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Creating an 8x8x8 3D LED Cube: The Base PCB

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Steve Manley
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Steve Manley   11/24/2014 2:46:22 PM
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@David: Just great minds thinking alike, huh? :-)

I'm have no idea who came up with the idea of an LED cube but I wish I could take credit for it. It was Max that planted the idea in my head for me to build my own and there are also plenty of others out there building them, but if some of my construction methods help others then that makes me happy. 

David Ashton
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
David Ashton   11/23/2014 10:55:17 PM
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Thanks so much for that Elizabeth.  (sigh) there's so much to learn.... :-)

I'm glad someone supports my philosophy on SMD connectors....

elizabethsimon
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
elizabethsimon   11/23/2014 9:44:11 PM
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The bit in the middle is for allowing a pick and place machine to mount the conectors using a standard vacuum head. Its common to have that type of removable bit on SMT connectors.

Where I work, SMT connectors are generally discouraged with some exceptions for jumper headers and things like JTAG that are only used in manufacturing.

 

Steve Manley
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Steve Manley   11/23/2014 3:38:37 PM
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@David:

Thanks again for the info on using SM headers. If I were to redesign my base PCB I would more than likely consider your original advice on using through hole rather than SM connectors. With the borads I have remanining I'm kind of stuck with using the stagered 8 pin male headers. 

 

David Ashton
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
David Ashton   11/23/2014 1:42:15 PM
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@Steve - since you are stuck with SM connectors (a) use the biggest pads you can and (b) put lots of solder on the joint, but don't overheat it.  For your more wires, less current connectors, maybe use a box header like this so the effects of side to side movement won't be as great: 



(look on Farnell for "wire to board connectors, and tick surface mount and the number of ways you want to narrow it down)

Also consider putting a dab of epoxy at each end for extra strength.  If you're lucky you may be able to find something like this which has levers on the side to eject the corresponding plug smoothly:



This is Farnell 2289797 in 10-way, which would obviously be smaller than shown, and I don't know what that bit in the middle is doing.....    When the soldered bits are more widely spaced (side to side) like this you will get less likelihood of pulling it off the board than with your one where they are pretty much in line.

David Ashton
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
David Ashton   11/23/2014 1:23:21 PM
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@Steve..."Just located a blog by Ben and he deffinately hasent plagorised me"

Just great minds thinking alike, huh? :-)

Steve Manley
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Steve Manley   11/23/2014 7:07:09 AM
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@David: BTW Elektor Magazine December issue has an 8x8x8 led cube very similar to yours.  You have to be a subscriber to get into their website and look.  It is by 

By Ben Rowland, Matrix Technology Solutions Ltd. (UK)

Just located a blog by Ben and he deffinately hasent plagorised me, He has access to a 3D printer to greate his jigs, lucky sod...

Steve Manley
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Steve Manley   11/23/2014 6:57:01 AM
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@David: The connectors I showed are form one of my suppliers in Australia, Rockby Electronics.  I just searched on "spade"- here's the link for that

 

http://www.rockby.com.au/SearchresSql_12.cfm?Searchkey=spade

 

For you Element 14 (farnell) would be easier...here's what they have in Australia, just grab the numbers and try the UK one...

Yup found them on UK Farnell site, so thanks for that.

>> BTW Elektor Magazine December issue has an 8x8x8 led cube very similar to yours.  You have to be a subscriber to get into their website and look.  It is by 

By Ben Rowland, Matrix Technology Solutions Ltd. (UK)

His premise is that he's using an Elektor language called flowcode to develop the project.  Just wondering if he's plagiarising your work at all (or, god forbid, the other way round)?

Definitely not me plagiarizing Ben. I'm aware of Flowcode but never used it, I'm using C++ on an Arduino. As for the construction I can't see the magazine so can't comment. Will see if I can locate a copy here in the UK. I have Googled him and found a couple of YouTube videos, but they don't show the cubes construction.

>> BTW given the circumstances. your idea of using sawn off screw connectors is probably better than spade lugs - vertical force on the board rather than horizontal which would be more likely to separate the pad.  So good on ya!

Glad you approve :-)

David Ashton
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Re: Surface Mount connectors - AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
David Ashton   11/22/2014 6:35:12 PM
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@Steve... "Please don't hang me!"   I'll grant you a special exemption based on the needs of your board, which are fairly unique.

The connectors I showed are form one of my suppliers in Australia, Rockby Electronics.  I just searched on "spade"- here's the link for that

http://www.rockby.com.au/SearchresSql_12.cfm?Searchkey=spade

For you Element 14 (farnell) would be easier...here's what they have in Australia, just grab the numbers and try the UK one...

However Farnell sell them to you at 39c each and Rockby sell you a bag of 100 for $5 (5c each).  If you'd like me to get some for you and post them over let me know (it's the least I can do to atone for my unworthy thoughs of hanging you :-)

BTW Elektor Magazine December issue has an 8x8x8 led cube very similar to yours.  You have to be a subscriber to get into their website and look.  It is by 

By Ben Rowland, Matrix Technology Solutions Ltd. (UK)

His premise is that he's using an Elektor language called flowcode to develop the project.  Just wondering if he's plagiarising your work at all (or, god forbid, the other way round)?

BTW given the circumstances. your idea of using sawn off screw connectors is probably better than spade lugs - vertical force on the board rather than horizontal which would be more likely to separate the pad.  So good on ya!

Steve Manley
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Re: Upverter
Steve Manley   11/22/2014 1:23:47 PM
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@Aubrey: Collaboration with different tools is the topic of my December blog, that is the blog I intend to submit in December. When it gets published is out of my control...

I look forward to reading it.

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