Blink-Up App for Windows


Wahoo! At last! It Blinketh! And in Green! A thousand thank-you’s for this file.

In a more earnest note, perhaps this a reasonable time for these following thoughts. They are my first posting. I hope this is the correct forum. If not, please accept my apologies and direct me appropriately.

About BlinkUp… I was 1 of the (few, or many?) people who couldn’t properly commission my 1st Imp. Not even via several different versions of Android, and several different devices. There has to be a better, more reliable, more universal process to do this; else, many potential developers will simply walk (or RUN) away in frustration. If the BlinkUp process is so variable and sensitive inside my shop, what will it be like in a ‘field’ environment where ambient light, etc. are less controllable. Perhaps it might be of value to the majority of users, if these thoughts were considered by the team responsible for the BlinkUp process (if they haven’t already considered these ideas). If you allow me the assumption that the BlinkUp’s primary cause of failure is that the pixels being driven on the display either can’t hit max intensity quickly enough or can’t decay to black fast enough (in other words, the bits flashed cant be clearly detected as 1 or 0:

  1. what about reducing the number of pixels being driven into a ‘box’ of 64x64 pixels on-screen (takes less power, and faster response time); or
  2. What about using just 1 color (i.e. GREEN, or the color that mst closely approximates the ‘sensitivity sweet-spot’ of the photodetector) to blink on the BlinkUp device screen (fewer pixels being driven require less power, therefore possibly faster response times); or,
  3. if its a timing stability issue, how about slowing down the flash rate so that there is more slack in the timing specs between bits. Perhaps this would allow more hardware devices and platforms to be acceptably used for BlinkUp.
    I seem to recall similar performance issues in the early days of IrDA, but all were eventually solved and the transmission rates went from the unstable k’s to the stable Mbits.

Thanks for any kind consideration you offer this post.


On blinkup: as I’ve noted several times, the old imps had an early version of blinkup, which wasn’t so great with android (because, basically, android is very weak in areas relating to display refresh). Remember the software on those imps is from june 2012 - over 18 months ago - as that’s when the “developer edition” was manufactured.

With the current imp software version and correct technique, or a housed imp (vs a devboard), I get 100% blinkup success both with iOS and every Android device we’ve been able to get hold of. Now your imp is both online and upgraded, you should try again with android.

Pixel luminosity does vary from phone to phone, and blinkup deals with this with various methods. Frame rates also vary on android phones, and this is also dealt with. Likewise for when your dual core 2GHz cpu can’t get round to drawing a plain frame every refresh cycle.

Different colors don’t help (we’re most sensitive to red, actually, as phototransistors peak in the 800-900nm range) - when you draw a pixel, any color is the same effort. Different areas being blinked also doesn’t change things (based on extensive testing). As I said, we deal with timing issues too - just we didn’t deal with them so well back 18 months ago.

Summary: try it again (don’t use legacy mode now your imp is updated) and you should have a much better experience. If you don’t, we’d like to know!


Is there a sideloadable Android version anywhere out there? I just cannot get any of my Android devices to sync up properly with Google’s app-store.


@sgarriga - emailed it to you


Just wanted to know! Does the end users always have to use the Electric Imp app to be able to make the devices blessed with Electric Imp go online?


Only the first time.
You can program your imp with a list of “known” ssid’s and have the imp connect, when one of those ssid’s are “in sight” (could be your phone…).
There is a nice example here somewhere


@Tarkeshwar - No. If you’re developing a commercial product with an associated app, we can provide Android and Objective-C libraries to embed BlinkUp in your app.


@beardedinventor That’s cool!. Thanks a lot.


I can’t get my electric imp working with my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I tried a Nexus 5 and it worked first time, but still won’t blink up with the Note 2. Can someone send me the half speed version that I’ve seen reference to?


Half speed is the “legacy mode” button in the android app.


I think I have a problem similar to sgarigga concerning my Android device. It does not have access to the google play store ( I think because it is running the forked Amazon version of Android - thus the availability of the Amazon app store). I couldn’t find blinkup on the Amazon app store. Is the “side loadable” version available somewhere? Or is there another Android app store where it is available?


Here’s version 2.1.0, though I don’t think this is the latest one, just one I have on my laptop…


Is there a version of BlinkUp that runs on any version of the BB OS? doesn’t matter if its OS10, or the older OS2.1. Even a sideloaded version will do, if it works. My idea is that maybe I can eliminate/reduce the time I waste trying to get the BlinkUp to work, by using different hardware. I’m willing to try (and report) results with any hardware/software combo. Thanks!




Well, there is - I’ve heard the android APK (above, which you can sideload) works fine with the BB 10 android emulator. Worth a try?


Please can someone send me a copy of, or a link to, the Windows blink up programme. I have been trying to “blink up” using Galaxy S3 (no power saving, max brightness and legacy mode too) and have used a 'scope to make sure that the opto in signal is >400mV pk (I ended up with 2 supplied phototransistors? in parallel). My device is an Imp02 on a Smartmaker breakout board. The bicolour LED flashes red/green all the way through the blink-up and just keeps going without missing a beat. The opto in signal low level is about 100mV when I cup my hands around the phototransistors? but drifts up to over 1V when I have finished linking and remove my hands. Would it matter that my network has no password (and before I get a tirade… I’m so far from anywhere that it really is not a security issue!)?. Maybe I should wait till after dark - I’m rather used to working in the dark.


Is VDDA tied to VDD? VDDA is VREF on the SmartMaker board. No password is just fine. If your LED doesn’t stop blinking, the Imp doesn’t recognize that you trying to blink it up.

This guide is a must read for choosing phototransistor and bias resistor.


jwehr Thanks for your advice. I have now succeeded “first time” in blinking up. Now to write code!


@robv The blinking app worked fine form (Windows 8)
Do you know where to get the specs on how to generate the blinking sequences? I could create a cross-platform program using mono and OpenGL to generate the blinking sequences.


Is the windows app still available anywhere? The link seems to be dead.