■ FIGURE 3. Das BlinkenBoard “two
up” layout in ExpressPCB.
sequence to be altered even after the
board has been powered up.
NO ONE TRICK PONIES!
As our research turned up lots of
"blinky" LED kits from various vendors,
■ FIGURE 4. Das BlinkenBoards from
ExpressPCBs, “Miniboard” service.
we had to make sure that ours was
unique enough to justify building it
rather than just buying something
already available. As we went through
the various scenarios that could benefit
from a BlinkenBoard, we decided the
key factor would be versatility. We wanted
■ FIGURE 7. Rectangular LEDs fitted
into .100” spaced holes.
■ FIGURE 8. LEDs attached to the end
of ribbon cable.
■ FIGURE 5. Das BlinkenBoard kit
the board to be able to not only turn
LEDs on and off, but to set their
brightness levels via PWM. We wanted
to be able to do more esoteric things
such as drive and/or control the speed
of standard DC motors, brushless motors,
or even handle stepper motors.
We wanted to control both
inductive and solid-state relays or
drive solenoid valves for pneumatic
devices. We wanted to be able to
drive CCFT lights and incandescent
bulbs. We wanted to be able to
experiment with Persistence of Vision
(POV) displays or drive speakers to
make sounds. We envisioned
controlling LED cubes and having
the boards communicate via serial
commands. And, of course, we wanted the ability to upgrade the system
software so the board's role could
evolve as future challenges were met.
■ FIGURE 6. Das