school and one who writes curriculum for a children’s camp. They were both very interested in the MinMs and their potential to be used in teaching. One issue that came up was that one of the teachers was trying to come up with a gender neutral design and decided to make a 49ers wristband and wanted the LED to flash red, then yellow. However, we realized that there was no way to create a true yellow. We were able to get around it by covering the LED with yellow felt, as you can see from the video.”

prepping the minms

programming the minms

making the bracelet

making the bracelet

the finished bracelet

the almost finished bracelet

Happy Holidays from ThingM

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We recently received a photo of sample BlinkMs made from a new manufacturer. They look pretty good. Yay!