LED Cubes!

Need Help with the 8 x 8 x 8 Cube?

You can find similar directions here: Click Here

Want to program your own patterns?

AVR programmers can cost you an upwards of $20 dollars or so (you can find the one we used in the resources section $15+shipping). If you are patient, you can wait till MONTH 6 – the kit’s a surprise, but you’ll be able to use it to program your own patterns!

Questions?

We understand this is a fairly complex project. If you have any questions about building the cube, do NOT email me. Leave your questions it in the comments. My team and I cannot answer 5 of the same questions everyday – it’s physically impossible. We’ll try our best to answer all questions posted on this page (or maybe “The Doctor” will take care of it).

LED Cube Instructions

Building a cube like this can seem daunting at first, but once we divide it up into different parts, it will be relatively easy to make. The LED cube will be divided up into 5 parts:

    Part 1: Soldering the LEDs into a cube
    Part 2: Connecting the cube to the circuit board
    Part 3: Connecting the cube to the microcontroller
    Part 4: Building the circuit board
    Part 5: Powering the cube

3x3x3 LED Cube Materials

material_01

27x 5mm Color-Diffused LEDs
For the LED cube, you can use just about any LED but we found that the diffused ones gave off a more even glow, whereas the water-clear ones are a bit sharp and the light points upwards so it didn’t look that good from the side.

ATmega8 Microcontroller
This is the brains of the LED cube. Beginner kits come pre-programmed with an LED pattern. If you grab an AVR programmer, and are feeling a bit more advanced (or adventurous), you can attempt to program your own!

3x 10k Resistors, Additional 3x 100k Resistors optional
Resistor values increase by 1 per dimension. The 10k resistor limits current going into the LEDs. If you have additional resistors, we recommend you go grab a resistor calculator and calculate the resistances based on the color of the LEDs you received, as each LED has different voltage drops. It shouldn’t matter that much but it’s just good practice (or just good OCD).

3x PNP Transistors
Transistors act like gates that allows for information to go in and out.

Approximately 24″ 22 AWG Copper Wire
When you connect the legs of the LEDs, there will not be enough for the cube. Each LED has 2 legs, so there are 52 connections total. But in a 3x3x3 cube, you need 54 connections, not counting the extra negative legs (don’t worry if you don’t know what this means). Copper wires also act as support for the links that are missing between LEDs.

80″ 26 AWG Hookup Wires
These are for the connections between the LEDs and the circuit board. Your kit should come with a coil of wire that you must cut and tin. If you happen to have jumper wires that are already tinned, you can use that too.

9cm x 7cm Circuit Board
Circuit boards will allow you to mount the LED cube onto it more elegantly. We’ll be using two for the beginner version to keep things clean, but only 1 is really needed.

AA Battery Holder
This is for the power. You can use your rechargeable batteries from the Solar Battery Charger Kit to power this.

2x Double-sided Foam tape – 1″ x 1″
The tape sticks the AA battery holder snugly onto the PCB.

18 Pin Narrow IC Holder
This is so that you can remove the microcontroller in and out. That way if you choose to, you can program your own patterns.

4x #4-40 x 1 inch Pan head screws, 4x #4-40 Hex nuts and 4 Nylon Spacers
The screws, nuts, and spacers are for the base of the LED cube. It’ll make a nice base for the cube to stand on, and tuck the wires away neatly.

4x4x4 LED Cube Materials

material_02

64x 5mm Color-Diffused LEDs
Holy exponents Batman! Increasing the LED cube by a factor of 1 means more than DOUBLE the number of LEDs. Oh the power of exponents! Same color-diffused LEDs like the beginner kit.

ATmega8 Microcontroller
The ATmega8 microcontroller will last up to the 4x4x4 dimension. A 5x5x5 will require something a bit bigger and beefier. This is a very popular microcontroller so we’d be silly not to use it.

3x 10k Resistors, Additional 3x 100k Resistors optional
The number of resistors increase by 1 for every dimension – not as bad as those exponents. Resistance values stay the same as 3×3 as you’re not changing the LEDs. Like before: if you have additional resistors, we recommend you go grab a resistor calculator and calculate the resistances based on the color of the LEDs you received, as each LED has different voltage drops. It shouldn’t matter that much but it’s just good practice (or just good OCD).

4x PNP Transistors
Just like the number of resistors, the transistors

Approximately 60″ 22 AWG Copper Wire
The pieces are needed for support and to build “radio towers.” You should have more than enough for this cube. You are looking to cut about 16x pieces of wire cut into 3.5″ strands.

160″ 26 AWG Hookup Wires
These are for the connections between the LEDs and the circuit board. Your kit should come with a coil of wire that you must cut and tin. If you happen to have jumper wires that are already tinned, you can use that too.

1x 10cm x 15cm Circuit Board
The circuit board included in the hobbyist kit also includes pre-drilled holes for common items such as USB and power supply.

5V 1A Barrel Jack Power Adapter
Instead of using AA batteries like the beginner kit, a power adapter will be used.

Female Barrel Jack Adapter
This will allow for the connection of the Power Adapter to the circuit board.

2x Alligator Clips
These are included in the kit so that you can do two things:

    Test the LEDs to make sure they work
    Use as grips to hold units together for soldering

18 Pin Narrow IC Socket
This is so that you can remove the microcontroller in and out. That way if you choose to, you can program your own patterns.

4x #4-40 x 1 inch Pan head screws, 4x #4-40 Hex nuts and 4 Nylon Spacers
While this unit doesn’t come with a second PCB, you can still use common house hold items to hold the LED cube in place. The nuts will help!

5x5x5 LED Cube Materials

material_03

    125x 5mm Color-Diffused LEDs
    1x ATmega32 Microcontroller
    5x 10k Resistors, Additional 5x 100k Resistors optional
    5x PNP Transistors
    120″ 22 AWG Copper Wire
    300″ 26 AWG Hookup Wire
    1x 12cm x 18cm Circuit Board
    1x Barrel Jack Power Adapter – 5V 1A
    1x Female Barrel Jack Adapter
    6x Alligator Clips
    1x IC Socket- 40-pin
    4x #4-40 x 1 inch Pan head screws
    4x #4-40 Hex nuts
    x4 Nylon Spacers

Tools Needed

Soldering Iron and Solder
Any soldering iron will work but ideally a small soldering iron works best.

Diagonal Cutters (highly recommended)
Diagonal cutters will make short work of cutting LED legs, copper wires, and other things that need snipping. You can always use a pair of scissors, and for the most part it will work – but it is not recommended. It will be much harder, and it will make your scissors dull real fast.

Don’t have one? Grab one here.

Small Pliers (highly recommended)
These are not required but highly recommended. If you don’t have a pair, grab a pair of small tweezers or some other small grabbing tool. It’ll save you time and effort!

Alligator Clips or Helping hands (Optional)
Alligator clips will help in the soldering department, just like the helping hands. No biggie if you’re creative with how you solder. For the bigger cubes, you would definitely want a couple of alligator clips, or a friend helping you – you only have two hands, and a 5×5 cube has 25 legs you need to worry about.

Glue Gun and Glue Sticks (Optional – for Guru Kit)
You should always have this guy in your arsenal. In this case, if you want to attach your barrel jack adapter to the box or an enclosure for the cube, this is the tool to use for maximum stick and durability.

PART 1: SOLDERING THE LEDS INTO A CUBE

This is the part that seems to be the scariest for most people, but it doesn’t have to be. The cube is built out of 3 layers of LEDs, meaning once you get the gist of 1 layer, the other 2 layers are a no-brainer.

Step 0: Make sure you TEST the LEDs to make sure they all work!

It’s as simple as using some CR2032 batteries. This way, dead LEDs won’t cause you headaches later! This becomes more and more important as the dimensions of the cube increases.

Step 1: Make a base to build the LED cube

Don’t go through really elaborate contraptions. No need for wood. No need to drill holes. That’s not how we do things at Kipkay Kits. We have a much more.. simple and elegant solution for this..

Take your Kipkay Kits box, and flip it over.
3x3x3_01

Grab a piece of graph paper (or print one, link in the Resources section), then cut it and tape it on the box.
3x3x3_59

Use a pen or a pencil to mark the holes 1 inch apart. In this picture, it’s 4 squares apart.
3x3x3_03

Punch holes in the box using something sharp, but smaller than the diameter of the LED. I find it easiest to use a pen with a pointy tip to punch “starter” holes, and then use a chopstick, about the size of an LED to make the holes bigger. It’s important that the hole is NOT bigger than the diameter of the LED, because you will have a hard time holding LEDs in place.

3x3x3_60

3x3x3_04

Step 2: Place LEDs in the base and build layer #1

The negative legs of the LEDs are going to be the vertical columns. The positive legs are the horizontal layers.

It’s helpful to first draw it out. The black arrows in the diagrams below are the negative legs. The red arrows are the positive legs. The numbers in the 3×3 diagram show the recommended order in which you should solder them (not included in the 4×4 and 5×5 – that’s one for you to figure out!)

As you can see, the negative legs (black) are at a 45 degree angle.

3x3x3_61

4x4x4_01

5x5x5_01

The LEDs should be placed as such, in a 45 degree angle.
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3x3x3_62

4x4x4_02

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Use a pair of small pliers to bend the negative legs into the 45 degree position (black arrows). Similarly, bend the positive legs according to the red arrows. Solder the joints together.
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3x3x3_64

4x4x4_03

5x5x5_03

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4x4x4_04

5x5x5_04

Then cut pieces of copper wire – 2 for 3×3, 3 for 4×4, and 4 for 5×5 and solder them onto where there are no connections between LEDs.

3x3x3_66

4x4x4_05

5x5x5_05

Trim off any excess or protruding copper wire with a diagonal cutter.

3x3x3_67

Use your pliers again to bend the negative legs upwards again, only this time, leaving a small arc. This is so that there will be ample space and the LEDs will be aligned cleanly when the layers are soldered together. This is a very important step so don’t skip it. I find that the best way to do this is to use your pliers to put pressure right before the notch you see in the LED, then use your fingers to bend the leg back upwards.

3x3x3_09

3x3x3_68

4x4x4_07

5x5x5_06

After you finished soldering, check and test all the connections. Make sure none of the positive connections touch the negative legs, vice-versa – or else there will be a short circuit it might fry the LEDs and potentially the circuit board!

Open the Kipkay Kits box and push the LED cube layer out from the back. If you try to pull it from the front, it might compromise the soldered connections and unnecessarily bend the legs / layer of the LED cube.
3x3x3_14

This is what a finished LED cube layer should look like. Each led should have 1 negative leg except for one. That one should have both its legs.
3x3x3_15

Step 3: Test the connections

The connections of the layers are positive and the legs are negative. Each individual negative leg corresponds to the adjacent LED. Test the connection by first connecting a power source to anywhere on the horizontal grid (I used an alligator clip) and then touching each individual negative leg. If each LED lights up, all the connections are working.
3x3x3_16

Step 3.5: DIY LED cube tester

Grab two alligator clips and strip one of the ends. Tape them together to a CR2032 battery with strapping tape to create a makeshift LED cube tester. You can also try this out with a battery holder or spare wires. Just make sure you are NOT soldering directly onto batteries – that’s really dangerous.

3x3x3_18

3x3x3_19

Step 4: Make 2 more layers

Like Brian McKnight would sing.. “Repeat steps 1, 2, 3.” It’s important to make each layer identical to the previous layers.
3x3x3_20

Step 5: Line up the LEDs and bend the middle positive legs accordingly

You should have 3, 4, or 5 layers of LEDs (depending on your kit). Orient the layers so they are all the lined up the same way you took them out of the box (this is SUPER important if you want your layers to stack on top of each other neatly!)

3x3x3_69

Now it’s time to bend the extra legs of each layer. Bend them according to the pictures below.

3x3x3_70

4x4x4_08

5x5x5_07

Step 6: Solder the layers into a cube
Stack the LEDs on top of each other and solder them to make one fancy cube! You can use alligator clips, binder clips, tape, or other creative things to help hold columns together when you are soldering.

3x3x3_71

3x3x3_72

Here’s the 4x4x4.

4x4x4_09

4x4x4_10

4x4x4_11

Here’s the 5x5x5.

5x5x5_08

5x5x5_09

5x5x5_10

5x5x5_11

When the cube is assembled, the extra positive legs should stack up something like this.

3x3x3_72

4x4x4_11

5x5x5_11

Part 1 is complete! You have an LED cube – while not lit up, it’s starting to come together.

PART 2: CONNECTING THE CUBE TO THE CIRCUIT BOARD

Step 1: Solder cube onto circuit board

Place the legs of the LEDs into the PCB about 1 inches apart and solder it onto the PCB.

3x3x3_73

4x4x4_13

5x5x5_12

Cut, strip, and tin pieces of wire, and solder them onto the ends of the LEDs. The length of each wire should be able to connect across the bottom of the PCB to where you will be placing the IC socket and microcontroller.

