BlinkStick Flex at full power


#1

I’ve mounted a BlinkStick Flex with all 32 LEDs to the back of a DELL U3818DW.
I’m driving it using the following software:

It’s working but I find it lacks in brightness, even more so that my screen is not all that close from the wall. After doing a bit of reading I found out that BlinkStick Flex board is only driving the 32 LEDs at 25% brightness which is a firmware limitation calibrated on USB 2.0 maximal power draw which is 500mA.

I understand each LED needs up to 50mA.
So for full power I would need to feed it 32*50 = 1600mA.

If you were to use a USB 3.0 port in theory you could draw 900mA which is already an improvement as you should reach at least 50% brightness. Now if you are daring and you own a solid USB 3.0 hub with a 3A power supply you could try go full power. Like that hub for instance:

You could also definitely go full power using a data enabled charging port but hubs with such features are rather hard to find.

First of all I guess I should try doubling my brightness since I’m already using a USB 3.0 port to see if I’m happy with that. To achieve this I would need to do the following:

  • Customize BlinkStick Flex Firmware to change the max power draw. Is the firmware source code available?
  • Flash customised firmware to my BlinkStick Flex

I’ve never flashed an AVR chip before so I would need your help guys to get this done.
@arvydas Is that plan sound? Can it be done?

Other thought: could I use a Y cable to draw full power from 2 USB 3.0 ports and go full power?
Something like that should do:

Looks like that Y cable solution is what I’m looking for as I could hook the data plug to a USB 3.0 port providing 900mA and the power power plug to one of those charging port on the following hub for instance:
tp-link UH720
Moreover I guess it could just use the Pro firmware rather than having the build my own.


BlinkStick Flex firmware