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Description BlinkenArea is a project group that makes blinking projects, most using LEDs. For 33C3, we will bring a few medium-sized and a lot of small projects to show as well as construction kits for sale of some of the projects. The kits will be sold at cost.
Members Arne, B2ag, StefanBA, Took
Projects create project
Self-organized Sessions create self-organized session
Tags hardware hacking, leds, blinkenlights, soldering
Registered on 30 November 2016 13:47:48
Location for self-organized sessions yes
Self-organized session notes Continuous soldering workshop. We will bring some high-quality soldering irons and soldering accessories, suitable for fine-pitch SMD.
Other assemblies by tags...
Note: The location on the map does not represent a reservation of a location and might not represent the actual place, where a assembly can be found. The place can be changed within the form of the assembly by anyone. It will be updated by the assembly itself on day 0 or day 1 as soon as the actual location is known.
Orga contact
Brings Some medium-sized and lots of small blinking projects, soldering kits for sale, soldering irons and accessories for a continuous soldering workshop.
Uses money yes we handle money
Plays TING no
Plays TING skills {{{Plays ting skills}}}
Character of assembly place to show and meet
Seats needed 12
Extra seats 8
Assembly specification want quiet place, loud place ok, want sit public, want low light
Planning notes If possible, placement near the POC desk would be great. ST has already discussed this with orga to some degree, and they seem to approve.

We'd like some extra rectangular(!) tables for showcasing projects, and a large round table (or equivalent size of other tables) for the soldering workshop. I estimate we can provide a minimum of 6, probably 8 soldering places for the workshop. Additional chairs for people wanting to watch, chat or waiting for a free soldering iron would be appreciated, too.

past congress review Location on 32C3 was excellent, but since there are a lot more of us coming this year, it may not provide enough space. If the location near POC is not available, the location from 32C3 would be our second choice.


The BlinkenArea is a project group of people who like to build blinking objects. Some of our projects are miniature replicas of the Blinkenlights project and other buildings used as dot matrix screens. Our members are artists, hardware hackers, software hackers or usually a combination of the above ;-).

BlinkenArea at 33C3

The BlinkenArea will show many small and a few larger blinking objects at the congress and also sell construction kits (at cost) for some of them. If you like, you can solder your kit during the congress in our all-day, every-day soldering workshops. Everyone from a complete novice (including children) to a seasoned soldering expert is welcome.

General Information on Kits and BlinkenMovies

BlinkenMovies (animations for BlinkenArea projects) can be created with Blimp, the original BlinkenPaint or with your own programs and scripts (follow the links to the file formats below for details on the file structure). MCUF streams can be generated from existing BlinkenMovies with "BlinkenSend" from the BlinkenLib suite of console tools. MCUF streams are usually sent via UDP, you can output them to a serial port with "BlinkenOutput", also part of BlinkenLib.

The LED matrix kits use the BlinkenPlus firmware. This firmware supports playing animations from an MMC, SD or SDHC card formatted with FAT16 or FAT32 (the FAT12 filesystem on cards up to 32 MB is not supported). In addition, an MCUF stream can be fed to the UART, which is displayed when no SD card is inserted. The firmware also outputs an MCUF stream of all displayed frames (regardless of their source, including error messages) to the UART, which can be fed into other projects (if they have the same resolution).

Supported file formats on the SD card:

  • BIN - binary, no grayscales (8 colors for RGB projects).
  • BBM - Binary BlinkenMovie, up to 256 grayscales (16 Mi colors for RGB projects), but BlinkenPlus will convert to 8 grayscales (512 colors) before displaying.
  • BLM - BlinkenLights Movie, simple ASCII text files, no grayscales (8 colors for RGB projects).
  • BML - Blinkenlights Markup Language, XML-based, up to 256 grayscales (16 Mi colors for RGB projects), but BlinkenPlus will convert to 8 grayscales (512 colors) before displaying.

Have a look at the kit instructions on where to place the files on the SD card, as the location varies with each kit. This also means that you can use the same SD card for different kits in turn without having to move or delete files.

BlinkenArea Kits

List of kits available at 33C3 with prices:

Every kit contains all needed parts, the PCB and printed instructions. You can solder your kit at the BlinkenArea assembly if you like.