AddressableLEDs and Rev Robotics Blinkin

Does anyone know if the new AddressableLED interface works with the Rev Robotics Blinkin controller?

Many thanks!

It depends on what you mean by “Works with”.

The blinkin converts a PWM signal to the bit pattern required to drive a chain of WS2812.

AddressableLED directly controls a chain of WS2812’s from the roboRIO.

Does this answer your question?


It does - thank you!

1 Like

@OttoDeLupe Maybe you misunderstood @gerthworm. The answer is no. You can use either the WPILib AddressableLED class to connect your LED strip directly to the roboRIO, OR connect your LED strip to the Blinkin, and then the blinkin to a PWM port on your roboRIO and control it with a Rev robotics motor controller.

You don’t use the AddressableLED class to control a Blinkin.

Here is an example of how our team uses a Blinkin:

The Blinkin uses PWM, so probably not. You use a Spark object to control it.

Though I do agree with what you said, I lean on my initial comment:

AddressableLED does not control a blinkin.

However, both could be used at the same time, just on different strips. Both control similar types of LED’s (though not the same strip at the same time).

I’m not sure of OP’s intended use case. Hence the hedge-y and vague answer.

Sorry about not being clear.

I wanted to know if the AddressableLED class could be used to drive a set of LEDs connected to the Blinkin unit.

My takeaway was ‘no’.

FWIW, upon further investigation, the manual, page 4, indicates that the Blinkin can control via the AddressableLED interface the 5V LED WS2812 strips; but not 12v.

However, I’ve not tried this, as I only have the 12v strips.


I assume this is what you were referring to?

Though there’s a remarkable level of syntactic similarity, I don’t interpret the manual the same way.

In the manual “addressable LED” (with space) simply refers to a strip of LED’s which are compatible with the WS2812 protocol. It is used to say “The Blinkin can control these things”.

In the 2020 wpilib java documentation, AddressableLED (no space) refers to the class used to manipulate the FPGA, causing it to output WS2812-compatible signals. This implies the roboRIO itself is capable of directly controlling WS2812 LED strips, not a Blinkin.

The word “via” never shows up to associate the two. Additionally, the Blinkin manual only ever refers to PWM input:


I’ll let REV or WPI have the final say, but I’m still not seeing anything to indicate WPI’s AddressableLED class has the ability to provide commands to a Blinkin.

Correct, the AddressableLED feature in WPILib/RoboRIO only talks directly to WS2812 type strips, as it outputs that signaling protocol. It does not talk to the Blinkin.

Fair enough, and thank you for the clarification.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.