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A quick showcase of various supercomputers and a build of an Evilution hexputer.
You can download the Gerber files for the 6" by 4" (150mm by 100mm) and A4 supercomputers here:-
The 6X4 PCB file is called gallium2
and the A4 sized version is A4gallium
The 6X4 and A4 panels are designed to fit into a picture frame with the glass removed.
To get PCBs made, choose your preferred PCB manufacturer and upload the whole zipped file on their order page.
The other components you will need are flashing LEDs of your choice, either 470 ohm or 1000 ohm (1k) resistors and a spare USB cable to chop and connect to the PCB.
Note that JLCPCB have changed somnething on their site including PCB filename recognition! If their site doesn't recognise the outline, change the name of the outline file from outline.GML to outline GKO.
If you want one of Mouse's mini supercomputers or a badge minicomputer his Etsy page is here:-
For one of Evilution's hexaputer kits his Etsy page is here:-
All these panels can be built at your own pace. I timed it to see a typical build time for myself.
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.

This video involves lots of blinking lights and sci-fi super computers, i'm just one in advance: it's not going to be strobing, but there are going to be lots of blinking points of light, and i shall show you those right now. Let us marvel for a moment at the intergalactic computation going on here, so the first of these circuit boards was made was the 6x4 one here, the blue one, and it has 54 leds in it and 54 resistors. The next one that was made was the ridiculous of the top a4 one. Well, i thought it was ridiculously over.

The top has been beaten since, and the a4 circuit board has 234 leds and 234 resistors on it. It's worth mentioning that well i'll, show you you can get both these circuit board files online for downloading yourself and getting them custom made the hexagonal computer. The hex pewter was then evolved by evolution, and this one actually has very high led density on its hexagonal frame of 271 leds. Fortunately, uh evolution supplies these pcbs in his etsy website, which has all the resistors soldered on in advance.

So all you have to do is add the leds, and then there is the mouse putter. You don't have to solder anything at all. If you order this tiny little thing from mouse. This is 216 surface mount leds and 216 resistors and uh.

You well mouse actually liked them so much. I ended up buying a pick and place machine to put all the leds on from which is a good idea, because that would be very, very fruity to soda and, of course, on my live streams. We often see these in the background. The live streams uh.

I often wear one of mouse's badges, which is a tiny little super computer with just 12 leds, 3x4, just mincing away doing the random stuff and creating endless shapes during the stream and the battery. It takes a cr2032 cells and a uh cell will last for ages, and it can just be pinned onto your clothing. It's very neat so now that you have seen these oh nothing worth mentioning. Look how fast these are.

The standard flashing leds diffused always go for diffused leds because uh well, except the surface amount but diffuse for these ones, because otherwise they can be quite ferocious if they're focused. But these are the high speed ones, and these are much harder to get the worm white and the the orange are much harder to get low speed ones. But i shall talk about those in a moment. In the meantime, let's return to the bench and uh start making one of the hex pewters, so you might be thinking that there's some crazy, complex, arduino stuff going on to create these endlessly morphing random patterns and you'd be wrong.

These are very simple designs. Excuse the sound of a storm outside single-sided board, single-sided board single-sided board. These two are the only ones that have double-sided boards, just partly because uh mouse added features in the back. You've got the usb connector now and you can also vary the intensity of this one.

You can turn it up and down, which is actually quite useful, but i'll also feature how to control the intensity of these other ones in a simple way as well. So the circuitry in these is just a usb power supply and resistors and series of self-flashing leds. That is all, and it relies on the fact that the self-flashing leds have their own very simple, oscillator inside that will gradually drift away from other ones in terms of frequency, so every led will end up doing its own thing and that gradual drift of frequencies uh Results in the complex morphing patterns that you see and if it's too bright, i typically recommend 1k resistors, but you can also use 460 ohm resistors if it's too bright. Even with that and the background, you can add just standard one amp diodes in series.

These things. Don't take much currently, but you can add one or two or three, whatever you want to gradually lower the voltage and bring the intensity of the whole panel down and when you turn these on initially well, let me demonstrate with the hex pewter. I shall turn it off and actually turn it on all the flashing leds light up in sync together because initially well, that's probably one of the very few times i mean if you're left on 24 7 forever. It would sync up again at some point, but at power up, it's the only time, you're rightly to see them in as accurate as sync is this and it's interesting watching the current, because on an analog meter you see it peak and drop and peak and then, As they gradually morph out of sync like this, it averages out right in the middle and then needle just wavers gently.

It's a very consistent current and it's only. You can have like an a4 panel like this running at just 100 milliamps at 5 volts and it looks great it's a good, decent intensity right. So building one of these one moment, please i'm just going to clear the bench and bring on one of the circuit boards, so two of these pcbs are available as a file download on my website. I shall link it down below it's worth mentioning.

My file is old fashioned, http and not https i'll provide the links below, but your browser may throw up that this is an unsecure site. You know you may be being hacked that it always does that thing. I really should make https at some point, but you'll find two zip files there uh gallium and a4 gallium. The reason they're called gallium uh is because originally it was a different project.

It was just static, leds, just random art, but i added the flash leds just for fun to try them out and it worked out really well, so both these files can be downloaded as zip files of the gerbers, the actual manufacturing files. Literally, you can go to your favorite printed circuit board manufacturer in china or wherever, and you can dump the zip file when it says upload your files and it will should fill everything in for you, these ones, the big ones. The a4 are quite big and heavy. So it will cost a lot more than the smaller 6x4 ones.

These ones are also a lot easier to build because there's less less leds, there's an option of through-hole resistor standard quarter, wart resistors or you can use surface mount resistors in the back. If you wish, i tend to use through-hole resistors, just because i find that kind of easier for this type of project. The power supply for these you've got an option of where you actually connect it. Uh the power supply, for these is a usb power supply.

So all you do is cut a lead off us cut the connector off the end of a usb lead and you strip the wires and then you can terminate onto it. If you want pre-built supercomputers, then mouse sells these in x and they don't normally feature commercial products, but this isn't a commercial product as such a mouse is a regular on the channel, as is evolution, so this isn't as a paid sponsorship as such. They have sent me these as sort of to play about with, but it's not a paid sponsorship, and it is just a cottage industry. It's mouse is making these at home, as is evolution and putting it together the kits and sell them on etsy, so cottage industry.

You can also get the very, very trendy and very popular, i have to say a little blinky badge from my mini computer for that one and mini supercomputer. For this one evolution initially supplied them, as i think he has soldered the resistors in the back. But now he's been getting the circuit boards made with the resistors pre-soldered, i think, onto the back, which is a good because that's a lot of work. So when you get one of these pcbs from evolution, you will get the pcb.

I don't know if he just does the pcbs in their own, but you can get the pcb and he'll supply you. The led color of your choice in that pack. Whatever he's actually got, these are the very desirable slow flashing leds. Can i demonstrate that with a battery right now slow flashing, leds, um we've only found one supplier of these and their minimum order is 5000 leds, so it works out quite expensive and also i discovered the hard way that their customer service isn't very good when stuff Goes missing, but evolution has stopped up in these and he will supply small packs, the leds to match the circuit board.

What i'm going to do, i'm going to actually put a red border around the outside of this one, just to give it a bit of a extra emphasis on the outside evolution has also created what they call the computer. I have to show you the computer. Now don't i write one moment please, the computer called a computer because it looks like a cube and it has a little base in the bottom here that actually it's a 3d printed. I don't know if i don't know if he stocks computers as such, not sure i've not looked at your shop recently but um.

You may just make the file available for the base. I'm not really sure i don't know, but it's a nice thing. This is what i've had in the background of the live videos recently, and it's just the three sections. It is a completely flat circuit board, but just standing up on its edge to give the cube effect right.

Tell you what i am going to prepare the stuff and then we'll start making one of these hex pewters. So here's my preferred approach to this. Put the circuit board to the side, get the leds and start cropping them down in length. Now the long lead denotes positive shortly denotes the negative there's a flat on the negative side as well, and also, if you look through the side, the led you'll see the anvil with the chip in it for the led chip and that's the negative.

So because i can see the anvil through the side, i tend to just basically crop these down to about just over a quarter of an inch about five millimeter, just under a quarter of an inch five millimeters, because it just means they're much easier to solder. In and then i'll crop them again afterwards, but this is quite a time-consuming process because there are 271 leds and that does take some time so i'll be back in one moment the leds have all been cropped. It took 16 minutes and 54 seconds to measure out and crop those leds which isn't too bad and now comes placing them onto the circuit board. So i'm going to put a perimeter of red and then i'm going to fill it with the white leds and once again, i'm going to clear the stopwatch for this and i'm going to start timing it.

