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Picture of LED Cube 4x4x4
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Amazing 3 dimensional LED display.

64 LEDs makes up this 4 by 4 by 4 cube, controlled by an Atmel Atmega16 microcontroller.
Each LED can be addressed individually in software, enabling it to display amazing 3d animations!

8x8x8 LED cube now available, by popular demand:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Led-Cube-8x8x8/


 
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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
First of all, you need quite a bit of time to solder together 64 leds ;)

Knowledge list:
  • Basic electronics and soldering skills
  • Know how to program an AVR microcontroller - I will not cover that in this instructable.

Component list:
  • Protoboard. The type with copper circles.
  • Atmel AVR Atmega16 microcontroller
  • Programmer to program the Atmega16
  • 64 Leds
  • 2 status leds. I used red and green. (optional)
  • Max232 rs-232 chip, or equivalent.
  • 16 resistors for leds. (100-400ohms) will get back to this.
  • 2x resistor 470 ohm. for status leds
  • 1x resistor 10k
  • 4x resistor 2.2k
  • 4x NPN transistor BC338 (or other transistor capable of switching 250-ish mA)
  • 1x 10uF capacitor
  • 1x 1000uF capacitor
  • 6x 0.1uF ceramic capacitor
  • 2x 22pF ceramic capacitor
  • 1x crystal 14.7456 MHz
  • 2x tactile button
  • optional pwr switch
  • connector for 12v power
  • optional connector for 5v power

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dvbergeryesterday

Ungrounded layers sometimes light dimly:

I built a prototype of a 4x4x4 LED cube on a protoboard following the anode column/cathode layer approach with a set of current limiting resistors between the columns and an arduino controller and close the plane circuits with a set of 4 transistors in the software with an intent to only have a single plane on at a time. As I’ve been testing my cube, I found that the fewer the leds that I have lit, the more pronounced an unpleasant effect is where other leds in an activated column (but unactivated plane) light dimly. I’m really unsure why these leds would light up. The effect seems more pronounced with fewer leds being lit at a single time and totally disappears when all 16 leds in a plane are lit. Surprisingly, if I remove all grounding that closes a circuit, the activated column still lights with a diffuse lighting across the leds in the column. I’ve linked a video that shows the effect in the hopes that someone can help me understand what’s wrong. net/net, I copied this design but hooked it up to an arduino

Anesa1 month ago

I have problem with the usbtinyisp. who can help me?

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sonauk Anesa1 month ago

You need to install windows driver for your 'usbtinyisp' first.

Anesa sonauk22 days ago

I installed the driver and the usbtiny communicated with the chip. But when I try to setting the fuse, the programm tell me something like "change 0 with ... (y/n)". I write "n" and from this moment the usbtinyisp can't communicated (connection failed, rc=-1)

nounou.bedri2 months ago

i need to know how can i programme a cube led 4*4*4 without arduino !!!! plzzzzz

kou3 months ago

can you email me the program with "mikropascal pro" ? khouloudkalil@gmail.com

aneamţu10 months ago

I built my ledcube thanks to your awesome tutorial, but saw this "To compile the program, open a command prompt, enter the directory with the source code and type "make" on the command line. You should now have a file named main.hex in the source directory" I tried that with the source files and I get all kinds of errors. C:\WinAVR-20100110\xledcube>make

0 [main] sh 2156 sync_with_child: child 1572(0x14C) died before initializa

tion with status code 0xC0000142

670 [main] sh 2156 sync_with_child: *** child state waiting for longjmp

/usr/bin/sh: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable

-------- begin --------

avr-gcc (WinAVR 20100110) 4.3.3

Copyright (C) 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO

warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Compiling: main.c

avr-gcc -c -mmcu=atmega16 -I. -gdwarf-2 -DF_CPU=14745600UL -Os -funsigned-char

-funsigned-bitfields -fpack-struct -fshort-enums -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -Wa,-

adhlns=main.lst -std=gnu99 -MD -MP -MF .dep/main.o.d main.c -o main.o

In file included from main.c:74:

draw.c: In function 'setplane':

draw.c:170: warning: comparison between pointer and integer

draw.c:170: warning: comparison with string literal results in unspecified behav

ior

..... long list down. What is the problem ? I want to try this to remove some of the effects. I already uploaded the hex file but I want fewer effects.

hey. can u email me the program? hediana11@yahoo.com

Aakash044 months ago

Hello, I'm a free user and i wanna make this project. It is showing 11steps, are they complete or should i turn to a paid user?
Please tell

Adhyastha. MI5 months ago

Thanks

Hi there, I want to make my LED Cube on STM32F4 Discovery board. It has Current Limit 150 mA and I have only 270 ohm resistors, which give

3V Ouput

11 mA per LED

177 mA when all 16 LEDs are ON. Will it damage my board?

