Initial hookup documentation is lacking

I received my Bare Bones devkit. It didn’t come with the nice little magnetic “custom jig for quick and easy programming” like shown in the quick start videos and described on the product page.

The Pin 1 arrow on the pogo board doesn’t match up with the Pin 1 arrow in the Blink if approached from the battery side of the Blink. So I assumed that I had to go in from the top like in the videos to get the pins lined up. I had to cut the stuff off of the top of the Blink that came with the kit to get to it (it didn’t just peel off). But the programmer couldn’t find the Blink during upload. I tried every variant that I could think of.

In frustration I finally pulled the battery, turned the programmer to “Power Target” mode and stuck the pogo pins against the battery side of the board (knowing they didn’t line up right)… and it worked!

It would have been nice to have some video or documentation that described exactly (including quirks) what I should have seen… I didn’t even know if the Blink should have been flashing lights while programming. I assumed so, but nothing showed or described that. No description of what success or failure modes will be seen. I read through all of the support threads. But that was marginal help. Hopefully someone is collecting this so that this deficiency can be fixed.

(On a separate note, if you read through all of the documentation and all of the online stuff, names change and not one of them matched exactly what I saw in the Arduino IDE setup).

Of course, now I have a Blink that doesn’t have a top and no nice little magnetic jig. But I’ll get by. Now I can get to the important stuff.


Hi @smjenness,

Thanks for this helpful feedback, we are updating materials as we published the developer kit information for the Alpha and Beta Blinks and now we are shipping production release hardware. I am glad you figured out the correct connection, we’ll replace the current materials with new ones including video.

Here is the latest quick start dev page. Would love your feedback!


Thank you Jonathan. I’ll definitely give the quick start page a review.

Would it be possible to get the magnetic jig?


Hi Steve,

The magnetic jig is for the older Dev Blinks, the new Blinks don’t have a jig to help with the alignment. Here is an image of best use of the dev tool
I think it would be nice to make this process as simple as possible, as I dedicated time and resources to make the alpha and beta developer kits as straight forward as possible. I welcome thoughts and designs here :slight_smile:

I feel like I’m falling into the same pitfall. I’ve removed the battery, and I’ve found the 6 pins that line up with the pogo pins, and when I put them together the blink lines up, so it’s clearly getting power from usb. But the pins on the pogo board are so long, I can’t figure out how to properly seat them without just having to hold my hand super steady. Also, I can’t write code to the blink, but that might just be my shaky hands.

Still need to get our updated welcome to dev kit video live (the new Developer Kits have long pins which we’ve seen make it easier to see what you are doing). They work identical, and it is worth noting that the springs need very little pressure, the goal is just to have all 6 pins seated.

Also worth noting: Arduino IDE isn’t supposed to find a serial port for the USBtiny in the dev kit. I spent all evening fighting with it on my Mac, including installing windows in a VM. Only to find out, it was working fine all along. :man_facepalming:

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I just got my Dev kit yesterday and I am experiencing the same frustrations. There seems to be a lot of help available for programming the Blinks, but virtually no support for how to actually use the pogo board without the magnetic jig to connect it to the computer. I have been scouring the forums for more information, but this post is the closest to my issue that I’ve been able to find.

Please, please, please add more detailed instructions on how to connect the Blinks to the computer using the “Bare-Bones” Dev kit. It seems that what is out there assumes you already would know this. I have not even tried to connect it because I was afraid to short-circuit something because the arrows do not line up.

As a side-note, I’m not a programmer. This is my introduction to programming and it’s been great to have the step-by-step programming instructions, (which I still need to dig into more).


Yeah, just got the kit, and the new dev page is very helpful. For software. There’s no hint what to do with the hardware. The photos above look helpful, but they appear to show the six pins jamming all the way into the Blink. The pins seem to be spring-loaded and telescoping, but don’t plug into the holes in the Blink. Like @WillowDreamer said, the “arrow” pin doesn’t line up with the “arrow” socket. So, are the pins only supposed to touch the holes, rather than plug into them?

Also, how do I tell the IDE to transmit the program to the Blink?


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I hear your frustration. I have since been able to get them to work. The arrow doesn’t seem to matter.

You have to manually hold the pogo in place (it does not plug in). Pressing down on it helps you keep the connection. If you lose connection, the upload will fail.

After I’m done with work today, I’ll see if I can post some pictures/a short vidoe here for you about the process.




Here is a Google Photos link to a quick little video I did with my phone. I apologize in advance for it being absolutely horrible and shaky, but it should help you get started. It’s about 2.5 minutes long.

Good Luck!


This was really helpful @zefquaavius I couldn’t find any documentation about how the pins aligned and whether or not they were supposed to snap in. I like the streamlined design but it seems very precarious. @jbobrow are there any updated videos or tutorials on how to actually connect the hardware? I searched for an hour and could only find the original design with the 6 blinks and orange jigs.


Hi @astutzman,

In ~10 minutes this video will be uploaded. I shot it a while back and want to add a part 2 that shows the Arduino IDE but simply haven’t had a chance. I think this will help quite a bit though. check it out here:

all my best,

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Thank you very much, @WillowDreamer! I think this will help newcomers!