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Step 35: Build the controller: Power rails and IC power

Remember that protoboard soldering trick we showed you in a previous step? We told you it would come in handy, and here is where you use it.

Large circuit boards like this one, with lots of wires, can become quite confusing. We always try to avoid lifting the GND and VCC lines off the board. We solder them as continuous solder lines. This makes it very easy to identify what is GND/VCC and what is signal lines.

If the VCC and GND lines needs to cross paths, simply route one of them over the other using a piece of wire on the top side of the PCB.

In the first picture you can see some solder traces in place.

The two horizontal traces is the "main power bus". The lowest one is VCC and the top one is GND. For every row of ICs a GND and VCC line is forked off the main power bus. The GND line runs under the ICs, and the VCC line runs under the resistors.

We went a little overboard when making straight wire for the cube, and had some pieces left over. We used that for the VCC line that runs under the resistors.

In the bottom right corner, you can see that we have started soldering the 8+1bit bus connecting all the latch ICs. Look how easy it is to see what is signal wires and what is power distribution!

In the second picture, you can see the board right-side-up, with some additional components soldered in, just ignore them for the moment.

For every latch IC (74HC574), there is a 100nF (0.1uF) ceramic capacitor. These are noise reduction capacitors. When the current on the output pins are switched on and off, this can cause the voltage to drop enough to mess with the internal workings of the ICs, for a split second. This is unlikely, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Debugging a circuit with noise issues can be very frustrating. Besides, capacitors make the circuit look that much cooler and professional! The 100nF capacitors make sure that there is some current available right next to the IC in case there is a sudden drop in voltage. We read somewhere that it is common engineering practice to place a 100nF capacitor next to every IC, "Use them like candy". We tend to follow that principle.

Below each row of resistors, you can see a tiny piece of wire. This is the VCC line making a little jump to the top side of the board to cross the main GND line.