But i'm not going to obviously record the whole thing, because that would be very time consuming now on the circuit board. There are flats the anvil side with the flat goes to that flat. I mean it's not too hard to put these in, but they are quite densely packed. It doesn't leave much room for big fingers, so i shall start putting these in and then i shall pause recording.

So you aren't tortured by me. Putting these in over a long period of time, so i shall pause now and when i come back, these should all be in and will be ready for soldering the leds are in and that took roughly 24 minutes. To put them in your time will vary. Some will be faster, some will be slower.

Now. I've got this in my frame here. I think this frame is made by a company called. I sell.

I put that label on to remind me of that 240x260, but i'm not sure uh. They certainly seem to manufacture something similar, this one i've stored with things pressing down to the phone - that's not very good, but that's nothing compared to the fact that, as i put this frame onto here and press it down occasionally in the past, the circuit board has Popped out and all the leds have explosively come out again, 24 minutes to put them in one second to remove them all again: okay, flip it over and now it's time to start soldering. So i shall start soldering, let's bring in the stopwatch here and again. I won't be making you watch the whole thing, because that is going to be quite a lot of time and i'm only going to be soldering one lead of each led initially, so that i can make sure they're all completely square before i continue uh very time.

Consuming this would be like watching paint dry. Thankfully, all the resistors are soldered on these okay. I shall pause momentarily until i've done this. That's all the positive connections so that i'm ready to take the circuit board out and see if any leds have been missed.

They will instantly drop out. It took 15 minutes and 33 seconds to soda the positive connections of all. These leds note that i'm a seasoned silverer, if you're not so seasoned at soldering, it will take longer it's not a race around the house. The reason i'm including timings is just experimental um, the time it takes.

You is the time it takes you you should enjoy it. It should be a relaxing experience. It might even span over several nights. If you connect, if you actually populate with leds, you could connect your five volt supply chart and you could just get sections of it as a time as you moved across, i do recommend sort of moving across as you go.

I already feel an led that i have missed here yep. I have i've completely missed that led. No. I think i actually got a trace of soldier on it right.

Tell you what i shall add a spot, the race small pads. That's my excuse! It's not an excuse, it's rubbish. Maybe i should use more appropriately sized, so darn radio. Now i'm going to look down the rows of leds and see if any are particularly wonky as you look down them.

If there are any that are particularly out of alignment, they will show, and you can look from a couple of directions. This is all looking pretty good. I'm also noting there are none sticking up to an undue level. So the next thing i do is start the timer again and then i have to start sorting out the negative connections.

So i shall do that right now, i'll be back in one moment: soldering the negative connections is completed now, it's time to crop the leads. It should be noted that the negative connections in the circuit board are all on a ground plane. It takes a lot longer to solder them because it takes a lot of heat away from the iron, so it took 30 minutes to uh actually solder, the negatives. But now it is time to crop all these little leads off and this in its own right.

I should actually start a timer shouldn't. I i will start the timer. This will take a good length of time, so i'll be back once i've cropped all these leads off. The leads have now been cropped.

It took approximately eight and a half minutes. So, overall, it's roughly a one and a half to two hour, build for if you're going straight into and really plowing into it, but you could spread that over several evenings. If you wanted, i shall use this lead to test it now. So this is a pound land bead, but this one is a slightly more expensive version, other ones faster charging versus one amp.

It's got slightly thicker cable in it. It's a better one and i should use andrew's super industrial scissors to cut this open. Thank you andrew for sending these very useful, so i shall pop this lead out. I shall do what i normally do with these.

I shall cut one end off. Oh, i hate these little paper labels they put on these standards, labels they're horrible. Let's cut that off. As well, because we have no standards yeah almost work too, if i am not going to regret this, i'm going to regret this.

Yes right, that's off excellent, sticky labels. It's like the christmas lights. You end up with a really massive label with loads of information on it: okay, okay, i got ta cut off one end of this lead and before i strip it or anything, i'm going to slip a bit of heat shrink over it because, as soon as you Free the end of this uh sort of woven sleeve, it gets a bit messy, so i shall slip that over. I shall then pull the sleeve back a bit.

