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8x8x8 512 LED 3D light cube kit (HCKITS0022) 
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Post 8x8x8 512 LED 3D light cube kit (HCKITS0022)
Image
Image


THIS PRODUCT HAS NOW BEEN DISCONTINUIED: For an alternative please see item HCKITS0050 viewtopic.php?f=105&t=1969&p


Description:
LED light cubes are a hugely popular and fun project and with this kit (HCKITS0022) you will have all the parts to build your very own. The kit includes all the components necessary to build the driver base board and a whopping 512 3mm clear blue LEDS to build an 8 x 8 x 8 cube measuring approximately 17cm square. The completed cube can then be plugged into your computer via a USB port and used with the windows application software. The software comes with predefined patterns and allows you to create your own or even have the cube respond to your favourite MP3 without any programming skills required.

Please note that this kit includes small surface mount components so we recommend that you have some familiarity in soldering these types of components before purchasing this kit. A soldering iron, solder and some tools will be required to build this kit.

Please see post 2 and 3 for a guide on how to build your LED cube kit.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgGAfzv0hNo[/youtube]


Schematic:
Attachment:
HCKITS0022_LED_Cube_Schematic.jpg


Windows demo software and drivers:
Attachment:
3D_Cube_Software_And_Driver.zip


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Last edited by admin on Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:59 pm, edited 9 times in total.

LED cube software and drivers



Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:17 am
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Post BUILDING YOUR LED CUBE KIT PART 1 - PCB
BUILDING YOUR LED CUBE KIT PART 1 - PCB

Required Tools:
Soldering iron ideally with a fine tip.
Solder.
A pair of tweezers for positioning surface mount components.

Recommended Tools:
A magnifying glass to help soldering of surface mount components.
A piece of perspex or plywood measuring about 185 x 185 mm which will be used as a jig for soldering the LED's that make up the cube.
3mm drill bit and drill.
A pair of small long nose pliers.

Soldering tip: When soldering components to a circuit board it is always best to start with the smallest components first. This helps keep the board flat and stops access to pads from being restricted by larger components. The first step is to start by soldering the small surface mount resistors, capacitors, and transistors. In your kit these will be packages in paper or plastic strips and their values are marked appropriately. These components are very small and it is wise when handling and positioning them to use a small pair of tweezers. The best technique to soldering them to the board is to first apply a small amount of solder to one of the pads on the PCB. The with the component held in your tweezers, carefully position the appropriate pad of the component against the soldered pad. Then with your soldering iron heat the solder so that it sticks to the component whilst gently pushing the components against the pad. Once the component is correctly positioned allow the solder to cool by removing the iron. The component should then be attached to the PCB and in the correct position for you to easily solder the remaining pad(s).

SM resistors, capacitors, and diodes

Locate the following resistor pads on the PCB...
Image

... and solder the following resistors to the appropriate pads:

1K resistors (packaged in white paper tape and marked 102) to pads R1 & R5
33R resistor (packaged in white paper tape and marked 330) to pad R2
10R resistor (packaged in white paper tape and marked 100) to pad R6
470R resistors (packaged in white paper tape and marked 471) to pads R3, R4, R7, R9, & R12
10K resistor packs (packaged in white paper tape and marked 103) to pads R8, R10, & R11

Locate the following capacitor pads on the PCB...
Image

...and solder the following capacitors to the appropriate pads:
10uF capacitor (usually beige coloured and packaged in clear plastic tape) to pad C1
100nF capacitors (usually beige coloured and packaged in white paper tape) to pads C2, C3, & C4

Locate the following diode pads on the PCB...
Image

Diodes are black with 2 pins, packaged in a clear plastic tape, marked SS14, and have a white stripe on one side of the component. Unlike the resistors and capacitors it is important that these components are soldered in the correct orientation. Please reference the above image for the correct position. There are a total of 2 diodes - D1 & D2


SM Transitors

Locate the following transistor pads on the PCB...
Image

Transistors marked J3Y (Black with 3 pins, packaged in a black plastic tape, and marked J3Y) to pads Q1, Q3, & Q3
Transistors package 4953BDY (Black with 8 pins, packaged in a black plastic tape, and marked 4953BDY) to pads Q4, Q5, Q6, & Q7. Please note correct orientation of this package as per IC's below.


IC's

Please note that it is important the IC's are soldered in the correct orientation. All the IC's supplied in this kit have a small circular indent in one corner of the package. This indent denotes pin 1 on the IC. Please refer to the images for the correct position of pin 1.

