POV Cylinder with Arduino Due

POV Cylinder


This is my first Arduino project. My work was inspired by several maker projects that created Persistence of Vision Displays [2,3,4].

Persistence of vision (POV) refers to the optical illusion whereby multiple discrete images blend into a single image in the human mind and believed to be the explanation for motion perception in cinema and animated films [1].

The projects [2,3,4] implement POV globe displays, using discrete LEDs and discrete shift registers. Instead my device is using a rotating cylinder and off-the-shelf RGB LED strips as POV Display.POV Cylinder

The main features of my POV Cylinder are:

  • POV (Persistence of Vision) Display
  • Displays animated GIF pictures on a rotating cylinder
  • The GIF pictures are stored in Arduino’s RAM or Flash
  • Communication with PC via Bluetooth

Technical Overview

  • Cylinder Diameter: 200 mm
  • Cylinder Height: 200 mm
  • Cylinder material: Styrofoam
  • Cylinder weight: 420 g
  • 4 RGB LED Strips based on LPD8806
  • Screen size 151 x 40 pixels
  • Based on Arduino Due
  • Includes HC06 Bluetooth module
  • Controlled via Bluetooth from a PC

Mechanical Construction

The mechanical construction is shown in the drawing below.Mechanics POV Cylinder

The device comprises a chassis and a rotor. The chassis consists of two circular plywood disks which are connected via three threaded bars. The distance between the disks is 120 mm. In the middle there are two ball bearings and the shaft. For the shaft also a threaded bar is used. The shaft is driven by an electric motor via two crown gears and a toothed belt. The rotation speed is up to 1300 RPM (22 Hz).

Mechanical Construction – Rotor

The rotor consists of two styrofoam cylinders and two circular aluminium disks. The styrofoam cylinders are glued to the lower disk. The upper disk can be removed. It is used to attach the rotor to the shaft.

The electronics is located in the upper part of the rotor. It includes the following parts:


  • Arduino Due board
  • Self-made shield for the Arduino Due board
  • Power Supply (PS) Board
  • HC-06 Bluetooth Module


The power supply (7.5V) is fed to the power supply board via sliding contacts and a contact ring.
Four LEDs strips with in total 40 RBG LEDs are used. They are connected with cables to the Arduino Shield.

Read more: POV Cylinder with Arduino Due

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