In this instructable I will show you from beginning to end on how to design and build a LED Cube tester. This device will allow you to test your LED cubed to make sure your LED's are working properly. you will need the following Items:
8 220 ohm 1//4W RESISTORS laser printer and toner Iron
1 BANK OF 8 DIP switches PC board transfer paper Soldering iron
8 push button switches Trace design software Liquid Flux
2 9V PC mount terminals Etching solution Solder
2 8 pin male headers Fine steel wool PC drill bits
1 single or dual sided copper clad board resist ink pen (sharpy) Double sided tape
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Step 1: Design Your Board
Step 2: Prepare Your Copper
Using a fine grade steel wool clean the board back in forth in a side to side direction. Once the whole board is done revers to an up and down direction, then once again in a side to side direction. make sure the whole board is bright and shiney.
Step 3: Print Your Board on the Transfer Paper
go sparingly on the transfer paper. Cut only a big enough piece to complete your design. Use double sided tape to tape the sheet in place where it will print. Its always nice to make a test print first. this will let you know how big and where on the paper it needs to be placed. set in in the laser printer so that it will print on the correct side. Then print the design.
Step 4: Place the Transfer Paper on the Coper
Once the design is printed, place it face down on the polished copper.
Step 5: Transfer the Pattern to the Copper
Using and Iron set to 4 or 5 iron the back side of the design until the entire design is been transferred to copper. Let it cool completely, then slowly peal the paper away.
Step 6: Drill the Holes
Using PC Drill bits drill bits, carefully drill all of your holes.
Step 7: Clean Up in Any Errors in the Trace Patterns
Using both a fine a course Sharpy, clean up any trace errors on the board. verify that all connections have been made.
Step 8: Cut the Execess Copper
Step 9: Develope Board
using a glass or plastic container place your board in the bottom. fill the container up to cover the board from an 1/2" to 1 1/2" of Etching Solution. gently shake the container from side to side. At room temperature this will take about an hour and a half. With the liquid at higher temperatures it will take less time to develop the boards.
Step 10: Rince the Board
Use rubber gloves to take the finished board and rinse it under running water until all of the etching solution is removed. take some paper towels and dry it off.
Step 11: Tin the Board
Before tinning the board use the steel wool once again to remove all of the toner and sharpy marks. Now there are two ways you can tine the board. 1.) mix up some tinning solution in some hot water. place the board in the solution and gently shake it form side to side for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it well tinned. Remove and dry off.
2.) use liquid flux on the board and apply a thin coat of solder to the entire board. Be careful not to close up any holes.
This board was done by method two.
Step 12: Add the Componets
Finally add all of the components as you had laid them out on the reverse side of the board. Switches, dip switch pack, Male headers, Resistors, and battery contacts.
Step 13: Check the Board for Errors
Connect one LED to each ground and hot pins with Jumper leads. First test each connection individually. This is done by turning one dip switch on and then off at a time. Doing it this way will let you know if there are any cross connections or open connections. then turn them all on and press all of the buttons one at a time them all of them at once. Once the device has passed all of the tests it is ready to use.
Step 14: Test Your Led Cube
Now your ready to test your cube, Connect the ground connector to the ground and the other to one of the rows of lights. 1.) one at a time turn on one ground switch and slowly press each of the eight buttons observing your cube for any faults. 2.) then turn a second ground switch on repeating the steps in step one. Repeat theses steps for the six remainder ground switches making note of any errors. 3.) Move on to row two and repeat the last, do this for the remainder six rows. This will let you know if your cube is working properly before you hook it up to your control board. After watching this video you will see how important a test device is. if you have any questions let me know and I will try to help.