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5x5 LED Cube (Arduino Uno)

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This is a step by step explanation of how to build a 5x5 LED cube using an arduino.  I did this project for my undergraduate electronics class and it took me about 2 weeks to complete.

Note: Apparently, some of the links for the supplies and code aren't working, if you need them send me an email at amh02010@mymail.pomona.edu.

You can find a video of the working LED cube on youtube here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiE-WHqU5a8&feature=youtu.be


And here's another:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zRlhSzXP80&feature=youtu.be


 
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Step 1: Supplies

I used www.mouser.com and www.amazon.com to order my materials for this project. The main parts needed are:
-125 LEDs
-30x 150 Ohm resistors
-5x 3-8 Line Decoders
-5 NPN Transistors

The manufacturer numbers and prices can be found in the attached document though the cost was about $40.

Additional required materials:
-Arduino uno
-Soldering iron
-Solder
-Sturdy wire (for structure of cube)
-Insulated wires
-Breadboard
-sockets (for decoders)

Step 2: Cube Construction

Picture of Cube Construction
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Unfortunately, I have not perfected the construction of the cube.  I found this portion of the project both frustrating and painful (hot wires!). 

I began by assembling the 5 layers or planes of the cube.  This involved connecting all the cathodes of the LEDs together.  Id did this by poking 25 LEDs (about 1 inch apart) into a piece of styrofoam.  I bent all the anodes out of the way and soldered the LEDs in 5 columns and then two rows on the end (see picture). Be careful when soldering because the entire wire becomes hot and I accidently burned myself multiple times by touching the end of one of the wires.

The next step in cube construction is even trickier.  You need to connect the anodes of the LEDs in 25 vertical columns without letting any of them (or their connecting wire) touch the cathode planes.  The way I did this was leaving the top plane in the styrofoam and placing ~6 inch wires next to the anodes. I used needlenose pliers to curl the anodes into loops so that it was easier to solder. Alternate the directionality of the wires of the cathode planes for stability. See photos.
azamanta2 months ago

hi, can I get the code of the project led cube,

This e-mail me, hansaii24jl@gmail.com

thank you

Fredaow2 months ago

Hi, would you mind emailing to me the supplies list as well as the code. Unfortunately the docx files are not accessible.

Thanks,

Fred

my email: fredaow@free.fr

atyagi22 months ago
Hey, Thanks for this cool project. I am trying to build it. Would you please send me the code?

amreesh.tyagi@monotype.com
Dan862 months ago

Hello,

This is a really neat project.

Can you please send me the code and a parts list with the exact decoder you used?

e-mail: husband.dan@gmail.com

Thanks!

jdato2 months ago

I'm building this cube for my wife for valentines day can you please send me the code to jdato2009@gmail.com. Great project can't wait to get this up and running.

krashton12 months ago
(removed by author or community request)
icky_unicorn (author)  krashton12 months ago
Hey I actually check my instructable once a week..so if you would like to email me the code I can post it as an alternative. amh02010@pomona.edu
rrawat23 months ago

madam please send this project code in my gmail id rishicentury@gmail.com .I request you to madam because i submit this project on tomorrow.

mjl08893 months ago
I suck with programming, could send an email with your code please
mjl0889@aol.com
b99071444 months ago
hello
I make the LED CUBE but I don't know how to program it can you send me the code to b9907144@gmail.com
best regards and thanks a lots
b99071444 months ago
hello
I make the LED CUBE but I don't know how to program it can you send me the code to b9907144@gmail.com
best regards and thanks a lots
krashton14 months ago
I'm having troubles with this circuit. I have wired everything up exactly as you have said to do it but when I go to run the cube, all the outputs from all the decoders are high/ This gives me limited control but only over layers. All coloums are high but I can still control the transistors. I'm not sure where to go from here but I'm stuck. Any
never mind, I found out the problem to be that I just ordered any old 3 to 8 line decoders, but the ones I ordered work in reverse to these ones. They have 8 active high pins and using A0,A1,A2, you can set one of those pins to low. Make sure when buying parts, make sure you know exactly what it does.