3x3x3_80

4x4x4_15

4x4x4_16

Step 2: Solder the IC socket and microcontroller onto the board.

Only solder the first 4 corners – it will make it easier to solder the rest of the wires later.

3x3x3_75

Step 3: Build the “Radio Towers” and Solder Wires onto the Towers

Create “radio towers” that will connect each layer into the circuit board. Remember in the earlier steps, the extra positive leg of each layer was bent into different quadrants? Eye each middle positive leg, insert a copper wire from the bottom of the PCB, and solder them together. Make sure the wires don’t touch any other part of the LED cube.

3x3x3_76

3x3x3_77

3x3x3_78

3x3x3_79

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Here are how the radio towers look like for the 4x4x4 and 5x5x5.
4x4x4_14

5x5x5_13

At the end of this step, you should have:

    9+3 wires coming out of the board for a 3×3 cube
    16+4 wires coming out of the board for a 4×4 cube
    25+5 wire coming out of the board for a 5×5 cube

PART 3: CONNECTING THE CUBE TO THE MICROCONTROLLER

Make sure you note which side of the microcontroller is up and which is down (the little circle goes on top), and also left and right (since you flipped it over).

Step 1: Connect the negative column legs to the microcontroller

The columns should be connected in order. The orientation doesn’t matter, but consistency does. Use the schematic below.

3x3x3 Cube
atmega8-4x4

connections3x3x3

3x3x3_83

4x4x4 Cube
atmega8-3x3

connections4x4x4

4x4x4_19

5x5x5 Cube
atmega32-5x5

connections5x5x5

Step 2: Connect the leads to the rest of the pin-outs for the microcontroller

Here are the 4 power wires, GND, VCC and AVCC, with leads soldered. All 3 versions of the cube have 4 power pin-outs. While it doesn’t matter what color wire you use, I like to use RED for VCC and BLACK for GND since that is standard colors that will help identify wires more easily.

3x3x3_84

The yellow wires are the leads for the pin-outs that will control the layers
3x3x3_86

By the end of Part 2, you will have..

For 3x3x3

    9 columns connected to the ATMEGA8
    3 leads connected to radio towers, that will connect to the PNP transistors
    4 leads connected to the ATMEGA8, that are power-related
    3 leads connected to the ATMEGA8, that will connect to the 10k ohm resistors

For 4x4x4

    16 columns connected to the ATMEGA8
    4 leads connected to radio towers, that will connect to the PNP transistors
    4 leads connected to the ATMEGA8, that are power-related
    4 leads connected to the ATMEGA8, that will connect to the 10k ohm resistors

For 5x5x5

    25 columns connected to the ATMEGA8
    5 leads connected to radio towers, that will connect to the PNP transistors
    4 leads connected to the ATMEGA8, that are power-related
    5 leads connected to the ATMEGA8, that will connect to the 10k ohm resistors

PART 4: BUILDING THE CIRCUIT BOARD

There are many ways to design the circuit board. Feel free to creatively make your own design. As long as all the connections are right, it doesn’t really matter where you end up putting the resistors, transistors, etc.

Use this diagram to set up the connections

3x3x3_pnpconnections

These are the transistors and the resistors.

The instructional video doesn’t use 100k resistors. It’s recommended but not required. The 100k resistors come in your kit.

3x3x3_88

The right side of the PNP transistors, and the other end of the 100k resistor connects to positive power.
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The power supply is connected. Take a note of the clump of red wires near the positive lead of the AA battery holder. You will have to connect them all together on the opposite side of the PCB.
3x3x3_90

The yellow microcontroller leads connect to the 10k resistors, which are connected to the middle section of the PNP transistors.
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The radio towers connect to the left side of the PNP transistors – make sure the pin-outs from the microcontroller matches the corresponding layer!
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The 4 power-related cables from the microcontroller are connected.
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For the 4x4x4

The IC / PNP transistor, and resistor layouts
4x4x4_20

The leads are soldered for the power, and ATMEGA8 pin-outs
4x4x4_21

All the positive power are clumped together and soldered.
4x4x4_22

The negative power, radio towers, and the IC pin-outs are connected.
4x4x4_23

For the 5x5x5

This is the preferred layout for the 5x5x5 but you can arrange the transistors and resistors however you like.
5x5x5_15

This is what the end result should look like for a 5x5x5.
5x5x5_16

PART 5: POWERING THE CUBE

All the cubes are rated for 5V 1A power adapter so you can use batteries or an adapter.

DO NOT plug in any power until you have FULLY double-checked all connections, solder joints, and wires starting from Part 1. If you skip this step, you may end up frying your board if something shorts.

The 3x3x3

The power to the 3x3x3 cube comes with an AA battery holder. 2x AA batteries should come out to about 3V. Use the foam tape to hold the battery holder in place. You may add an extra battery or two in series if you want, or grab a barrel jack adapter and then plug it into a power adapter.
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The 4x4x4

The PCB of the 4x4x4 board comes with through-holes for a barrel jack adapter. Solder it on and you’ll be good to go!
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The 5x5x5

We decided to do something a little extra with the 5x5x5 cube. Here, the barrel jack adapter is connected and soldered with a length of wire (about 8-12 inches).
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A hole is punched onto the front-side of the Kipkay Kits box. Also punch 4 very small circular holes in the corner, smaller than the width of the panhead screw.
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Another on the side that fits the barrel jack adapter perfectly.
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A glue gun holds the barrel jack adapter in place.
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Let it dry.
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Mount the LED cube onto the box.
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Screw the cube into the box, and use the hex nuts to hold it in place.
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You’re good to go!
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HD Video Download

Right click on this and click SAVE to download an HD version of this tutorial.

Docs

Print graph paper – who needs to go out and buy a 50 pack when you can print just 1?

ATmega8 Datasheet

ATmega32 Datasheet – For Reference

Source Codes – .c .elf and .hex files along with AVR programming codes, for all cubes

Links

The AVR programmer we used to program the chip https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9825

  • David Daniel Harley

    cool cube

  • Luis Garcia

    impressive, now i can have a cool centerpeice to entertain family and friends.

    • If you grab 5 pieces of small acrylic sheets, this would look amazing!

      • bigred200

        Where would you put it around the base ?

        • The Doctor

          I assume it would just be a clear box you put over it.

  • Ian Cho

    Thats So cool

  • Gadgetron

    Wow, looking forward to building this monster!

    • Monsters are meant to be conquered, slayed, and skinned.

  • Frederik Vestergaard

    I can’t wait to get my kit 😀

    • If you have any q’s write them here! I’ll be checking to answer them daily – I know this kit can seem challenging!

      • Diy Garret

        i have a question.i have the 4x4x4 cube.i think ive fried my atmega18 chip. a few times during soldering it got quite hot so i a blew on it to the point i almost passed out. when i plug it in it does nothing unless i ground out the negative posts on the leds with my finger. when i measure the posts with my multimeter when its on it says 0 and with my finger it says 3. im not sure whats wrong at this point. i know for sure its a grounding issue though and no tissue can fix this issue. im 12 so try and explain it simple. if the chip is fried could i get another one?

  • LeoL

    Awesome cube, it would be nice to try it and change patterns with dipswitches to make it more customizable

  • Matt

    So the radio towers connect to the transistors?

    • Correct. They connect to the LEFT side of the transistor as seen in PART 4 of the instructions 🙂

  • Anthony Sawiris

    i got the hobbyist kit when i’m a beginner. I like challenges :3 Im curious to see how i’ll do.

    • Great Anthony. If any troubles, write your question down here.

  • Grant

    sorry about the ground question earlier. I watched the video and I understand now. But what attaches to the negative wire on the battery holder. Sorry I’m asking so many questions. I’m still very much a beginner

    • The Doctor

      Hi Grant,

      I’m a little confused by your question because the answer seems obvious (not intended to be an insult), anything that needs to be wired to ground on the schematic (ground being negative) will be connected to the negative wired on the battery holder. Are you confused on how you wire everything to the battery holder? Also, don’t feel bad if you’re a beginner. Everyone that knows anything has been there, you’re in a much better position than most of us when we started having KipKay be your teacher. Question are good, ask as many as you need to! (Just make sure no one has already asked it.) KipKay should be posting a video answering many of these questions, I don’t know when it’ll be posted though.

      Hope this helped,
      The Doctor

  • bigred200

    I don’t understand the schematics for the 3×3 what goes where can you post or send me some pics on where each wire goes and you should make a video on reading schematics

    • The Doctor

      Hello bigred200,

      If I’m not mistaken a video explaining many of the questions that have been asked is on its way, in the meantime I suggest looking at the pictures he has posted already and seeing if you can understand anything from that. Schematics can look intimidating but are really not, Googling it is a pretty good option as well. You shouldn’t have to get too indept into it because you’re only using a few basic parts. If you look at his schematic it’s pretty self explanatory. Look at the IC pins, what they connect to are written right by them it’s also the same for the transistors.

      Best of luck,
      The Doctor

      • bigred200

        Thanks!!

        • Thanks – DOCTOR! 🙂

  • oldno7

    Oh snap! Gonna switch it up and do multi color led’s. Seein how I bought a ton of led’s during the Black Friday sale, I am all hooked up. Might even do uv. Can’t wait to get to crackin. Thanks Kip!

    • oldno7

      With the uv’s, the glow paint, and some acrylic; it would be like a giant firefly colony trapped in a glass cage of emotion. Awesome!

  • David

    Received my kit today. There was only one PCB in the box. Based on the video there should be two, right?

  • nik

    This link does not work:
    “Right click on this and click SAVE to download an HD version of this tutorial.”
    neither do source codes in hex and c.

  • bigred200

    i cant download the schematics for the led cube it keeps saying there is a problem how can i fix this

    • The Doctor

      Here you go. (Check the attached.)

      • bigred200

        which cube is this for it is differant them the 3x3x3 schematics on the video

  • Frank Daniel

    I got all green LEDs in my Hobbyist kit. Not that I mind, was just wondering if that was intentional or if the colors were randomized on all the kits.

  • David Coussens

    umm i think i only got one pcb. Shoudnt I have 2?

    • The Doctor

      For which cube? If I’m not mistaken the 3×3 should come with two. Other than that the video may show two, but the parts list for the 4×4 and 5×5 only mentions and lists one.

      • The doc is correct. These PCBs were really high quality (and a little costly) so we could only include 1. We’re planning to sell additional ones in a few days!

  • Guest

    Hey Kipkay, you need to update the materials photo for 5×5 cube it’s showing the one for the 4×4.

  • The Doctor

    Hey Kipkay, you need to update the materials photo for the 5×5 cube, it’s showing the photo for the 4×4.

  • Grant

    Thanks Doctor! I didn’t understand that ground was negative

    • The Doctor

      Glad I could help.

  • chapp007

    I live in the uk will I receive a ac adapter for uk plugs or will I have to source my own?

    • You would have to source your own as we only ship out USA adapters. Although we’re working on it!

  • kyle

    since my kit only came with one PCB what do i need the mount screws for or how do you suggest a bottom plate be added? great kit!! my kids will enjoy this as much as the blinkies and fireflies!!!

    • The Doctor

      I’d suggest you mount it to a piece of acrylic then build a open box with 5 sheets of acrylic to go over it.

      • See the guru kit! 🙂

  • bigred200

    the only thing i don’t know now is where the other ends of the 2 positive and 2 ground wires go other then in the atmega8

  • Chuck Sidelinger

    Got my kit today. Feeling overwhelmed but excited. Hopefully will be able to get started this weekend.

  • The Doctor

    Hey Kipkay, just got my kit I’m missing the 4 nylon spacers, the hex nuts, and the screws.
    Where can I pick up the quantity I need (not like 100 of them), my local hardware store?

  • bigred200

    i know one ground (negative) and one positive wire go to the battery holder where do the other ground and positive wire go from the video it looks like they are just soldered onto the board with nothing else touching it sorry for asking so many questions this is my first project like this thanks in advance

    • Big red, it’s not a problem. We were all beginners at one time. Anything that says (+) means it goes into the positive side of the power terminal which is usually a RED color, and negative (-) goes into the BLACK.

      For a 3×3 there are a couple of wires that must connect to power:
      – 2x NEGATIVE (labeled GND) into the power from the microcontroller
      – 2x POSITIVE (labeled VCC and AVCC) from the microcontroller
      – 3x POSITIvE (from the transistor)
      – 3x POSITIVE (from the 100k resistor)

      If you need more help upload pictures.

      • Guest

        then whats this?

        • The Doctor

          What’s what?

          • bigred200

            The written guide won’t open it says its the wrong type of file any suggestions ?

          • What are you viewing it on? Chrome? Mobile? Firefox?

          • bigred200

            Chrome ,mobile and internet explorer and instead of downloading it as a for say word document it is a coded file that says error when i open it also i got my kit in and put it together is the peice you sodded all the wires to is there a front and a back or what? Tks

          • Do you have a link? I don’t remember putting up any separate downloadable doc on this site.

