I’ve finally got around to grabbing myself some electrical components and a microcontroller. I’ve been wanting to learn to how to work with this stuff for a long time; I’ve always regretted not choosing systems and control as my GCSE DT subject. So I’m starting small and grabbed a book to work with, as mentioned I’ve bought a microcontroller, specifically an arduino uno, so far seams really easy to work with and a great deal of fun. You can program the Arduino unit in C using a provided compiler. What’s really great though is that there are tons and tons of free tutorials and schematics to get you started, not to mention the amount kits you can buy that come with everything you need. ( See http://arduino.cc for more info)
I have built up a 3x3x3 LED matrix using the Arduino. I used 3 100Ω resistors on the ground lines, admittedly I’m not overly sure if that’s right, though through trial an error it seamed to give me the best result. I should really throw in some Transistors, but I’m not too sure how to work with them yet, not to mention I have none in stock. So far I’ve programmed a few basic animations working on some more, I’ll post a video once I have some to show.
The basic way set up of a 3x3x3 LED matrix is to do each layer seperately, solder all the cathodes of the LEDs together to form a grid, leave the anodes pointing downwords, then make the next layer the same way and solder the anodes from the above layer to the lower ones, do this again for the third layer. You can then light indervidual LEds by grounding the cathodes the LED is connected to, and giving power to the anodes the LED is connected to.
A much better tutorial on how to make it can be found here:
I’ve just ordered a big batch of components so with any luck I’ll become competent enough to give some real tutorials on electronics, but for now my forte is programming.