We also added a capacitor on the far end of the main power bus, for good measure.
<p>So I am (still) building this and I have a question... I was having trouble with the LEDs, some row-column combinations were lighting multiple LEDs and a couple didn't light at all. Turns out I (somehow) missed soldering the anodes between layers for an entire column! Once I took care of that, that fixed the three LEDs lighting up at a time, but I still had a couple of other LEDs ghosting when one or the other was turned on. I found one open LED and one shorted LED - luckily on the outside column! I guess that happened when I was soldering the layers together... I swear I tested each layer as I built it. </p><p>After all of that, I powered it up and the only thing that happens is that the &quot;status&quot; LEDs flicker back and forth. The entire cube is off. If I hit either the &quot;deubg&quot; switch or the &quot;status&quot; switch, the &quot;status&quot; LEDs stop flickering and only one remains lit. The cube then begins going through it's test program. The problem is that four rows-columns are constant lit and a couple of LEDs only come on during certain cycles, but not others. Since the entire cube is off before the processor beings running, that would tend to tell me that nothing is shorted. Also, when I press either the &quot;status&quot; or &quot;debug&quot; switches after the program is running, nothing happens. </p><p>When I first programmed the AVR, I used avrdude running under Ubuntu Linux and an AVRasp programmer. Every time I try to program the IC, it tells me that it expects a certain signature, but that the one returned by the IC is different and that I need to check my IC since it doesn't appear (to the programmer) to be an ATmega32. The IC I am using is ATMEGA32 16PU 1403. This is the same chip shown on the photos here, with the exception of the last line, which I didn't think should matter. I am able to program the IC anyway using the -F (force program) switch in avrdude, but I am wondering if this might be my problem rather than a hardware issue. </p><p>Any thoughts, ideas, or help? I've been working on this freaking thing on and off for over a year now, so I am ready to see some final results! Thanks...</p>
<p>hello all of you, I have an idea to replace 16 BJT by ULN2803, it would save up for your area, and it works very tot.Toi did 2 cube leds and it all works fine however, I did not design the RS232 connection on my circuit. and here are some pictures about it:</p>
<p>You can use even less space using SMT 2N2222 type transistors. My board will take either.</p>
<p>Great idea!</p>
<p>Thanks. Most components on the board allow for SMT or through-hole.</p>
<p>hi sir, can you send me the circuit and diagram.</p><p>my mail qdat1202@gmail.com</p>
<p>Can you please kindly send me the circuit and diagram.</p><p>MAy mail add<br>isurutharanga019@gmail.com</p>
Can you please kindly send me the circuit and diagram.
<p>The circuit diagrams for this project are in this instructable.</p>
My email address is sisirroy777@gmail.com
<p>Neat.</p>
<p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="400" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4gNiDprbUPc" width="600"></iframe></p>
Circuit diagrams<br>Or kits details me <br>Also thes programmes code
<p>Hello DongP1, <br>Can you share a more clear schematic how did you used the ULN2803 and explain what changes have you done to the code ?</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>OK you, I'm very fun when help you. You can use Proteus to open file schematic and PCB, and i did fixed code. all in here:<br>https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXbfPpoHKV5eWQxU1VQODZhTTA/view?usp=sharing<br>when you use atmega32 you must set fuse for it. <br></p><p>and when you solder PCB solder you should note carefully and did not miss any legs, as this is the second circuit face, you can also book for someone trained to do it to ensure circuit reliability. And my final non-electric circuits become restricts motherboard area, it absolutely does not affect the led. And can not forget that it is a 5V supply. Wish success. I look forward to seeing your circuit here.</p><p></p><p>Inside the downloaded folder: principle diagram, schematic print, inside a simulated 3d opened by Proteus, the revised code with external hex file, inside the code can edit custom and standard you, use WINAVR (recommended recommended). and images to set the fuse for ATmega32.</p>
<p>Hi!!<br>Do you know hoe to flash the EEPROM of Arduino just like we do in normal non-arduino boards..<br>i.e. we flash .eep file directly into the micro controller.. do you know any similar or equivalant thing in Arduino...?</p>
<p>I sorry you, because I do not use Arduino, so I did not go through the difficulties you face, but you can read more online material on its use. I can only help you in terms of hardware. Good luck. I believe you will succeed! : D</p>
<p>Thnx for replying!<br>I got a solution for it already!</p>
Your led cube <br>Whitch kits using<br>
<p>Hello, </p><p>Now I got it. The idea to use the ULN2803 is to avoid using transistors correct ?<br>What do you mean that I need to set the fuse for the ATMEGA32 ?<br>I will be using arduino board, either Nano or mega. </p><p>Thanks for your reply </p><p>Jose </p>
<p>is this, if you use it you must chip atmega fuse set inside the IC, the fuse is to control a number of functions such as: using the calibrated internal or external crystal, and and some rather different features, please reference IC data sheet. so that it operates according to your desired this function. I use the load circuit to the load burn-e program for my IC, please find out more about it, or you can use the load circuit which you are available. <br>ULN2803 help replace the transistor 16 in the layer. you read this ic data sheet to learn more. I had to diagram inside folders principle schematic. you see that in order to better understand how it works. wish success! : D</p>
You don't need changes in code
<p>Sorry for answers will tell you now, when using ULN2803 then your program absolutely nothing changes, we simply optimized hardware only. Good luck! soon see your results here. : D</p>
<p>Cho e xin sơ đồ mạch in đc ko ạ</p>
<p>Hi DongP1, I am so like the Cube and I want to make it and give to my girl friend as a big surprise. Can you send all schematics ,programs and other files to me . Thans so much.</p><p>My e-mail address: dongliang.ma@matrixopto.com </p>
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXbfPpoHKV5eWQxU1VQODZhTTA/view?usp=sharing
<p>Hey guy, if i use STK500 device to set up for atmega32 then plug it to the board , so, can i remove RS232 and AVR Isp?</p>
<p>sir, i have successfully made my cube, now the problem is with the code... im using arduino uno and the code given in this article i.e for arduino user is working fine for me... but other codes which are used for AVR is not compatible with aduino ? does coding for both arduino uno and AVR are different ?</p><p>i got a error as &quot;compilation terminated </p><p> exist status 1</p><p> error compiling &quot;</p><p>if there is solution for this plz post . </p><p>and the code in the link which u gave is compatible with arduino uno ? </p><p> Thanks :)</p>
<p>You likely need an older, or possibly a newer copy of the IDE.</p>
<p>sir presently im using latest version of IDE i.e 1.6.7</p><p>can i know the the exact version of IDE ??</p><p>and sir how can i make others codes compatible with IDE?</p><p>Thanks :)</p>
mail me.. 233himanshu@gmail.com
This is here. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXbfPpoHKV5eWQxU1VQODZhTTA/view?usp=sharing and don't need chager in program .
<p>Hi Phamd4 , thank you so much. I have another question, I can not open the CUBE schematic and pcb files with Protues Desing Suite 8.0 , my computer is Win 7 system. whether the version of the Protues is not matching? Can you help me .</p>
<p>hello everyone, I have an idea to replace 16 BJT layers by ULN2803, it will save your area, and it works very well I did 2 LED cube and all activities well however, I did not design the RS232 connection on my circuit.</p>
<p>hi , can you send me the circuit and diagram.</p><p>my mail suynghj@gmail.com</p>
<p>I still haven't got round to making this, can't wait to start!</p>
<p><br>Hi. I have saved the .SCH files and downloaded several programs which are supposed to open these files - both failed. </p><p><br>Can someone please let me know of a program that will open the .SCH files?<br><br>As I am hoping to expand my electronic work, I don't even mind buying a decent piece of well-programmed software as opposed to freeware - but I would appreciate some advice on a program that actually WORKS?<br><br>If you have some good advice, can you check your software works to open the above files?<br><br>Thanks guys. </p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>The .sch files are made with Eagle. They have a free version for non-commercial use. Eagle may seem a bit complicated at first, but you can find tons of guides online, as this is one of the most popular schematics/pcb cad programs for makers..</p><p><a href="https://cadsoft.io/">https://cadsoft.io/</a></p><p>/Chr</p>
<p>Great thanks for that. I've been able to view the schematics now. Is there a function where you can convert the schematic to the layout on the actual circuit board? Thanks again for your help. I am enjoying building this. </p>
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awesome
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Hi I want to buy these components, any body guide me
<p>This is the best kit that I have come across for the LED's</p>
<p>.</p>
<p>can you please kindly send the code for programming </p><p>my emai id chiranjitkarmakar838@gmail.com</p>
<p>can you please kindly send the code for programming</p>

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Bio: I like microcontrollers and LEDs :D
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