          • bigred200

            i was using the led cube schematics from the kipkay.com docs section

          • Use the instructions here 🙂

          • I changed the schematics on kipkay.com to a .PDF file. The old one was a Word doc and if you don’t have Word you can’t open it. 750+ people downloaded the old one.

      • bigred200

        go to about 7.05 right before you put the battery case down the group of 5 wires 2 blue 3 red are those connected to anything under it that i just cant see in the video and aren’t those 4 positive and 1 ground ? and from your reply does that mean 8 positive wires should be connected to the positive spot on the battery holder. once again sorry for asking so many questions

  • Ian Cho

    that looks super cool I am really excited thank you kipkay for doing this project 😀

    • Can’t wait to see your finished Cube!

  • David Marvin

    Hey Kipkay, the link to the source code doesn’t work, it just links to /# and it doesn’t download.

  • Kevin

    This was a fun little project, a little challenge which I like. I added a Toggle switch I don’t have to pull the battery when I’m done using it. Here is a Video of my project! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRhbeerjGeQ&feature=youtu.be

    • Fantastic!

    • Ian Cho

      Nice 🙂

  • Darek Jung

    I CANT WAIT TO GET STARTED!!!

  • Anthony Sawiris

    Hey kip, I’m having trouble with the schematic for wiring the IC chip, Im kind of a stranger to the chips, so any help would be appreciated. I simply do not know where to put each wire. Is that gong to be in your FAQ video? Thanks! P.s, the kit is going great so far.

    • The Doctor

      Have you looked at the schematic? It explains where you solder each wire to the microcontroller and what it connects to.

  • skyler

    i haven’t tried the kit yet but it is the first kit i have got and it so far is great and i can’t wait to try it

  • Matt

    Soldering wires to the microcontroler is very tedious. Any tips?

    • oldno7

      Easy to just put a little bit of solder on each connection. If you are slightly off, use the top of your iron to heat it up and move it around. Kind of like a drop of mercury. Anyway, after all drops are on the chip just heat up each drop as you go and just slide the wire in. Wire will just slide in next to each pin as you go along. Relatively easy and looks clean when done. Just don’t strip wires too long. Don’t worry. After a little practice, or this project, you will be a master. Lol! Have fun and take your time. Biggest thing, have fun.

      • oldno7

        Tip of iron not top. Stupid iPhone.

      • Matt

        Thanks! I finished my kit today and it turned out great. Your tips were very helpful

  • oldno7

    Just finished my 4x4x4 kit. Awesome! Have not done this much soldering in a minute. Came out clean. Used UV led’s and dipped all in glow paint prior to assembly. Makes for a cool fade out effect. No issues really and relatively simple. Just follow instruction and not the video like Dr. said. The schematic is off though. I checked, double checked, and triple checked. When the sync part of the program starts, and one tower turns on at a time, the process starts with the third row and not the first. Yes, I triple checked my work. No big deal really just want to let it be known. A little rewire and all is right with the world. Also added a positive rail to solder positives too. Made things a lot cleaner. Only had two wires going to positive and two going to negative on my power adapter. Put screws in from the top of the board and ran nuts all the way up tight on back side to create tall legs. Added thread protectors to tips of the screws.

    • oldno7

      Thanks Kip. You rock!

    • The Doctor

      I’d love to see a video! Anyway you could post one to YouTube?

  • william543

    THIS WAS A PAIN IN THE ASS TO MAKE!!! but here it is not done yet i spent 5 HR making it. http://71.104.47.180/Live.html

    • william543

      but its still COOL!!

      • Sites not live but pics would be cool!

  • Danny

    I really like this months kit, i made the cube am in the process of attaching it, its difficult but not too difficult for a beginner. Although i did break one of the LEDs 🙁

  • Danny

    On amazon the shipping cost as much as the LEDs, anyone know what kind of store i can find them at? I broke one making the cube

  • Anthony Sawiris

    Well one quick question, what does pnp stand for

    • The Doctor

      In computer terms Plug N Play, but if you’re talking about transistors I really don’t know. There are NPN transistors and PNP I’m not really sure it stands for anything.
      Refer to this:
      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_junction_transistor

      • Anthony Sawiris

        well in terms of wiring to the micro controller, im guessing the pnp part is reffering to the pieces of copper that was soldered to the positive leads.

        • The Doctor

          PNP is referring to the transistor on the schematic.

  • Zack Hooks

    HELP!!! I have the 4 x 4 and I’m a little confused on how i connect all of power
    and ground wires? I have the 4 transistors power wires, 4 resistors
    power wires, AVCC, VCC and 2 Ground wires. What connects to the
    microcontroller and what connects to the Female Barrel Jack Adapter?
    Thanks!!

    • Zack Hooks

      Well, I though I figured it out, so I went ahead and soldered the wires and plugged it in. All of the lights are on, but they do not flash or anything? Did I hook something up wrong?

      • The Doctor

        From what you’ve told me I can’t tell, something is obviously wrong. Look at all your solder connects and tell me if anything seems to be off.

        • All of the lights actually should NOT turn on at once. I might check the orientation of the microcontroller.

  • Danny Hinkle

    when i try to download the schematic it gives me a file with no extension, and i cant open it http://kipkay.com/?wpdmact=process&did=NjIuaG90bGluaw==

    • The Doctor

      Please look below, I’ve already answered this question.
      Thanks

      • Don’t look at the docs. Look at the ones here above.

  • Tom

    Now we are learning something. Thanks Kipkay

  • George Major

    http://youtu.be/XdAkzeG3LSE
    Completed the kit! This one took a little while though!

    When will the rest of the videos be up?

    • The Doctor

      Looks amazing! Good job!

    • We’re working on it!

    • Ian Cho

      Nice video and nice LED Cube 🙂

  • Joshua Stinchecum

    This kit was pretty cool and took me some time to assemble it. I decided I would try using the kit from month 2s solar charger as well so I can just charge the batteries. Thanks KipKay for these kits. I cant wait to see what next month holds!

    • The Doctor

      I love the innovation, very creative.

    • Love this

    • Ian Cho

      OMG WOW With Solar Power Thats Cool 😀

    • handballnut

      Cool, but one question. If a solar panel only works in light, and the cube looks best in the dark, you wouldn’t be able to see it in the dark because the solar panel doesn’t have light to power the cube. Is that right? correct me if it isn’t.

      • Alexander Sweet

        He’s using the solar panel to top off the batteries’ juice. It doesn’t need to run straight from the solar panel.

  • Anthony Sawiris

    Okay so i got past the wiring on that schematic, but for the resistors, are you supposed to have one 100 k and one 10 k resistor BOTH going into the same hole as the middle connection on each of the transistors? or should the 10k and 100k be in different holes? Someone please explain

    • If they are NOT in the same hole, then you would need to connect them. It’s a matter of preference – we made them in the same hole to make it a neat build.

      But yes – 10k 100k both connect to the middle transistor pins.

  • Anthony Sawiris

    and for the 10k resistor, what is pc1?

    • The Doctor

      Hello Anthony,

      PC0, PC1, PC2, etc. are the name of the legs on the microcontroller. If you look at the schematic for the microcontroller it shows you where it is on the chip.
      Here is how you’re going to connect it:
      The flat end of the transistor is going to be touching the board. You’re left leg is going to be connected to each “radio tower”; you’re middle leg will be connected to the 10K resistor and the 100K resistor; the 10K resistor will then be connected to whatever leg/pin on your microcontroller (that would be PCO/PC1/PC2); the 100K resistor (also connected to the middle leg) is then connected to positive; and finally the right left is connected to positive as well.

      + Stands for Positive.
      – Stands for Negative.

      Just for your reference:
      Anode is positive.
      Cathode is negative.

      If you have anymore questions ask away just make sure you reply and don’t start a new question.

      Hope this helps,
      The Doctor

      • Anthony Sawiris

        But arent there only 2 positive wires? The power related ones that accompany the GND wires on the micro controller. Where are the GND and Positive wires gonna go?

        • The Doctor

          I’m a little confused, could you clarify a little please?

          • Anthony Sawiris

            so i connected wires to the micro controller in the Pnp control tower ports, and then connected them to the 10k resistors. So i am left with the 2 positive wires and the two GND wires that are in the schematic. What do i connect to the 100k resistors and the right legs of the transistors? Sorry for the confusion

          • Anthony Sawiris

            Simpler question: How do we connect the power source? Where do the GND and Positive wires on the micro controller go?

          • Anthony Sawiris

            Anyone?

          • bigred200

            anything thing that says + on it attach it to the positive lead from the power source and the 2 ground to the negative on the power source for the 3x3x3 cube there will be 5 positive wires connected to the power and 2 negative (ground) hope this helped

          • Anthony Sawiris

            i have the 4×4

          • bigred200

            There will be 4 positive from the transistors which is the right side of them and 2 positive from the micro controller which are o listed in the schematics and there is also 2 ground which go to the negative pead hope this helped

          • bigred200

            for the 4x4x4 there are the 4 positive wires coming from the right side of the transistor those connect to the positive lead of the power source there is also 2 positive coming from the micro controller all 6 positive wires are connected to the positive lead of the power and two wires from the micro controller labeled ground go to the negative hope this helped if the other comment of mine posted ignore it its wrong this is right

          • Anthony Sawiris

            thats was super helpful, One last thing, do you know which lead is positive and which lead is negative on the dc adapter? Cause there are three leads

          • bigred200

            the one closest to the spot where you plug it in or the port whatever you want to call it is the negative the farthest is positive the one on the side is ground and i don’t think you use it if that does not work (which it should) then flip it around i will try to post a picture to show you

    • bigred200

      2 resistors go to the middle spot (i only used one if you use one then it goes to the spots on the micro controlled labled pco pc1 pc1 pc2 and pc4) if you use 2 i have no idea but the left side goes to the raido towers which are the 4 positive wires that hook up to the LED layers layer one,layer 2 and so on hope this helps

  • Milan
  • The Doctor

    Hey Kipkay, take a look underneath Part 3 and look at the 3×3 microcontroller pin layout for the transistors. It’s PC0, PC1, and PC2. Then if you look at Part 4 for the transistor leg layout it’s PC0, PC1, and PC3.

    • doc, I just fixed this! thanks again for the fix!

  • bigred200

    Yayyyyy i got it built and it works just one question why 6 resistors i only used 3

    • The Doctor

      The other 3 were optional but highly recommend. Go look under Part 4 of the written guide. (It’s under the video.)

  • Frederik Vestergaard

    I was wondering, if the solder iron you get from your site is compadible Winther a 230 V 10 A Wall outlet, just so i don’t fry anything

    • The Doctor

      You will need a voltage regulator for sure, it’s designed for the States and their voltage there is 110V.

      • Frederik Vestergaard

        It’s just, the wall plug says 250V 6A

  • VilleJ90

    Got my kit today. Now to build me a LED cube of awesome(I don’t have time to finish it today tho. :/ ).

    • take your time. my first one took a couple of days.

  • Troy Fortin

    I want to thank you for these kits. I bought the hobbyist kits for myself and the beginner kits for my 11 year old son. I am trying to teach him the basic skills of electronics and these kits are PERFECT for doing that. I just received my first kit and I must say, I’m very impressed. I have 1 question, do the kits change every month after the first year of subscribing? (Example. Month 3 kit, month 4 kit. and so on. ) will month 2,3,4etc. kit of year 2 be different from month 2,3,4etc. of the first years kits?

    • Yes they change every month. We don’t have definite plans for what happens after month 12 but it wouldn’t make sense to repeat anything (although we are planning to offer past kits available for purchase).

  • Ian Cho

    KipKay For The WIN 😀

  • Anthony Bailey

    I’m thinking of buying the AVR programmer but if I mess up I would like the have the original code. In resources, it say “source code” but it doesn’t take me to a download or a page with the code. Can Kipkay or someone upload the code please. 🙂
    p.s. I was so excited when my kit came in green since I love green!

    • Anthony, we just updated the source codes. If you don’t want to spend $$ buying an AVR programmer, wait till month 6. M6 will cover how to program it 🙂

      • David Marvin

        Awesome teaser.
        Can’t wait.

      • Anthony Bailey

        😮 such tease. much excitement. wow. Oh and one other thing, I didn’t get the Kipkay metal tin since I thought it was still in stock because it was on the front of the website.

  • bigred200

    can someone post the schematics for the 4x4x4 cube plz i decided to buy the other i had so much fun building the first one 🙂

  • bigred200

    if i wanted to make the 4x4x4 more portable could i hook the battery case from the 3x3x3 to it or would i need more voltage

    • You could but your best bet would be to use a 3 “AA” Battery holder for more “juice”

  • David Daniel Harley

    on the 3*3*3 led cube can i change out the red for blue leds i have lots of blue leds

    • Sure! You can mix and match LED’s as long as they are the same voltage. Most are 3V. Just check ’em with a 3V button cell battery.

