Blinkenschild 2.0

3072 RGB Pixels for the Resistance

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We want a transportable Ledsign we can use at various occasions, for example demonstrations.
It needs to be big, readable, weatherproof, longlasting and as leightweight as possible.

Time to protest!

The man is spying on you?

Governments are trying to rate your social credibility?

CUM-EX mafia is plundering your tax money?

Extremists are on the rise and war seems to be just around the corner?

Dystopia is more likely then utopia?

What happened?

Join the U/I=R(esistance) 


simple .scad file for the connections for the 20x20mm aluminum rods that make up the blinkenschilds mount on the backpack

scad - 218.00 bytes - 11/19/2018 at 09:54


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  • Twitter..

    overflo11/20/2018 at 22:19 0 comments

    So you want to add TWITTER to a project?

    Thats nice and all, but you know.. twitter changed its APIs significantly in august and with those changes came new conditions.

    If you want to develop something with twitter you need to sign up for a developer account.

    Fair enough right?
    Its easy peasy, no worries.

    Just fill out the three pages of information regarding you, your project, and its purpose, where, how and by whom it will be used in which country and the project description must be at least 300 characters.

    You consider this ironic given the limit of the message size on tweets? I sure did.

    Twitter will get back to you via email some days later letting you know that you will need to provide further information.

    Once you sent an in-detail description of your project they will contact you.

    Oh they didn't? 
    Too bad, you will have to ask for permission to use the precious APIs again, i guess.

    After over a week of waiting twitter finally sent me their oAuth API credentials and i implemented the twitter import in an hour.

    But this procedure gave me goosebumps. Especially that they referred to "their content from twitter" that i would use in my product. 

    I will have to implement mastodon as well i guess.

  • Carrying the Blinkenschild

    overflo11/18/2018 at 20:31 0 comments

    I finished the backpack mount today.
    I use a kids backback that has a fixed aluminum frame and mount my custom construction on this with zip-ties.

    It feels very good to carry that sign with this construction. I can totally imagine walking some hours at a demonstration with this setup.

    I carried my kids on austrian mountains before, using this backpack, so i know that it wont hurt my back :)

    The batterypack lasts at leat 5 hours with connected WIFI and twitter updates.

    We will see about the overall performance in some days..

  • Finished cabling

    overflo11/15/2018 at 20:19 0 comments

    The Blinkenschild 2.0 is powered by portable battery packs.

    Today 4 strong battery packs arrived in the mail.

    I had some leftover usb connectors form another project that i soldered into POWER cables.

    Each 16x32 panel has its own usb attached power supply and the GROUND rail was connected on all boards.

    I also have a dedicated batterypack for the Raspberry Pi.

    So far so good.

    The twitterscript is running for one hour so far, the leds are bright and the whole setup appears to be stable enough.
    The only thing that worries me a little is the Raspberry Pi that complained with an undervoltage warning earlier.

    I might connect a second usb cable and merge those for the power supply.

    The cabling went better that expected.

    I used zip-ties and shrinkwrap on the cables, the picture looks much messier than the real life outcome :)

  • First video

    overflo11/14/2018 at 08:01 0 comments

    I made a GIF player :) 
    Look at all the colors!

  • Tweeeeeeter

    overflo11/14/2018 at 07:52 0 comments

    I started Twitter integration today.

    The Idea is to have  a webinterface on the Raspberry Pi.
    The Pi is connected over wifi to your  smartphone and has internetaccess trough Thetering.

    Now users can send tweets to @blinkenschild and those are displayed in realtime on the webapp / Smartphone.
    If the carrierof the Blinkenschilds want to show the tweet, it just needs to be selected from the list and is given to a service on the Raspberry that displays it in scrolling text as shown above.

    The webinterface is not even started yet, but we do have the command line tool ready to display the actual tweet. 

  • News

    overflo11/13/2018 at 09:09 1 comment

    The Hardware assembly is finally finished.

    We had to replace one broken panel, but all in all it worked out as planned.
    Also the Fixture for the aluminum rods was mounted upside down, so we had to move those.

    hzellers software to drive those HUB75s from the raspberry pi is gorgeous!

    We will have to send him cookies.

    So far we got:

    • Youtube video support
    • Scrolling Text
    • Images
    • GIF Animations

    Next we will add Twitter support and a nice Webinterface to interact with the sign.
    Also we need to get some USB Powerbanks to make that sign portable.
    And of course we need to make a cover to make that thing weatherproof and portable.

  • Software

    overflo10/30/2018 at 15:53 0 comments

    We use the great library by hzeller to drive the HUB75 panels.
    Check it out here:

    After wiring the Panels and soldering the levelshifter adapter board the thing was up and displaying demos in no time.
    Henner did a GREAT job at providing examples and useful tools like

    •  a modded ffmpeg player 
    •  a scrolltext display 
    • a framebuffer proxy
    • a generic picture viewer 
    • and good examples on how the C API works

    We will probably stick to using his tools and (just) make a webinterface for uploading and selecting animations.

    On the raspian side we had to disable the soundcard and select a dedicated cpu for the display controller.
    How this is done is also very well documented at hzellers github.


    Getting the drivers running was a piece of cake, but now we need to make the webserver and webapp.
    This will be some work.

    Once we finish this, we will set the raspberry pi in a READONLY state so we can safely unplug it without damaging the FS.

    All animations should be stored on an external USB stick and not on the SD card itself. 

  • So we started another revolution..

    overflo10/30/2018 at 09:45 0 comments

    When I built the original BLINKENSCHILD some years ago I wanted to give a useful tool to protesters.
    Now some time passed and the reasons to protest are at an all time high.

    When Max asked to borrow the original Blinkenschild, I decided the time was right to build a more up-to-date version with higher resolution, a lower price tag and modern technology so we can play back videos and do some interesting internet enabled stuff.

View all 8 project logs

  • 1
    Get the Parts

    Get yourself all the parts listed in the partlist.

  • 2
    Assemble the Electronics

    The Levelshifters to get straight 5V signals from the 3.3V rpi pins

  • 3
    Lasercut the Baseplate from acrylic

    TODO: provide corel draw files for laser cutter

View all 5 instructions

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