Persistence of Vision Display

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2 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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Final Project

ELEN 419

Persistence of Vision


POV Display

Qing Liu

Neville Sun


Our final project for ELEN 4193 is a persistence of vision display


that spins 360
degrees horizontally.
The purpose of our POV display project is to create a small apparatus that
will create a visual using
only a small number of LEDs as it spins in a circle. When the LEDs
rotate several times around a point in less than a second, the human eye reaches its li
mit of
motion perception and creates an illusion of a continuous image. Therefore, our POV display
demonstrates this phenomenon
by creating a visual as the LEDs spin rapidly in a circle and the
person watching will see one continuous image.

project includes

a total of eight single color LEDs that are stacked vertically

rotates in a circle on the horizontal plane. The pictures generated by the spinning LEDs are
coordinated by an Arduino Leonardo microcontroller

and programmed using the software
provided by the Arduino website.
A Hall Effect sensor is used in conjunction with a strong
magnet so that the microcontroller can receive a reference point as to when it should start
outputting the visual

during each rota
. The strong magnet is placed separately from the
rotating platform underneath where the Hall Effect sensor

is located

This way, the Hall Effect
sensor will pass over the magnet during every rotation.

We put the LED board, Arduino
microcontroller, and

a 9V battery (used to power the microcontroller)
all onto a single 2x8 inch

that is mounted to the top of a small 120V desk fan.
The desk fan is plugged into the
wall socket
and can be held or placed firmly on any flat surface for the POV display

to function

Persistence of



Picking LEDs:

The first step to creating our POV display is putting into consideration how many LEDs
we can implement and whether to use single color or RGB (red green and blue colored) LEDs.

We established that eight LEDs stacked in a column will be enough to properly display images
and texts without worries of horizontal and vertical space

. Since the POV spins around
360 degrees, we can display visuals around that entire circumference
The problem we had to
consider was whether to use RGB or single colored LEDs. Single colored LEDs require only an
input and ground, while RGB LEDs require
three inputs (one for each color) and a ground
connection. Since the Arduino microcontroller provid
es a total of 13 input and outputs, using
single color LEDs was the best choice because there were enough ports to connect each of the
eight LEDs. On the other hand, RGB LEDs would have required a total of 24 pins (8 green, 8blue,
8 red), which is possible

through a multiplexing scheme using the 74HC595 chip connected to
the Arduino microcontroller.
It is also possible to use only four RGB LEDs that will take up 12
slots on the Arduino microcontroller. However, we concluded that only four LEDs will make the

visual too small.
Another possibility

to use a PIC microcontroller
that includes 40 pins and a
chip programmer to control the RGB LEDs. Since the 74HC595 chip and the PIC programmer
were unavailable, we decided to use eight single colored LEDs.


the LED Board:

Soldering everything

that is connected to the Arduino microcontroller
straightforward. We used eight output pins on the Arduino microcontroller and connected each
to a 620 ohm resistor that is connected to a single LED and
then to the ground pin of the
microcontroller. The resistor before the LED is necessary to

the current that it

drawing from the microcontroller.
We picked 620 ohm resistors because it made the LED bright
enough to be seen under
normal room


and not too bright in the dark.

Next was the Hall Effect sensor that is placed facing downwards to
wards where
strong magnet will be. We included a 10k ohm


resistor from the input to the

output so
that when the sensor pick

up any magnetic

readings, it will act as though it is disconnected.
Since the Hall Effect sensor only needed about five volts for it to run, we connected a wire from
VDD to the 5V output pin on the Arduino microcontroller.
The output of

the Hall Effect sensor is
d to one of the pins on the microcontroller and
declared as an input in our
program. This way, whenever the Hall Effect sensor is not over the magnet, it will
continue to run at 5 volts and the microcontroller will read that input as “HIGH.”
When the
magnet passes under the sensor, the sensor will output a “LOW” signal

telling the
microcontroller to start displaying
a frame.

Below is a picture of our LED display board.

One other thing we made ourselves was a battery power

source that

mounted on
top of the fan along with the rest of the components.
Originally, we planned to use an external
power supply that will
continuously touching a
PCB board that is connected to the
microcontroller. The reason is because we cannot use a regular
wire from a power source that
is not on the fan to power the microcontroller while it spins, or else the wires will get tangled.
The challenge to this method is finding a way for the wires to be always in contact with the PCB
board, otherwise, the microcon
troller will lose power and cease to function. Since we decided
to use a heavy duty fan, it became possible to mount a 9V battery on top of the spinning
platform along with the other components to power the microcontroller. The battery is a bit
heavy and a
dded weight and imbalance to the platform, so we decided to place it in the exact

We also soldered together the battery wires with a
plug in
head so that is
able to

connect to the power input of

the Arduino microcontroller.
In terms of

, the Arduino microcontroller receives 9V from the battery

and provides power to
the LEDs and Hall Effect sensor,

and the small desk fan draws 120V from the power outlet. It is
not the most efficient fan, but it works nicely to create a P
OV display.

