Sign up to receive product update info, essays, appearance dates, and other news from ThingM.

Your email address:

LinkM

Availability: immediate!
See our distributors page for places to get LinkM.

LinkM is a USB adapter that addresses two of the most frequently-requested BlinkM features:

  • It enables you to program BlinkMs without setting up a separate I/O board, such as an Arduino.
  • It lets you program or control multiple BlinkMs simultaneously.

Plug it in, plug in a BlinkM, fire up the BlinkM Multitrack Sequencer, and start programming BlinkMs. It requires no drivers (when used with most operating systems), additional software or hardware.

LinkM is about the same size and shape as a thumb drive. BlinkMs, BlinkM MinMs and BlinkM MaxMs can be plugged directly into it and it offers a compact, inexpensive interface for situations that do not require a general-purpose prototyping board or where an enclosed programming and control device with no exposed wiring is needed.

For example, a real-time energy display designed for long-term installation could use a LinkM attached to a small networked computer (say a Linux-based router) to display the results of fluctuating electricity prices with an array of BlinkM MaxMs.

Quick Start requirements

  • No electronics experience!
  • No programming experience!
  • Computer with USB port
  • One or more BlinkMsBlinkM MinMsBlinkM MaxMs
  • OSX 10.3.9, Windows XP/7, Linux
  • Java 1.5 or later
  • Mulitrack ThingM Sequencer software

Features

  • Driverless. Identifies itself as a USB Human Interface (HID) class device, which nearly every operating system supports without requiring additional drivers.
  • Has no exposed components. Its hard plastic case makes it appropriate for long-term installation.
  • Synchronizes groups of BlinkMs with a metronome signal so that their patterns do not drift in time (this even works when the LinkM is only connected to a power supply, such as an iPod USB charger).
  • Can directly power 8 BlinkMs or BlinkM MinMs or one BlinkM MaxM

Advanced features

  • Works as a generic USB->I2C device, making it compatible with hundreds of standard I2C devices.
  • Contains an I2C buffer chip for driving longer I2C bus cables.
  • Open Source firmware, available from Google Code [LINK]
  • Open Source libraries for C, Java and Processing that work on Mac OS X, Windows XP/7 and Ubuntu Linux, also available from Google Code.
  • Acts as an I2C master with built-in BlinkM metronome for synchronizing groups of BlinkMs so that their patterns do not drift with time
  • Additional I/O pins on the board. AVR hackers can crack open the case to get access to digital I/O pins and use LinkM as a standalone microcontroller platform.

Specifications

  • USB 1.0 standard
  • 100 kbps I2C communication
  • 4-pin 0.1″ spacing BlinkM I2C connector

Questions? Please contact us.

BlinkM Downloads

DOWNLOAD DATASHEET (2MB PDF)

COMMUNICATOR (6kB ZIP)

SINGLE TRACK SEQUENCER (ARDUINO ONLY) MAC WIN SOURCE

MULTITRACK SEQUENCER (LINKM ONLY) MAC WIN LINUX SOURCE

COMMAND-LINE SCRIPT TOOL MAC WIN SOURCE

EXAMPLE CODE (15kB ZIP)

(for Arduino, Processing, Basic Stamp, Max/MSP)

SEQUENCER LICENSE (4KB TEXT)

FIRMWARE LICENSE (4KB TEXT)

SUPPORT

High resolution images from Flickr