  • Avremy Rav-Noy

    I have this 3×3 cube and everything looks right but something is wrong because the LEDs wont turn on and the IC keep heating up.

    • Unplug immediately and check all connections. The power may be reversed or the IC connections might be reversed.

      • Avremy Rav-Noy

        everything seems to be okay positive goes to positive negative goes to negative and there no overlapping connections.

        • If you’re having trouble, snap some pics and post it 🙂

          • Avremy Rav-Noy

            What do you think.

          • These are actually hard to tell because it’s not built the way we built them. Can you draw it out? Showing every single connection you’ve made? We can troubleshoot that easier.

  • Hey everyone, the other videos are posted.

  • lahren1

    I can’t wait to build this!

  • David Daniel Harley

    on the 3*3*3 cube where does pb2 go its on there 2 times

    • Sorry it’s an error. It is actually PB1 and PB2

  • joakim

    Hey kipkay
    I live in Norway and i order the hoppytist kit with a wal adapter.
    In Norway the power is 240 volt and i think it is 140 in the USA.
    I am asking because i don’t wan’t to blow the LEDs.
    Am i ok? is a normal adapter good? or am i scrued?

    Hope you answer.

    • Joakim, you would have to use OUR adapter, and then use another adapter to plug it into your wall. Does that help?

      • joakim

        yea thank you

        • 3 AA or 3AAA batteries also work just as well!

      • joakim

        what if i use 3 AAA bateries

  • Michael

    Hey
    i got most of my cube made already and I’m at the point where i have to connect the barrel jack adapter. my question is which of the metal prongs on the adapter are positive and negative. i dont want to wire it up the wrong way and break it. i hope i have at this point wired everything together correctly i had a lot of trouble figuring out which resistor was the 10k and which was the 100k even after watching the resistors video. i thank you in advance for your replies.

    • Michael, when you are looking at the barrel jack, straight down the hole, you’ll see 3 pins: front, back, and a pin to your RIGHT.

      The FRONT pin is called the SLEEVE.
      The BACK pin is called the TIP.
      The RIGHT pin detects INSERTION.

      An easy way to remember which one is positive is “for the pizza guy, tips are positive.” And thus, the SLEEVE is negative. I hope that helps!

      • Michael

        thank you. for this project do we use the insertion? i do not think so but i want to make sure.

        • Nope. That’s typically for LED indicators (when something is plugged in you get a light).

  • Riley

    hi i just got the 5x5x5 led cube and in your video I saw it showed wear all the negative and positive terminals on the led went on the 3x3x3 and I couldn’t figure that out on the 5x5x5 also I saw that some of the led pins go down straight through the center of the cube and i was wondering wear those went to and if you could send me a template like the 3x3x3 but for the 5x5x5 that would be great.

    • The Doctor

      Look at the written guide, it’s right under the video.

      • The written is the best to consult. By getting the 5×5, we assume you have a firm understanding of circuits (for example, if you saw GND and VCC, you know what they stand for, and not only know the difference between +/- but you can also extrapolate from existing schematics). The docs /instructions are more than enough to complete a 5×5 cube – no need for schematics 🙂

  • Michael

    hi!
    sorry to post two times in a row like this but i just finished my cube and it looks really really cool. but after i left it running for about 10 minutes one of my leds stopped working. is there any way i could fix this? is it possible to maybe cut it out and insert a different one in its spot? is there a different solution because if i cut this one out it wont look as nice. Again thanks in advance!!

    • bigred200

      yes you can unsolder and put in new LEDS but the same thing happend to me and all it was was a loose connection so try that first

      • If the LED goes out, chances are you shorted it somehow (maybe with the iron?) The best way is to either desolder/resolder or cut and resolder.

  • joakim

    Awsome got the kit to Europe in 4 days 🙂

  • VilleJ90

    So few things; 1. There is no schematic for the PNP transistors outside of the video(unless it’s in the micro controller pdf for some reason). 2. I know i could(and i will, but to potentially save someone elses time..) google, which way am i supposed to look at the transistor wiring diagram? Is the transistor flat side up or down in the picture shown in the vid at 6:35? 3. The wall wart that came with the 4×4 kit was made for American style wall outlets. So could the next kit have European adapter piece included or at least a link for EU version of the wall wart or adapter for the American wall wart?

    • The 100k resistor helps control the power in and out.

  • handballnut

    omg that is literally your best DIY project ever!!! I’m doing it and I’m going to add a switch to it so I don’t drain down the batteries. Wish I can do 5×5 but don’t have the money.

    • Great idea with the switch!

      • Alex

        How would you wire in a switch to the barrel jack ?

        • Andy Csizmadia

          Easy enough, wire your switch inline with the positive of the battery holder or the barrel Jack if you have that….

  • bigred200

    just got my second cube in this time the 4x4x4 cant wait to build it if anyone has any questions reply to this and i can help

    • The Doctor

      Have fun building!

  • joakim

    Do you just solder the wires on the mikrocontroller?

    • The Doctor

      I’m confused by your question, are you asking where each wire goes?

      • You wouldn’t solder the wires on the microcontroller directly – there is a socket you can use. That way you can remove the microcontroller when you need to reprogram it

  • Dly736

    I was just wondering since the wall outlet voltage output is different for every country (Australia’s potential voltage output is almost double others ) for the 4×4 and 5×5 cubes since they use a wall adapter, would this affect it?

    • The Doctor

      The wall adapter or wall brick is designed for the States and the voltage there is 110V. You’d need a voltage regulator for any other country.

  • joakim

    Finaly finised my 4*4*4
    but layer 3 isn’t working, i think it is the transistor everything else is ok

  • bigred200

    random question who got the free kit

  • NateSamDad

    We are new to electronics. The guides have been helpful but I see no reference to which lead is positive and which lead is negative on the Barrel Jack Power Adapter, please help, thanks.

  • NateSamDad

    Also, we are having a hard time figuring out which resistor is 10k and which is 100k, we watched the resistor video and went to a few websites but still came out a little confused. Our sets seem to start with brown then orange for the first resistor type, and brown then red for the second resistor type, help would be appreciated, thanks.

    • There is a resistor video from last month that might help.

      • NateSamDad

        Thanks, ended up using the “master the multimeter” video to figure it out. For some reason our resistors don’t seem to follow the color code in the resistors video, at least not as far as I can figure out.

        • NateSamDad

          The one with the red band is 10k, the one with the orange band is 100k.

          • Multimeters for the win!

        • The Doctor

          There are a bunch of great Resistor Calculator Apps on IOS and Android.

  • joakim

    Thanks for a AWSOME kit!

    • No worries, all of our 1st kits were derpy! 😛

  • Patrick J Stover

    Just got my 4×4 kit but it only has one en pcb what zhould I do kip

  • NateSamDad

    Done! Was a ton of soldering but a whole lotta fun! Thanks for putting together such a cool kit. Kids can’t wait to get their hands on next months project!

    • The Doctor

      You’re one awesome dad!

      • NateSamDad

        Thanks for the resistor assist. Found a great calculator on iOS.

  • Ändrew Motz

    I made my cube (4x4x4 had a ton of fun with as i Have never soldered nor made anything in the electronic field). It works but not so much at the same time….All the rows and levels light but 2 columns. The front right and back middle right…I made sure there were no shorts throughout all my wiring. Even at one point the whole cube kind of turns on then blinks till it fades out. Any tips or suggestions to look for?

    • Ändrew Motz

      Well instead of blinking it goes into 3 different stages of brightness on the cycle when it the top and bottom layer go up and down.

      • It’s probably your microcontroller pins Andrew.

        • Ändrew Motz

          So you think a pin is bent under the controller? Or a poor soldering job? Ty for replying in such a quick time.

          • Ändrew Motz

            So I ran a circut through it that lights up a LED if it has a path and I ran it through the connections and they are all in working order…it has to be the chip some how or how it was mounted (at this point i have removed the chip from the holder)

          • Ändrew Motz

            Found the Problem….Puting the micro controller in the right way and not backwards would help. Thank you and sorry for wasting your time :/

          • The Doctor

            It’s all good.
            For your reference:
            There is a notch on the mircocontroller holder as well as the microcontroller that indicates the location of pin one.

          • Ändrew Motz

            I was aware but I got confused because first time I put it in upside down 🙂 So don’t do what I did people haha

  • Michael McDonald

    Just got this, I cannot wait to build it!

    • The Doctor

      Good luck, ask if you have any questions! 🙂

  • Frank Daniel

    Boy you weren’t kidding when you said the trickiest part is inserting the cube into the PCB board. I’ve been working with it and I don’t know what the issue is but I just can’t get all the leads into the holes. Anyone have any pointers?

    • The Doctor

      Given the difficulty you’ve expressed I assume you’re building the 4×4 or 5×5 cube. Tape down the board with one side hanging off the tape, then work row by row into board. Use the same whole for each pin, use the square as a guide.

  • jeremia

    How do I program the atmega

  • bigred200

    when is the new kit coming out

  • VilleJ90

    Finally done. Took quite a while longer to build than i had thought it would.

    • The Doctor

      Awesome! I love the green!

    • Frank Daniel

      Looks just like mine except for the color. Except your LEDs are a LOT straighter, so good job on that!

      • VilleJ90

        Thanks. I just took some graph paper and used it to make the hole pattern to the project box exactly like shown in Step 1 of the tutorial. Then it was just a simple matter of placing the LEDs in those holes on the box and soldering them together like shown in the tutorial video. It also helps a lot if you have someone to help you hold the LED cube layers in place when you join them together.

        • Ah nice! it looks just like our prototypes! GREAT JOB VILLE!

        • Frank Daniel

          Yeah, I followed the tutorial as well and didn’t get them anywhere near as straight. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with the 5x5x5 kit I just ordered.

    • jeremia

      cool i am almost done with my 5x5x5 cube it was a good weekend project

    • Chuck Sidelinger

      Love the green. Wish I had it instead of red.

    • dynorat

      I did the four by four bought two kits together the four by four and the five by five they only sent one transformer and it does not work so is used an old phone charger that was 5 volts and how my four by four does not have the layers when running all the leds work and they have one pattern but they work like only one layer is working so there is no up or down

    • Alex

      That is most impressive! I liked how you used the zip ties on the bottom right to keep the wires nice and clean looking. All your pins are so straight. Hope mine turns out as well. Thanks for sharing.

      • ag2020

        Just finished my 3×3, took some redoing the schematics. I used the brown pcb I already had, and had to redo the pin outs to correspond with my board. The corner lights I did in white, while the insides were, 1st layer green, 2nd amber, 3rd fuschia. I will post a short clip in a few. How would add a barrel jack, or a momentary switch, and which pos/neg leads would I use. Thanks for your help. Looks really good I have to admit.

        • ag2020

          Here’s the clip of my 3×3 mentioned above. The fuschia doesn’t show up to well, but in person, it’s blazing bright. The clip can be seen here:

          http://youtu.be/leWDbVS6sVs
          Alex

  • familin

    This was very hard for me to attempt the 5×5 cube. I was not able to finish it and most of it went to waste. I got all 3 rows done but after that everything went downhill. The frustration made me not care to pitch the rest of the project.

    • NateSamDad

      Bummer, maybe you could still salvage parts and attempt a 3×3 or 4×4 cube instead. We recently finished the 4×4 cube if you need some tips or advice.

  • familin

    .

  • jeremia

    can i brush on liquid electrical tape after im done

    • The Doctor

      Yes you can, although you might want to leave the connects exposed. Something may go wrong or you want to add onto it later.

  • Frank Daniel

    I know you’ve gotten a lot of praise for this one, and it is well deserved. This is easily my favorite kit thus far. I’ve assembled it and it looks amazing. I’m going to take this one into the office and I ordered the next-step-up kit to have at the house once assembled.

    I seem to have a slight issue with either a single LED or just where that row and column intersect. Basically when one column is lit, one particular LED is dimmer than the other 3, but still on. When just that row is lit, the LED in question seems to not turn on at all. When the columns are lighting and staying on throughout the sequence, the column gets dimmer (moreso than the other columns) as the others are lit, and the one LED I’m focusing on dims to the point of looking dead again.

    I connected another LED and it acts the same, so I don’t think that’s it. I checked (and re-did a few of) my connections as well. What’s the most likely cause of the problem? I’m including a picture for reference.

  • sandy03

    i made a 4x4x4 LED Cube and i am done with all connections.but i dont have atmega8 ic.now how to check whether all my connections r made correct or not?????if u tell the solution for that then i will check whether r made correct or not.then i will buy a atmega8 ic……

  • Askar Storbakk

    Hi kipkay i love your videos. But can you make a guide to program the microcontroller

    • bigred200

      thats month 6

  • Askar Storbakk

    BEST KIT IN THE WORLD. Done and it looks awesome!!!

  • Askar Storbakk

    THIS IS THE BEST KIT IN THE WORLD. Done and it looks awesome!!!

  • Askar Storbakk

    THE BEST KIT IN THE WORLD. Done and it look awesome!!!

