4x4x4 led cube

Enought complex project in both as mechanical and, possibly, how complex pattern one wants to show up on cube. As this is 4-square cube, pattern can't be much complicated, so i added bit more touch in with clock and . Time is in memory of special chip. If you have normal radio-clock, you might have noticed that when/if main power goes out so does time, gets nulled and must be set again. RTC chip keeps time, and is handy also when making stuff to happen in excact intervals like putting coffee machine or car heater on, you name it. The idea behind using mirror-plating is to create same illusion as in infinity mirrors seen on web: When general room is brightly lit, mirror-plating acts like mirror. When it's dark, you can see throught it This is how it looks in bright room: Brightroomcube-off Bright room, with power: Brightroomcube-on Dark room, power on: darkroomcube-on

Cube construction Construction of even small cubes can be tricky process, but small things matter, like supporting and holding things together while swinging around with soledring iron. That said, it's important that joints are smooth, and used small amount of solder, you don't want any shortcircuits in finished product! Construction starts by checking(DOA's and other malfunctions can be possible) and bending cathodes of each led. On the background is seen handy jig, just plywood, with holes drilled, in how frequent one wants cube to be. The thinner it is, the harder it is to solder and transparency suffers the thicker, easier to solder, but takes more space and must be looked farther away ledbent Then, bent leds are placed in series in a way, clusters of 3, which are then soldered cathoded together. Alligator clip holds led together while soldering ledrow ledcluster The end cathode of each led rows, is slighly bent to make it easier to join them together at last row ledclusterbentcathode rows circuit circuitrow The bend soldered on last row, forgot to say, last row has 4 leds in row, so there's 3 pieces of 3 leds rows, and one 4 led rows, on each layer (4 layers) bentsoldered Sadly, i didn't take photo of situation where leds are floating, but there is situation when leds are ''floating'' unsupported on other end Small piece of wire is joined to ''floating'' end of layer layersupport small hook, easier to solder and start soldering that prementioned support layersupporthook layers circuit circuitlayer finished layer, DON'T cut that tail of cathode yet, it serves as testing post for each layers cathode (in this scale of project, it's better to test now and then) finishedlayer with added strength for faith finishedlayershrinks Now comes annoying part: you have 4 layers, gotta solder them together top of each other. Bend each anode of each led, this serves as base where to plant next layer coming. When you start soldering, solder each bar/columns anodes togehter, so in end product you have only 4 cathodes, but anodes 16. Hard to describe...this is one of annoying parts of this project! finished cube should look like this. finishedcube Then it's placed on veroboard, painted black on purpose. Also, now there are layer cathodes going down too, they decide what layer is on at what time. finishedcubeblackpcb And you need to make connection for all anodes and layer cathodes, make some sort of order/organization to make it clear for yourself. Green wires are layer cathodes finishedcubebackpcb

*Controller board (shift regsisters and RTC) In control, shift registers play big role: what they do, simply put, control in this case lot of input/outputs in few microcontroller pins without these, 20 pins would be needed, but now 3 is needed Data is sent in serial-format, these shift registers i use are 74595 Serial in-paraller out and they are very fast, no idea how many you can chain together RTC is not yet seen in this photo controllerfront had to place jumper wires behind board too controllerback RTC is shown here, in breadboard, i2c-bus, ds1307 RTC to further eliminate pins needed in microcontroller, i used i2c in lcd too, it goes in same pins with RTC The i2c enables just this, placing many stuff in same pins. Think it like addresses: each house has their own address, and get their own mail Didn't have any OLED screens, but lcd will do. i2clcd As microcontroller i use arduino pro mini, due small size mainly, FTDI-USB converter also seen on photo micro And here's all electronic stuff that must be stuffed in enclosure, excepct FTDI, that is only used in programming, or as as USB power adapter if you want electronics

Enclosure This part is much easier if you decide to buy plastic box, or steel you know the drill But, i decided to make one from oak There is used stopped grooves, so special technique is used, wooden blocks are used as stops do deside lenght of groove groovebit groovestops Also, groove, or more like straight plunge bit is used in making hole for lcd lcdhole Box thus far, without finishing boxunfinished Raw cuts for frames frames Now there's linseed oil on box, along with mounted electronic stuff inside finishedbox On back there is power and programming connections finishedboxback I didn't feel confortable cutting glass, so i decided to try plexiglass for windows: cut grooves and slam/snap along table edge I highly suggest using safety glasses, plexi can be unpredictable cuttingplexi And couple of shots from different situations, mainly to show how mirror plating behaves brightoff brighton darkon