Pimping your Blink(1)

It all started with me ordering Blink(1) about a year ago. It’s a nifty little USB RGB LED indicator, and it’s got quite a lot of tweakability both API wise and via ifttt.com. All in all, a pretty diverse little toy.

Anyway, I played around with it for a bit, but as time passed Mr Blink – I like to name my gadgets – ended up gathering dust in my drawer, along with my huge stack of business cards, but that’s a whole other story. A few days back, I stumbled across a karma plugin written by Norbert Schneider which got me inspired. The code needed a bit of refactoring, but eventually I did get Mr Blink to respond to green and red unit tests running from the terminal.

So I decided to create a little DIY office gadget in the hopes of being the envy of my peer developers at Dinamo.


Showing the things I bought

Shopping list

  • USB extension cord
  • Glue
  • Bamboo box
  • Fake grass pencil holder thingy
  • Some sort of sphere diffuser (I’m using a mesh sphere)
  • Scotch (for me)


Drilling a hole at the foot of the box

Step 1

Drill a hole at the foot of the box for the cord to go through. You might want to do a better job than me, as my box now looks like a mouse gnawed through it.

Apply some sand paper to the hole to smoot out the ridges.

Step 2

Apply some sandpaper to even out your mous… the perfectly cirular hole that you just made.

Using a spacer to make the plant flush with the box edges.

Step 3

My faux plant was a bit too shallow for the bamboo box, so I had to insert some sort of spacer in order for the plant to flush even with the rim of the box. Use your imagination. I used an empty ribbon spool.

Thread and assemble the plant into the box stand Attach your diffuser to the Blink(1)

Step 4

Thread the cord and assemble, finishing up with the sphere diffuser or whatever you choose to attach to the Blink(1). The point of it is to diffuse the otherwise harsh RGB LED. You might also want to have a look at this post for alternatives.

final_green final_red

Step 5

Sit back and enjoy the ooh’s and aah’s from colleagues and clients alike.

Tip: If you’re not into unit testing, which I mainly build this thing for, there’s always ifttt.com which has a Blink(1) Channel with recipes for you to use.


Oh! Almost forgot… Scotch.