Comming soon: Hardware based pattern playback on BlinkStick

I’ve been working recently on a very important feature for BlinkStick: being able to play patterns without a connected computer or software running to control the playback. The current design has 16 slots for pattern animations and it’s possible to design quite interesting patterns which are performed at the hardware level. With the new API it will be possible to specify those patterns and start or stop the playback. All patterns are stored to EEPROM.

Each slot can either stop animation, morph to a specific color within a predefined time, set the color and wait for a predefined time or jump to another pattern index. The 0-th pattern is so called “boot animation” pattern: if that pattern is set, then BlinkStick starts playing that pattern when plugged into the computer.

For the example, when BlinkStick is plugged in, it will start playing sequence 0-1-2-1-2-1-2… until it’s stopped. If user requests to play pattern #5, BlinkStick will play pattern 5-6-5-6-5-6… which is short flashes of red. If user requests to play pattern #14, BlinkStick will play pattern 14-15 and then stop.

This feature is currently planned only for BlinkStick v1.1. More details about this when it’s released.

As a side note, I’ve noticed that it’s quite complicated to do multitasking on ATTIny85. The pattern playback has to not interfere with USB communication and ensuring this has been a challenge. I’m currently polishing the firmware and testing to make sure that there is no way to brick the device with messed up pattern sequences.

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Nice feature! Have you thought about a pinout for power input in the future? It could run with a battery pack then, not only with a USB power unit. Just a thought :smile:

Well, USB is a pretty common standard so my guess is that a basic USB extension cable cut in half with USB female socket and connected battery would be able to supply power to BlinkStick. :wink:

What a hack! :smiley:

That’s my middle name, actually :smiley:

just use power banks just an idea

is this blink stick pattern manager relesed yet?

@dunkyoung25 it hasn’t been released, because I haven’t gotten it to a stable release. I’ll see if I can release the firmware with the editor. It’s only useful for original BlinkStick v1.1 and maybe Nano, because of the EEPROM limitations.

@arvydas Hi is the blinkstick pattern manager ready yet?

As far as I know the pattern editor is part of the current BlinkStick Client release.

Edit: Maybe this is not the hardware based one…

So just to confirm. Once this is released, I could write a console app in C# where I’d be able to call up a specific pattern and start it playing and it will keep playing after my console app has closed?

Yes I realize that would also require the .NET interface be updated to support the new commands as well but I guess I assumed that would happen too. :sunglasses:

Hey Aric,
the hardware pattern is a pattern which runs automaticly when connecting the device to a power supply. Whether the .NET interface have to be updated depends on how arvy is goning to realize this.