If i can, i shall hook the middle of the cable here and drag this back. Oh there. It is it's going all fluffy, that's! Okay! It's fine! Now i shall experiment. I don't know if this is going to work pop this into here and see if it strips it, without ripping all the cables that kind of worked, and i shall keep the red and the black but cut off the green and the white.

Normally these ones are the crab polarity, which is quite nice but uh. Sometimes you get cables that it's their own clarity. Now i'm going to shuffle this down and then i'm going to slide the heat shrink up. I should zoom in on this, so i'm going to slide the heat shrink up to the point it just takes all those frayed ends in and then i'll take the heat gun.

My little heat pen or you could use a lighter if you wanted or rub it at the back. The soldier iron has also been suggested and something i've done myself in the past, but i'll shrink this on. That will just put a nice end to that. Uh woven sleeve, which is quite nice - that's a silky coating on them.

Now i shall very carefully strip these super thin wires. The next usb cables is super thick wires. It is much thicker copper in these that's notable, and i shall tin them with the solder arm and before i connect it to the board, i shall check polarity. The reason for this is that sometimes you get usb cables where black is positive and red is negative.

Sometimes that happens so. Do i have a usb power supply here? One moment i do now so i shall plug this in then i shall grab a meter. The meter is buried under little mini supercomputers here it is currently set 200 volts, which is good enough. I'll set it to 20 volt, i shall put red to red and black to black and if it displays a positive value plus 5 volts, the polarity is correct.

If it displays a negative value, it is not correct. It's displaying a positive value. That's perfect! That means the polarity is correct so before i short these together and cause the power supply to log out, i shall unplug it and i shall flow some soda onto these two connection pads at the bottom here. I have not tested this yet, hopefully everything's going to be working.

Okay. Are there any hugely embarrassing soda joints on here? There is one side, embarrassing soda joint over there. It's enormous! It's ridiculous! It's not! Now it's looking pretty now i've fixed it, so i shall flow. Some soda on to the other pad here, the ground pad, which is a mass of copper.

Again, i just put that lead there and that ended there and theoretically, if i have not put any leds in the wrong way around or done other weird uh, then this thing should work straight off the bat will. It doesn't always it's very easy to put leds in the wrong round. Oh that looks alright. Actually everything is lit.

Nice, okay, tell you what right there. Well, i shall let this settle and then show what it looks like in the dark. One moment please yeah. That's looking pretty good.

I like that. A nice result it's a very deep red, it's kind of like 660 nanometer red, which is that they complete opposite ends of the spectrum from the blue. So that's a nice contrast. I can't believe we got every single led in the right way around.

I don't see one that i've missed. It's always hard to tell when they're flashing. If you turn them off and on again, they all come on together and it lets you spot any other out. But that's a good result that didn't take too long to put together and it's looking very smart.

So i shall probably have that in the backdrop of uh. My next live stream because i like to have these in the backdrop for the live stream - probably not very good for uh bandwidth for, like the data compression of the image and stuff like that. But i quite like the feature of these things, just turning them in the background, so there we have it uh light coming back, watch your eyes and that is it the evolution, hex pewter. So i shall provide links to the evolution.

Hex pewter in this other little uh. Well, this one's the green version - this is a prototype version of a mouse, is a mini supercomputer. Let's plug that in as well. Oh ferocious supergreen green is one of the brightest colors in this.

It's quite nice. Look at the difference in speed that is so subtle, but the these ones flash at the normal speed, which just gives it that sort of chaotic look but um each has its own merits. I quite like this is good in some situations when you want that swirling patterns - and this is nice and sort of like retro when it's just stepping about randomly. But i would say, that's a good result and i shall provide links to the etsy pages.

If you want to buy a kit for the hex butter or one of mouse's, pre-assembled computers or one of his little illuminated badges and also provide the links to the um circuit boards, so you can just basically download the files and build your own from scratch. Or, incidentally, if you want to use this as its original form, just get a mixture of colors of leds, preferably diffused and uh, put the resistors and then just scatch the leds in random colors. And this is designed to go into an a4 frame. The smaller circuit board is designed to go into a six inch by four inch frame and they're designed to be used as sort of techno art and they look good as techno art, but that is the project complete, so um.

