PROJECT: Hypnocube

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Decromin, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Decromin

    Decromin Member

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    I've been looking for a project to do for quite a while, and after seeing this on instructables, I decided that a LED cube had to be it.

    I had a hunt around, and I thought the 8^3 project was a little too advanced for me right now, and I found www.hypnocube.com. I figured a 4^3 kit was more achievable, so after ordering the kit and waiting about 2 weeks, here's the quick worklog.

    (Oh, I only started taking pics after I'd done all the components on the circuit board - sorry!)

    Here's the completed board with all components mounted - Imagine all the parts in plastic bags and a blank board and you have the basic starting point :)


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    I built a couple of jigs for the build - here's the first one with the first 8 LED strip being mounted.


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    you can see here where I have marked the guide to follow for bending the LED legs


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    Flipped up into the vice, I soldered on a wire linking all the ground wires together - these wires also form the structure of the cube, so I tried to keep them as straight and consistent as possible.


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    Close up of ground wire before soldering.

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    made eight of those strips in that jig before mounting them all into the second jig, like so:


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    Next up, I started on the vertical wires connecting all the red legs together.


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    Reds complete

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    Here's a closer look at the connections once the red and blue wires have been connected and clipped.


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    Once the red and blue wires were on, the grid was stiff enough to not require the jig any longer. I took it out, flipped it over and attached the green wires for each column.


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    Right! Most of the soldering was complete at this point, and the (in my opinion) clever construction trick took place.

    After trimming the excess wires from the grid, I was left with this:


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    Now, I split the grid in half along the center section (with the longer wires):


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    Finally, these were split in half again, and I had my four grid planes to make the cube :)


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    Right - now the LEDs are done, it was time to start mounting the planes to the circuit board.

    Here's the board with its stands in place, as well as the power switch.


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    Next step was to make a series of hooks that would become the ground drop wires for each row. I had to adapt the shape of the hooks after making them here to make them smaller, as they ended up too far away from the grid for my liking.


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    The whole thing is powered via a mini USB connection, and the kit included a wall wart USB adaptor - US plug of course, but that's no issue for the needle noses :)


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    Success!

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    First plane in place, with the drop wires in place. Once it was straight, I measured the height of the bottom LEDs from the board, and used that as my reference for the three other planes.


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    Close up of the drop wires

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    This is where I hit my first (and only, thankfully) major problem ... one of the bottom LEDs was a dud! Whether it was a bad one from the start, or I cooked it with my ham fisted soldering, either way it had lost one of its colours. I cut it out of the grid, and trimmed up one of the 6 spare LEDs the kit contained. I used a somewhat bodgy trick to hold the LED in place for testing, but thankfully it worked just fine. Resoldered it back together, and all was good :)


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    The other casualty of the dead LED was my side cutters ... quick trip to DSE solved this problem.


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    All the other planes went in without issue, and the tests on each worked fine. Oh, and I found that a scotch pad works great as a solder sponge :)


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    So after everything, here is the mounted, trimmed, powered and cased Hypnocube!


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    If anyone is looking for a good, straightforward and high quality kit, I'd highly recommend giving this one a go. It was about US$180 shipped plus about $15 for the jigs, so it's not the cheapest thing in the world, but the quality it great and I doubt I could have achieved the finish I did if I was doing this from a parts catalog. I've not tried the programmable patterns yet, but you can change the pattern sets by hooking it up to a PC.

    I hope someone finds this interesting or useful :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  2. brayway

    brayway Member

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    Looks awesome! :leet::thumbup:
    Good job on it!
    Dunno if i could do anything like that :wired:
     
  3. Symon

    Symon (Plugging your Socket)

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    That brings awesome to a whole new level - well done!
     
  4. rickbishop

    rickbishop Member

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  5. aaricus

    aaricus Member

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    WOW!

    You sir, are an artist.
     
