It's been a long time coming, but my Universal RGB cube is finally ready!
If when you are done, you love this project as much as I do, please vote for any contests I might be in.
Trust me, I have some cool ideas in mind for all the prizes being offered !!!
TO THOSE THAT CAME HERE BECAUSE YOU FOUND THE PARTS KIT FOR THIS PROJECT ON eBay - NO the parts kit does NOT include the circuit board - it's the parts kit FOR the circuit board. Inbox me for direct board pricing and availability or go to TheLEDCube dot com. I do ship worldwide.
ONLY use the parts kit from HONG KONG.
A parts supplier in China copied the ad from my parts supplier in Hong Kong, but they miss parts, get values wrong, use wrong parts types etc. I was able to have the ads removed from Ebay for trademark violation and intellectual property violations etc. but in case it happens again, I will leave this notice here. If you bought a kit from China, I apologize, but I was not aware they had done it until quite some time had passed. If you did get one of their kits, file an "Item Not as described" case with ebay, and get your money back. You can refuse to return the parts and still get a refund in almost all cases like this. Use your refund to purchase any missing or incorrect parts.
Earlier on there was a problem with the parts kit from Hong Kong with the 1000uF capacitor. It's not a necessary part when using a switching supply (power brick) but the issue is the supplier switched to a 10V cap from the original 50V cap specified in my BOM to them. You can either leave the cap out completely, or put one in that is rated at at least 35V.
We currently have code for the Arduino UNO, the ChipKit UNO32 (PIC32MX processor), and my UNO Eliminator boards (which get rid of the last of the wires) !!!! UPDATE: We now have code for the Arduino MEGA2560 (I just ported over the Arduino UNO code and made it work for the MEGA2560 so we have way more program space now!)
Jerry Lesnefsky and Karl Moeller made a great little music module that fits onto the base / driver board, and allows the PIC ChipKit Eliminator to plug right onto it - and in the process, noticed the the I/O Aux header has A2 and A8 labelled backwards on the eliminator board !!!! If you are hand wiring a music module to your ChipKit Eliminator, please make note of this!
SPECIAL THANKS to Doug Domke who is making firmware templates for the PIC32 (ChipKit UNO32) which work much more like standard Arduino code so that we can more easily create animations on the PIC.
See his page at http://d2-webdesign.com/cube for information and downloads. I will add code here as I create more animations using his template.
This was originally inspired by the project by Nick Schulze, and then added to using the project by Kevin Darrah.
You can use the cube assembly method Nick Schulze at HowNotToEngineer.com uses, however I did develop my own assembly method. Nick's method is great if you enjoy woodworking, or you can use mine if not.
When I first started looking for my Next Big Project (after the original 8X8X8 LED mono colour cube) my searches came overwhelmingly to two.
Nick Schulze and Kevin Darrah.
My problem is that I don't get along well with wood. It's just a medium I haven't mastered.
That's why my previous cube assembly method used a cardboard motherboard box for the LED layer template.
It did work extremely well though, and I was quite happy with the results!
So, with that in mind, I WILL show you how I built mine (steps 9 to 15 currently) but initially we will go on the assumption that you will build Nick's assembly rig modified to a 26.5mm spacing to fit my board.
If you'd rather just build it the way I built mine, go directly to step 9. It seems others are finding my assembly method to be favourable to the big wooden rigs. Once you have your notched rulers made, you never need make another measurement with my method.
Please also see the original projects if you want schematics or theory of operation etc. I am not here to re-invent the wheel. I am here to bring these projects to those that:
otherwise couldn't have made them;
tried to make them and failed;
cannot read a schematic;
are overwhelmed with the magnitude of wiring involved;
are (like myself) not good carpenters ;
want a portable or "neat" looking project;
require the cube to be portable;
or a plethora of other reasons.
If you are looking for schematics and the technical info on how it all works, please go to these links:
All the theory and design and schematics that I used to base this circuit on are there. For the most part, my circuit very closely conforms to Nick's except that I use through hole chips rather than SMT.
My chips are just a touch slower, so I had to modify Nick's code to widen a couple pulses, but other than that, his code is stock.
Feel free to ask questions about my design other than "do you have schematics" or "can I have the Eagle files".
I don't design with Eagle, and I also don't make schematics. I design the PCBs in my head, and go right to design on the fly. I don't know why I work this way, I just always have, and it works for me...at least eventually...
I almost always have flaws in the initial designs that do not present themselves until I start building the project.
That's when a new version is made. Minor tweaks or additions are the revisions within those versions.
It took me until Version 3 Revision 4 of the PC Board before I was ready to make an instructable for it.
I am happy to clarify anything you don't quite get about the way it all works etc. (assuming I fully understand it myself enough to explain it better than the original explanations. The hardware I can easily explain - the software is better explained by the authors).
As you may know from my previous instructable "CHR's 8X8X8 LED Cube Revisited with improvements!" the one thing I hate is wires, and the one thing I love to do is take an otherwise daunting or nearly impossible build, and make it so anyone who can solder can build it, even if they don't understand why and how it works.
I felt that the projects these two guys made needed to be more accessible to the more general public.
Many people wanted to make the original 8X8X8 LED cube, but either couldn't read the schematics, had trouble understanding the instructions, or got close, but just couldn't get the darn circuit to work!
Once again, I have taken the mess of wires and circuit building that prevent most people from being able to make these, and made a circuit board to handle it.
After all, who has time to wire it like that???
One of these is the project by Kevin Darrah - it's the one that uses the Arduino and has the hand wired circuit.
The other - and the inspiration for my board - is by Nick Schulze. It uses the ChipKit UNO32 which uses a PIC microcontroller rather than the ATmega328P. He made a circuit board, but one issue is that it takes SMT chips, and a lot of people aren't comfortable soldering those.
The other problem is that there's STILL 200 wires to run to the cube from the board.
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