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There are a lot of LED cubes on Instructables, so why do another? Most are for small cubes consisting of 27 or 64 LEDs, rarely larger since they are limited to the number of outputs available on the microcontroller. This cube will be 512 LEDs, and will only need 11 output wires from the Arduino. How is this possible? By using the Allegro Microsystems A6276EA LED driver.

I'll show you how I made the cube itself, the controller board, and finally the code to make it shine.


Step 1: Materials

All parts you'll need to build the cube:

1 Arduino/Freeduino with Atmega168 or higher chip
512 LEDs, size and color are up to you, I used 3mm red
4 A6276EA LED driver chips from Allegro
8 NPN transistors to control the voltage flow, I used the BDX53B Darlington transistor
4 1000 ohm resistors, 1/4 watt or higher
12 560 ohm resistors, 1/4 watt or higher
1 330uF electrolytic capacitor
4 24 pin IC socket
9 16 pin IC sockets
4"x4" (or larger) piece of perfboard to hold all the parts,
An old computer fan
An old floppy controller cable
An old computer power supply
A lot of hookup wire, solder, soldering iron, flux, anything else to
make your life easier while making this.
7"x7" (or larger) piece of wood used to make the LED soldering jig
A nice case to display your finished cube

My Arduino/Freeduino of choice is the Bare Bones Board (BBB) from www.moderndevice.com. The LEDs were purchased off eBay and cost $23 for 1000 LEDs shipped from China. The remaining electronics were purchased from Newark Electronics (www.newark.com) and should only cost around $25. If you have to buy everything, this project should only cost around $100.

I have a lot of old computer equipment so those parts came off the scrap heap.

