RGB Cube with only arduino

Ive looked all over and cant find a tutorial or anything about an rgb cube powered only by an arduino.

I have 100 common anode rgb leds on the way from ebay, and would like to build a 3x3x3 cube, then a 4x4x4.

I need help getting started. Ive already build a 3x3x3 cube with regular leds and an arduino. But i am stumped on building an rgb one.

Can you give an example of what you want to make? I haven't understood much, what is an "RGB cube"..

I want to make a cube made out of rgb led lights. 3 layers of 3x3, thus being 27 leds(or 81)

and i want it powered only by the arduino


rgb cube powered only by an arduino.

Do you mean with no other chips? If so you will struggle as a 3x3x3 cube instead of taking 27 LEDs will take 81 LEDs. Being common anode you can't use charliplexing techniques so I would say it can't be done. It might explain why you have not been able to find anything on it.

i see well what chips do you reccomend? any good tutorials you know of?

Well I think the reason you don't see that many rgb led cubes is that it takes three times the support drivers and wiring as do single color leds for the same cube size.

I think cubes size is more impressive then number of colors available, but that's a subjective thing of course. I enjoyed building my 5x5x5 blue led cube but it was a lot of work, I can't imagine the effort it must take to build one of the super large cubes.

You could run 3 max7219s... Depends on what rgb LEDs you use...

id be using 27 4 pin common anode rgb leds

You can use a TLC5940, this can handle 16 LEDs. You can then multiplex it to handle 4 times like in this project:- http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Hardware/Mini_Monome.html For your cube you will need two of these chips in series and multiplex them.

thank you very much for the info, ill be back for help once i have all my materials

Texas instruments has a sample order you can place.. I got 2 chips for free took a while like about 3 weeks to get.

thanks chris mitchell!!

but which exact TLC5940 chip should i used
there alot of different ones like TLC5940NT

I got the dip package I'll have to see what's marked on the ics but make sure you get the dip it's easily breadboardable. Macetech (if I spelled right) has some breakout boards you can buy... He's on the forums here.

Actually it was my max7219 ics from maxim. It's been a while lol. I got my tlc5940 from digikey...

well i requested a couple of TLC5940 and TLC5940EP

2 of each shipped out today

so my question is how do i program them? any good tutorials on using these chips, especially with an rgb cube

You can look in the playground how to use them. Most I've seen use shift registers...

total noob question but are shift registers hardware or software?

They're a hardware ic chip. A good one is a 74hc595 chip.

i could buy some 74hc595 chips if i need too, there cheap on ebay

but id like to do it with TLC5940 as i already have those on the way

It tells you all about them here:- http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/TLC5940