Locate the following IC pads on the PCB...
Image

74HC138D 7 to 4 line decoder (16 pin packaged labelled 74HC138D) to pad U5
TM1818 LED driver (24 pin package labelled TM1818) to pads U1, U2, U3, & U4


Connectors

Tip: There are several types of connector in your kit. All of these connectors need to be placed on the same side of the PCB (underside) that the surface mount components are attached to. However, most of these connectors have pins that protrude through to the opposite side of the PCB. Therefore you will need turn the board over to to solder these components. It is therefore recommended that you start with lowest profile connector first so that component can be rested against a bench whilst soldering from the opposite side. Always solder one pin first and then check that the component is seated flat against the PCB before soldering the rest of the pins.

Identify the following connectors in your kit:

1x 6 pin 3 by 2 row right-angle male connector (ISP1)
1x 40 pin single row right-angled male connector (broken into smaller pieces to make connectors P1, P2, P3, P4, & P8)
1x 12 pin single row right-angled socket socket (P10)
2x 14 pin single row straight female socket (P6 & P7)
1x mini USB connector (USB1)
1x 3 pin DC power socket (P5)

Locate the following IC pads on the PCB...
Image

Start with the 40 pin single row right-angled connector. This needs to be snapped into smaller pieces to make connectors P1, P2, P3, P4, & P8. Solder these connectors so that pins are pointing towards the edge of the PCB. You can reference the completed board picture to confirm the correct orientation.

Solder the (optional) 12 pin single row right-angled socket socket to P10
Solder the two 14 pin single row straight female sockets to P6 & P7
Solder the (optional) 6 pin 3 by 2 row right-angle male connector to ISP1
Solder the mini USB connector to USB1. Start by soldering one of the tabs first, then check that the 5 pins at the back of the connector are aligned correctly with the pads, and then solder the rest.
Solder the (optional) 3 pin DC power socket to P5


LED Sockets:
To connect the LED cube to the circuit board you need to solder a total of 72 small gold pins to the upper side of the PCB which will allow the legs of each LED at the base of the cube to be pushed into. Locate the bag containing the 72 small round gold receptacle pins show in the following picture:
Image

These need to be soldered to the opposite side of the PCB that the surface mount components are soldered to (see above image for reference) in a gird formation.
Image
Note that in the last circled column in the image about there are two pins to solder.


LEDs:

Your kit will have 4x 10mm and 4x 3mm clear LEDS. These will be packed separate to the frosted LEDs intended for creating the actual LED cube itself.
Image
Solder the 10mm LEDs to the surface mount component side of the PCB. These LEDs will also form the feet of the LED cube with the components hidden on the underside of the PCB. You will notice that one leg on these LEDs is slightly longer then the other. This led is the positive or 'anode' and needs to be soldered to the square pad marked with a + sign on the PCB.

Image
Locate the 4 clear 3mm LED's. These need to be soldered to the upper side of the PCB (opposite side to the 10mm LEDs and SM components) . Like the 10mm LEDs the will have one leg that is slightly longer then the other and needs to be soldered to the square pad marked with a + in the image above.

Microcontroller module:

Image
Finally with all the components soldered to the PCB you can fit the microcontroller module.
Image
This will plug into the 14 pin sockets you soldered previously. Note the correct orientation with components on the module facing towards the main PCB and the pin names matching the above image.

This completes the building of the PCB. You can now proceed to constructing the the LED cube.

The contents of this guide is copyright Hobby Components Ltd and may not be copied, reproduced, or reused elsewhere without permission.


Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:27 pm
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Posts: 650
Post BUILDING YOUR LED CUBE KIT PART 2 - THE CUBE
BUILDING YOUR LED CUBE KIT PART 2 - THE CUBE

To build your LED cube you will need to solder the 512 LED supplied in your kit in to 8 sets of 8 x 8 grids. This will take a little time and so it is important that you understand how to construct these grids before starting.

Optional template:

Image
Whilst with a little care you can construct the grids by hand, it is recommend that you first construct yourself a jig/template as this will allow you to construct the grids quicker and with more accuracy. To do this you will need a piece of perspex, plywood, or any stiff material you can drill holes into measuring at least 185 x 185 mm. You will need to drill a set of 3mm holes arranged in an 8x8 grid. The centre of each hole should measure 0.9 inches from each neighbouring hole.

Step 1:
Image
Insert one row of 8 LEDs into your template as shown in the above image. Note the orientation of the LED legs with the long legs at the top the top and the short legs at the bottom. Then carefully bend the short legs by 90 degrees at the base of the LED so that each short leg is touching the short leg of the LED to its right.

Image
Make sure these legs to not touch the longer legs of each LED and then apply a small amount of solder to hold them in place.

Step 2:
Image
Repeat step 1 for the other 7 rows. The result should look like the image above with each short leg soldered to the short leg of the LED directly to its right.
[TBA]

Step 3:
Image
Bend each long leg at a 90 degree angle so that it touches the long leg of the LED directly above it.

Image
Note that you will need to be the leg slightly higher so that it can pass over the short legs of the LEDs above it without touching them.

Image
Do this for each row of LEDs apart from the top row and solder each leg in place the same as you did with the short legs. Your completed grid should look like the image above.

Step 4:
You have now completed one 8 x 8 grid of LED's. Carefully remove this grid from your template and set it aside. Now repeat steps 1 to 3 to create 7 more identical grids.

Step 5:
Your cube is now ready to be constructed.

Image
Before proceeding it is recommended to test each grid in turn as it is inserted into the controller board. You can do this by plugging the controller board into your PC via the usb cable, installing the driver and running the alpha demo software attached to the first post of this thread. In the window that opens select the COM port appropriate to your cube, make sure that the baud rate is set to 57600, and then click connect. Click the 'ALL ON' button which will turn on all the outputs on the driver board.

Image
Take one of your 8x8 grids and insert the remaining short legs on the end row into the sockets on the controller board as pictured above. Note the extra row of pins on the controller board in the far left of the picture. These are the positive supply pins and are used to supply power to each horizontal row of the LED cube. The remaining 8x8 grid are the negative pins and are tuned on and off to control each column of LEDs above it. By controlling these two sets of pins to select a particular row and column each individual LED in the cube can be selected. With your first grid inserted use a piece of wire to connect one of the positive supply pins to one of the long legs of your grid as showing in the above image. If everything is connected correctly you should see the row of LEDs you have connected to illuminate. Do this for each row of the grid to check that there are no bad connections.

Step 6:
Image
Once you have checked all the rows of your grid repeat step 5 for each of your 7 remaining 8x8 grids. All the LEDs of each grid should be pointing in the same direction. Once all the grids have been inserted disconnect the controller board from your computer before proceeding.

Step 7:
Image
Solder the remaining unconnected long legs of each of your 8x8 grids to the legs of the next grid. Start with the top row of legs and work your way down. Before soldering make sure each 8x8 grid is evenly spaced so that the entire cube is square.

Take a look at your cube. If every LED has been soldered correctly you will notice that all the long legs on each horizontal 8x8 grid are connected together and the short legs of each 8 led column are connected together and in-turn connected to one of the negative pins of control board.

Step 9:
Image
The final step is to connect the long legs of each horizontal 8x8 grid to the positive pins on the controller board. Reference the above image for the order.
Each of 8 positive pins should be connected to one of the horizontal 8x8 grids with a piece of wire. If the wire you are using isn't insulated then you will need to make sure that it is slightly bowed out so that it doesn't touch any of the LEDs it runs past.

Your cube is now complete.

The contents of this guide is copyright Hobby Components Ltd and may not be copied, reproduced, or reused elsewhere without permission.


Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:39 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:47 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: 8x8x8 512 LED 3D light cube kit (HCKITS0022)
Hi, I have bought one of these kits as it seemed like a great challenge and boy is it! I have constructed the cube but not joined the 8x8 grids together yet as I need to the finish building the driver board. Now here lies my greatest challenge. I have quite a bit of experience soldering in many different circumstances and types of components but the size of of the resistors, caps and diodes is nearly getting the better of me. I have no problem with the other stuff. To be honest it me nearly an hour to solder ONE resistor after I lost in plain sight twice (found it under my finger nail the second time) also had to rework the solder three times due to creating jumpers. So I'm thinking the the best way to look after my investment is to use solder paste and a hot air rework station but placing the paste by hand using a syringe is going to be a bit hit and miss so I'm wondering whether there is a stencil available? If not could I get one made without impinging upon any copyrights?


Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:59 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:15 pm
Posts: 658
Post Re: 8x8x8 512 LED 3D light cube kit (HCKITS0022)
This is indeed one of our more challenging kits. You may find it easier to solder with paste but that said the one shown in our youtube video was done with normal solder. We can see if the manufacture is willing to release artwork for the solder paste mask but generally we find that unless an item is open sourced most companies are unwilling to release artwork of their products for obvious reasons. One thing I would suggest though before going to the expense of buying a rework station is that a good magnifying glass will make the job of soldering the surface mount components infinitely easier. It is quite surprising the level you can solder down to when you can see what you are doing. That coupled with the suggestions in the guide of applying a little solder to a pad first, then butting up the component to the solder held in a pair of tweezers before applying heat should make the process a lot easier. Once the component is held in place with one pad it is much easier to solder the remaining pins. Just remember not to squeeze too hard on the tweezers as it has a tendency to eject the component across the room!

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:04 am
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