  • jeremia

    this was fun

    • Ian Cho

      Thats So COOL I am still building but Thats Awesome!!! Keep Up!!

    • Arne Lie

      what voltage is the output on the adaptor (the voltage the cube uses)

  • Frank Daniel

    I just got the idea to 3D print a custom case for the bottom of the PCB, the idea being to “hide” the wires at the bottom. Just so it looks just that much more polished.

  • Jon Oman

    Adding a switch so I won’t have to unplug it.

    • Good idea. I actually did the same thing. Batteries are kinda tough to manipulate once the base is built so a little button switch makes it nice.

  • Marko Oosterhuis

    Got my kit yesterday :D. It got shipped to The Netherlands in 5 days, great! This is my first DIY project, so I hope I can do it. I’ll post pics if I finish making the led cube.

    • Looking forward to seeing it finished. Have fun!

  • Aaron B

    I finished my 5×5 cube last night after a final push! I plugged it in and… Nothing D: so I plugged up some button cell batteries and it kinda works. I’ve checked the build guide 3 times. I’m pretty certain I wired it correctly. What could be wrong? http://youtu.be/HOn4qmQ70bA

    • So it seems an entire column is out. So grab that wire connecting to that column and trace it. Make sure it’s all connected, and it’s in the CORRECT pinout. That should probably solve it 🙂

  • reece flynt

    Love this I would like to do this with blacklight leds and set up some sort of fluorescent design that it would illuminate. Maybe program a group of regular leds for light then have it switch back and forth for a cool effect.

    • Do it! I’d love to see what you come up with!

  • Wesley Ryan Gaskins

    just got my first kit cant wait to finish it it arrived the day after my 21st B-Day as a gift to myself. I love all the kip kay videos hope i become a DIY guru one day too.

  • ray

    i think i chose a bad kit to start with 🙂

    • Are you having a problem with the build?

      • ray

        well, im not very good at this as it turns out haha

  • Kyle

    This project was awesome and worth every hour I put into it. I’ve always wanted an LED Cube.

    • Glad you like it and stay tuned for another cool project coming up!

  • Nathan

    I am having a test in the project and can’t figure it out. All the light are on and don’t blink. ?

    • Pictures plz!

      • Nathan

        I figured it out but thank you for replying. I had a + and – swapped.

  • Marko Oosterhuis

    I finally finished making the LED cube, it took me quite a while, but it’s my first DIY project. It was pretty hard to solder the wires to the microcontroller without touching other connections, but eventually I succeeded and I’m very pleased with the result. Thank you for the awesome kit, Kipkay!

  • Daniel

    This is the kit I built. It was a long and tedious project seeing as how I’ve almost never soldered with this much precision before this project. Could someone explain how having power going through a 100k resistor and into the same pin on the transistor as the 10k resistor going to the I/C works without shorting things out? Since i was unable to wrap my head around that, I haven’t soldered any power leads going to those 100k Resistors.

    http://youtu.be/aw6ES_-hOKI

    • Daniel

      One thing that I’ve noticed after extended periods of having it plugged in, the sequence seems to change a bit and certain LEDs or even sections don’t light up.

      http://youtu.be/ElEUJhR87bk

  • Daniel

    I guess none of my earlier comments actually got posted, the first link is what my cube looked like after an hour of running.http://youtu.be/ElEUJhR87bk
    The second link shows what the cube looks like after I first plugged in http://youtu.be/aw6ES_-hOKI

    I have no idea what happened, I don’t see any bridged connections nor can I feel any hot components or smell any that have overheated.

    • It seems to me like a problem with connections. Since the LEDs are flashing, it should work. I would double check all the connections on the LEDs – there are 125 LEDs and over 500 joints. I would also try adding the 100k resistors. I am 90% sure it is the LED connections.

      • Daniel

        I’ll re-check the connections again though I’ve tried using jumpers to test and bridge suspected fault connections but the cube still doesn’t work like it did in the second link in my post. I’ll try putting in the other resistors to see if it helps

      • Daniel

        I just finished checking all the joints and hooking up those 100k resistors and still not a thing has changed, I really don’t understand how things went from good to bad the way they did. When I put the cube together and fired it up for the first time it performed flawlessly like in this video http://youtu.be/aw6ES_-hOKI The way things light up are making me think it’s either a transistor or the programming in the Atmega chip that has gone awry.

  • Kevin

    I built the 4x4x4 kit with my 9 year old son. All I can say is WOW! I haven’t soldered any electronics since high school, and it wasn’t anywhere as near as cool as this was. This was so much fun putting together and we did it right on the first try! I got to brush up on some basic electronics knowledge and explain things to my son while we were working on it. The instructions were easy to follow and the videos were helpful. I can’t wait to see what is coming next month!

    • Thanks Kevin! 🙂 That’s what we try to do!

  • sandy03

    my microcontroller is becoming so hot when i connect charger….and some lights are only glowing when i connect charger……wat is the problem i cant understand ……i uploaded images also .so please send me the answer.

    • Hi sandy, this is the problem with your microcontroller. It is either flipped or connected wrong. Double check the connections!

  • lahren1

    Where do I find the 4x4x4 diagram

    • Hey you can find it in the instructions in part 3

  • sandy03

    i rechecked the connections……everything is fine with connections…..still my microcontroller becoming hot……i used atmega8l-8pu……is there any difference with atmega8l and atmega8…..or those both r same……please answer…..

    • They should be the same but are you using the ones we sent you? Hot microcontroller is usually a sign that says wrong orientation or wrong wiring. I would check the VCC/GND pins.

  • Grant

    How come my kit wont send? Its been processing for a week

    • Grant, hit up support @ kipkaykits.com

  • Breadboy

    Hello Kipkay, I want to make the 3x3x3 LED Cube and you wrote at step 4 “The instructional video doesn’t use 100k resistors. It’s recommended but not required. The 100k resistors come in your kit.” So I don´t have to use the 3x 100k ohm resistors and can also do it only with 3x 10k ohm resistors? Are you sure that this works? I think the leds going to die or am I wrong? Between 30k and 330k ohm is much difference.

    Greetings from Germany.

    • We’ve tried it and it’s fine. But just use the 100k just to make sure 🙂

  • Chuck Baker

    Can’t wait for the kit (it’ll be our first one, if we joined in time). Can the LED intensity be varied by replacing one (or more) of the resistors with a pot on the pnp transistors? Also, can the microprocessor be programmed to ramp up and down the transistor base current so the LEDs will gradually fade on and off?

    • Maybe. I’ll have one of my engineers look into it.

    • Alexander Sweet

      You can have the microcontroller fade the LEDs by lowering the duty cycle, the voltage would stay constant.

      • Chuck Baker

        Alexander- so that I understand your answer; the microcontroller can be programmed to sweep the duty cycle to create a fading in and fading out effect, is that correct? (I have experience with LEDs but not with this micro controller)

  • Andy Young

    Very well thought out kit. I love the graph paper and the box idea. Works out perfectly. Thanks.

    • Thanks! It’s all our team. We spent so long to design this kit over the holiday break!

  • brock

    The 3x3x3 cube is a nice project for a beginner my girlfriend and me built it over the weekend.

  • m2

    my kit still hasn’t come yet 🙁

  • Matt

    Hi I was wandering when thee next kit was coming out because it says today. Thanks!

    (P.s. This is the 300 comment)

    • We’re filming the video right now. We shipped the first batch today. The next batch is going out on Monday!

      • bigred200

        will we get an email if we are getting one from the first batch?

  • Griffin

    Hey kipkay. I completed the kit today and for some reason, it cycles through each mode every five minutes. What I am saying is when I put the batteries in, the entire cube will light up, then five minutes later the bottom row will go out, then the middle, then the top and so on… Why is it so slow? Has this happened to anyone else? Thanks.

    • Pretty good shot you put it in wrong or the wires may be connected wrong. Check them and let me know. Otherwise email [email protected] and they’ll send you a new microcontroller

  • bigred200

    Not sure how I feel about m5 being a speaker well I guess I’ll wait and see how it turns out

  • Lavoz24

    Question, when connecting the positive and negative wires, do I connect all the positives together and all the negative wire together then connect to battery pack?

  • Alex

    Stupid question what is the lay out for the power on the wall adaptor like which pin is positive negative and ground for wireing purposes

    Also I will this work if the 100k resistor and right side of the pnp go to + why not just connect them all like this ( just run them all to a wire instread of having a million wire under neath

    • NateSamDad

      If you mean the “barrel jack” Kip referenced this earlier saying:
      “Barrel Jack
      When you are looking at the barrel jack, straight down the hole, you’ll see 3 pins: front, back, and a pin to your RIGHT.
      The FRONT pin is called the SLEEVE.
      The BACK pin is called the TIP.
      The RIGHT pin detects INSERTION.
      An easy way to remember which one is positive is “for the pizza guy, tips are positive.” And thus, the SLEEVE is negative. I hope that helps!

      • Alex

        Thanks that helps a lot

  • Tom Choate

    Just received my speaker kit for month 5, but can’t proceed until videos are posted. Sitting on pins and needles waiting…..

    • Video just posted 😛

  • Tom Choate

    Thanks. Can’t wait to start. This is way too much fun.

  • Tim

    So im still in the process of making the led cube I’m putting the transistors in and resisters but in my kit i cant tell witch one is the 10k and 100k the colors are. R1 Brown, Red Black, Black, Brown R2 Gold, Orange, Black, Black, Gold i think them are the colors Thanks!!

  • Sean Peterson

    I am so upset because I just got my kit today and it didn’t come with 2 circuit boards. And this is my first month with kipkay kits subscription. Dot know if I am going to stay with it. 🙁

    • Danny

      Did you get 4x4x4? Only comes with one..

      • Sean Peterson

        No I got a 3x3x3

        • Danny

          They will send you one, trust me youll get it before you get that far lol.. its harder than it looks

          • Sean Peterson

            yep they did and now im back on working on the led cube. ill post a picture of it when im done

        • all inquiries to support at kipkaykits dot com!

          • Sean Peterson

            Wow the service is amazing, i got another circuit board delivered to me the next day. Im staying with kipkaykits because of how good the service and the kits are! Thanx

  • Danny

    Anyone else have a hard time with the cube? I am going to go back to it..

    • Diy Garret

      same here. get it figured out?

  • spencer

    when he soldered the 9 negitave leads sticking out of the board he said they were positave 5:04 and i am getting confused please help and tell me if he said that on accident

  • eraso

    The kit was awsome! i cant wait for kit #6

  • Forrest Woodward

    My kit only came with 1 PCB. I managed to fit everything on it but it’s a tight fit and without the second PCB to act as a base it doesn’t really stand up right.

    • spencer

      that happened to me just call 6262027849 hisname is jimmy he will help you with your problem

  • [email protected]

    So I finished the kit. It was fun and challenging, but when I finally powered it up, it did not work as it should have. I have double and triple checked the connections and have not found any issues, but admittedly could have missed something I suppose. I did make a mistake that I feel may have contributed to the results. I inserted the microcontroller earlier than I should have and then worried that when soldering the connections, I might burn the chip, so I removed the chip from the holder which resulted in some of the pins getting bent. I was able to bend them back and it seemed to fit back in ok. Do you think this could have caused what you see in the video? Also, If so, how would I go about getting a replacement microcontroller? Thanks!

    http://youtu.be/kAAhMj7AS7U

  • joshua

    3×5 ?

  • Waqas1008

    I just connected mine directly up to arduino. It is a bit confusing controlling those LEDs because I need to set every pin to “LOW” or “GND” and those tree other pins to “HIGH” to make it work. It looks beautiful though.

  • DGMNeto

    I’m from Brasil
    I’d like to buy a single 5x5x5 Led cube kit
    Where can I order it? Can you deliver to Brasil?

    • zak robbins

      just order from his store, they ship everywhere, just with different shipping prices

  • Vicki Knickerbocker

    Boo hoo, pretty sure I just fried the first completed level of my blue 5×5 cube my using a 9 volt as the “power source”. I’m a newbie with just enough know who to wreak havoc 🙁 Oh well, it is a good learning experience and it was very gratifying to see every LED light up when tested. Too bad they will never light up again.

  • Andy Csizmadia

    Just received the newest kit, plus of course my larger cube kit, very pleased with everything, organized, well thought out.
    Very quick shipping.
    Over the next few days, i will be assembling both modules and do look forward to playing with the atmega chip.
    I will be bringing more people into the group.
    It will be nice to get together with friends and work together.
    Thank you Kip for a great idea and great information!

  • Andy Csizmadia

    Kip. Looking for the diagram for the 4×4 …
    In your downloads, it only has graph paper and not the arrows for the led pins. …

  • sparkymccloud

    We’ll I’m 2 for 2 so far. Speakers and cube done and working. They were tough to build for a beginner like me but I figured it out. For all of you that are having trouble with there kits….. All I could say is go slow and look at all the scematics, posts and videos and think about building it in your mind instead of going all out on it. Kip has an excellent staff working for him that answered all of my questions before and during my build. Here some picks to show off a little.

