Building a POV Display On A PC Fan

We’ve covered plenty of persistence of vision (POV) displays before, but this one from [Vadim] is rather fun: it’s built on top of a PC fan. He’s participating in a robot building competition soon and wanted to have a POV display. So, why not kill two birds with one stone and build the display onto a fan that could also be used for ventilation?

The display is a stand-alone module that includes a battery, Neopixels, Arduino and an NRF240L01 radio that receives the images to be displayed. That might seem like overkill, but putting the whole thing on a platform that rotates does get around the common issue of powering and sending signals to a rotating display: there is no need for slip connections.

[Vadim] goes into a good level of detail on how he built the display, including the problems he had diagnosing a faulty LED chip, and why it is important to test at each stage as it is easier to debug when the display isn’t whizzing around at high speed.

It’s a bit of a rough build that uses more protoboard than might be necessary, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn’t fly off during the competition.

18 thoughts on “Building a POV Display On A PC Fan

  1. “We’ve covered plenty of persistence of vision (POV) displays before, but this one from [Vadim] is rather fun: it’s built on top of a PC fan. ”

    Wonder if anyone’s done a POV display off a car tire?

        1. Sometimes I see comments show up before mine hours after I’ve made one. Either I’m on the “Check for Questionable Content” list, or more likely, it has something to do with time zones or individual clock settings.

  2. The clicking as it spun made me think it would be interesting to see a hackaday article on self balancing mechanisms. I’ve seen a basic description involving a ring with 3 ball bearings or partly filled with fluid. I haven’t seen any diy projects using them and wonder why.

  3. Great… You use POV for ‘persistance of vision’ while I know it as ‘point of view’. So when reading the headline I was wondering how that was supposed to work.

  4. I thought “persistence of vision” devices were meant to “display” something – I cannot see anything displayed in the video except for blinking LEDs? Somehow I missed a point along the way, probably.

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