Simple Arduino based POV display

Small handheld POV display based on Arduino, perfect project for beginners and not only to learn soldering small components and programming.

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New version of my ever first Arduino project - POV clock/display. To make it a little bit more challenging I decided to design a custom PCB in a KiCAD that I have never used before and use as many SMD components as I can.

Thanks for supporting this project to:
JLCPCB for $2 PCBs (48 hours build time):

When I got my first Arduino as a present for Easter in 2014 I decided to make a POV display, because it was a very effective and I only had few parts like LEDs and resistors. I had no idea on how to make this thing, I even didn't know how POV display works. So I started searching for some explanation on the internet, I made a prototype on the cardboard with breadboard and tape. After a lot of tries I got it working. Then I added a motor to make it spin and it started to work. That's the story of my first Arduino project, that's how I started my journey with Arduino. Since that I build a lot of projects: EggBot, Drone, Voice controlled lamp, FollowBot, Snake robot and a lot of normal robots. So choosing POV display as a first project was great idea. But it's time to make a second version of this project. It's time to make it better, simpler and smaller. So that more beginners can start with this project. 

To make it I designed a custom PCB in KiCAD. PCBs were made by JLCPCB.COM, huge thanks to them for supporting this project. Because I already now how POV displays work, I decided to complicate this project a little bit to make it more challenging. The first thing to make it harder was using a KiCAD instead of Eagle, I have never used KiCAD so that's my first design. I also use as many SMD components as it was possible, to reduce it's size and price but also to learn soldering small SMD components, because I haven't a lot of experience with SMD soldering. 

I made a mistake with PCB design. I used ADC6 and ADC7 pins to control LEDs but it turns out that those two pins can't be used as an output, they are only for analog input. To fix that I added two jumpers between pins PD3 and PD4 and LEDs number 7 and 8.  Except this small mistake (or maybe not so small) this project is really good. I am happy that I manage to design a board in KiCAD, produce it, solder and create a code for it. So if you want to make something like this follow the instructions below. If you like it, don't forget to hit that like button, any questions leave in the comments.

Happy making!

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  • 10 × SMD Resistors 100Ω Package: 1206
  • 1 × AVR Atmega8A Microprocessors, Microcontrollers
  • 1 × Custom PCB
  • 2 × SMD Resistors 1.5 kΩ Package: 1206
  • 1 × 10 pin ISP Male Connector Header

View all 10 components

View project log

  • 1
    Make a PCB

    You can download PCB layout files here, and make them on your own or order them in a PCB manufacturer, for example JLCPCB.COM.

  • 2
    Solder everything

    See schematic to know where to solder which components. Don't forget about LEDs polarity. You don't have to solder optical detector, I wouldn't use it in this project, but I plan to update it int the future and make it spin with a motor.

  • 3
    Upload a code

    To upload a program we have to use USBasp programmer. We also need to add Atmega8 bootloader to Arduino IDE, you can find it here. Use the code provided below, to upload choose sketch -> upload with programmer.

View all 4 instructions

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