Here is documentation link, p 77

http://www.st.com/web/en/resource/technical/docume...

P.S. Thanks for great instructable!

I made the cube with this board.

It won't damage the board. You will have only 150/16~9 mA per LED instead of 11 mA.

The side-effect is that one LED in layer will glow brighter then 16 in the same time.

P.S. sorry for my english.

sunnyt8 months ago

i want to make a 5*5*5 led cube.what changes should i consider??

bam5008 months ago

Hello ! Thank you for this awesome instructable.
I made a mistake while programming the microcontroller.
I ran "avrdude -c usbtiny -p m16 -U lfuse:w:0xc9:m" instead of "avrdude -c usbtiny -p m16 - U hfuse:w:0xc9:m" (the difference is "lfuse" instead of "hfuse").
What's the command to reset the microcontroller ?
Thank you for your help.

akki5230 made it!8 months ago

Great Instructable!!!

FormatFactoryDSC02336.jpg
fliberty made it!9 months ago

Wahoo! It's finally complete! One of my inner bottom LEDs just died on me though :( That will be fun to switch out.

This instructable was great!

photo.JPG

Time to move up to an 8X8X8 for your next project - and then on to the 8X8X8 RGB....fortunately got you I have instructables on both!

pankaj7779 months ago

ok then how i can set the fuse bits .... plz tell me.....

i am using top2008(a universal programmer) burner to program the atmega......

thanx for the reply

yurka33310 months ago

Hello. Thank you for this great detailed instructable, it helped me alot. But i have a question, if all leds will be turned on, wouldn't they all consume (4*4*4)*0.012A=0.768A? And what will be with microcontoller, when its allow max 200mA at once?

Firstly - there are current limiters on the LEDs.

Second, only one layer is on at a time, max 16 LEDs

Third - LEDs are modulated - not ON with DC .

End result - very VERY little current draw.

aneamţu yurka33310 months ago

From what I know the LEDs are not turn on all at once but one by one in a very fast rate nearly 200 frames per second, just giving the illusion of them turned all at once.

yurka333 aneamţu10 months ago

Thanks for reply. Thats right what i was thinking :)

pankaj7779 months ago

i program the with given hex file but speed is very slow how can i increase the speed.

I am guessing you forgot to set the fuse bits to use the external crystal, so the ATmega is running on the internal 1 or 4MHz clock rather than the external 16MHz.

Or in this case, the external 14.7456MHz.

pankaj7779 months ago

how can i increase the speed please tell me

maks97079 months ago

Hello. Tell me, what transistors attach layers.

chirag199611 months ago

i am new to programming can someone please tell me how to start or insert codes in this thing. Thank you..

jimfu11 months ago

I LIKE THIS

Mrwolf811 year ago

i see people can't seem to read.... it's not hard. 'save as' re-name

F6JRI6AFJ1I6CP0.tmp

to main.hex. upload to atmega16 chip and you are done!

How to increase the flashing speed of led.... ?
kchauhan1 year ago
How to increase the flashing speed of led.... ?
ClA0075 years ago
i have a question  how do i use the zip file? the hex i can use it from windows to send it to avr but the zip i didn't know how to use..! can someone tell me if it s important o not?

the zip file contains the original naked coding files which you can edit if you want to, but if you dont know what you are doing... dont touch it.

if you uploaded the .hex file... you've completed the programming of the atmega chip and theres nothing more you need to do

How do you connect an avr to your pc for the code to load on it? And yes I do have linux

you need a gadget called a 'usbtiny' which is available on Ebay

Bartjeeh5 years ago
so this is what i do. and i really don't understand what i do wrong.

Bartjeeh@linux-b5pm: cd /home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube
Bartjeeh@linux-b5pm:~/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube> make
If 'make' is not a typo you can use command-not-found to lookup the package that contains it, like this:
    cnf make

in that folder are the following files

file:///home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube/F6JRI6AFJ1I6CP0.tmp
file:///home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube/Makefile
file:///home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube/draw.c
file:///home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube/effect.c
file:///home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube/frames.c
file:///home/Bartjeeh/Desktop/4x4x4_ledcube/main.c
if anyone could help me please!!!

change this file :

F6JRI6AFJ1I6CP0.tmp

to main.hex

then type

avrdude -c usbtiny -p m16 -U flash:w:main.hex

mateuszrjzr3 years ago
hello
I know, that last post was in 2008, but can you explain me why when i'm klicking "4x4x4_ledcube.hex" suddenly i am downloading something like : F6JRI6AFJ1I6CP0.tmp???? please so much help me...

before you click the link, right click on it and "save as", then change the filename to main.hex...

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