Persistence of vision propeller clock

[Jon Stanley] has a nice write up on a POV propellor clock powered by a PIC microcontroller. He improved on the original design by [Bob Blick]. Jon tried a few different methods of powering the spinning circuit, some of which could be handy for other projects. As a double plus good bonus, schematics and code are all linked on the site. This clock would look nice and sinister sitting on any mad scientist’s dresser.


  1. andrew says:

    nice clock! i remember reading bob blick’s page a while back, and the clocks do bear resemblance.

  2. Bob Josephson says:

    This guy (Jon Stanley) is incredible. He’s done lots of great projects, and he’s apparently just 21 years old.

    I am humbled.

  3. Dave says:

    Nice clock. Looks like Jon built 3 of these here before he was satisfied, and its a really nice rendition of the Bob Blick design.

  4. tntc says:

    Double plus good? Is this 1984? (the book, not the year.) This clock looks pretty awesome, though I agree that blue LEDs would’ve looked cooler if he could’ve gotten them to be less blurry. Perhaps with different pulsing of the LEDs? An RGB LED POV clock would be an epic project, though for a single color, I’d probably try to use fiber optics rotating around a fixed collection of RGB LEDs stacked, rather than LEDs on the rotating circut board. This also simplifies the project as power doesn’t have to be wired through a rotating hub.

  5. Alan Parekh says:

    I never get tired of POV clocks. :)

  6. @alan parekh

    me neither. though, this is the first one that I actually think is practical and cool enough to build for myself.

  7. andre says:

    hi all.
    just a thought re. fibre optics. drilling holes in LEDs and then using UV curing glue to hold the fibre in place works well.

    Another useful tip is to use a small LED array in the base (infrared remote LEDs work well) and a solar panel on the spinning part to keep the capacitor charged. Small calculator panels will work for this, i got the idea from the “Menducino Motor”
    This also neatly gets around the problem of

  8. andre says:

    synchronisation, as you just use a gap in the array and a simple voltage sensor to sense position.

    Also it might be possible to use those 5mm RGB LEDs with the drilled fibre trick to get higher resolution than would otherwise be possible.


  9. baf says:

    What about using induction to transfer the power w/o contact?

  10. Oren Beck says:

    vcr head….

  11. Clock Lady says:

    I was searching on Google, for information on clocks, for a blog item I am writing, and I came across your site. Although I didn’t find the exact information i was looking for in your article, I thought I would take the time to let you know that your article has spawned another blog topic for me, as the idea of a home made clock is really modern and I feel it appeals to a large market, especially in these tough times. Thanks Megan xx

  12. Eyshia says:

    i wonder if you could give me some advice on how to create a propeller display with a user interface? (the display will depend upon what you enter on a keyboard/keypad). It’s a modification from all the basic propeller clocks and i haven’t seem to find any example around the net..hope you could help..thanks..

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