Step 6: The anatomy of a LED cube

We are going to be talking about anodes, cathodes, columns and layers, so lets take a moment to get familiar with the anatomy of a LED cube.

An LED has two legs. One positive (the anode) and one negative (cathode). In order to light up an LED, you have to run current from the positive to the negative leg. (If i remember correctly the actual flow of electrons is the other way around. But let's stick to the flow of current which is from positive to negative for now).

The LED cube is made up of columns and layers. The cathode legs of every LED in a layer are soldered together. All the anode legs in one column are soldered together.

Each of the 64 columns are connected to the controller board with a separate wire. Each column can be controlled individually. Each of the 8 layers also have a separate wire going to the controller board.

Each of the layers are connected to a transistor that enables the cube to turn on and off the flow of current through each layer.

By only turning on the transistor for one layer, current from the anode columns can only flow through that layer. The transistors for the other layers are off, and the image outputted on the 64 anode wires are only shown on the selected layer.

To display the next layer, simply turn off the transistor for the current layer, change the image on the 64 anode wires to the image for the next layer. Then turn on the transistor for the next layer. Rinse and repeat very very fast.

The layers will be referred to as layers, cathode layers or ground layers.
The columns will be referred to as columns, anode columns or anodes.
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<p>i made it one years ago and a huge model of tis cube</p><p>thanks a lot &hearts;</p>
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<p>hai guys I want to know how much power and amp give for cube and I am using arduino so arduino hold 1.5 amp 5v and connect to driver board or I give power to driver board separately and arduino separately and how much I want give can u give me detail</p>
<p>Hello i have built this cube but i am having problems. i upload the test code and everything works but after i uploar the second code as well as the firmware nothing happens</p>
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<p>I am using arduino mega as isp to program or usb pic or if u any software for led programming that is also good </p>
I'm good to go now found good files on pyroelectro.com by thepyroelectro www.pyroelectro.com/projects/8x8x8_led_cube/arduino_8x8x8_cube.pde
can you tell me how to copy and paste animations into the my main sketch from other sketches? So I can add more animations. what section sketch to copy and where to place it. thanks
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<p>hi , i have made CRR's led cube but something very strange is happening</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YZucW88VQr0" width="500"></iframe></p><p>there are led lighting that must not light. I have change emmitter with collector , i have use only one 2n222 as <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/SuperTech-IT/" rel="nofollow">uperTech-IT</a> says but nonthing good.</p>
<p>I noticed you got yours up and running. Congrats. I see you went the 2 transistor rout in the end, but that's OK, it's just more parts than needed.<br>My boards are a lot more compact than yours, and allow Arduino's ATmega328p or the ATmega32/32A/32L processors, but the end result is pretty much the same. LOL. Here you can also see one of my completed single colour cubes beside one of my RGB cubes.<br></p>
2N2222 transistor have 600ma current max on colector and one led need 0.015ma mutil by 64 led each layer equal ~1A. Therefore you need at leat 2 2N2222 transistor
<p>More precisely, my design uses single 2N2222 for the layers - the whole cube with all LEDs lit draws under 700mA. Anyways, if you still have not worked this out, go to www.TheLEDCube.com and download my source code for your processor which contains a POWER ON SELF TEST. Video the POST and put the video up here and I will analyze it and point you to pretty much exactly what's wrong right off the bat unless there are multiple shorts / bad connections.</p>
<p>Hey, can u uploade a bit more detailed description of the power supply.</p><p>I cannot figure out how to solder the pieces</p>
<p>Your best bet is to simply get a 5V 2A plug-in power supply.</p><p>These are cheap and plentiful on ebay.</p>
<p>What have you used, atmega or arduino? </p>
<p>i use atmega</p>
<p>It worked flawlessly buddy. it is such a great feeling achieving that task</p>
<p>The Arduino is also ATmega in that the processor is an ATmega328P.</p><p>Most people prefer the ATmega32/32A/32L for this project though.</p>
<p>Finally, It worked flawlessly. Now I want to go to the next level and use atmega32. Problem is to get the crystal, I'll have to import it</p>
<p>and of course i have place 8 pull up resistors on collectors ,6.2k</p>
<p>finally it works! there were many short circuits and tow transistor had electrik leak</p>
<p>Glad you got it all up and running! Hope to see a video of your cube in action!</p>
<p>Is there any program to control led cube and make coding easy ,just clicking on leds we want to gets on with the order we want?</p>

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Bio: I like microcontrollers and LEDs :D
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