  • zak robbins

    Hi kipkay,
    i have only just recently started my kit, i got the 4x4x4, but the only thing is that i’ve only got 1 pcb board. Aren’t i supposed to have 2?

    • sparkymccloud

      I just finished mine and I only got one. The 3×3 is the only one that comes with the 2 pcb boards.

      • zak robbins

        thanks sparky, good to know that

  • zak robbins

    someone please help. after soldering all the 4 layers of my cube i found that almost at the top of my soldering iron it was being eroded somehow. it has fallen off now and i’m left with a stump that is too hot to use. there was a screw on the side, which i undid and the rod came out, so do i need to buy a new one? if so what are they called. or do i need to sharpen it or something somehow? my soldering iron it a crescent 40W.

    • Joshua Post

      I know this is a very old post, but I had a similar problem due to a low quality iron tip and poor soldering habits. I bought new tips for my wattage of iron on Amazon. It was $6 for 5 tips for my iron.

  • Gio32k

    what’s the best approach to wiring up the resistors and transistors? The pictures provided in the step by step guide don’t really show how its done. I tried copying the pic, but that lead to fried resistors and transistors… Since i screwed up, I was thinking of inserting the wires through the hole first, then the resistors followed by the transistors. This way, the chances of overheating the components is decreased. At least from what I’ve learned.

  • Guest

    It is finito! Took about 5 hours with breaks in-between. I opted for just using the 10k resistors. I should have been more mindful when I bent the legs to make a perfectly straight cube. I also made the mistake of switching between soldering boards which then created a sandwich of wires when I was still soldering to the Atmega 8. Great project!

  • Stephanie Ann Rosales

    It is finito! Took about 5 hours with breaks in-between. I opted for just using the 10k resistors. I should have been more mindful when I bent the legs to make a perfectly straight cube. I also made the mistake of switching between soldering boards which then created a sandwich of wires when I was still soldering to the Atmega 8. Great project!

    • Jimmy from Kipkay’s Team

      great!

  • Guest

    Seeeee:

  • Stephanie Ann Rosales

    🙂

  • Stephanie Ann Rosales

    It is finito! Took about 5 hours with breaks in-between. I opted for just using the 10k resistors. I should have been more mindful when I bent the legs to make a perfectly straight cube. I also made the mistake of switching between soldering boards which then created a sandwich of wires when I was still soldering to the Atmega 8. Great project!

  • Buster Turner

    still cant find the Order button >:(

    • Jimmy from Kipkay’s Team

      just go to kipkaykits.com

  • Jason Heiken

    I want to make one of these cubes, and I should have all the components I need already, except, instead of the ATmega32, I have an Arduino Uno board. How would I go about connecting the cube to a full board?

  • Arne Lie

    Hey kipkay i haver one major problem my cube is finished and looks good but my kit didn’t come with the wall adaptor have to get another one anyway because i live in norway. but i still need to know what the power input is to get it. (I’ve got the 4x4x4)

    • Jimmy from Kipkay’s Team

      You need a 5V 1A that goes into the LED cube.

  • nils

    hi i hawe a problem at first it worked youst fine for 1 minute but now it youst does the startup and then stayes at this thing

  • Daniel F

    Awesome! best kit I’ve ever seen

  • dynorat

    I did the four by four bought two kits together the four by four and the five by five they only sent one transformer and it does not work so is used an old phone charger that was 5 volts and how my four by four does not have the layers when running all the leds work and they have one pattern but they work like only one layer is working so there is no up or down

    • Stephanie Ann Rosales

      If the 5V plug-in charger does not work you should sent an email and they should be able to replace that! Also if only one layer is working check to make sure your transistors are not shorting anywhere and are oriented correctly.

  • abcd

    radio tower 1 -? is it the uppermost layers led or the lowermost layers led

    • It actually depends on what order you wire it up!

  • abcd

    do i need to program the microcontroller if i buy it on my own? if yes can u pls pls pls give me the code? should the microcontroller be arduino boot loaded? pls help tnx

    • Yes you’ll need to program the microcontroller if you buy it separately and it should be arduino bootloaded. The source files are under the Resources/Docs tab. We like our code to be open 🙂

  • abcd

    can i use only the .c file if i buy the microcontroller on my own ? bcoz when i downloaded the source code, the .hex and the .elf do not open ? and what are the AVR programming codes pls pls pls help me!!! tnx

    • It depends on the program you use to for chip, the .C means it was written in C code, so its a little different from the Arduino, (that’s why for this kit we used an AVR programmer). You could use something like Atmel Studio 6 but you will also need to buy an AVR programmer in order to use the chip. It is possible to use the Arduino however but you’ll have to write the text file for that.

  • karston P.

    i have the 5X5X5 led light cube and after soldering everything together and checking the connections a countless number of times I finally decided it was time to put the chip in and test this out but nothing happened so I tried to check to see if all the connections and made sure I had no solder bridges but the next time I plugged it in there was a flash but then nothing. I removed the chip and connected my power supply and I was getting power to pins 10, 30, and 35-39 (the pins connected to the transistors) with no shorts. any ideas as to why there is nothing happening?

    • Could be a cold solder joint where it seems like the solder is connected to the pcb but is actually not touching. When you have it plugged in try pressing beneath the board where the transistors are in case there are any cold solder joints going on. Seems crazy but this happened to me and I felt like a wizard after getting it to light up!

      • Also could mean something is not grounded where it should be.

  • Maxwell

    How do I go about connecting the wires to the negative connections on the pub board?

    • Joshua Post

      Are you still having questions about this project? If so, could you describe in different wording what you are trying to do? I’m not sure what you mean by the negative connections on the pub board.

  • ag2020

    Hello Everyone, I just received my “Kipduino”, and the 3×3, plus a bunch of other stuff that I’m sure I’ll be needing shortly. I’ve already looked down through the comments/messages, and I haven’t seen or heard mention where you find the directions on how to build them both. Kip keeps mentioning refer to the instructions, but I just can’t find them. Found the graph paper template for the cube, but no instructions. It’s actually giving me time to go back and re read the SMB tutorial to freshen up. Thanks in advance for your help. The cubes shown look fantastic, hope mine looks half as good. Peace…

    • Joshua Post

      Maybe you weren’t signed in when you were looking? Under the Video at the top of the page should be a heading of Questions, and then below that are tabs with materials, step 1, step 2, etc that will walk you through. You’ll need a separate page for building the Kipduino and it will have its own directions.

  • ag2020

    Forgot something, could you use a barrel jack for a 5v power source, with a momentary switch so the 3×3 cube wouldn’t be on all the time? Thanks…

    • Joshua Post

      Not a momentary switch, as it is only on for a moment, but a slide style switch would allow you to slide it to the off position to break the connection from the positive lead of the barrel jack to the power rail, and then slide it back over to reconnect.

  • Diy Garret

    I made a 4x4x4 cube and finnished today. but ive ran into a problem. when i plugged the cube in (i used usb) it does nothing. but if i touch the negative posts on the leds they light up one by one but very dimly and they just stay on. Im 12 so i dont know alot about electronics and i was hoping this would work but it doesnt. please help.

    • Joshua Post

      When you touch the negative lead on the LED with your hand they light up or with a multimeter? Looking at your picture, there doesn’t seem to be enough resistors connected to the transistors. Are there some on the bottom of the board? Also, I believe when the pictures show the pins from left to right, they are looking at it while looking at the flat side of the resistor, and you have yours bent with the flat side down. Not saying that is the problem as I can’t see the rest of the wiring, but something to check.

  • Neiil Waghella

    hey, so i received the 4×4 cube. I’m half way done constructing it, but having toruble with the PNP transistor connections. Would you guys be able to provide a schematic as to which is which lead on the PNP?

    • Lavoz24

      If you go to where the instructions are on the top of this screen, click on part 4 and the details for the transistors are the first things that come up.

  • Gage Krisanda

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could offer me some advice. I recently finished my 5x5x5 LED cube. After the cube was powered it ran a short sequence then stopped. After disconnecting the power wire and reconnecting it, the same thing happened. I’m not sure what is causing this. I’m so close to having it run but cant seem to get over this barrier after countless soldering and re soldering. Thanks

    • Joshua Post

      So each time you supply power it starts a sequence and then stops? How long does it run? If you leave it running for 5 minutes does it ever light back up? Sounds like something may be shorting out when it gets to a particular section of the sequence. What are you using for a power adapter?

  • Justin M

    I am starting to learn about electronics so I purchased this kit from the store. I was wondering, what is the purpose of the pullup resistors connected to the transistors? Also, am I correct in assuming that the transistors are to bypass the current limit of the atmega microcontroller pins? Thanks!

    • Joshua Post

      The resistors are for the leads going from the atmega to the transistors to add some resistance. Without it may not have enough resistance and short out. I built the 5x5x5 from the Arduino project and my particular build did not use them. I was told that they are best practice, but may not be entirely necessary. if you have the resistors, I would use them so you don’t risk burning anything up.

      The transistors are used as you described, to allow for more power to the LEDs than the atmega allows alone.

    • Lavoz24

      I had to rebuild my 3x3x3 cube because I didn’t use the resistors and not only did most of the led’s burn out burn my IC did as well.

  • Matt

    I just bought my 4×4 cube. As I was looking at the build I see that the power is right to the board. Is there a way to make it so I can put a toggle switch on the board so that I can keep it plugged in all the time and only have to hit the toggle?

    • Joshua Post

      If you have a small switch you could install that between the positive lead of the barrel jack and the power rail so you can turn it off and on easily. Or you could connect the power supply to a switch like a power strip you could turn off an on.

      • Matt

        can the 4×4 work with a 5v 0.7a usb phone charger

        • Joshua Post

          It is designed to work with a 5v 1.0a adapter, but you could try with 0.7a. You may burn it up though. I run my 5x5x5 from the Arduino kit off USB alone which can only do up to 0.5a, but may be a different layout, as it is based on common anode instead of common cathode like this project.

  • Lavoz24

    Guess the store is down again

    • Joshua Post

      With the Cyber Monday deals going on, the store was responding very slowly, but I only had about 5 minutes where it was completely unavailable.

      • Lavoz24

        I figured as much. I lost out on the Black Friday deals because of the issues with it going down and again last night but I’m not upset anymore. I got the led cube and I have the minecraft torch from before which Im going to put together with my nieces and gift to them for Christmas, plus I’m going to get the month 12 temperature kit so I’m satisfied.
        To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a sale ever,lol. I told a few friends about this and about the graze snacks and after checking both sites out they bought a few things and became subscribers.
        If you like to snack (who doesn’t,lol) you should check out this site … http://Www.graze.com they have some really good, all natural snacks and for DIYers like us I think it’s some good stuff. If you are interested in getting anything or just want to try it out, type in this code HECTOR76E and you will get your first box free. If you like it and stay on you will receive your 3rd box free as well. Check it out.

  • Just ordered my 3 x 3 x 3 cube for free yesterday!!!! cant wait to get it and build it!! THANK YOU KIPKAY
    !!!!!!!

  • craig

    just finished the 3×3 cube i love it, however i am not getting anything but the layers to flash, any ideas where i went astray.

  • Brian Selcik

    Hi Kipkay! I just received one of my LED cube orders. It only came with the copper wire and I know that you said that it would. I have wire at my house but it’s also copper… can I use that in place of the other wore that you usually give? Thanks!

    -Brian

    • Jimmy from Kipkay’s Team

      Any kind of wire should work

  • Phillip Loveland

    Could I power the circuit using a 18650 battery(3.7V, 6000mAh)?

    • Jimmy from Kipkay’s Team

      Yes. Built for 5V but 3V will work – leds wont be as bright. If you have a step up you can use it, but it should work without it.

      • Phillip Loveland

        Thanks for the quick response! I don’t suppose that you know what the current draw is for the 3x3x3 cube?

  • Harrison Greenlee

    My led cube just flashes all of the leds on and off at the same time. Anyone have ideas to fix this? Did i burn a transistor? leds seem somewhat dim as well if that helps. Thanks in advance guys! Edit: I am using a 4.5 V dc 200mA power supply. Could that be the cause?

  • Aaron Campbell

    This is a rather tough build, even on the beginner level. I was almost done when I realized I had soldered the micro controller holder mirrored from how it should be. (Pin 1 of the chip was Pin 8 on the chip, etc.) So, I just scrapped all that stuff, stripped the ends of the battery pack and soldered all the negative leads to the negative connection, and the three positive to the positive connection. It works as a consistent light source! I’m okay with being consistent, but I’m thinking of adding an on/off switch (i’ve got a spare from one of the digital clock kits I screwed up).

    I was curious, does there need to be anything between the leads from the LEDs and the leads of the battery pack? It’s obviously working as is, but I wasn’t sure if it’s just going to drain the batteries much more quickly, or if the LEDs are going to… I’m not sure of the word I’m looking for, but overheat? Burn too brightly and stop working sooner than expected.

