Let's Make Robots!

My LED Cube

Flashes LEDs in cool 3D patterns

Video 3: Completed LED Cube with 8 patterns














 I just got the LEDs for the cube yesterday as a backorder from sparkfun. The were for Christmas! I'm using a design where all of the rows on both pairs of levels and all of the columns of both pairs of levels  are connected. That way, I use all 16 outputs of the picaxe 40x1. I will be multiplexing the LEDs Here is what I got done today:


100 high-brightness LEDs!


the first level in its "mold" (about 3cm spacing)


testing the LED


first row (common GND)


2 rows!


The base row mounted on the IRIS System (master control)




two layers and I'm starting the third right now! (wow, I don't leave myself enough time to post)


Orange gloves for insulation because of a few comments below


3 layers!


The fourth layer is done!


This is how i'm going to wire my LEDs. Level one is in the top left and level two is next to it. Level three is below level one and level four is next to it. My picaxe 40x1 has 16 outputs, so I layed out the cube like a grid and have 8 positive controles and 8 negative controls. I will multiplex it.


The control board has all of the minimum requirements for the picaxe 40x1 set up and some extra transistors on the side.


Completed cube with positive and negative layers done.


The guts of the cube from left to right: two LED switching boards, a resistor board, the PICAXE control board.


A closer look at the LED control board. It's there to prevent burnouts of my chip.


My crazy programing setup.


 I removed the protection boards due to loss of current, now I just have to tripple check my code.


Look! A cube!!!


Multiplexing the whole cube.


 I've added a switch and a temporary cover. No more wires hanging out the back!


 I've also added 1334 lines of code to the cube. It now plays eight patterns (see video 3)!


 I'd like to thank JAX for helping me with the high/low portc commands and birdmum for helping me with the random selection of patterns.

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I use sockets for chips most of the time to save any risk of heat damage but mainly so they are easily retrieved for other projects when the current one no longer holds any interest for me. Plus if the circuit doesn't work it's easy to swap in another chip to test if th e chip is at fault. Maybe I'm just crazy from all the solder fumes.  ;  )

 Actually, I just forgot to buy the sockets and wanted to start on Christmas. If this one ever fries, then I'll get the sockets. And I like to keep my old projects as a way of saying "yeah, i made that" and "look how far I've come".

 Oh, and I also forgot to mention: I would love for my fellow LMRtians to suggest some cool patterns for the 4x4x4 cube.

Looking forward to see your LED cube working. I have made one using Arduino and for a FEZ Panda running NETMF http://www.microframeworkprojects.com/index.php?title=LED_cube but never tried a PICAXE.

But is this project really a ‘Robot – work in progress’ ? It probably should be posted under ‘Something Else’ .

And it might be a bit early to ask for cool patterns before you have the cube working. As far as I can tell your only testing the LEDs manually on the video.

PS. I would also recommend that you start using a breadboard on your projects and get the system to work there before you solder anything at all. And never solder any chip directly on the board if you can avoid it.

 I've done all the math and used the system that I used before. So it should work with no problems.

Can you tell us more about what the "IRIS System (master control)" is?

For inspiration you should have a look at this http://www.instructables.com/id/Led-Cube-8x8x8/ and please vote for him in the contest (at the top of the page).

 I was waiting until I was done to tell everyone on a post but the IRIS System is composed of A couple of septate systems:

  • Of course the LED cube
  • Controlling my robots and helping them to work together (robots may include, well, everything that uses electricity in my house)
  • Input from a homemade remote controller
  • Rom and Ram
  • Speech Recondition
  • Input from a computer (and possible an ipad) for control, internet usage, the possibilities are endless
  • Speech along with AI

 this is an EXTREMELY long term goal that will slowly mature in the order that they are listed.


and thank you for that link, very helpful.

If your LED lights up from the soldering iron I would consider buying a new one. To me it sound like some current is leaking out to the metal of your soldering iron and the wall plug didn’t look like a grounded plug.   The LED might act as a part of a rectifier bridge and what your seeing is actually PWM at the frequency of your AC supply.

 Thanks, is it in any way dangerous or can it eventually become dangerous to me?

I’m really not sure. You might put a post up on the forum as that is the proper place for this question.
If the voltage/current is not enough to give you a shock, you might end up frying some component while soldering them.