Thank you for considering to purchase the Blinkenlight Shield. Your contribution helps to support my further work on even more Blinkenlight experiments.
You can buy the shield at Amazon and other retailers.
In addition there is now a significantly better options for those that do not yet own an Arduino. The Blinkenlight “Lernpaket”.
This package contains an Arduino compatible clone with integrated Blinkenlights plus a book authored by me. Right now it is only available in Germany and consequently the book is written in German.
What does this package deliver? First of all it allowed me to design an Arduino compatible board that follows my ideas about how an Arduino should be designed. Here are the advantages compared to the standard Arduino.
- It has integrated Blinkenlights thus it can blink right out of the box without any need for any additional parts. Of course all Blinkenlight experiments are supported.
- The integrated Blinkenlights do not block the connectors thus other shields can be used together with the Blinkenlights. Sometimes they are useful as a visual debugging aid. In case the LEDs interfere with your shields they can be disconnected anytime.
- Unlike the Arduino Uno this board has a crystal oscillator. Thus it has significantly better frequency and timing accuracy.
- Unlike the Arduino Uno this board is still manufactured with FTDI chips. In my opinion the FTDI chips are more reliable USB to serial converters than the new solution. Unfortunately they are more expensive during manufacturing. Fortunately I was able to convince Franzis to stick to the old chips.
- This board has no automatic power supply switching. The power supply is selected by means of a jumper setting. This allows much simpler currency measurements. So far I did not notice any “loss of comfort” because 99% of the time the boards are USB powered anyway.
- The board contains the SMD variant of the ATMega 328. Thus it has two additional analog pins (A7 and A8). The pins are available for standard sketches.
- The board has an additional row of holes that replicate the upper pin rows “in grid”. If you create your own shields you can thus design them with standard “in grid” prototyping boards. Just solder your choice of connectors and you do not need any special adapters anymore.
- The reset switch is moved to the outside of the board. It can thus be triggered even if there is a shield connected. By now the Uno R3 offers a similar feature.
In addition it comes with a somewhat comprehensive book. The book has some overlap with my blog and web page but it contains a lot more. I cover a lot of details that I did cover online. In particular it contains the following stuff that you will not find on my web pages:
- Introduction for beginners.
- Details of the Arduino build process
- Strategies and tactics for performance optimization
- Systematic searching for bugs
- Much more on light painting
- A pulse width modulation engine that outperforms all other engines I have published so far. This means higher refresh frequency, more brightness leves, lower CPU utilization and less memory consumption.
There is also a CD included with all code examples. This CD also includes data sheets and application notes for those that want to know “absolutely everything”.