This is an idea I had a while back after making my persistence of vision toy. Unlike that though, this thing had to be small and lightweight. To accomplish this, I was going to need to etch my own PCB rather than using perfboard. That’s what this was all about. I’ll be providing a tutorial on that later.
So, unlike the persistence of vision toy, I wanted this thing to have some sense of where it was in order to blink the LEDs properly. All I needed was a single trigger at a set location. I could then use the time between triggers to calculate how fast the user is waving the device around and use that frequency to attempt to blink the LEDs at the same location in every cycle. Image stability makes text much easier to read.
My original thoughts were to use an accelerometer, but that presents several unknowns. For example, as the user is waving to the right, he or she might actually be slowing down slightly which would register as a leftwards acceleration. Also, accelerometers are generally fairly expensive, and I was trying to keep costs down. I decided to consult a similar gadget and do some reverse engineering.
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, and our collection of Halloween projects continues to grow. Every fall we update it to include our latest projects for the season. We’ve categorized it by costumes, pumpkins, decor and food. If you’re inspired by one of these projects to make something, we’d love to see photos in the flickr auxiliary!
After the kids (both girls aged 9 and 11) soldered their first minipov kit. I decided to JAZZ it up a bit and add some extra color LEDs to the board. Bought some green and yellow and a 3 way slider switch, along with some proto board and we can change the minipov color with the flick of a switch.
MiniPOV! A simple POV toy for beginners who are looking to learn how to solder, how to program microcontrollers, or make LED blinky toys. Because the programmer is built into the kit, one does not need a special “microcontroller programmer”. This version can be used with PCs (Linux/Unix or Windows) and Macs (running MacOS X and with a USB/serial converter).
I was bored on a plane, so I made a web interface to generate messages for the MiniPOV3. I found it to be immensely useful on my project, and thought I’d share it in case anyone else would like to use it. There’s a “Get C” button that will give you the C code for the image you drew. It’s at http://zachrattner.com/pov/ It’s all done in HTML/CSS/JS, so “View Source” will get you everything you need to hack it up.
I’m a total newcomer to electronics, so I ordered LadyAda’s Toolkit, the Arduino starter pack, and I also got a miniPOV from makershed. I’m very happy to say that I successfully put the kit together and it works perfectly! Thanks for the very clear instructions, they made me feel like a pro. I had to order the serial to usb converter, as I’d neglected to, and added a couple of Arduino shields while I was at it. I’m hooked!, I’m going to get started on the Arduino tutorials now. Thanks for great products, tutorials and forums. I’m sure I’ll be asking a lot of questions along the way as I learn. I just wanted to stop in and say hi to everyone.