Bliptronic 5000 Hacking : Full Pin-out to the 64 Button PCB


I’ve finally gotten to tearing down the Bliptronic 5000 that arrived hear from Thinkgeek. There are enough reviews out there that all I need to say is crappy sound in a really cheap ($50) hackable 64-button LED matrix package with a nice enclosure.

After a bit of investigating, I’ve found that with the combination of this and an Arduino (I’ll be using all the pieces from the Breadboard Hack-a-rino as that’ll fit nicely into the case), This will amount to a full working Arduinome controller in a nice enclosure for under $100!

So here is the important parts to get us started:

This blurry picture shows the correct IC identifications mis-reported elsewhere on the net do to globs of glue on the board.

U3: 74HC595D serial in/parallel out shift register w/ latches.

U5 & U7: HC164 serial in/parallel out shift register


What does this mean? It means we can read 64 buttons and light 64 LEDs uniquely with only a few pins.

What Pins?

Here they are. On the top of the board (not the pinout side) I’ve numbered the pins using the capacitor C26 as a reference.


How does it work?

U7 is controlled via pin 13 in order to send power to the buttons one ROW at a time. While each row is powered, Pins 2-5 & 14-17 are checked ( via digital read()). If power is detected, a button is pressed.

To light the LEDs power is sent to entire columns via U5 (also controlled by Pin 13 at the same time).

U3 is used to allow LEDs to light via pins 11 & 12. If a pin on U3 is LOW, power can flow and a specific LED is lit. Otherwise it is not. I’m guessing at this point that the pins are simple flashed row & column at a time faster than persistence-of-vision, tricking us into thinking that the LEDs are lit constantly.

I should have code out over the next couple of weeks to test all of this. If someone tests it sooner, please email me & I’ll post it here to keep all the info in one place. I’ve also opened a forum topic on this site for others doing the same work.

Hopefully I’ll have my video synths running off of this in the near future. It’d make an excellent controller for the A_SID synth or for anyone hacking around with the Ym chips/SID chips or just trying to control Ableton, or Max/MSP on the cheap.