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project overview
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BlinkenWall BlinkenArea.jpg
Year 2005-2012
Number of pixels 23040
Grayscales / Colors 8 grayscales
Illuminant 5mm LED
Power input 1740W
Contact person Sascha Ludwig, Stefan Schuermans
Project website -

BlinkenWall is a LED pixelwall which comprises 23040 LEDs. The wall itself is a Lumino production from 1986, originally controlled by several Z80s. By degrees, more and more bits broke down, the power supply unit was faulty, the whole Z80-stuff too slow and the wall interface no longer useful. Thus, Stefan Schürmans and Sascha Ludwig integrated a new controller at a weekend in summer 2005 (24.06.2005 and 25.06.2005). This new controller is based on an 8BitAmEthernet module with an ATMega128 and is adapted to the wall interface by a few changes in hardware and some more in software. The old Z80 controller board is not in use anymore.

Since 2011/2012, the new controller is a Spartan3 development board and the wall supports 8 grayscales.

Technical Data:

  240 x 96 pixels = 2304 pixels
  Real Power: 1740W
  Apparent Power: 2417 VA
  Efficiency factor cos. phi: 0,72
  Weight: ca. 485 lb or 200 Kg
  Control: Ethernet 100BASE-TX
  Controler: Spartan3-Entwicklungsboard

23.06.2005 Hanging up Blinkenwall in Sascha's cellar with M10 Heavy duty stakes at the concrete ceiling (weight of the wall: 485 lb or 220Kg)
24.06.2005 Reverse engeneering of the original control of the wall with Z80, modification of the hardware from 8BitAmEthernet to 16 bit and some other foo
25.06.2005 Software development to control the wall, disassembling the old controller,integrating the new one with additional boards, testing in heaps
xx.08.2011 (HAR2009) Floyd-Steinberg-Dithering
25.06.2011 8 grayscales, wall driven by Spartan 3 FPGA, only static test picture
28.04.2012 8 grayscales, wall driven by Spartan 3 FPGA, video over 100BASE-TX ethernet working

more pictures can be found at:

BlinkenWall talk at SIGINT2012