Multi-sensor POV light

Open source persistence of vision (POV) light for bike wheels, pendulums, or hand waving. Multiple sensors to trigger the animations.

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This POV light was developed with low cost and flexibility in mind. An Atmel 328 forms the core of the system, based on the Arduino Pro Mini architecture. TI TLC5940 LED drivers drive the LEDs. A TI inductive sensor, an Analog Devices 3 axis accelerometer, or a reed switch can be used to trigger the animation. This allows the POV light to be used in a bicycle wheel, a pendulum, or just waving by hand on a stick. A TI boost regulator runs from one or two AA batteries and provides the 5V necessary to drive the LEDs at full brightness.

The boards can also be chained together to fill a bike wheel completely.

The hardware and software, including the image converter tool are all open source. We've built and tested several revisions of the design, and you can go on the waitlist for a new board build through Tindie:

The light is intended to operate from alkaline batteries to reduce the total cost. It can be programmed via USB, whether to load images or to change the programmed operation. Operating modes include acceleromer, whch is great for operating by hand, inductive sensor, for using a metal object as a trigger (such as on a bike), or reed switch, such as for pendulums.

We also made an open source image converter to convert bitmaps to files for the hardware. Novice users can easily change the image, and expert users can change everything about the operation, if desired. The first image in the thumbnails is "8 bit plumber", generated using our converter software.

  • 1 × Atmel ATMEGA 328 Microcontroller
  • 2 × Texas Instruments TLC5940 LED drivers
  • 1 × Texas Instruments TPS61026 Boost regulator
  • 1 × Texas Instruments LDC1000 Inductive sensor
  • 1 × Analog Devices ADXL337 3 axis accelerometer

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greenaum wrote 08/23/2016 at 17:11 point

Well, I took a look! Nice, think our guy might have some tips to pick up from you. How much was a completed unit, then? Or how much would it be if you were making 500 of them? 

A UV LED is nice, IR remote is nice (though with 3 buttons?), colour sensor, all that... But that's more for a gadget you'd make and own yourself. People will tend to buy things to do those jobs separately. I'd stick to a product that does one thing, and costs less, if you're selling 500. Even though yep it is a cool toy! 

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CaptMcAllister wrote 08/23/2016 at 17:55 point

I never quoted a completed unit, but if I were to do so, I estimate it would be <<$50.  The BOM cost at 100 qty was $23 in parts from Newark, but that didn't include the LDC1000 inductive sensing chip.  I thought of doing another quick Kickstarter, but I have something much bigger going on right now and I feel like it would be a distraction.  

If I *were* to quote it, I would go to Moko Technology in China.  That's where I had my BooSTicks made and they were 1/3 the price of Seeed.

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greenaum wrote 08/23/2016 at 22:06 point

It's nice that ordinary people can have something done, like your Boostick, in a small enough run to be affordable, and I imagine make a small profit. In the past you'd have had to have thousands done, I'm sure, or find a factory with some spare production capacity. And they'd charge you for setup etc. I'm sure it'd have been way beyond the finances of an ordinary guy who had a useful idea for a  gadget.

It's nice that factories can solicit directly to inventors, and vice-versa. And that you can sell a product without needing a chain of shops to stock it for you, or else be stuck with mail-order. Viva L'Internet! Yet another society-changing thing from the last few years, world changing in my life as an adult.

Still, liked the Internet better back in the 1990s. In a parallel world, a beautiful utopia, Mark Zuckerberg was killed, quickly and painlessly of course, on his way to his first day of college...

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overflo wrote 06/27/2015 at 08:05 point

please check out

It will be relevant to your interests :)

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CaptMcAllister wrote 06/27/2015 at 13:32 point

Thanks!  That's very cool.  A bit overkill for what we are trying to do, though.  Our assembled cost is less than 1/3 of the Magicshifter since we don't include things like the UV LEDs.  I love their design,  though!

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overflo wrote 06/27/2015 at 18:15 point

you are welcome, all the design files and software are open source and under e free license, so make sure to check that out.

especially the picture stabilization alorithm using an accelerometer is really worth a look.

the design is totally bloated with so many sensors that you wont believe it.

it can be used as an IR remote control, it has a colorpick sensor, an UV led, a super bright flash light led, a realtime clock and 12313123 other features that you dont need to make a blinky gadget. but it is an extraordinary cool toy.

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