Showing off my 4x4x4 LED cube

(Daniel Hollands) #1

Just wanted to show off the 4x4x4 LED cube that @Twisted and I completed this evening:

It doesn’t look the best, and the soldering on it is atrocious, but it does work, which is the most amazing thing.

What kit should I solder together next?

(David Davidson) #2

That is awesome! Which kit is that? Did you have a chore of a time bending all the LED pins the right way to get the “Cube” part to assemble right?

I have had a lot of fun ordering kits from “BangGood” (a Chinese place, like DealExtreme/AliExpress), generally takes a while for them to arrive, and quite often the instructions are in Chinese, but its workable.
Couple of image galleries below on my PhotoFloat instance.

Benchtop Power Supply
Alarm Clock

(Daniel Hollands) #3

The kit was from Hobby Components, and at just over a tenner, I think it’s fantastic value.

Bending the pins was a bit of a chore, to be honest - I’d never done anything like it before, so I had no experience of how to get nice and uniform bends. I knew that I needed a jig, and the instructions suggested that I could make one out of cardboard, which I did:

…but it wasn’t really up to the task - so a lot of the soldering required two sets of hands - one to solder, while the other held pins together with pliers.

I’ve since seen a video (below) of a far better technique to use, which I’ll no doubt follow when it comes to building my 8x8 rig - which itself will be pratice for an 8x8x8 RGB rig I want to build - which is going to happen once I’ve saved enough money to buy all the components - RGB LEDs are expensive.

(Daniel Hollands) #4

Ah, that looks a lot like this:

(David Davidson) #5

Exact same kit, I believe :slight_smile:

The place I got it from does RGB LED’s relatively cheap - 100 of the 8mm ones (4 pin) for ~$8, or 50 of the 5mm ones (4 pin) for ~$4. I got the 8mm ones for a project about a year ago, dunno how suitable they are for cube-building though.

For an RGB cube though, I would consider designing some thin PCB’s to hold the LED’s instead of directly soldering pin-to-pin, like this kit. Good excuse to play around with PCB design software as well :slight_smile:

One problem I found with the Chinese PCB’s from DX/BG/etc is that sometimes the board layout isn’t great - solder pads too “close” to each other which can be challenging to solder if you are out of practice or using a terrible soldering iron (like I was).

(Daniel Hollands) #6

Ah, good call, far harder to screw it up (although not impossible) using something like that. I’m somewhat tempted to buy it, but as with most things from overseas, the expensive part is the shipping. If I went for the cheapest shipping method, it’ll cost me about £60, which isn’t too bad I guess - although it’s a shame it’s only a 4x4x4 (and not an 8x8x8).

(Colin Smith) #7

nicely done! I only got as far as making a single LED flash.