Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

8x8x8 LED cube with audio input

You can find lots of 8x8x8 Led cube projects. They are pretty easy to build, but fun begins when writing software starts. There anyone can express themselves in different ways. And so Thomas, Max and Felix built their 8x8x8 LED cube project which has something different than others. It has some regular parts you can find in almost any LED cube. These are Atmega32 microcontroller and eight 8-bit latches for actual LED addressing. You won’t get far from this method. Well another part of schematic include 1Mbit FRAM memory interfaces via I2C interface. This is where graphics, patterns and animations are stored. Another part include audio input from MSGEQ7. Memory and audio control tasks are taken by another dedicated Atmega8 microcontroller. It then sends processed data and control commands to main microcontroller using TWI interface. They also written a Java program that allows visual creation of 3D effects and animations and then loading in to memory as frames. So this is another great inspiring project if you are looking to build one. Continue reading

Arduino shield to drive LED cubes

Arduino is great for simple projects as long as special capabilities aren’t required. You can find a suitable shield for specific tasks like driving motors, LCDs, or connecting to the internet in most cases. But what if you need to drive a LED cube. Driving 8x8x8 cube becomes challenging and require a few shift registers to expand the number of I/Os. Obviously, for Arduino, a shield is needed. Connor has designed a voxel shield that makes it easy to drive cubes with up to 512 LEDs. Or LED matrixes in particular cases. In his design, he used 9 SN74LS595N shift registers. As LED cubes require a significant amount of power, he added a connector that can suck the power from ATX power supply. So great addition to Arduino shield pool. Continue reading

8x8x8 LED cube display

Everything that has 3D word attached seems cool today. So LED displays aren’t exception. Easiest way to make a 3D display is to build a LED cube. This LED cube is build of 512 or 8x8x8. It may look quite small resolution, but keep in mind that each LED has to be hand soldered in to nice cube and this is quite time consuming. Another thing is that more LEDs require more power to drive and more I\Os. Microcontrollers have limited number of pins so there are eight 74HC574 latch registers used. Each of them is decoded with 74HC138 chip. This gives 64 programmable pins out of 8+3. Add 8 more pins and you can scan through all of them. Instructable gives really detailed instructions on how to build one and program it. Continue reading