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CharlieSpire Construction  


ZoolanderMicro
(@zoolandermicro)
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Hi All,

    I have been working on making a CharlieCube 4x4 LED display, and it has been a great learning experience. I got a bit side tracked when learning to construct the LED spires. I found an example of code to test a completed spire on stevesprojectpages.com (Steve Yoshida). I became so enamored with the lighted spire that I designed a driver board for it. So, this thread will focus on my techniques for constructing a CharlieSpire and driving it from a test bed using an ATtiny45 (T45) to run the test code. After I verify that my PCB design is correct, I will post the schematic and board files (Eagle). I will also post my code for the T45 and Arduino Nano.  

ZoolanderMicro, where small ideas are a big deal


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ZoolanderMicro
(@zoolandermicro)
Estimable Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 111
Topic starter  

My orders of PCBs haven't arrived yet, but I did get an email from Aisler saying that my first order has been sent (USPS). I made a couple LED spires last night. It seems like each one is different and offer new challenges. Perhaps by the time I complete 16 of them for my CharlieCube project, I may become proficient. One thing I can say is, don't worry too much about the details. It is the overall effect that counts. When you are soldering, you are working very close and you notice each little defect. Don't try to make it perfect (impossible). The leads of the LEDs don't all radiate from the center. When you line up the wire across the LEDs, some of the leads may be high or low and you have to gently push the wire to make contact. So, don't sweat it, just do the best you can and the results will be good enough. Here is a picture of the perf board jig I use.

P1010819

ZoolanderMicro, where small ideas are a big deal


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ZoolanderMicro
(@zoolandermicro)
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The first version CharlieSpire driver boards arrived in the mail yesterday. I assembled one, and it works. 

P1010821
P1010823

ZoolanderMicro, where small ideas are a big deal


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ZoolanderMicro
(@zoolandermicro)
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I had a little time last night to prep wires and LEDs for three more spires.

P1010834
P1010829

 I can't post the schematic and board files (filetype not allowed) but you can get them from my GitHub repository:

ZoolanderMicro/CharlieSpire_T45: Test patterns for testing a CharlieCube spire from an ATtiny45 microcontroller (github.com) 

I can post my code though.

 This version is written for an Arduino (Uno or Nano) but you can change the pin assignments to suit. Uncomment the '#define debug' statement to enable serial output that displays the random numbers generated to flash the LEDs in two of the patterns (Sparkle and Dazzle). If you need just a bit of code to test a spire, just use the first pattern RGB Test. The revised CharlieSpire boards should arrive soon. 

ZoolanderMicro, where small ideas are a big deal


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DroneBot Workshop
(@dronebot-workshop)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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Posted by: @zoolandermicro

 I can't post the schematic and board files (filetype not allowed) but you can get them from my GitHub repository:

If you let me know the file extensions I can modify the forum software to allow them.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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ZoolanderMicro
(@zoolandermicro)
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Hi All,

@dronebotworkshop AutoDesk EagleCAD creates a schematic file (.sch) and a board file (.brd) for a project. These file types can be opened by a few different programs, but are most usable within Eagle. The good news is, Eagle is offered for free by AutoDesk. Most PCB manufacturers won't accept a board file. In Eagle, you perform a Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) job to create a gerber file to submit. I like Aisler because you can upload a board file and they do the CAM job. I suppose I could run the CAM and post the gerber files.  

ZoolanderMicro, where small ideas are a big deal


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Sid
 Sid
(@sid)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 127
 

@zoolandermicro

I had been searching for this ever since you mentioned it on your other thread wherein you started documenting the Charlie Cube. And luckily, today, I found this one here. Bookmarked. I will make use of your tutorial for the Spirals.

Life is exploring and learning


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