LED CUBE

Final Blog

 

Hi, as you probably know my name is Esteban. My starter project was the TV-B-Gone and my final project is the LED cube. This LED cube is 3x3x3 and may light up in many different colors. The LEDs in the cube are known as RGB LEDs. RGB means red, green, and blue, which are the colors the cube may light up in. Also it can mix to create other colors. Building my LED cube was not easy — in other words it was hard. Soldering the parts onto the board wasn’t hard at all, it was very easy. After getting the board together this is the hard part, stacking the LEDs. These LEDs are extremely important so you don’t want to break one, melt one, or burn one out. They’re six regular rows and three special rows. Each RGB LED has a long pin known as a common pin. For the first LED and the second LED the common pin is bent and solder to the other in a line. For the last LED the common pin is cut up to the flat part of the pin. This is so the second LED pin can be soldered to the short pin on the last LED. This is done five times so you’ll have six regular rows. For the special rows you need to do it a little differently. The first two LEDs are bent the same as all the others but the last one has to be specially bent and soldered to the second on. Do this three times. After you bend all the LEDs and create the rows now you must stack them into sheets. Then place them on the board. Each pin on the LED is specific colors so make sure you place it in the correct spot. When you’re done power it up with a 5 volt power supply. Make sure all LEDs are working correctly and make sure none are backwards. After all of these important steps, on your computer download Arduino so you’ll be able to code the ATmega328 with your own code and create your own cool pattern. My original plan was to make it play the snake game. But I have absolutely no experience with coding so I just had it flash colors. When coding I recommend going on Sparkfun.com. Scroll through the page and you’ll something that says source code and click on it and it will download the code on the LED cube. This helped me so much on writing a code. The code I wrote was just having every RGB led light up in different colors some LEDs lit up in a completely color and some of them didn’t light up at all. This means some LEDs are backwards I can’t fix because it will take too much time. So I just left it that way. Problems I faced was well… making the LEDs backwards, Coding was a huge problem for me, soldering a wire to all rows (it’s supposed to be soldered to one), and melting a led. This might help people in the future when you solder the wire from the third row to the hole labeled C don’t solder to any other row. This can block the connection to the LEDs causing some leds to not turn on at all. Make sure all LEDs are properly soldered. If all LEDs work good then focus on coding. I hope this blog post helps any person that’s trying to create a 3x3x3 LED cube.

LED Cube

Milestone 2 

Hey, as you know my name is Esteban and I did the 3x3x3 LED cube with the 27 RGB LEDs and also the TV-B-Gone. In my last milestone I completed the LED cube and got every RGB led to work correctly. After I finished the led cube it was preprogrammed so I thought that was it, I’m done! But I then decided to give it a new program, which will be very hard for me because I have no experience with coding or writing code. I found some cool code for the led cube online. Then came the biggest problem: getting the right code and putting it on the led cube. I had the ftdi chip and the Arduino downloaded onto the computer. I use Arduino to place the code verify it and upload it to the cube. When I connected the cube to the computer it wasn’t reading the serial port. Turns out I need to install an FTDI chip in order for it to read the serial port and allow me to upload codes onto the ATmega328. Luckily I found the instructions on how to do so.

LED Cube

Milestone

Blog

What I’m making is a LED cube which is a cube made up of LEDs that can light up in many different patterns. A big challenge I faced in making the LED cube was soldering the LED rows together. The LEDs wouldn’t stay in place like I need it to. I use a helping hand to keep the LEDs in place so I can solder them together and stack them to make the first sheet. The sheets took me a few days to complete.

The LED cube is almost complete, but I still have to solder the wires onto each sheet. I tried testing the LEDs without the wire attached. Some LEDs light up and most of them don’t. At least I know why they aren’t lighting up because the wires aren’t attached. Hopefully every LED turns on when I attach all the wires and connect the 5v power supply. To reprogram the LED cube I soldered headers on to the circuit, which will help me change the patterns of the lights. Now it’s time to test it. Unfortunately, only two rows are working which isn’t good — the last row on the right side which is where the specially bent LEDs; I have a big fear the LEDs are bent the wrong way and I have to unsolder everything and rearrange the LEDs. I looked at my LED cube and compared it to a picture online. I saw that the wires are only soldered from the top to the bottom not to the wires in the second and third row. I removed the solder and disconnected the wire from the rows. When I did that I noticed that some LEDs lit on the third row but still not all of them. So I looked at every LED carefully to make sure they’re all bent correctly and connected to the correct wire. They were all okay but I saw that I soldered too much connecting wires that are not suppose to be connected; when I removed some solder I noticed more LEDs were lit. I did this to every LED and all LEDs are working amazingly. One LED isn’t lit but that’s okay on the top corner the LED doesn’t work in the test but when reprogram it than the LED will light up according to the program.

TV-B-Gone 

Blog

 

The TV-B-Gone is a remote that can turn off almost any TV. Every TV gives off a specific code; the TV-B-Gone hacks in that code causing the TV to turn off. To build the TV-B-Gone you need to solder which can be easy but very dangerous. The soldering iron is 450˚ Celsius, which is really hot. Also be careful with the solder because it popped and landed on my thumb, which is not a pleasant feeling. The parts in the TV-B-Gone are a 1.0-kilo ohm resistor, a ceramic oscillator, a battery holder, a microcontroller, and four NPN transistors. The 1.0-kilo ohm resistor sets the brightness of the little indicator LED. The little LED tells me if the remote is working properly. The ceramic oscillator is the time clock for the microcontroller, making sure that it is performing its functions at the correct speed. The battery holder powers the remote. You need two AA batteries to turn on the TV-B-Gone. The microcontroller is the most important part in the TV-B-Gone; it is the device that stores all the codes and turns the LEDs on and off according to a program. The four NPN transistors are the devices that turn on and off the high power IR LEDs. The microcontroller doesn’t have the capability to provide a lot of power directly to the LEDs so these transistors assist it. The TV-B-Gone is a great starter project easy to build and awesome for pranks.

 

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