The monome meme continues to spread virally through your music gear. With some custom code (made freely available) and a little assistance from the free Arduino platform, Philly-based hacker Wil Lindsay has converted the $50 Bliptronic 5000 device from ThinkGeek into a monome. That gives you full compatibility with the community-made patches that support the real thing, for a song.
If you’re handy with this sort of thing, you can follow the code and basic build instructions provided and mod your Bliptronic yourself. If not, you have two choices – the first half dozen early adopters can pay Wil to hack and test their Bliptronic for a fee to raise money for a PCB, and then once that happens, anyone who wants an all-in-one, more fully-documented kit will be able to choose that route instead.
It occurs to me that someone might be able to do something different with that source, as well.
The way I’d still recommend assembling a monome if you can’t get in on one of the official products or kits would be the Arduinome, which is best-documented at FlipMU’s Arduinome site. But I like that the Bliptronic is now an option, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if some monome owners pick one up for the heck of it. I’ll send an update if Wil is successful with that kit.