Author Topic: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower  (Read 557 times)

Offline spuddevans

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Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« on: June 30, 2021, 05:30:42 PM »
Well it's been a bit since I posted anything up (life kept getting in the way of projects  :bang: :bang: ) but I've recently started back into an old hobby of electronics, not anything majorly complicated, mainly been getting some cheap chinese-sourced kits, and making some videos of building them, and bunging them on U-tube so I can bore a whole new bunch of folk  :lol:

Recently I started a fairly big project, I got a kit from Banggood of a RGB LED tower (about 550 LEDs standing about a meter tall). It has a little speaker in it and also has bluetooth, but I doubt I'll bother using it for playing back music, it's more in the enjoyment of building it, and documenting the build process for anyone else to learn from my mistakes!!

So if you're having trouble getting off to sleep, why not give this a watch!!

Part 1 - what's in the kit



Next up will be actually building the main PCB (lots of SMD soldering  :bang: "oh, joy!"  :bang: )
Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2021, 12:16:10 PM »
Part 2 is released into the wild!!!

In this video we get into building the main PCB which has a number of SMD passives & IC's. These are all soldered with a conventional soldering iron and 0.7mm leaded solder   :headbang:

Enjoy!

Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2021, 02:39:47 PM »
Looks like a pretty large job you have on your hands there. What is the purpose of this tower - is it a sort of year round Xmas tree or a disco accessory? How do you drive it - with an audio input or some form of programmed sequence. Should be quite a sight when it's done!

Online John Rudd

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2021, 02:47:26 PM »
Watching....
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Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2021, 04:07:07 PM »
What is the purpose of this tower - is it a sort of year round Xmas tree or a disco accessory?


No practical purpose, I just like coloured lights  :D

Quote
How do you drive it - with an audio input or some form of programmed sequence. Should be quite a sight when it's done!

It has a 3.5mm audio input jack and has bluetooth as well a little speaker (of very dubious quality, but i don't think I'll be using it for listening to music through) I think it has pre-programmed display functions, or it can respond to music thru the 3.5mm input jack or the Bluetooth receiver.

It hopefully will turn out pretty funky, but it's a fun project to challenge myself with.

Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2021, 08:03:47 AM »
So the next step was to assemble the PCB that interfaces between the main processor PCB and all of the "rings" of RGB LEDs, I'm calling it the Interconnect PCB.



Next up will be the rings of RGB LEDs, all 550 of them (550 times 4 pins, 2200 solder joints....... this may take a while  :bang: )

Thanks for watching
Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2021, 10:32:00 AM »
Part 4 - assembling and soldering all the "rings" of LEDs, 4 pins per LED, 16 LEDs per ring, 32 rings = 2000+ solder joints using about 6 meters of 0.7mm 60/40 solder !!
Tried 1st of all soldering them my own way, then after a couple of "rings" I discovered some advice in the supplied manual and tried a couple of "rings" using their method. Their method did NOT give a warm fuzzy feeling, more like a murderous, seething contempt.  :bang: :zap: :bang: (note to self, take the manual with a small shovel of salt!!)

Anywho, here's the next installment,



Next up will be taking all of these completed "rings" and then constructing a tower with them (another 500+ solder joints, then running another 3 wires from each LED "ring" to the Interconnect PCB.

Thanks for watching,
Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 06:37:39 PM »
Oooohhhh Why didn't I see this sooner???

Very very cool. Haven't watched the vids yet... I will do that later tonight.

I built a very small LED cube (3x3x3) That was a pain. Can't imagine one that is a meter tall!!
Science is fun.

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Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2021, 04:03:49 AM »
I built a very small LED cube (3x3x3) That was a pain. Can't imagine one that is a meter tall!!

I built a blue 8x8x8 LED cube a couple years ago, that was fun!!! I've been looking out for a RGB 8x8x8 cube kit but not found one yet, that would be a real challenge!

Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2021, 02:09:14 PM »
Mine was a Radio Shack kit (miss that place)... when they tried to make a last grasp at what made them (being a DIY store).

Thought I saw a 9x9x9 kit on banggood??

Maybe it was aliexpress
Science is fun.

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Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2021, 07:05:19 AM »
Here's the latest episode in the build, assembling all the completed LED PCB's using 16 fiberglass rods and 16 lengths of tinned copper wire. I made up a 3d-printed spacer to help with getting a consistant spacing ( thingiverse link - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4910229) and then soldered the 16 copper wires on each PCB, then moved the spacers up a level and repeated until done!!

Once they were all soldered up I went back and superglued about 4 or 5 spots of the fiberglass rods where they go thru each PCB, and this stiffened up the whole structure quite a lot.




Next up will be wiring 3 links (Red, Green & Blue) from each of the 32 "rings" and soldering them to the interconnect PCB.

Thanks for watching,
Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline spuddevans

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Re: Building a 1 meter tall RGB LED tower
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2021, 06:13:15 PM »
Here's the next episode in this 1 meter tall saga!!

This time I wire up all the LED PCB's (about 96 wires) to the Interconnect PCB, and also wire the speaker and the Tower-Top LED's to the main PCB.

Then it is time to hold my breath and power it up for the 1st time  :zap:



Next up will be a detailed check that every RGB LED is functioning properly (and then fixing those that are not!!), then tidying up the 98 wires that drop down the center of the Tower. Then a better capture of the various display modes including playing some music-type sounds through it and seeing how it responds to the audio.

Thanks for watching,
Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME