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project overview
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Year 2014
Number of pixels 144
Grayscales / Colors 512 colours
Illuminant SMD LEDs (size 0805)
Power input 1.25 W
Contact person Arne Rossius
Project website

The TicTacLights Colour is the RGB version of the TicTacLights, a very small BlinkenLights clone that fits inside a small TicTac box. Unlike the monochrome version, the TicTacLights Colour requires a 5 V power supply, e.g. a USB port. The PCB has a Mini-USB-B connector and internal pads for a possible battery supply (e.g. a lithium-ion battery with a switching converter for constant 5 V).

This project uses the BlinkenPlus firmware on an ATmega162 controller. The PCB has pads for a Micro-SD card slot and solder pads for a serial port (5 V logic level, RS232-compatible with external level converter, e.g. MAX232).


Unfortunately, the kits sold during 32C3 contain a faulty circuit board. If you bought a kit during 32C3, please contact me at arne@blinkenarea.org for a replacement.


The hardware is very similar to the Blinkström Colour, the only difference is that the rows are driven directly from the controller rather than through MOSFETs. This is possible because the TicTacLights Colour uses a lower LED current than the Blinkström Colour.

The 3.3 V supply for the SD card is generated by a linear regulator. The maximum current draw of the circuit (all LEDs white at maximum brightness) is approx. 250 mA, not including the current consumption of the SD card (if inserted).

From revision 2.0 onward, there is a CH340G USB to UART converter IC on the board. This means the USB port can be used for streaming MCUF frames in addition to supplying power. It is also possible to use CH340C, in which case C11, C12 and Q2 must be omitted.

Rev. 2.0

Rev. 1.0