POV clock inside acrylic block

This gorgeous persistence of vision clock was built a couple years back by [mb1988]. The housing is made of acrylic with a hard drive motor mounted in the center of the back panel to spin a PCB. The two-sided circuit board is home-made and includes a battery for power, ATmega32 for the brain, 32 LEDs, four display drivers, and a real time clock module. The spinning hard drive motor is nearly silent and already has threaded mounting holes on it. [mb1988] uses an optoelectric sensor to sync the display with the rate of rotation. The forum post includes download for the code and hardware details. Don’t miss the demonstration after the break.

[Thanks Tehgringe]


  1. dmcbeing says:

    Is that the terminator music ?
    On a side note has been done before but not that well imho.Job well done :D

  2. derp says:

    Very nice! Excellent look

  3. svofski says:

    I wish I knew about this TDA5140A when I was making Strobeshnik. Good find for the future reference.

  4. asdf says:

    How beautiful! To make it even more spectacular he could add some waving effects using sine functions over the plot routines: POV Dali clock FTW!:)

  5. keru says:

    @dmcbeing: It’s “Pass Portal” by Team Sleep. (It had been on The Matrix Reloaded soundtracks.)

  6. keru says:

    @dmcbeing: “Pass Portal” by Team Sleep. (It has been on The Matrix Reloaded soundtracks.)

  7. rob says:

    dmcbeing: No. This is:

    Or T2 if you prefer that:

    Still gives me goosebumps, such great movies :)

  8. jd says:

    And what a gorgeous piece of PCB design too!

  9. jeditalian says:

    i wish i had a giant one on my ceiling. it looks awesome.

  10. Alan says:

    He doesn’t use a battery, there is a track on the bottom side that he uses with a contact to make a slip ring. I’m guessing that ground is done through the screws into the motor.

    This is definitely one of the best POV clocks I’ve seen so far.

  11. Dude says:


  12. localroger says:

    OK the clock modes are all very nice looking but the rotating Necker cube is just showing off.

  13. Paul Potter says:

    That is fantastic. Love the different modes, and the vector graphic is amazing.

  14. Mic says:

    Wow, the mechanical balance of that pcb is obviously perfect. That makes me wonder about the effect that spinning would have on the components over time. If they moved the balance could change resulting in disaster. Not to be a downer. Too nice to look at. What RPM is it running at I wonder.

  15. Hirudinea says:

    That is really sweet, I’ed like to see it in black acrylic though and now they’ll know what time it is on the Borg Cube. :)

  16. Tachikoma says:

    The cube animation did it for me.

  17. debbie downer says:

    The screws ruined it for me.

  18. chrisu says:

    great clock, gotta love POV projects.

    The song is from The Matrix Reloaded:

  19. chrisu says:

    Whoops – hit submit prematurely…
    Song is:
    Team Sleep – The Passportal from Matrix Reloaded.

  20. David Murray says:

    I love POV devices, but I could never have one in my house. I’ve never come across one that didn’t produce a lot of noise. Sure, during the day it may not sound loud, but at night when you are tying to sleep they are just too loud.

  21. mischka says:

    looks great.

  22. Anon says:

    Yo dawg, we heard you like cubes so we put a cube inside your cube so you can feel symmetric while you’re feeling symmetric.

  23. Andrew says:

    I built a regular HDD POV clock, but the mainboard crapped out and quit driving the motor. For lack of appropriate parts and motivation, I just shelved it until I could get some kind of easy to use motor driver.

    I was hoping that the TDA5140A that he used could revive it, but alas, it looks like it’s not manufactured anymore. Anyone know of an alternative all-in-one solution for driving a BLDC motor? I know I can do it with an MCU and some discrete components, but this chip is just so perfect for this sort of application.

  24. Mic says:

    Yo dawg Thx fo the cube inside uh cube.

  25. santosh says:

    i want to make this pov clock
    can anybody give me ckt diagram and mechanical
    hardware arrangment

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