Tidy POV Display Using The ESP32

Chinese Youtuber [corebb] presents the second version of his POV display. The earlier version used 5050-sized SMT addressable LEDs, which didn’t give great resolution, so he rev’d the design to use a much higher number (160 to be exact) of APA102 LEDs. These are 2mm on the side, making them a little more difficult to handle, so after some initial solder paste wobbles, he decided to use a contract assembly house to do the tricky bit for him. This failed as they didn’t ‘understand’ the part and placed them the wrong way around! Not to be deterred, he had another go with a modified solder stencil, and eventually got the full strip to light up correctly.

Based on an ESP32 (using the Arduino stack) and SDCard for control, and a LiPo cell charged wirelessly, the build is rather tidy. A couple of hall effect switches are mounted at the start of each of the two arms, presumably lining

Real-time video streaming? Check!

up with a magnet on the case somewhere, although this isn’t clear. The schematic and PCB appear to have been designed with JLCEDA, which is a repackaging of EasyEDA. We can see the attraction with the heavy integration of this with the JLC and LCSC services. It appears that he even managed to get streamed video working — showing a live video from a webcam — which is quite an undertaking to pull off when you think how much processing needs to happen in real-time. As he alludes to in the video, trying to increase the resolution beyond this point is not viable with the processing capability of the ESP32.

A resin-printed case finishes off the build, with a screw-thread mount added to the rear, to allow typical camera mounts to be used to hold the thing down. A smart move we think.

We love POV displays around here, this spherical POV display is especially fabulous, but you don’t need fancy hardware if you have a handy ceiling fan and a bit of protoboard spare.

Thanks to [mrx23dot] for the tip!

7 thoughts on “Tidy POV Display Using The ESP32

  1. Love to try and make this except with video signal from systems like a DVD player.

    Anyone remember Star Wars The Phantom Menace, where the 2 way video between Trade Federation and the Queen were done on circular display with concentric rings similar to the LED POV system?

  2. Excellent video… funny, engaging, and great storytelling. Thank you. You may find my open source code to do video capture from a mobile device (phone/tablet/laptop) to ESP32 over Wifi to be useful in a future version.

    453c2f24b7

  3. It is not charging the battery wirelessly, it’s sending the power to the esp32 and leds wirelessly, since they are rotating and the battery is on the case (much easier than rotating the battery)

    I’m doing a simpler version.
    Instead of using a pcb I’m using prebuild stuff, an esp32 devkit and a led strip.
    I believe it will be easier to build this way for common folks like me

    The proof of concept is ready, now I’m refining it
    I’ll post everything into my GitHub when done

  4. I wonder if you can make a drum style one where you see the bar from the side and it rotates from back to front, like a large toilet role if you will.
    That way video would be more rectangular but you’d need a way to keep the LED pointed to the viewer, which can be done mechanically but can it be done in a lightweight yet robust setup?
    Or is this a silly idea?

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