SEE STEP 11 for uploadable code for this cube.
You'll notice the cube doesn't sync up with the music right away.
That's because the threshold value had been adjusted for the louder part of the song
and the intro is a much lower amplitude initially.
See step 17 for more info regarding the music input mode video.
I actually didn't expect the number of orders for PCBoards although I knew there was a need.
I myself was so taken with the project, that if I had not the knowledge to design a pcb, or wire up the circuit,
I would have bought a board had it been offered. Unfortunately, one was not in the initial instructable when I saw it.
I want to put out a personal thanks to everyone, and a few specific ones that went above and beyond.
People like CPHONDA ,WGonzalez, and most recently Kent - who have kept this project alive and made the boards affordable.
PLEASE DON'T ASK FOR EAGLE FILES for the PCBoards. All my boards are too large to be done in the freeware version to begin with, which made me quit attempting to make them in or convert them to Eagle - even the SMT Micro board. I also suspect they might be too complex for it, but I don't know.
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 others questions that may answer the questions 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. That is the reason I eventually created the PCBoards to control the cube, and eventually even a Cube Base Board which all but eliminates the 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.
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 here.
I have a good electronics background, so I immediately wanted to build one of these.
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.
Not only that, I have made a few improvements along the way as well, plus PC Boards for those that don't have the skill to build their own the way CHR describes in his instructable.
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, that you go through CHRs well documented instructable FIRST, and then read through this one.
If you are able to, try to build his controller circuit if you can.
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 an actual working circuit, that's where it all falls apart.
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 for as close to cost and shipping as possible.
This means prices may drop as more requests for boards come in due to volume discounts.
Watch for board revisions if you have made a recommendation for a board feature that I liked!
A couple quick videos of my cube in action are above.
The second video is the cube as a standalone device, and the third video is under PC control via the TTL Serial port.
The serial port is key to allowing it to be controlled by things like the Raspberry Pi ( it already has TTL Serial on it so the connection was just 3 wires. Since it wasn't bi-directional though, we probably could have just used 2),
PIC, another Arduino or PCDuino or PC computer which I eventually intend to include the Commodore VIC-20 (that's the one before the C-64 for those that at least remember the C-64. If you're asking "why the VIC-20 ?" it's simple - I still have one!).
NOTE: looking back, it's a good thing we didn't send any data back to the Pi, because they are different logic levels (the Pi is 3.3V, and the ATmega is 5V). The ATmega seemed to get along with the 3.3V input just fine. I probably could have just put a voltage divider on the return line if we needed to send data back to the Pi. Again, I might investigate this if I ever get my hands on my own Pi. My other option is to just run the cube at 3.3V since we can.
SIDE NOTE: Yes, this can be powered for an extremely long time off of my other project, the Simplest iPhone Charger.
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.