Microbit and Cube:bit 'says' Hello

Since seeing pictures of the 4tronix Cube:bit I have intrigued by it and now I have one. So what is it? It is a 3D array of neopixel-style LEDs, or another way of describing it a programmable box of LEDs (or just good fun). The option I went for the 5x5x5 array (125 LEDs) controlling it with a micro:bit, and the base for mounting and powering the grid.

Instructions for putting it together can be found at https://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=1770. My main bit of advice is read the instructions carefully especially if you go for the 5x5 options, at the time of writing, you need to move a standoff around but it is all in the instructions. Admittedly I missed this step initially. 

So to playtime, using a microbit I wanted to spell-out HELLO across the grid using the Micro:Bit JavaScript Blocks/MakeCode Editor. Basically, my solution revolved around creating two JavaScript functions to produce vertical and horizontal patterns on the grid (sounds good saying that - reminds me of Tron). What is very useful is 4tronix's have provided their own MakeCode package (the URL needed is in the instructions https://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=1770 ), this was great it made it even easier to get programming. The plan was put H is one first vertical plane, the E on the next and so on.

The code to my solution is available here https://makecode.microbit.org/_ePhFgu13i97D  or can be seen or download from below.

The video below shows it in action. 

It isn't the cheapest option for producing a grid of neopixel-style LEDs but it probably one of the easiest ways to do this. Quite quickly (if you read the instructions) you have a 3D array of LEDs to program. Last but not least, it is fun. Now I have to think (or rather stop thinking) about all the things I want to do with this.

Another review and related links:

All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon