POV Spinner AKA Fidgetspinduino :)

A simple, cheap ($15 for 1 off), POV (persistence of vision) fidget spinner. Made with an AtTiny85, 5 LED's, and 2 CR2032 batteries.

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A few weeks ago a family member introduced me to the world of fidget spinners. At first I thought they were kinda silly, but after trying one, I started to see their appeal. It hit me that these would be really fun to build a POV (persistence of vision) display around. This project is a culmination of that idea. You can see the finished product in action here:

Although the most popular fidget spinners seem to be the ones with 3 sides, for this project I decided to go with a 2 sided design. A 2 sided design would enable me to use 2 cr2032 batteries wired in parallel for power, one on either side of the spinner. This would help to balance out the spinner nicely as well as provide enough current to power a small micro and the leds. For the microcontroller, I went with the AtTiny85, since it had a small footprint, a wide operating voltage, and fairly low current draw. I'm using the trinket bootloader to load sketches into the board via the usb plug.

In my original design, I used the popular 608 size bearing. This by far was the bearing of choice it seemed for most fidget spinners. I found though that using this size, left almost no clearance on the sides of the board for traces running to the leds. Ultimately I decided to go instead with the R188 size bearing since, measuring only 12.7mm diameter, it gave me far more clearance to route traces around. I also was able to leave enough clearance around this bearing to hopefully add a cap to make spinning a little easier.

Finally, the ultimate goal of this project was to make something that could inspire fun and learning in this new generation of kids obsessed with fidget spinners. I did this through the use of a simple design, that is both low cost and easy to assemble. This project can be constructed in its entirety in a one off project for as little as $15 total, including the bearings and pcb. All of the components are within the range of anyone to solder. And the schematic and design are easy for anyone to understand.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 31.77 kB - 06/09/2017 at 19:27


  • One more

    Jon Thomasson06/24/2017 at 22:25 0 comments

    In homage to hackaday...

  • Built and tested!

    Jon Thomasson06/24/2017 at 21:45 0 comments

    I got my parts and boards earlier in the week, but hadn't had a chance to build and test them till today. I learned a few valuable lessons, like I learned that you need to tin the ground pad that lies under the coin cell holders, otherwise the battery won't make contact with the pad. I also had the wrong size soic footprint. I was using the skinny 3.9mm footprint when I actually needed the wide 5.3mm package. Oh well, live and learn. I already made the package changes to the latest rev in github. For now all I did was squeeze the pins closer to the ic body so that they would make contact with the footprint.

    Here's what the finished board looks like:



    and of course hello world seemed appropriate...

  • PCB's are on their way

    Jon Thomasson06/13/2017 at 14:59 1 comment

    PCB's have been ordered, so I'm hoping to have the first version built in a week or so. I made some small changes to the original design. One was swapping out the SOD523 package blocking diodes for a little larger SOD323 schottky. The advantage of this is it'll be easier for people who want to hand solder these to do so. Between the low parts count and the larger 0805 surface mount parts, I'm hoping these might be a good candidate project for people who want to practice surface mount soldering.

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k1200s wrote 09/10/2019 at 01:42 point

I would like to make this spinner.

Can you please share the BOM with the part numbers and package sizes and eventually link to manufacturer?



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Matthias wrote 06/13/2017 at 12:00 point

Hey Jon, I just realized: we both made it to the top 21 for most likes in the last week. That's awesome! Seems like we hit a nerve ;)

For anyone interested: here is my take on the POV spinner: (It comes with RGB LEDs, ESP8285, three wings, rechargable LiPo, ...)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jon Thomasson wrote 06/13/2017 at 14:41 point

Yeah, we definitely hit on something with these! I like how we each tackled the problem from different angles. Congrats on making the top 21!

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Matthias wrote 06/13/2017 at 14:51 point

Congrats to you as well. Since the last time I checked, you moved up one spot to 20! Given most of the other projects had the full week to collect those likes while our projects don't exist that long, it's definitely a success

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Jon Thomasson wrote 06/13/2017 at 20:57 point

You made front page! Way to go!

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Matthias wrote 06/13/2017 at 21:33 point

That's awesome! Thanks for the heads up

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Richard Hogben wrote 06/13/2017 at 00:49 point

The R188 bearings are pretty popular too right?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jon Thomasson wrote 06/13/2017 at 14:35 point

Yeah, it is the second most popular bearing. The upside of this size bearing is that it supposedly has longer spin times than the 608. The downside is it's nearly half the size of the larger bearing. But for this particular design I think the R188 was the right choice. I should have enough clearance around the bearing to also fit a spinner cap.

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