  6. AnnaThema

    AnnaThema Member

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    There was a huge one of these set up in the boiler room @ Sydney BDO this year....first glance looked like a 3d Jacob's Ladder until I saw it flickering :)
     
  7. Evil ZeR0

    Evil ZeR0 Member

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    that does look really cool you should sell........























    ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOCUBE
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Decromin

    Decromin Member

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    Thanks for the kind comments all!

    It took some patience, but if you have done some soldering before, then this shouldn't be beyond your skills!


    Thanks for the links :) I'll have peek around them!

    It would be cool to have a little speaker making the Hypnotoad sound when it turns on :D I'd probably have to smash it after a little while tho ...
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Decromin

    Decromin Member

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    I'm sitting here watching it now, and it really is quite hypnotic! It's much like a lava lamp in that sense. I'd really recommend checking out the makers site to see more vids (don't think I can inline google vids here).
     
  10. Jarwedy

    Jarwedy Member

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    Its really nice, with the right background music in demo mode it looks quite epic.

    Did you make the case to go over it? Glass or Acrylic or did it comes with the kit.

    I've been wanting to build the 4^3 kit for a while, but was also interested when and if they'll make the 8^3 kit (been a while since I've seen any progress).

    I soldered together a 16*48 LED sign with 1inch spacing for my xmas display and that was enough to put me off making any more LED grinds any time soon :p. But can appropriate your work here.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Decromin

    Decromin Member

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    Thanks - yeah, I'd love to have something like this that had a mic to sync to the beat of any playing music.

    The acrylic case came as part of the kit, and fits like a glove. It's made in two parts (like interlocking "U"'s).

    The 8x3 will be something I want to so, but while the instructables one doesn't seem too expensive (single colour), I think I'd prefer to wait and see what the hypnocube guys do.
     
  12. metamorphosis

    metamorphosis Member

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    I saw that too! Auckland though. Was IONTENSELY trippy.
     
  13. CAPS LOCK

    CAPS LOCK Member

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    There is a giant (read: as big as a shipping container) one of these at the big day out in sydney a couple of days ago.
    Some programming, and it did some awesome things when music was played.
    Give it a google :)
     
  14. Franc

    Franc Member

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    Im suprised kits dont come out with snap on fittings or something. Soldering that many would drive me nuts.
     
  15. CAPS LOCK

    CAPS LOCK Member

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    Haha, I did a quick search, and couln't find anything. I know it was in the Boiler Room on the first day (26th) of the Big Day Out in Sydney. There's a nice little article about it and what its called in the little pamphlet that the y handed out. I gave it a quick look over, but cannot for the life of me remember what its called. Also looked through the Big DFay Out website and couldnt find anything. I'll ask some friends and see if they have the pamphlet still.......
    if it pleases your majesty.

    EDIT: Its called the Cubatron, by Mark Lottor
    from The Big Day Out Page
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  16. Muzwa Kai

    Muzwa Kai Member

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    that looks awesome man. is the large IC in the middle the programmable one? and is it otherwise unnecessary for running it like in your video? do you need an additional serial or usb attached control interface board to program it via pc? is the usb plug just for power?

    sorry for all the questions, i just find it very interesting
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  17. OP
    OP
    Decromin

    Decromin Member

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    No problem :) Yes, the big IC is the programmable Microchip PIC18F4620. Not sure what you mean by "otherwise unnecessary for running it" - the unit it self contained, and only needs power to run. All the animations there are stored on the IC. The device can be programmed over the included USB cable, and yes it also supplies the power.

    Hope that helps!
     
  18. DraGoN-BoY

    DraGoN-BoY Member

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  19. OP
    OP
    Decromin

    Decromin Member

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    an 8 cube looks great, but is much more difficult - I wanted to cut my teeth on something more manageable.

    Oh, and I'm sure there are cheaper units out there, but what is the fun of buying a premade one? The build is half the fun :)
     
  20. Muzwa Kai

    Muzwa Kai Member

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    yes it does thanks. what i meant was, i thought it might be just using the small ic's for the standard led signals. clarified though. thats a pretty sweet chip
     

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