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

8x8x8 LED cube project

Chris shared his latest LED cube project details. This is an 8x8x8 LED cube soldered using 512 single color LEDs. We’ve seen much bigger LED cubes even with RGB LEDs. But these are result of patience and hard work. If you are thinking about building one 8x8x8 is a good starting point. Such Led cube can be easily controlled using Arduino which is used here. Obviously in order to address individual LEDs there is additional electronics required. In this case Chris used one addrees selector 74HC138 and eight data buffers 74HC574. Also Arduino switches LED cathodes of each layer using transistors. This is enough to address individual LEDs. By switching single layers of cube pretty fast it gives illusion of normal display. Led cube is placed on box where all electronics is hidden and serves as solid stand. So this is nice weekend project. Continue reading

Arduino powered guitar tuner with midi out

Some time ago, Raptor built a nice Christmas gift for his brother – a guitar tuner. The idea was simply to take guitar input amplify sound with LM386 opamp then pass to Atmega168. The trickiest part here were detecting frequencies. As you may know that strings produce multiple harmonics that are hard to detect simple algorithms like crossing zero and so on. So there were so called YIN algorithm used which is better described here. He also managed to attach LCD which simply displays notes and bar graphs as note is played. And since frequencies and so notes are detected, adding MIDI is logical step. It’s simple and monotonic but still fun to use. Continue reading

Music driven LED back-light

zolmeister wanted to add something nice to his workplace. So he started a back-light device which is controlled by music played on PC. He made bended 12 LED strip. Since Arduino has 6 PWM out pins he paired LEDs so each line could control two of them. Ant this is it for hardware setup. The other part lies in Python script, which takes played music file normalizes it and detects sound beats. After this simple calculus, values are sent to Arduino via USB. Simple, but adds nice touch interior. Continue reading

Kids will love this automated car parking lot

Kids, especially boys, love playing with cars. And when there is electronics involved – things get even more fun. Ardunaut shared interesting project which is simple to build. It utilized an Arduino, one servo motor, single seven segment display and contact sensors. Parking lot has 8 parking slots so it detects when it is full of cars and wont let in another car until there is a space. Servo motor simply opens gates when car is detected on one or another side. The secret of detection lies on platform sheet which is made of two aluminum foils with gap between. When car enters marked zone, foil sheets are pressed to contact and thus signal is read by Arduino. Seven segment indicator displays how many free spaces in lot is left. Great project to build with your kid. Continue reading

Amazing 16x16x16 RGB LED cube

There are lots of LED cubes around. But most of them use fewer LEDs like 8x8x8 or they are one color LED based. But 16x16x16 RGB LED cube is worth looking at. This means 4096 – total number of RGB LEDs. Make that triple and you get 12288 LEDs to control. Using such amount of LEDs require some design thoughts, power supply and of course a control circuitry. The cube is split in to 16 16×16 LED grids where every one is controlled by separate Arduino Mega2560. Each Arduino communicates with each other using RS485 serial protocol. Allsparkcube (this is how it’s called) hardware is done but software is still in development. There is ability to play with single pixels and different timing settings for simple animations. There is also an API allowing to connect to LED cube and few fun code pieces that allow to interact with it using game controller or video cameras. Unimaginable wire soldering job indeed. Continue reading

UV LED exposure unit controlled by Arduino

Burak likes making PCBs at home. After struggling with toner transfer method he decided to move to UV exposure. So his first step were to build UV exposure unit made of ultraviolet LEDs. He used 18×24 LEDs to make exposure area. All LEDs are controlled using single MOSFET. The gate is attached to Arduino which can drive LEDs using PWM and thus control brightness and timing. Continue reading