    Thanks!

    • Joshua Post

      I would think that it may impact the overall life of the LEDs as there isn’t a resistor between them and the battery. Could also cause more drain on the battery I suppose.

      Thoughts about trying the chip holder again?

  • Rajesh

    can u choose the colors you want for your led cube?

  • Brandon Fa

    Do you Have the Arduino Code for this project because the files are .c and .hex . I’d like to reprogram this wih my Kipduino

    • Joshua Post

      Try e-mailing support (at) kipkaykits.com to ask to make sure they see it. I’ve not seen code available like that. Even if they provide the code, your chip doesn’t have the Arduino bootloader in it to my knowledge, so you wouldn’t be able to update it until that was done.

  • Timothy Ford

    Well I am new to DIY electronics and have gathered a few kits together to get my feet wet. My schedule was wide open and I wanted to start much sooner than now but with the Holidays being filled more with visits to hospitals and other unforeseen circumstances, today is when I finally got my start. I just about have my first kit completed and is the 4x4x4 LED cube. So far so good though I did fall prey to a hard lesson on my first layer of LED’s. Somehow I must have let the iron touch the legs of the LED’s too long and burnt the diodes on the inside. The kit came with a few extras but by the time I caught my mistake I needed to replace 10 of them.. I think I may have a few of my own to finish the job. Here in a bit I’ll post a pic or two of my project. I took some as I went along the way in case they might help someone else. I did one thing not mentioned that helped putting the layers together which was taking my pliers and bending over the legs on the outside of the cube to make them into hooks that held onto the conjoining layer. That helped putting them together a lot!

    • Joshua Post

      Always a learning experience. I didn’t bend my legs over, but I did use spring loaded clothes pins that were perfect for holding onto the LED head and pinched the leg from the upper layer with it, so I could solder. Only needed to do the 4 corners for it to line up perfectly.

  • Arturo

    i don´t understand the 3x3x3 diagram, because in the PDIP diagram it show how to solder in correct order but in the photo of how it is solder and is diferent, please check it and say if i´m wrong or tell me the correct order pleace

    • David Fries

      What do you mean by PDIP diagram? In general when there’s a conflict the schematic wins over the directions, the directions over the pictures, the pictures over the video. Are you working on soldering together your first layer of LEDs? I’m not sure how much help I can be as I didn’t do this kit.

    • Joshua Post

      I’m with David in not understanding what you mean by PDIP diagram. I didn’t see a schematic, but I followed the photos when I built mine and it all came out. Bend the Cathode (negative) leads diagonally away, bend the Anode (Positive) leads so all of the anodes touch each other and solder them wherever they touch. Make sure to only solder them to other anodes and not connect any cathodes. Add in support wires, soldering them only to the anodes as well.
      When all 3 layers are done, you will stack them by soldering the cathodes to the cathodes of the layer below it. I used clothespins to hold it while I soldered others. Then you will bend the one remaining anode out to a different angle and that will supply power to the entire layer, and grounding out any single cathode will light up the LED at that intersection.

      Does that help at all?

  • Dima T

    Hi,
    I am new to DIY electronics and this is my first kit that I have built. I have built the kit successfully but I don’t understand why you need to add the transistors and resistors to the “radio towers.”

    • Joshua Post

      The transistors in this case are acting as a switch. The ATmega chips can only supply so much power through each pin, so to get around the limits, we use a transistor. The ATmega sends power to the base pin of the transistor to turn the “switch” on, or cuts power to turn it off. By connecting the other pins of the transistor to the positive rail and then to the radio tower that provides power to the entire layer, you can let much more power flow through the transistor and to the layer than the pin on the ATmega itself could supply. Does that make sense?

      In regards to the transistors, we need something to resist the flow of the current when going to the transistor. If we didn’t and it flows too easily, then it acts like a short and can cause all sorts of problems. By adding a small resistor, we ensure that nothing acts like a short and the circuit is happy.

      There are way more technical reasons behind all of it, but that is kind of a high level overview if it helps get you going the right direction.

      • Dima T

        Ok, got it! Thanks for the help!

  • Zachary Barnett

    That moment when you’re counting your LEDs and Kip has given you enough LEDs for an extra row. Score! Thanks Kip!

  • Doug M

    I received a 28pin IC socket and chip in a 5x5x5 kit. Looks like the diagram above shows a 40pin socket and chip are needed. Am I missing something?

    • Joshua Post

      It depends on how you got the 5x5x5 kit. Did you buy it directly as the LED cube project alone or did you buy the Arduino kit that includes 5x5x5 parts?
      The Arduino based one allows you more flexibility to reprogram it but requires a different wiring layout than the first cube kit that used the 40 pin IC but needed a different method of reprogramming.

      • Doug M

        I bought the arduino based 5x5x5 kit. In that case, where would I find the proper wiring layout?

        • Joshua Post

          Check the last page of the Ardunio project page. It has some links to an Instructable for the wiring of the line decoders.
          The actual build of the cube LED itself is the same as the LED cube project page so start there to build the cube.

  • leo

    I recived my 4×4 kit. But I cant find the instructions. And the page of the instructions dosent work. Can you send me a link for the shematics, or the video.

  • leo

    Do you have an schematics of the 4×4. I have problems on the pcb board. Which cable goes from the ic to the ledś

    • Joshua Post

      I don’t see a schematic.

  • TheRedstoneGamer

    Is the view of the IC chip from the top or bottom?

    • Joshua Post

      Top looking down

      • TheRedstoneGamer

        I kinda figured it out, but thanks!

  • Lucas Lin

    Why are two of the leads of the PNP connected to positive? Wouldn’t it just send a constant current going to the LEDs? Also, I have checked every connections and they all seem to be correct, but it still hasn’t worked when I put the IC chip in and connected the power. Could it be that there is no code on the chip or should I check the connections some more? I also checked for shorts where the IC chip goes in and there are none between the pins.

    • David Fries

      Are you looking at the diagram at the top of PART 4? The left lead is the collector which is connected to the LED tower, the right is the emitter which is connected directly to positive, and the confusion I assume is the middle base which has two resistors one of which goes to the microcontroller and the other also to positive. For the base the resistor to positive is ten times bigger than the resistor to the microcontroller, which means the microcontroller mostly controls if the transistor is on or off, it would have been nice if the instructions gave the reasoning for suggesting this additional 100 kOhm resistor connection, in this case it will help pull up the transistor base input and help the transistor turn off faster.

      I would use your multimeter to try to check if the right things have current when on, and then when off you can use the diode test to verify the LEDs are connected correctly as far as the layer vs column.
      http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/transistor/tran_3.html

      • Lucas Lin

        I finally got some time to test the amperage and when I tested it, there wasn’t even a tenth of an amp being drawn by the cube. I unsoldered the wire coming from the negative lead on the power jack and put one end of the multimeter on to that lead and the other onto the wire. Could the chip be bad? All the LEDs are connected correctly and working.

        • David Fries

          Which cube kit did you buy? I think the LED Cube has the most variations of any of the kits. The absolute maximum power that’s supposed to go through the ATmega8 is 200 mA, then at 16 MHz the data sheet lists it would take 20 mA, which is well below a tenth of an amp. Do you have the ability to reflash the microcontroller? If you do, you could move the microcontroller there to find out if it functions outside of the LED Cube.

          A little disclaimer I didn’t start the KipKay Kits until after this kit came out, so I don’t have it.

          • Lucas Lin

            I bought the 4x4x4 LED Cube. I have the materials to reflash the microcontroller, but I am not exactly sure how to do it since it would be the first time doing it. How would I know if the microcontroller works?

          • David Fries

            In my case I have a USBtinyISP based flasher which uses SPI to reflash the microcontroller. The avrdude program in addition to loading a new program, it can read the existing flash and EEPROM. That’s where I would start if your programmer is able to do the same, because by reading the program and EEPROM it proves that the microcontroller is working, and you have a binary copy of what was originally on the microcontroller.

          • Lucas Lin

            Well I was thinking of using my Arduino Yun to reflash the microcontroller since I already have it. I’m just not sure what code to put onto the Yun to reflash the chip.

          • David Fries

            I don’t have that to see what it is capable of, you might not need to do anything more than just to see if the arduino software can identify the chip, because that will tell you if it is working.

          • Joshua Post

            The original LeD cube projects did not use Arduino boot loaders I believe. The code you can download is in .hex format. I believe that means the standard process of using an Arduino to re flash would need to be modified.

          • David Fries

            To do anything interesting with the code you are going to need to reprogram it anyway so you have your own pattern. Starting from scratch with ‘turn this pin on, turn another off’, wouldn’t be a bad thing anyway.

          • Lucas Lin

            Ok, I’ll give it a go and I’ll come back to tell you if it works or not.

          • David Fries

            I don’t have that to see what it is capable of, you might not need to do anything more than just to see if the arduino software can identify the chip, because that will tell you if it is working.

          • Lucas Lin

            Well I was thinking of using my Arduino Yun to reflash the microcontroller since I already have it. I’m just not sure what code to put onto the Yun to reflash the chip.

  • 567legodude

    The wires looked a bit confusing.
    Just to be clear, everything that says “to positive” gets connected to the positive side of the battery, right?

    • David Fries

      Part 4? Yes the instructions do say “Take a note of the clump of red wires near the positive lead of the AA battery holder. You will have to connect them all together on the opposite side of the PCB.” From the front side it does kind of look like they could be two different sets, they just can’t get all the wires through the same hole. If I were building that design I would have connected the resistor “to +” so you don’t have to run two wires down to power.

      • 567legodude

        Just a couple more: Does it matter which corner is column 1?
        And layer 1 is on the bottom, right? (sorry just don’t want to get these mixed up)

        • David Fries

          No it doesn’t matter which corner is column 1. As long as you keep the same pattern and rotate them together the preprogrammed pattern will display just fine. As far as layers I would put layer 1 at the bottom, but worse case your pattern is inverted and you can fix it in software, or switch the wires around.

  • Lee Brockway

    Questions from a total NUBE.. Background (Electrician). I started this subscription for my son he is 13. We started with this led 4x4x4 cube and so far I am pretty sure that we have burnt up the chip, I am assuming this because I have purchased an Arduino UNO and with the chip from the kit the arduino does not talk to it(Was hoping to copy the sketch). That being said I have read in these posts that it needs some type of boot loader???, I have found a short in the tower wires and we had the transistors emitter and accumulator switched, Which brings me to the operation of the PNP transistor. Isn’t there a need for a ground for the transistor to switch? Is that ground coming from the Amega as a signal? We tested all of the resistors out of the package upon arrival to learn the proper reading of the resistance and the 10k testing fine the 100k did not measure at all using a fluke 376 multi meter.

    • David Fries

      The ATmega8 microcontrollers that kipkay kits send out already has the bootloader installed. The bootloader refers to some programming that lets them talk over the USART (serial) port for programming them.

      There are two types of transistors, PNP and NPN, one pin is the base, but the other two depend on the transistor type. For a simplified circuit you have power -> PNP -> load (what you are trying to switch) -> ground. For the other transistor, power -> load -> NPN -> ground. The difference is which side the load is on, and that’s because the other side is used to sink or source the current for turning the transistor on or off.

      For this project it’s more of power -> PNP -> LED -> ATmega8 -> ground. The LED is only on if the PNP is on to supply current, and the ATmega8 is low to sink to ground (which is kind of like ground for the LED).

      I don’t know about that specific multimeter, but the non-expensive one I have will measure a 100 kOhm resistor, does it show it as a short
      or not connected in resistance mode? If it shows it as a short that’s a problem. As it says in the instructions the 100 k Ohm resistors aren’t required, I expect they reduce the turn on time, but how much I don’t know.

      There is source code available to download in the Resources/Doc tab, I would say to try the ATmega from your arduino with that, but if it is configured to require the crystal (and I would expect it would be), it isn’t going to work in this kit since there isn’t one here. If you have your short sorted out and your ATmega8 still isn’t working for you contact [email protected] for a replacement.

      The last time I drew too much current for an ATmega8 3 of 5 pins were permanently damaged, but still partially working, I had enough other pins to switch to a different set and still use the same microcontroller.

      • Lee Brockway

        Mr Fries, Thank you for taking the time to explain

    • David Fries

      The LED Cube wasn’t one of the kits that I built, and there are multiple variations. I don’t know if it came with a bootloader on the chip or not. It could be fine and still not talk to the Ardunio if it is just using the serial port.

  • Lars van der Greft

    I really want to buy the 8x8x8 LED cube, but does is come with instructions? Because I’m sure I can’t do it on my own.

  • Jammarson02

    When looking at the Circle set up that shows what column goes to which pin, Is that with the cube upside down or rightside up ? Also, The layers, is 1 on the bottom and 5 on top, or is 5 on the bottom and 1 at the top ( with the cube right side up ) ?