To note, DO NOT BUY 74ALS138N 3-8 LINE DECODERS
maacc74 months ago
Can you send me the code and parts list please, m.accursio@gmail.com, thanks
michther5 months ago
Hello could you please send me the code, Doing for micro project and can't wait to begin. Also the parts list would be helpful. michchas6308@yahoo.com
Miguel3105c5 months ago
hi this is an amazing one can you please send me all the parts and the code please my email is vincecasta@hotmail.com thanks
can you send me the code and parts list please....
icky_unicorn (author)  hassantahir2228 months ago
Sure! What's your email?
Cubytus8 months ago
I can't open your document. Can you upload it in PDF? Thanks!
icky_unicorn (author)  Cubytus8 months ago
Message me your email and I'll send it to you
Well, wouldn't it be best for everyone if it was readily included on the Intructable?
Reginaldoadc9 months ago
Hi I have problems with programming, you could send an email with your code please
bigrege@hotmail.com
cmaia210 months ago
Hello, my name Cleiton, I'm Brazilian, and I would love to do this project.
Until now, reading your post, I understood a lot, but since I do not know (and dislike), programming, or would like postasse send me by email the code ready, the one you posted is "forbidden", I can not access it.
Thanks in advance: D
cmaia2 cmaia210 months ago
I really need the code. > <
Can send me by email: cleiton_maia@hotmail.com
thank you
Amun_Ra11 months ago
Hi there, I followed your guide as best as I can but am not quite sure how to interpret the connection from the planes (Z0-Z4) in your circuit diagram. Should each plane (Z) be connected BOTH to the arduino via a resistor AND to VCC (the diagram says gound but I read that was an error)? Wouldn't that short-circuit all planes?
icky_unicorn (author)  Amun_Ra11 months ago
Hi! From the arduino ouputs, the wires for the planes should be connected to a transistor where the emitter connects to the planes and the collector is connected to the VCC. Let me know if that works.
icky_unicorn (author)  icky_unicorn11 months ago
Though, I'm still pretty sure I connected my collectors to ground.. the connection to the VCC was a correction by someone who made my project, so I'm not totally certain.
SHIFT!1 year ago
Hey icky_unicorn, just wanted to say thanks for your truly awesome instructable! Your LED Cube was the first project I ever made with arduino and it came out fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

BTW, slight correction on your circuit diagram. Z0 should actually be connected to the VCC wire. But other than that awesome!
icky_unicorn (author)  SHIFT!11 months ago
Hi! You made this correction a while ago, and I am getting a lot of questions about how the planes should be connected to transistors Ground/VCC. I made this cube a while ago and can't totally remember the set up, but I'm pretty sure I connected I connected the arduino outputs to the transistor with the emitter connected to the planes, and the collector connected to ground. You thought the collector should be connected to VCC?
Could you explain what you meant here with connecting Z0 to VCC. I think i might be missing something but if you connect Z0 to vcc you will no longer have a lead going to that ground plane and nothing lights up on that one. I tried several other configurations with vcc on the collector instead of ground but that realy didn't make much sense to me when i thought about it. Im having issues with not all of the pattern showing up, but as far as i can tell it is displaying the pattern correctly. i'm suspecting it might be the transistors
shanerm SHIFT!1 year ago
It chould be connected to the VCC wire instead of analog outbut 7? Or both? Sorry, I'm just learning all of this Arduino stuff, it's so cool though!

Thanks,
Shane
*Could it

icky_unicorn (author)  SHIFT!1 year ago
Thanks! I'll make a note of that error. :)
rsaceanu11 months ago
what value have the transistors?
icky_unicorn (author)  rsaceanu11 months ago
I used the following transistors:

Mouser #: 863-2N4401G
Mfr. #: 2N4401G
Manufacturer: ON Semiconductor
Desc.: Transistors Bipolar (BJT) 600mA 60V NPN
RoHS: RoHS Compliant
Edmoon11 months ago
Hello I have a problem with the link that has .docx at the end so could you please send me the code?
Email: mondchung@gmail.com
Ravboy821 year ago
Can any one please tell me where the pin 12 from the arduino go to!!!!!
mng81 year ago
The project is awesome, i would like to do one myself too, could you please send me the code? my email is melvinngjl@gmail.com .
KRITIKA151 year ago
the project is awsome . but plez send me the code at my id. Its kritika.porwal@yahoo.com
betonano1 year ago
Thanks, it's an excellent project
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