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I’m not sure if it’s just me or perhaps I’m using them wrong, but the shields that were provided in the Beta Backer Kit, paired with the silicone sleeves, are forcing the button to be pressed down continuously. For the time being, I’m just playing around with the blinks without those shields.
I’m not sure if there is a reasonable fix for this for the beta kit, but I’m also kind of assuming the hardware isn’t really finalized, I noticed someone earlier mentioned the strength of the magnets being an issue but it sounds like those will see a change as well in the future.
Overall though, really getting a kick out of playing with my Blinks!
Same here. (I couldn’t figure out what they were for until I noticed the little rectangle fit perfectly the debug port.) They work fine without, but I do like the muted look they give the LEDs.
@jrcwest, you are correct, the acrylic diffusers underneath the silicone do hold the buttons down which was not intentional, but an artifact of being beta.
(tl;dr – The more in depth reason this happened, the original silicone was softer, a lower durometer, and didn’t hold the button down like this, but it caused the Blinks to misalign frequently since the sides were grippy. To fix this alignment, grippiness issue, we made the silicone a little harder and used a low friction formula, which oddly can feel a little greasy, also had the sides of the silicone polished to give the IR the best shot of clear communication)
Neither of these were included in the alpha dev kits, as we felt they were not necessary for the development of new Blinks games, but they are very helpful in play testing the games and get much closer to a final look and feel (btw, the commercial ones are looking and feeling sooooo awesome, tough to contain the excitement if you haven’t noticed)
Ultimately we decided to still include the acrylic top to help you as a developer test the diffusion which is closest to the commercial Blinks. It makes for the best way to video/photo your games, as well as understand the way that neighboring LEDs will blend into each other for a smoother cohesive feel.
I hope that sheds a little light on the process, on a side note, I have used a small hack to allow the button to come back up, which is the inclusion of some small pieces of packing foam underneath. basically the button just needs a little help pushing back up, it is only a 100gf tactile switch.
Oh, and the magnets, yes the magnets.
Alpha dev backers, you have 300gf+ attachment between your Blinks and Beta dev backers have 100gf attachment between your Blinks. Our goal is to arrive at ~150gf strength between Blinks.
To make a little more sense. Each Blink will end up weighing ~20 grams, so a 150 gf strength hold should allow 7 Blinks to hang from a single Blink (carefully) but the 8th Blink will make them all fall off. While we don’t have any hanging, dangling, or stacking games at the moment, this is the best way to measure magnet strength. !!Of course they are weaker with the silicone tops on!!
The best dev experience is tops off, it is reliable communication and pretty good magnet strength, but the best sharing experience is probably with silicone tops on (to avoid fingers unintentionally hitting sensors…)
Keep on rockin’
@jbobrow Thanks for the explanation, as you said it’s an artifact of being in beta! I only mentioned it here because I hadn’t seen it addressed anywhere else yet. I’ll give your suggestion of the packing foam a try, it’s been great to play test with the silicone on its own but I’d love to see how they play with the diffusers as well.
Thanks for the hard work, having a blast with these things!
As a general feedback… I like the idea of Blinks a lot, it’s a cool, technical toy with a lot of promise.
What I’m not happy about is, that I’m unable to program these things at all and, during my tries to do so, apparently even broke one of them. The “keypress issue” is another point, maybe this could be solved e.g. with a self-adhesive felt or something.
For now, I’ll put the blinks set in my closet where it will collect dust, until I find some sort of working documentation on how to program these things. The concept is nice, but for now, these things are unfortunatelly more of a source of frustration for me than fun or than even something I’d show my friends.
Maybe it’s just an easy fix, who knows, I’ll check back another time.
Check your direct messages, I’d like to see how we can get your Blinks up and running. I know we’ve had a high success rate with our devs getting up and running with the kits and think we can get you there too.
Looking forward to helping you give this dev-kit one more shot, and thanks of course for providing your feedback, it is helpful to understand your experience.
all my best,
Thanks for your message, let’s try to get this running.
Problem solved, see Port on Windows