    • David Fries

      Are you asking about part3 step? If it were me I would be looking at the columns looking down and layer 1 on the bottom, but the instructions have it right “The orientation doesn’t matter, but consistency does.” The reason is I could build mine with layer 1 on the bottom, you could build yours with layer 1 on the top, they would both work, only the patterns would turn out mirrored image relative to each other.

  • Jeremy Marks

    What is a Radio Tower that I am supposed to connect the left lead of the PNP transistors to?

    • Joshua Post

      The straight piece of wire going up from the perf board to whatever layer. You should have one for each layer and each tower will need to be a little higher to reach each layer. It is what provides current to that entire layer.

      • Jeremy Marks

        Thank you, but then where do I connect those to?

  • Jeremy Marks

    All of the leds are turned on at the same time and none turn off. I took the microcontroller out and tried it and none turn on, so I know that it is going through the controller.

  • Jeremy Marks

    I just finished my 4×4 cube, but all the leds stay on. I can see one row light up more than the other as it switches through the program. In the picture it is hard to tell, but that row is lit up more than the rest then it would finish the program. Like I can see that the whole program works, but when the row is supposed to be off it is just dimmed. Any suggestions?

    • Joshua Post

      Look for any solder bridges that may be constantly making a connection with that column. Also double check the wire going to that column under the board. Sounds like something is connected where it shouldn’t be.

      • Jeremy Marks

        Is there any way to show you a video of what is happening? Because that would help with explaining what is wrong. I looked for what you said and found nothing. I can see the columns change, but the rows never change.

        • Joshua Post

          Can you upload to YouTube and share the link?

          • Jeremy Marks

            Its uploading it says about an hour. And I’m fine doing this in the tomorrow if you want to go to sleep.

          • Jeremy Marks
        • Joshua Post

          Can you upload to YouTube and share the link?

    • Joshua Post

      When you say rows, you don’t mean one individual row, but the entire layer, correct? From your video it looks like all of the layers were on a little and as it cycled through the patterns, the individual columns would light up full intensity.

      You had asked earlier about the radio towers and then deleted the comment so I take that to mean you figured it out, but can you explain what you did? It maybe you wired one tower to all of the layers it may explain what you are seeing.

      For all of the LED to be on not at full intensity either the program would have to be doing a pulse width modulation (PWM) or there are too many leds trying to light up with the supplied power.

      I have a suspicion that you still have a short somewhere but trying to think through where to look. It seems like all layers and columns are trying to light up causing them to be medium intensity but when the program tries to light it up, it gets proper amounts and can light up full intensity.

      • Jeremy Marks

        By row I mean the whole layer. And yes I figured out what the radio tower was. I connected the left lead of the PNP Transistor to each radio tower. And I made sure that the 10k resistor from each transistor connected to the matching layer on the controller.

        Also I figured out over some random testing that if i take a wire that is supposed to be soldered to the radio tower from the left side of the transistor and touch it to this negative column the bottom row lights up to medium intensity and this can happen even if none of the radio towers are connected.

        And some times after touching this column and then not touching it it continue to cycle through the program and lighting up even though I’m not touching the radio tower or that column. I know that touching this column shouldn’t turn anything on since it is a negative column and it is positive wire, but I don’t know where that means the problem is. I put a youtube video of it here https://youtu.be/5WNGX5j2GTo .

        • Joshua Post

          Did you figure anything more out? I haven’t had time to follow up lately. Can you video your troubleshooting such as touching a column and it starting to work? Maybe talk through what you are doing and/or expecting it to do to make sure I’m following.

          • Jeremy Marks

            I haven’t had time either I will try to tomorrow

  • Danielellis

    I’ve got a 3×3 cube when I put batterys in it doesn’t work it only work’s when I move or touch the cube or a wire. When it lights up all of them work apart from 6 LEDs(7&8 column connected to the microcontroller) . I try every possible thing but it doesn’t work, I double check every wire before I move on, my power supply works I’ve got a volts metre and I’ve gone through every individual LEDs and they all work. Their is power running through it and throughout the cube.
    Can someone help.

    • Joshua Post

      If it starts working correctly when you touch/move the cube or a wire, then something must not be fully connected. Does any touching of any part of the cube get it going or only a certain corner? How much pressure do you have to press with?

      If just moving a wire does it, then try to isolate the specific wire that gets it going and resolder it, as it may have a cold solder joint.

  • Adam Price

    Oh dear. Just remembered that polarity matters for LEDs. My daughter and I just finished soldering together the 4x4x4, but we did the whole thing backwards. The negatives (short legs) are all connected together at each layer, and the columns are all positive (long legs). We have good isolation where we want it, and continuity where we want that, but I just realized that the controller is going to be expecting power running the other way. Do we have any options besides bypassing the controller completely? Can it be reprogrammed to work with reverse polarity? (Or maybe it doesn’t care what the polarity is?)

    • David Fries

      That must have been a bummer for it to not work and after you figure out what was wrong. But I’m glad you figured out what the issue was. Unfortunately just reprogramming the microcontroller isn’t going to help here, electrically the current just isn’t going to flow the right direction.

      At this point I’ll give you two options (the third of cutting up your cube or starting with a new set of LEDs is an obvious answer, but would just be a lot of work). The first requires less hardware changes, but does require reprogramming the microcontroller, the second requires more hardware changes, but looks like doesn’t require microcontroller changes.

      First option, switch out the PNP transistors for NPN transistors. It was designed with the layers as positive, changing it from positive to negative requires the other transistor type. Connect the NPN transistors to ground instead of power. Make sure and lookup the emitter, base, collector pins and which will need to be connected to ground, the resistor to the microcontroller, and LED layer. On the microcontroller software side the pin output now needs to be inverted it needs to be high instead of low and low instead of high, both on the layer side and the column side.

      Second option, remove the 4 PNP transistors and resistors from the layers, then directly connect the layer microcontroller pins to the cube layers, get yourself another set of 12 PNP transistors and resistors, connect all 16 sets microcontroller to resistor to transistor to cube column with the transistors connected to positive. That flips everything around and so the microcontroller output is the same. But that will be a lot more parts and wires, I would go with the first option and get what you need to program the chip if you don’t already have it, but that’s me.

      • Adam Price

        Thanks for the detail. We’re going to try for option #1. I don’t have the programmer – this will be our first foray in that direction also. Can you confirm that the programmer linked to in the “resources” tab above is the correct one for the chip that came with the 4x4x4? That link is to: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9825 which says it is for “any AVR with 64K or less of flash. The ATmega328 on an Arduino Uno or RedBoard works perfectly.” Looking at the picture on sparkfun, I don’t see where I would connect the chip, but maybe it would be more obvious if I had the programmer in my hand.

        • David Fries

          The programmer I use also uses an ATTiny based microcontroller, I expect it to work equally well. As to how you connect it to the microcontroller I don’t think it is going to be any more obvious if it was in hand, I hope you got the kit to learn, because you’ll be doing plenty of that, and be better for it. There are two different ways to go about programming the chip, the ISP programmer (like what you linked with), which uses the SPI protocol, this is the full programmer, it can read or write the program and EEPROM, and set the fuse bits. ISP = In System Programmer, I use the 6 pin port and add the two row pin header to the project connected to the right pins on the microcontroller so that ribbon cable you see plugs right into the device. You’ll need to look at the data sheet for your microcontroller to connect up the right pins. For the 4x4x4 LED cube they are already taken by the columns, but the layer pins will be floating while programming so I think it will work just fine to have both the cube and these programming pins connected together. Another option is to get a separate circuit board, socket, pin headers, and wire it all up so you can move the microcontroller there to program.
          I just add the pin header to the kit. Either way you’ll have more soldering to do for this method (which is what I would do, it’s very useful to program the device in place). There’s a switch on the programmer to select if the microcontroller power is coming from the programmer or from the cube.

          The arduino method uses a bootloader (which these kipkay preprogrammed microcontrollers are supposed to have) and the UART serial port. You would need a different kind of programmer if you wanted to add pin headers on your cube board for this style, (if you are going to add pin headers I would go with the programmer you selected). You could get an arduino kit with a 28 pin ATmega chip, swap them, and use that to program this microcontroller, that would be more of an off the shelf solution, but you have to move the microcontroller each time you want to program it.

          How old is your daughter? If you add the programming port on the board it can be fun to make your own patterns.

          • Adam Price

            Alright – My daughter and I are making some progress here. We took a few steps
            backwards to learn some programming and wiring, and now we are sort of
            caught up. Question about your statement “the pin output now needs to be inverted it
            needs to be high instead of
            low and low instead of high, both on the
            layer side and the column side.” Am I correct in thinking that means
            we go through the code and wherever there is a line like this one:
            PORTC=0b0001110;
            we should invert everything after the “b”? (And similarly for PORTB, PORTC and PORTD lines) So
            PORTB=0b01111011; would become
            PORTB=0b100000100; ?
            Then we recompile and load it onto the chip?

  • Lars van der Greft

    I just finished my 8x8x8 LED Cube, but there are a number of leds that don’t light up. On the image I indicated the leds that don’t light up. So for example the arrow at the bottom right, the whole row of layer 4, face 8 don’t light up. The first face (the front) doesn’t light up at all). I checked all the leds after soldering and they all worked. I just can’t find the problem… The top layer has a high brightness, but all the other layers have a low brightness (I can’t find the problem of this to).

    • David Fries

      Break the problem into testing the cube from the electronics to drive it. If you use your multimeter diode test mode on the column and row does each LED light up as it should? If so, it’s in the electronics driving it. It is useful if you can write a test pattern to test the values from the microcontroller through to the chips driving the cube and their outputs with your multimeter.

      • Lars van der Greft

        If I use my test mode on the column and row should 1 LED light up then, or all the LED’s of that row? Because on some points the whole layer lights up (except all the LED’s that I indicated with an arrow on the image), and on some points only 1 LED lights up…

        • David Fries

          Unfortunately it isn’t just the matrix of LEDs, there are additional components connected and they can jump from one pin to another to light up other LEDs. Now if you have some LEDs that never light up, and it’s the same set that don’t light up from the microcontroller, that would indicate there’s either a bad connection in the cube matrix, or a problem with the driver circuit could be shorting it or something like that.

          • Lars van der Greft

            There are some LEDs that never light up and it’s the same set that don’t light up from the microcontroller. I checked the cube matrix multiple times and everything has a good connection, so that would mean that there is a problem with the driver circuit. Is there a way to solve this problem?

          • David Fries

            I would unsolder the wires to the layers or columns that don’t light up so you can test the cube matrix without them connected. You shouldn’t need to disconnect all of them, just the one column and layer that connect with the LED you are having a problem with, and if that LED then works it more points to the driver circuit. As far as troubleshooting the driver side, unfortunately I don’t know anything about the 8x8x8 LED cube driver circuit.

          • Lars

            The 8x8x8 LED cube still doesn’t work, I checked everything mulitple times, but everything works fine. So I think there is problem with the driver circuit as you said, but how can I solve this problem? Or do I need a completely new driver circuit?

          • Lars van der Greft

            The 8x8x8 LED cube still doesn’t work, I checked everything mulitple times, but everything works fine. So I think there is problem with the driver circuit as you said, but how can I solve this problem? Or do I need a completely new driver circuit?

          • David Fries

            Were you able to verify that all the LEDs in the cube were working? The instructables instructions link lists ATmega32 or ATmega16, an AVR ISP port, along with some IO expansion chips. Is that what the kit came with?

          • Lars van der Greft

            It came with all the components mentioned in this packing list: https://kipkaykits.com/product/8x8x8-led-cube/

          • David Fries

            Were you able to verify that all the LEDs in the cube were working? Sounded like you needed to disconnect at least some of them from the driver circuit to test the LEDs on the cube independent of the driver circuit. How did that go?

          • Lars van der Greft

            All LEDs in the cube are working. Disconnecting the LEDs went well, I had no problemens with that.

          • David Fries

            Thanks for clarifying. Then it’s a driver or microcontroller issue. From what I’m seeing there’s one set of chips connected to the layers, that’s 8, then there’s another set that’s connected to the posts.
            This is where I would write my own testing program and slowly cycle through the combinations, but I don’t have any information for how to program this specific microcontroller. So, one option is to remove the microcontroller, cut and solder up some wires connected to power or ground, and using the data sheets for the chips manually enable and set the output to test one driver chip at a time. The chips I looked up show they are latching flip flops connected to the posts, enable one and it will pass through a value, disable it and it will retain that output as long as the output enable is enabled. If you know what value it should be sending you can use the multimeter to figure out what is going wrong with the ones that aren’t working.

            If it were me I would either figure out how to program this microcontroller or switch it out to a different microcontroller that I know how to program, I don’t know how much it would take to do either of those for this kit.

  • CJ W.

    pretty sure my ic burned out, any chance i could order another?
    also the leds do work and ive checked my connections about 3 times. considering resoldering a bunch of stuff once i go to radio shack to buy more wire.