Picking the Motor

The next task, that turned out to be more difficult than we had originally thought, was
picking out the right motor to be used to spin the display. The first thing that is necessary for
the POV display to work properly is a

fast spinning motor that has more than 2000 rotations per
minute. A motor having 2000

is equivalent to 33 full rotations every second.
That is more
than enough to reach a persistence of vision image that is comfortable to a human eye. We
originally u
sed a small one inch diameter motor
that had 2300 RPMs
, however, the weight and
balancing issues made it very hard for the motor to pick up speed. We then decided to use a
small table fan and a
medium sized standing fan. These fans were heavier duty and
n be

placed firmly on any surface.
The small desk fan had about 20
00 RPMs and produced a

visual that seemed a little choppy

because the platform was not perfectly balanced

So the
small desk fan with the component mounted on top of it slowed the rotati
on speed to about
1400 RPMs

and that gave us a visual at about 23 frames per second
. The medium sized standing
fan had
very strong torque and


rotational speed of about
3000 or more RPMs. The problem
with this fan was that it rotated too fast

(even at t
he lowest rotation setting)

and started
throwing the components off the platform even after applying a lot of hot glue and tape.
However, it did display a very smooth image
at about 50 frames per second. We decided to use
the small table fan instead of the

medium standing fan due to safety concerns.

Programming the Microcontroller

We used the Arduino software provided by the Arduino website to program the

In the program, we

pins 2 through 9 by declaring each pin as an output.
This will allow the microcontroller to provide power to the 8 LEDs whenever it is programmed
to. We then declared pin 10 as the input so that the Hall Effect sensor can send a signal to the
ler whenever it detects a magnet.
Next is a loop function that will consecutively
loop the program for it display our image very quickly each time the sensor passes over the
magnet. It uses an “if” and “else” statement to establish when to display the visu
al. We set it so
that if the sensor reports a low signal (when there is less than 2 volts present at the pin),
meaning that it just passed over the magnet, then it will start displaying the visual very quickly.
Otherwise, it will just keep the LEDs off.

he next step is to create a function that will
show a set image whenever it is called up
in the loop function. We used a binary formatter method by creating our own data that
corresponds to each letter in the alphabet and some simple pictures. Since a byte

can store an
bit unsigned number from 0 to 255, we used that to create an on and off mark for each of our
LEDs. For example, if we wanted to display the letter “N”, we would map out the letter using
“0” and “1” like the shape below. Where “1” will turn
the LED on and “0” keeps the LED off.









In the function that displays our image, we tell it which image to display and it will go
through all of the data for all the columns
in each frame for that image
. Timer1 will tell the
program to create a very short delay (in milliseconds) between each column that is read. This
will shrink or expand the width of each image.
After it goes through every column, the program
will turn every
LED off so that an empty space shows up between each image. In the loop
function, we initialized another delay time (timer2) that will increase or decrease the space
between each image.

Scalability Issues

Our POV display can be expanded to include mor
e LEDs. However, as of now it only has
limited ports for expansion. Also, adding more LEDs to the existing design
will not work with

Arduino program code since the 8
bit binary formatter stops after 8 columns. The POV
display can display as man
y pictures or letters as it can fit in that 360 degree circumference.
Increasing the circumference of the rotation will allow for more pictures and letters to be
displayed, but t
hat would mean we would need

fan and a longer platform. The balance
of the platform will get trickier as the platform length increases.
In terms of getting good visual
and readability, it is best to keep the width
of the picture
to about an inch or two.

Parts List:

Leonardo Microcontroller


Hall eff
ect sensor


Small rare earth magnet (used with the sensor)



through hole single color (orange) LEDs


9v Battery (supply power to the POV display)


9v Battery socket


Standard socket (for the battery to power the microcontroller)


xperimenters board

(2x3 inches)


120v Small desk fan


10k ohm resistor

10x 62
0 ohm resistors


: $5

We were able to reduce the total cost
down to

after deciding to use the small table
fan and the Arduino microcontroller. If we used the small 12v motors, we would have needed a
12v power supply. We initially planned to construct 8 RGB LEDs with a PIC microcontroller

a pic programme
r to program it. However, that added more to the cost and the pic
programmer was more expensive than the Arduino. Therefore, it encouraged us to use the
Arduino microcontroller instead. Almost all of the parts that we used for the working prototype
were fo
und in the 12

floor Mudd EE lab or the Display Lab in 10LE1.

