SMT Blinky POV Kit

An excellent first SMT kit

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More details

We designed this version of the Blinky POV Kit to be an excellent introduction for someone who wants to learn or practice surface mount soldering.

It functions exactly the same as the larger, through-hole Blinky POV Kit, but it is assembled differently.

Wave messages and animations through the air with this persistance of vision toy. Reprogram custom messages or animations by holding it up to your screen! It has 8 LEDs, a beautiful Larson Scanner mode, and is a standalone, surface-mount kit.

See it in action!

Updating through the website

(This video shows the Blinky Grid, but the programming interface is exactly the same.)

More details are available on the Blinky SMT project page.

Kit Contents

The kit contains an SMT Blinky POV printed circuit board, a battery holder, a power switch, 8 red, green or blue LEDs, a preprogrammed PIC16F1823 microcontroller, two 10 kΩ resistors, two ambient light sensors, a 0.1uF ceramic capacitor, a push button, a pin, and a butterfly clasp.

The contents are also listed and explained individually on the Parts List portion of the Blinky project page.

Build it

The SMT Blinky POV is a surface mount kit. It requires different skills than through-hole soldering, but many things are the same.

At a minimum, you'll need a soldering iron, solder, and tweezers, but flux and solder wick are extremely useful. It requires a CR2032 battery, which is not included. Clear instructions are available at the Blinky project webpage.

It usually takes under an hour to build, but it may take more or less time depending upon your experience with soldering.

Surface Mount Soldering

While we won’t say that everyone can successfully solder surface-mount, you do not need extreme dexterity or super eagle vision. We’ve built a bunch of these with people who have never soldered surface mount before, between seven and fifty or so years of age–and everyone has been successful.

A seven year old girl, when working on her Blinky POV SMT, said, “This really isn’t that hard. You don’t have to help me. SMT is easy!” She was using an iron, solder, and some tack flux.

We chose the largest surface-mount packages available, 1206 and SOIC, in order to make this as easy as possible.

We’ve written a few pages on surface mount soldering, highlighting tools and techniques.

Open Source Hardware

This kit is open source hardware. We make the hardware source files like the schematic and the pcb files available for anyone to use as long as they credit us and release any modifications as open source hardware. The schematic and pcb files are available on the Blinky download page.


When you're finished building the kit, let us know how it went! We use feedback to improve future versions of our kits, and the warm fuzzies help us make more kits! Let us know in the forum or via email.