Blinken Button for Beginners Version 2

June 17, 2011

in Projects, Shop

You may know the Blinken Button for Beginners Kit. And you may know that I am quite out of stock at the moment.  But things are changing: The new Blinken Button Kits have arrived!

The best: The now come in red or green (Jimmy liked it – so I added this option) and I got plenty.

This new Blinken Button version sports some enhancements over the old version which came from contribution, wishes and recommendations:

  • First of all they now come in red or green – more options for you!
  • They include built in self test to give you a better chance to find the nasty solder bridges.
  • They now have an optional SPI connector to use them as simple 8×8 displays.
  • The PCB is now white (don’t know how this is an advantage – but I like it more so I sell it here as an advantage).

The idea to add an SPI interface cam from Johannes and Gabe. In a unbelievable stunt they hacked the SPI connection in the old version the same night they bought the kit – and added the implementation straight away. So thank them that this it´s now a standard feature. And be sure to check out their spectacular Game Of Life on Blinken Button too!

Please apologize that I did not find enough time to prepare packages – so they will restock in my shop in the next few days. But if you really want one just send me a mail and I will restock on demand (i.e. send you one or some). And if you don’t dare to solder it on your own come to the Chaos Communication Camp near Berlin. I will offer some SMT soldering classes with Blinken Buttons for Beginners there.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

palako August 13, 2011 at 13:28

Hi Markus,

Thanks for the great workshop yesterday at CCCamp. I’ve been reading the articles here at your site and the ones from the guys who did the SPI integration and I wanted to try it by myself, but I’m a bit lost. I have done a very simple arduino program similar to the master that they had on github, and connected the SS, CLK and MOSI pins between the arduino and the blinkenButton. What I don’t know is what do I have to do to make the button work as an SPI device. It is not clear to me if I have to reflash de ATMega inside de button via ISP, if there’s maybe a way of starting the button in SPI mode, or if you just start it normally and then just starts listening to the SPI interface and render in the screen.

Hope you can help. If you are still by the Hardware Hacking Village today, I’ll try to see if I can go and catch up.



Marcus August 14, 2011 at 20:12


You must grab the latest source from the SPI branch on github – this enables the SPI functionality. Then you can compile this source and reflash the Blinken Button. By that it works in SPI only mode.

Hope this helps



Nick January 14, 2012 at 19:14

Can I actually buy this or ?????

Your shop shows only 2 products and both are out of stock and…..neither is a version 2.

Love the idea of making some geeky badges.

Pls let me know……thz


Marcus January 15, 2012 at 10:29


yes from time to time my stock will go down very badly.
It is for sale but there can be ocassion where I need to divert part of the stock for other reasons. This time I gave all my remaining stock to the Noisebridge Hackerspace. So expect it to be back in about 2-3 weks.
Sorry for the inconvenience.



ewe June 15, 2013 at 00:22

Is the sourcecode available somewhere so we can create own animations?


Leave a Comment