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Hello<br>I have made the led cube using Micro controller and using hc164 shift register. Cam any one help me with the code.? Please can u send me the code. It would be so helpful..
<p>hello, i tried to make your proect and im done making the cube and the schematic. <br>i tried to upload your code but it doesnt compile. im getting a error message:stray '#' in program. how to solve this?</p>
<p>The code was written with on an old version of the arduino IDE, beta 18 or 19 IIRC. I know there were some changes with the 1.x release and some sketches no longer compile. My suggestion is get one of the beta version and try compiling using that. It's been 6 years since I last worked on this, I couldn't tell what needs to change to fix it for the 1.x IDE.</p>
<p>hey, we tried the cube8x8x8 program and it worked. but your code and the pin configuration from the datasheet is not matched from whats written in the code.<br>i have another question, me and my friend tried to understand how the code works. <br>we want to light 1 led only, what should we input in the shiftregister to light 1 LED. int x = 0B0000000000000001? can you give me a short code for lighting a 1piece of LED. <br><br>we really need your help. thanks!<br>nice project btw. :)</p>
<p>hey, we tried the cube8x8x8 program and it worked. but your code and the pin configuration from the datasheet is not matched from whats written in the code.<br>i have another question, me and my friend tried to understand how the code works. <br>we want to light 1 led only, what should we input in the shiftregister to light 1 LED. int x = 0B0000000000000001? can you give me a short code for lighting a 1piece of LED. <br><br>we really need your help. thanks!<br>nice project btw. :)</p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>Did you notice that you sent this message like 10 times?</p>
<p>Hi, I've added your project to the &quot;A Collection of WAAAY To Many 8X8X8 RGB LED Cubes!&quot; Collection</p><p>This is the link If you are interested:</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Collection-of-WAAAY-To-Many-8X8X8-RGB-LED-Cubes/">http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Collection-of-WA...</a></p>
<p>Plz sen me 8x8x8 cubs code </p><p>my email id is ddgkcem@gmail.com</p><p>plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz</p>
<p>My cube (I make PC Boards for this project, and have an assembly method that makes near perfect looking cubes)</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/psMFvBiWBbE" width="500"></iframe></p><p>I also do an RGB cube</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5tYwl-zKIcw" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>I COMMON ALL THE ANODE AND HOW TO CONFIGURE CATHODE TO ON LED IN 8X8 LED CUBE </p>
<p>Many thanks - I did a circular 8x8x8 ( for a decorated wine bottle contest) using 74HC 595 and your code worked first try. I was very happy as i am too old to learn a new language. Plug and play or cry is my way of doing this stuff.</p><p>Rod</p>
<p>What about a 8x8x8 / 24V / 20W colored bulb lights? It's possible?</p>
<p>You would obviously need to make a driver board, likely with 64 opto-isolators and 64 mosfets with another 8 even higher power mosfets for the layer selects.</p><p>CAN it be done? Sure. But it will cost quite a bit, and be a lot more work.</p>
<p>here are some 10mm ones that worked</p><p>http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/303796175/Factory_directly_30_off_10mm_round.html</p>
This guy is using a completely different approach to the controller, but the cube assembly is the same. If you want to build this, but want the cube to look a little neater, check out my instructable.<br> <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/CHRs-8X8X8-LED-Cube-Revisited-with-improvements/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/CHRs-8X8X8-LED-Cube-Revisited-with-improvements/<br> <br> F</a>ollowing my assembly method, the cubes tend to come out looking like this.
Ok thanks alot <br>
Also i was wondering why you prefer the bare bones board over the other arduinos <br>
they're cheaper...$15 vs $30 each.
And also what are you useing for the hook up wire?
colored pairs from cat5 networking cable
will the Arduino UNO with ATMega8U20 chip work for this?
probably, I don't own an Uno but i don't think the pin out was changed. Load the software and see if it compiles.
hi. Im going to be attempting this soon and you have the best indestructible for what i want to do but i have a few questions. Will the arduino UNO work the same as what you are useing?
Well done R-!
I applude your fantasitic effort! I have built several 4x4x4 and they are so hard to get square! I can only imagine what a n 8x8x8 must be like, I think no Matter WHAT anybody else says YOU ARE A WINNER to the max!<br><br>By Hawkings chair it was a fine accomplishment.<br><br>Good show,<br>Villiis Iohnes ab Oakmeadow.
Oh and thanks to R- for getting the mind cogs turning :)
Your tutorial looks pretty awesome so far. But before I give it a go, do you know what I can use instead of the led drivers. They appear to be discontinued everywhere.
Check out the TPIC6B595, these are similar (Hi current sink capability, output latch ect..) only they do not have constant current output so you will need series resistance on each column. They are commonly used in LED moving message displays.
Intelligent build. Well documented. I have to give you a patch!<br> <br> Now I am wondering what this all would have be like built it into an infinity mirror.
Thanks for the detailed instruction on how to build an LED cube. I eventually managed to build one of these things my own and it works fantastic. Thanks alot again. I used eight 8bit shift registers and changed the code a little, but in the end it works like your prototype does. <br>
Hey! I'm workin on this project and i have everything assembled and finished, but when i send the code to the arduino it completes but the cube just stays lit up. every led is lit no matter what code i run to the arduino any idea what might be wrong?!?
Is it possible to light one led at a time with this cube?
This looks really nice, well done.<br><br>Just been skimming through and I wondered why there are two codes? Do they both go to the arduino consecutively??
Ok so I figured it out! Matrix.pde wouldn't verify with arduino but it will with a program called 'Processing'. It looks identical to the arduino GUI but I cannot state the major differences. http://processing.org/download/<br><br>Compile matrix.pde for a very easy way of making your own animations!
What are the 9 - 16 pin IC sockets used for?? I can't seem to find them on the circuit diagram. I assume it is used to connect to the leds,but not sure how that works.<br><br>Another comment they are discontinuing the A6276EA chip, it looks as if the TB62706BN/BF chip is a suitable replacement., do you see anything wrong with using it?
Gday,<br><br>Just wondering, a few people have asked about which NPN transistors to get... there are so many options, just wanted to get the correct ones (newark part# maybe??)<br><br>Also - I bought 1000x 3mm Blue LEDs from ebay. They are 10000 MCD, 465-470 NM, 3.4-3.6v. Do I need to adjust anything to use these LEDs?<br><br>Cheers,<br>Pip
I'd decrease the value RC from 1000, but don't go below 500 ohms. With all 8 layers lit, a value below 500 ohms will draw more power through the LED driver chips than they are rated to handle.<br><br>Transistors were BDX53B, but any NPN transistor would do.

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