Addressing Scheme

Block Diagram:

Arduino Microcontroller Addressing Scheme

Module Datasheet:

Library of Control Software:

correspondi ng to the each al phabet and a few characters to be di spl ayed

byte A[]={B00000111,B00001100,B00111000,B11001000,B11001000,B00111000,B00001100,B00000111};

byte B[]={B01100110,B01100110,B10011001,B10011001,B10011001,B10011001,B10011001,B11111111};

byte C[]={B01100110,B01100110,B11000011,B11000011,B11000011,B01100110,B00111100,B00111100};

byte D[]={B00011000,B00111100,B01100110,B01000010,B11000011,B11000011,B11000011,B11111111};

byte E[]={B00000000,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B1

byte F[]={B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B11111111};

byte G[]={B01101110,B01101111,B11001011,B11001011,B11000011,B01100110,B01111110,B00111100};

byte H[]={B11111111,B11111111,B00011000,B00011000,B0

byte I[]={B00000000,B11000011,B11000011,B11000011,B11111111,B11000011,B11000011,B11000011};

byte J[]={B10000000,B10000000,B10000000,B11111110,B11111111,B10000011,B10000110,B10001100};

byte K[]={B10000001,B10000001,B

byte L[]={B00000000,B00000001,B00000001,B00000001,B00000001,B00000001,B00000001,B11111111};

byte M[]={B11111111,B01100000,B00110000,B00011000,B00011000,B00110000,B01100000,B11111111};

byte N[]={B

byte O[]={B00000000,B01111110,B11111111,B11000011,B11000011,B11000011,B11111111,B01111110};

byte P[]={B01100000,B11110000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B10010000,B11

byte Q[]={B00111101,B01100110,B01001110,B11010011,B11000011,B01000010,B01100110,B00111100};

byte R[]={B00000001,B01000011,B11100110,B10101100,B10111000,B10110000,B11111111,B11111111};

byte S[]={B01000110,B11001011,B10001001,B10011001,B10010001,B10

byte T[]={B00000000,B10000000,B10000000,B10000000,B11111111,B10000000,B10000000,B10000000};

byte U[]={B11111100,B00000110,B00000011,B00000011,B00000011,B00000011,B00000110,B11111100};


byte W[]={B11100000,B00011111,B00000010,B00001100,B00001100,B00000010,B00011111,B11100000};

byte X[]={B00000000,B10000011,B11000110,B00111000,B00010000,B00111000,B110001

byte Y[]={B00000000,B11100000,B01100000,B00100000,B00111111,B00110000,B01100000,B11100000};

byte Z[]={B10000001,B11000001,B10100001,B10010001,B10001001,B10000101,B10000011,B10000001};

byte ful l stop[]={B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000011,

byte comma[]={B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000110,B00000101,B00000000,B00000000,B00000000};

byte heart[]={B00100000,B11111000,B01111110,B00111111,B00111111,B01111110,B11111000,B00100000};

byte smi l e[]={B0101110

byte one[]={B00000000,B00000001,B00000001,B11111111,B01000001,B00100001,B00000001,B00000000};

byte two[]={B11110001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10011

byte three[]={B11111111,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001,B10010001};

byte bl ank[]={B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000000,B00000000};

Changeabl e

i nt pi ns[] = {2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9}

// an array of pi n numbers

i nt rows= 8;

// total LED's i n a row

i nt ti mer1 = 1;

// ti me between col umns

(mi l l i seconds)

i nt ti mer2 = 3;

// ti me between frames

(mi l l i seconds)

i nt frame_l en = 8;

// frame l ength

i nt hal l Pin = 10;

//Hal l Effect se
nsor pi n number

i nt hal l State = 0;

//ini ti alize Hal l Effect sensor as 0

voi d setup()


i nt i;

pi nMode(10, INPUT);

for (i = 0; i < rows; i ++)

pi nMode(pi ns[i ], OUTPUT); // set each LED pi n as an output


voi d l oop()


hal l State = di gi tal Read(hallPin);

i f (hal l State == LOW) {

// turn LED on:

//Max number: 12 l etters

del ay(ti mer2);


del ay(ti mer2);


del ay(ti mer2);


del ay(ti mer2);


//Change show() to di s
pl ay di fferent l etters or i mages


el se


PORTD = B00000000;

//turn off LEDs



voi d show( byte* i mage )


i nt a,b,c;

// read every data for al l col umns i n each frame.

for (b = 0; b < frame_l en; b++)


for (c = 0; c <

rows; c++)


di gi tal Write(pi ns[c], bi tRead(i mage[b], c));


del ay(ti mer1);


for (c = 0; c < rows; c++)


di gi tal Write(pi ns[c], LOW);