LED cube, Finally!!!

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bigal344
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LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby bigal344 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:19 pm

So I've finally got round to sorting out my LED that I started on about a year ago!
The actual cube itself is a bit crushed and battered as it has been sat around for quite some time and has had LED's pinched from it to use in other projects, but whilst waiting for some much need supplies to turn up for my aquarium light project I thought that I would get back on it.
This is what the poor thing looked like after being in storage and being mugged for spare parts!
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It was made using the trusted method of preparing a jig in a piece of wood with 5mm holes drilled 25mm apart in a 3 x 3 arrangement.
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This allowed me to build the cube up layer by layer, thus.
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1 Done.
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2 Done.
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And all 3.
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All that was left then was to join them all together. Now I had another thread on here during which I foolishly attempted to make a circuit board using a 555 timer on an etch board, this went horribly wrong and I think that I started out well over my head and so this time I decided to start of a bit simpler using Arduino and some great tutorials found on http://www.instructables.com/.
I eventually picked one for the construction of the circuit board that was relatively simple but that was also linked very nicely with another tutorial that I'll get on to later.
The tutorial is located here, http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Cube-and-Arduino-Lib/?ALLSTEPS.
It basically uses an input wire from pins 2-10 of an Arduino board linked to each of the 9 columns and pins 11, 12 and 13 to control the layers themselves.
The tutorial itself explains it much better that I can but basically because of the amount of actual LED's in the cube (18), when each layer is connected through ground by pins 11, 12 or 13, that level can then be lit individually lit using one of the control pins (2-10).
By using this method , the levels can be lit up quickly enough that they appear to be all on at the same time.

This is gzip's (The author of the Instructable) circuit layout diagram, I will try and get a proper circuit diagram drawn up and added sometime.
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The top of the cube ends up looking like this.
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And this is the bottom, not the neatest, but in my defence I was left with only scraps of solder that I had to hang on to with tweezers, my soldering iron tip was knackered (new one left in work!!).
Excuses, excuses...........
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And the top again, all connected up to the Arduino UNO board with some butchered jumper leads!
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Once it gets a bit darker I will try and capture a video that shows the cube running some example code, it looks quite good!
My only problem is that the center level is brighter than the top and bottom, something that I will attempt to look into later as well!
Fixed that, checked the resistance of the resistors feeding into the transistors and the top and bottom one, were reading correctly at 23k ohms but the center level was showing nothing, nada, nowt!!
Turns out that i had a small amount of copper still connecting the track underneath, which I removed and its sorted, although I can't help but think that the LED's should be brighter.
I'm wondering how to work out a better resistor value for this, would I just calculate the normal way for the volts and amount of LED's?
Or does the fact that they are used through transistors change all that?
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

bigal344
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby bigal344 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:51 pm

A short video of the cube working on some demo code that was on the instructable.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/109505659395060213574/posts
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

phenoptix
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby phenoptix » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:40 pm

Can't see the vid on this mate, have you shared to the right circles?

bigal344
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby bigal344 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:36 pm

Hmmm, probably not!!
Have changed the sharing, hopefully you can see it now, not to familar with Google+. :oops:
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

Almurray42
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby Almurray42 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:03 pm

Looks Great! And a much simpler to build version than I have seen in the past! It really is one of those things I'd love to do when I get round to it... I am making it my aim to build a 5x5x5 one of these this summer! [I may be asking for some tips though ;) ]

Any ideas on how to turn the cube into a sound reactive kinda 3D equaliser thingy? I think that would be very nice to have on display in a nice protective case! xD
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bigal344
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby bigal344 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:53 pm

I'm gonna be building something a bit bigger next I think, possibly a 4x4x4.
I like the idea of a sound reactive cube, in theory it shouldn't be to hard.
Using a pickup of some description to translate peaks and trough's in sound levels to a corresponding waveform on the cube.
That sounded good, but I doubt if I could manage the software side, at least not without a lot of help! :?
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

phenoptix
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby phenoptix » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:36 am

Great little cube! (I've watched the video now!). Should get back to playing with my cube and getting some code working. That said what I really want to work on is a way of making the cubes work in a modular fashion. So you can use the same code and set up for a 4x4x4 cube as a 8x8x8 cube. It'll be a bit of a project no doubt but I'm sure you'll all be chipping in to help!

bigal344
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby bigal344 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:15 am

That's something that I've wondered about, the code for my 3x3x3 cube uses a very simple set of figures to determine which LED's are lit. I wonder if this could be ported over to a 4x4x4.
I think that controlling the stacks and levels as mine does may become a problem due to lack of Arduino pins, although I'm sure that there is a method/solution for this sort of dilemma!
Once I have some spare cash i'll be ordering up a big bunch of LED's and start setting up the hardware for a larger cube, although I'm sketching ideas for a stronger internal 'frame' for the cube, as they tend to be a bit squashy! :?
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

xanthic
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby xanthic » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:40 pm

Could you use shift registers to run a large cube?

Almurray42
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Re: LED cube, Finally!!!

Postby Almurray42 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:01 pm

xanthic wroteColonCould you use shift registers to run a large cube?


Yes this is possible, just take a look on the instructables website, there's a guide on how to do this with the 5x5x5 cube, I can link if you need.
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