LED cube is a little bit of kit, a lot of point-to-point soldering

[Craig Lindley] recently finished building his own RGB LED cube project. It’s made up of four layers of 4×4 LED grids, but you may notice that the framework that supports the structure is not the usual ratsnet of wires we’ve come to expect. They’re actually long, thin circuit boards. [Craig] grabbed the Rainbow Cube kit sold by Seeed Studio for this project. But instead of pairing it with their Rainbowduino driver, he built his own to give him more options on how to control the blinky lights.

He’s using an Arduino Uno to control the display, choosing TLC5940 driver chips to safely provide the juice necessary to light up the grid. These drivers also offer 12-bit pulse-width modulation for easy color mixing. Driving the LEDs directly would have taken a large number of these expensive chips (over $4 a piece), but if multiplexed the design only calls for two of them.

Check out a video of the finished cube reacting to music thanks to the microphone and amplifier circuit [Craig] build into the driver board.

Comments

  1. Wow! Finally an LED cube that doesn’t look like a twisted mess. Even with those thin PCBs from seeedstudio holding everything together, this can still be messed up if you don’t have a keen sense for detail oriented work. So, congrats on a very nice job!

  2. Jeremy Cook says:

    Nice! Kit or not, that much soldering definitely counts as a hack in my book!

  3. Whatnot says:

    The wires are a bit thick IMHO, and I’d prefer smaller clear LED or having them slightly farther apart maybe, but that’s a matter of taste.

  4. Scozza says:

    It’s a great little kit! Just be aware that if you use a Seeed Rainbowduino to drive it you will need to use the V023 IDE to program it; the libraries are not compatible with Arduino 1.0 yet!

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