I shall uh upload this now. After editing it and splicing it all together, and then i shall put those links in and release it.

16 thoughts on “Intergalactic supercomputers for all not cgi”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars twocvbloke says:

    If you get enough of the hexputer boards, you can stick them on a wall to make a Blockbusters game board… 😀

    I still haven't gotten LEDs for my hexputer, which was the "You must be mad!" bare PCB option, cos as you say, the source for those LEDs is expensive when you don't need all that many of them… :S

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars billfusionenterprise says:

    I saw a neat project back in the 1980s in radio electronics (or another) where someone did one of these panels but with counter chips (flasher LEDs not there yet) and made a neat altair looking panel, thing is he use an inverter on a couple LEDs so it never be fully dark

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars billfusionenterprise says:

    FYI, I have a hat which had a flasher LED in series with two regular LEDs and worked off a 9 volt. Worked quite well. I did a project which used six flasher LEDS with a six LED element (radio shack) and it simulated a fire quite nicely. This might be a neat thing to try in a 12 volt light up panel.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Frank says:

    If you don't need full brightness, how about running it on constant voltage without resistors?
    Would they run in sync for longer without resistors?
    Which chip is inside the LEDs?

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars NS says:

    I would have loved to have watched you put the LEDs onto the board for 24 minutes and soldering them in for an additional 45 minutes before cropping the leads for another 8 minutes.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hungry Horse says:

    Mine arrived a few weeks ago and just built it today after watching this video it took me about 4 hours 20 minutes as I don't have the circuit board holder, only had 1 led not work as I fitted backwards. I went for the fast flash pink LEDs and put a constant blue led boarder around it. I'm well happy with it.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MazeFrame says:

    I wonder if the Hex-Cube could be "improved" by using two-color LEDs for the cube-edges and having a bi-stable oscillator flash the second LED color on and off in a circle…

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Quan Diy says:

    I wonder how chaotic it would be if it used those alternating red/green or red/blue flashing LEDs

    Have you seen those USB A connectors which are a plastic clamshell design? I get that USB cables are basically free, but sometimes I would like to use a cable with a little thicker copper for less voltage drop or those super flexible silicone ones. Having a bare connector lets me choose my desired cable to use. They are cheap too, I can get some for a little over a USD for a set of 10

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars leewot says:

    With the hex it’d be interesting to see if- by installing red leds in a Y across the centre to create the outline of a cube- and then a reflection of it and oscillation between the two if it might give the illusion of a rotating cube?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nomen says:

    I am living in the cold north and during the summer my town invested in replacing many outdoor lights to leds. I have noticed now that temps is falling below -0°C many of them have started blinking, like strobing every second continuously. Is it because my town ordered cheap leds that can not handle the cold?

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ThunderBassist Jay says:

    This reminds me of the disco light shows I built back in the early 80's. I used to put LEDS on The front panel of the electronics housing, representing the light show, so the dj could dial in a combination of effects. This was so satisfying.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pp Ss says:

    That was awesome! I have often wondered about those sitting in the backdrop of your videos, and now I know! Man, they sure would have loved having this tech when they filmed the original Star Trek series! lol The green one made by mouse, inspired by Big Clive, has a very Matrixy vibe, good timing since the fourth iteration of the franchise will be released in about three weeks… Might just have to obtain one! It's so fascinating how simple randomization, can appear to be a complex algorithm, perhaps it is complex….hmmm….

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dave Moore says:

    To make soldering easier on ground planes and thicker tracks the component pad attributes can be set to 'thermal break' before ground plane flood is applied. Although this is not done for high current component pins.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Batchelor says:

    Big Clive is playing the long con… Years of free education and entertainment with an amiable and lovable personality, all to lull you into trusting him enough to download a virus from his unsecure website.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bernd Felsche says:

    Hmm. Next level is to put up an E-Ink panel that displays random quotes, etc … as QR codes. It may drive all the AI content engines insane. Is that a bad thing?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Erik Swiger says:

    When you talk about supercomputers as as effect, I can't help but think of how they depicted them back in the old Star Trek days. It involved multi-colored lights, moving discs, and a frosted lens, so that it made random swirling patterns. Rather reminiscent of the flame-effect device you posted recently.

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