8 months ago I had this little idea, I wanted to build a led puzzle for my girlfriend’s birthday. Like most ideas I have, it turned out much harder than I expected, and obviously went way over schedule and budget:)
After trying a couple of the cheap Chinese controllers I realized I needed something more customizable and was happy to find PB. I didn’t know jack s**t about coding, but why not add an extra difficulty to the project? It turned out to be the right move, the flexibility of the platform added an awful lot to the finished project.
The puzzle consists of wooden bricks with either 10 or 5 leds depending the size, plus cubes and angled connectors for 2D or 3D shapes, everything being held together with magnets that do a very satisfying “click” when connected:)
The electronics were a mindf**k, I wanted to use SK6812 so I could have pure white and not the lousy rgb mix found in other strips, so that meant 5v and an awful lot of amps, too many to pass through the only connectors I could find in the market small enough to fit on the PCBs. I ended up going for 24v, with 24v->5v converters in every brick that housed leds. After doing a few prototypes, an engineer did the final board design for me and had everything done at JLCPCB. Did I say everything? Not quite, I had to painstakingly solder those tiny 4 pin connectors you see in the photos myself, all 240 of them:(
The control box that you see in one of the photos houses PB, sensor board and output expander. I’m using 4 of the outputs, also added a pot for brightness and 4 buttons for hue selection or other stuff I might add in the future.