Well, after countless hours of patient soldering and the replacement of at least 20 dead LEDs, I’ve finally completed an 8x8x8 (yes, 512!) cube of LEDs controlled by an STC12C5A60S2 micro-controller. Here is the pre-programmed sequence in the micro-controller:
Talk about a labour of love!
The intent is to ultimately interface this to an Arduino and create yet another clock. However, for the time being I wanted to familiarize myself with how to drive patterns in the cube. I bought a basic kit from eBay but it arrived with no construction details. The supplier eventually sent me a ZIP file full of Chinese documents – thank God for Google translate – yet, by and large, it was up to me to figure out how the thing was put together. Suffice to say, the LED cube is operational and I plan to start learning how to program this micro-controller.
To construct the cube, I built a simple jig to build each of the eight planes of 8×8 LEDs. I added a second jig to help space and align adjacent planes to create the full 8x8x8 cube.
Each of the eight horizontal plane has a common cathode for each of the 64 LEDs. Adjacent planes interconnect the LED anode to create a matrix of 8 x 8 anodes and 8 cathodes. These cathodes are then connected to an ULN2803 octal driver chip.
The 8x8x8 cube is then connected to the controller PCB that held the micro-controller and the 74ALS573 octal latches.
Here’s the schematic of the design:
Once I’ve figured out how to program this beast, there shall be more!