See step 17 for more info regarding the music input mode video.
There are now 7 music modes, and I am looking for more ideas still !
See step 18 for my latest builds and features!See step 19 for the most recent designs.
I want to acknowledge that many here that contributed ideas and support, and although there are too many to name now, I did want to acknowledge my gratitude for all that contributed to the project.
I actually didn't expect the high demand for PCBoards although I knew there was a need for them if the project was to be accessible to as many people as possible.
I myself was so taken with the project, that if I didn't have the knowledge or skill or resources to design a PCB, or wire up the circuit myself
I would have gladly bought a board if they were available. Unfortunately, none were in the original instructable when I saw it.
PLEASE DON'T ASK FOR EAGLE FILES for the PCBoards. It wasn't designed in Eagle, so there aren't any.
Now...on to the instructable.
I was immediately enthralled with the LED Cube instructable by CHR .
I am going to give a piece of advice I saw there that made a lot of sense. READ EVERYTHING including all the comments.
Often there is information and answers to questions that may answer a question you might have.
I thought "I COULD MAKE THAT" - but I took it a step further, and decided that I would try to make it so that almost anybody could make it as long as they could solder. That is the reason I created the PCBoards to control the cube, and eventually even a Cube Base Board which all but eliminates the point-to-point wiring from the project.
I have also supplied demo code, and one-click-uploader software to get the code onto the board quickly and easily for those that aren't comfortable with dos-prompt based utilities like AVRDude.
There is also a pinout / connection chart that you can use to design your own board using the Arduino, or just the ATmega328P microcontroller, or the more capable ATmega32 microcontroller for extended functions.
The hardest part is building a cube that is straight and square. I will be addressing this first. The end result is in the photos above.
I have a good electronics background, so I immediately wanted to build one of these cubes the second I saw it.
The more I got into it and read the comments on his well documented instructable, the more I thought I might be able to help people with less of an electronics background understand exactly how this thing actually works, and troubleshoot problems.
People were asking all kinds of questions long after people that really knew the circuit stopped answering them, and I found myself answering questions in his instructable on a fairly regular basis.
Finally, I knew enough to make what I hoped would be an easier to understand instructable.
Not only that, I have made a few improvements along the way as well, and eventually even PC Boards for those that don't have the skill to build their own the way CHR describes in his instructable, or have the skill, but just couldn't make sense of it somehow - or just can't figure out why their controller won't work, but don't want to start from scratch to make another.
As I start out, I realize I will be "winging it" a lot here, so forgive me if I am unclear at any point, and feel free to ask questions.
If you see ANODE written where you know it should be CATHODE - or vice-versa - let me know. Sometimes I get tired when writing and get electronic dyslexia, and mix them up. I have tried my best to proof read my instructions to make sure this hasn't happened.
Try to keep in mind during construction that there is one cathode connection per layer, and 64 anode connections.
I will ask however that if you are getting ready to build one of these, Especially if you want to build your own circuit, that you go through CHRs well documented instructable FIRST, and then read through this one.
Try to build his controller circuit if you can, and feel free to contact me if you run into trouble (which almost everyone does).
THIS can be a VERY daunting task. Many people find they can build the physical cube, and are able to solder connections easily enough, but when it comes to constructing the actual circuit, that's where it all falls apart.
Troubleshooting a point-to-point hand wired circuit is not easy, even if you know what you're doing.
FEAR NOT ! As this instructable progresses, I will be working on a number of circuit boards that will include features requested or recommended by people here, and at varying levels of soldering expertise all the way from simple through hole soldering to completely surface mount technology boards.
You will be able to purchase these boards when they are available, and prices may drop as more requests for boards come in due to volume discounts. Just don't expect them to be five bucks - I won't be mass producing them which will make the cost a lot higher.
Watch for board revisions if you have made a recommendation for a board feature that I liked
A SNEAK PEEK at upcoming music triggered modes for those with my circuit boards... (I'll be working on more as suggestions come in) - THIS CODE IS NOW posted on step 11
Sorry about the video quality on this one, but I was in a hurry to get these posted and didn't take the time to adjust the camera well.
Just hit the MUSIC button on your board (Black Editio V3.5 and higher, ARMS series or RAMP series) or wireless remote (ARMS and RAMP series boards only) to cycle through the music modes.
THIS CODE IS NOW AVAILABLE ON STEP 11 so you guys with the new boards can play with it! I will be adding to it though!
The code works with both wired input as described in step 17 the instructable, or using the Mic Module in the parts list (requires 3.5A or above or ARMS or RAMP board)
If you are thinking "Big deal, I have seen cubes react to music in other videos" - well, we are doing it WITHOUT a PC hooked up to the serial port! That's right, the ATmega32 is doing this on it's own. What is more, with the Mic module option, this means you could take your cube to a party and set it somewhere (that nobody can touch it) and let it react to the music without even hooking anything up to it.
This instructable has mutated over the past few months, and you'll see a bunch of end results before we get into how to make the cube, and the improvements that have been made over the original construction techniques and original circuit, as well as improvements made on the PC Boards over time.
A couple quick videos of my cube in action are above.
The August video is the cube as a standalone device, and the "Cube Perry" video is under PC control via the TTL Serial port and a script written in Processing.
The serial port is key to allowing it to be controlled by things like a PIC, another Arduino or PCDuino or PC computer .
Stand-Alone Music Input! The video below demonstrates this addition to the circuit,
If you have a different circuit board, let me know if you want to add
music response to your board and I'll see if I can help.
By the way - come back here every few days to check up on this instructable. I tend to add to it without notice!
This includes additions and revisions to the code.
If you have tried to make your own controller - or just know you couldn't build one from scratch, but COULD solder a PC board -
You can also order a Black Edition Multi AVR Hybrid controller and/or Black Edition base board
The Black Edition SMT boards are arriving soon.
Send me a private message for details and if you wish to purchase one or more boards.
NOTE: If you downloaded the 5 mode music hex file before Jan 12, you need to re-download it.
The music modes originally used up a little too much RAM in the AVR, and when the Fireworks effect would try to initiate, the cube would reset. This has been fixed by reducing the firework sparkles from 60 to 40. The new 5 music mode HEX file does not have this problem now when running in animation mode. Fortunately I first ran into this issue with the Arduino when porting over the same routine. Since the fonts go into RAM rather than EEPROM on the ATmega328p, there was a lot less RAM to utilize, and this is why there are only 30 sparkles in the fireworks routine that was ported to the Arduino portable code.
The ARMS and RAMP series boards have an area marked off where the wireless remote module goes. If you are NOT going to use the wireless remote module, none of the parts in that area need to be put on the board, and you don't need to purchase the remote module. Likewise, if you don't want acoustic music response, you don't need to purchase the Mic module.