Stupidly huge POV display


[Mario Mauerer] and friends were commissioned to build this 2m persistence of vision display (translated) for a party (in a hight-voltage lab no less). Dubbed “Display from Hell”, it uses 100 blue SMD LEDs to generate the POV images. They’re connected to an ATMega64 via shift registers. Their target speed is 600rpm for a flicker free image, which means the propeller tips are moving at 140mph. The board can be updated wirelessly via IRDA and plans for adding SD storage are in place. You have to see and HEAR this thing in the video embedded below.


  1. Farles says:

    a typical reason why my project list only keeps expanding…

  2. deoryp says:

    looks like the best way to lose a hand at a party if i have ever seen one…

  3. Adam Ziegler says:

    Nice HV lab at the end.

  4. Will says:

    If it were me, I wouldn’t have used two metersticks…

  5. amk says:

    another awesomely useless example of what you can do with LEDs. seriously, why are geeks (myself included) so obsessed with these things? Aside from low power lighting, indicating the state of things and well, toys, what practical use to LEDs really have?

  6. J says:

    This kind of makes me want to see pilots mount pov displays on the propellers of their planes

  7. Killbox says:

    Reminds me of my dad’s plans to do 12″ version but with a spiral of led’s then just define a window in the top or side quarter and to Mechanical TV with it. like was done with a nipkow disk. in the first tv’s before CRT

  8. HeXeN says:

    That’s scarry dangerous :D but you can have big Vent in your room :D and display stupid forms :D

  9. Lupin says:

    Apparently the bandwidth limit of the site was exceeded. Guess why…

    Looking at the site he apparently got some other interesting projects as well.

  10. strider_mt2k says:

    @amk: Because playing with light brings joy to some people.
    just like shitting on people’s fun brings joy to…others, I suppose.

  11. AbuMaia says:

    hope they’ll have loud music to drown out the noise from that contraption

  12. Derek says:

    @amk: Ruggedness and long life.

    I guarantee we will never see a return to incandescent lamps in commercial signage.

    Even neon and CCFL are being replaced with LEDs in some cases.

  13. walt says:


  14. travis says:

    Looks like they put lexan shields beside it at the installation. At the end of the video they have some rather huge tesla coils in proximity of each other. Is that safe to run, or would the TC’s interact dangerously with each other?

  15. ler73cj says:

    looks like you are reinventing the pulsed reactor core and neutron chopping.

  16. Mario says:

    It`s not a lexan shield, it was wire mesh. It was operated in an closed area in order to prevent any dead people.. The Rotor stores about 800-900J…

    The HV-Stuff in the lab has been re-arranged in order to create room for the party, during “normal” operation of the lab, the coils, generators and all the toys are a bit better placed… :)
    The HV-Lab belongs to the swiss federal institute of technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland and the party was organised by AMIV, the student association for mechanical and electrical engineering.


  17. Thom says:

    That is totally safe.

  18. bre says:

    Really enjoyed his video. Totally awesome project!

  19. sahar009 says:

    “this kind of makes me want to see pilots mount pov displays on the propellers of their planes” — LOL!!!!

  20. Askarel says:

    Did they consider using industrial grade single phase AC motor for their project ??

    Looks like they had some trouble with the motor and its power supply…

    There is definitely some room for improvements !! :-)

  21. Mario says:

    No, we use 2 DC Motors, ca. 12cm long, 5cm diameter, 200W peak. They go up to 80°C while running… We need to change that… :)

  22. Derek says:

    I’ve been thinking more about uses of LEDs.

    Remote controls are another.
    Opto-isolators, too.

    And last, but most important:

    Semiconductor lasers are a form of LED.

    Think about it.

  23. web says:

    Is it just me, or did that blade look like it was just a yardstick?

  24. Mario says:

    Nope, the blade is a solid aluminium flat bar, 5mm thick, 2m long and sharpened on the edges for less air friction… :)

  25. phil says:

    “sharpened on the edges for less air friction…”
    I don’t want to put my hand near that! (Or any other part of my body!)

  26. Tex says:

    That’s like saying “other than a fast and efficient mode of transportation, of what practical use are automobiles?”

  27. Gert says:

    Making a 2 kilometer POV. Who’s with me…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,357 other followers