Introduction: Arduino + Android POV Display

Picture of Arduino + Android POV Display

POV Display is a funny and interesting way to display text in space. This is my first Instructables tutorial so IF you have any questions don't hesitate to write them in the comment section below.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

To make the POV Display I used :

- An Arduino UNO + Arduino IDE (which you can download from Here ).

- Processing Program : which you can download form Here (If using a computer for the serial communication ).

- An Android Device (If using the Android App for serial communication).

- A Bluetooth Module (almost anyone will do great just check the wiring, mine is "BTBEE PRO HC-05").

- 8 x LEDS with the color of your choice.

- 8 x 220 Ohms resistors.

- 9V DC motor .

- 9V Battery .


Step 2: Circuit Diagram

Picture of Circuit Diagram

Step 3: Upload Arduino Sketch

The arduino Sketch allows you to control everything from your android device. Just Upload the sketch to the arduino and control everything from your android App.

Step 4: Processing App (Computer Serial Communication)

Picture of Processing App (Computer Serial Communication)

For everyone that don't know what Processing is:

Processing is a programming language, development environment, and online community.. Since 2001, Processing has promoted software literacy within the visual arts and visual literacy within technology. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach computer programming fundamentals within a visual context, Processing evolved into a development tool for professionals. Today, there are tens of thousands of students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists who use Processing for learning, prototyping, and production.

I often use Processing to create applications that allow me to interface whith the Arduino through Serial Communication.

The Processing App allows you to draw any shape of your choice by clicking on the white cases and you will see it appear instantly on your POV Display Even when it is rotating at a HIGH speed.

To use the Processing App you will need to setup bluetooth on your computer.If your bluetooth is already set up you can skip this step. But you will need to change the COM Port in your Processing Sketch to the corresponding port of your bluetooth adapter.

Otherwise , If your computer doesn't have bluetooth integrated within it you will have to buy a bluetooth module or a bluetooth dongle (make sure it is compatible with your Operating System).

Then you will have to pair with the bluetooth module wired with the Arduino by entering the Bluetooth Manager on your computer and clicking on "Add a connection" or something like that then clicking on the corresponding Device.

After you complete the Pairing Step you will have to get the COM Port that is used by the Arduino Bluetooth module when connected to your computer then you open "POV_processing" and under the "Void setup()" function you replace "COM40" with your corresponding COM Port that you already got.

Step 5: Android App (Android Device Serial Communication)

Picture of Android App (Android Device Serial Communication)

To control the POV Display I programmed an Android application using the Android Studio Development Kit. Although this app can run on almost all Android Devices (Smartphones, Tablets) but cannot run correctly on devices that have under android 4.0 installed.

This app shares the basics with the Processing App but It is more developped and has way more features.

The App allows you to control everything from your device.

I would really appreciate if you rate the App and write your feedback.

Download link:

Step 6: Thanks for Following !!

Picture of Thanks for Following !!

Thank you guys for following my project and I wish you click on the Follow Button fot more arduino projects. Also let me know in the comment section below if you have any troubles or questions you would like me to answer them.

Share a picture of your POV Display and let us know if you have some ideas to improve this Project ! ! !


anjalykumar121 (author)2017-05-01

plz help me to make a code....the output pins are 9,10,23,24,25,26,27,28 and also used a hall effect sensor

DavidB552 (author)2017-03-31

Hey how would I modffiy this so I can set up what it will s how at the start thewn it will only show that without need of a contol I intend to use it show so a picure of a musical note

AndreiU4 made it! (author)2016-05-26

Thank you! It works great :D

TunMaker made it! (author)2016-02-29

i used your code for my build thanks =)

Aswinm1 (author)2015-12-19


Khalilm (author)Aswinm12015-12-20

Absolutely yes

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-14

I've always loved POV displays. This one turned out looking great!

Khalilm (author)tomatoskins2015-10-09

Thanks . I appreciate it :D

JJJMan75 (author)2015-05-20

I started working on the display, but I have a couple questions:

*220 ohms might be too much resistance, the LEDs get dimmer along the line when wired in series. Has anyone else encountered this?

*I need an example of what functions to put under void loop for pre-coded messages; this is my first time programming the Arduino.

Khalilm (author)JJJMan752015-05-21

Hey. About the resitors : I'm using super bright LEDs so If I used resistance less than 220 Ohms it will be hard to spot the flashing LEDs from others which will make seeing the actual text or drawing harder.

And the Android app is supposed to contain a "Text Mode" feature so you can write the text of your choice using the app but i'm having some technical trouble. So you can do that manually by calling in the end of the void Loop () function printLetter() and between parentheses the number or the Capitalized Letter of your choice.

Hope this helped you :)

MayankTiwari04 (author)2015-05-12

hey khalilm can you please send the android app

device-moto g 2nd gen

android version-5.0.2 (lollipop)

Khalilm (author)MayankTiwari042015-05-12

Hi there. The android app with be soon available in the google play store with another and better instructables page .So make sure to check my channel in the next few days ;)

MayankTiwari04 (author)Khalilm2015-05-14

okay thanks!!

JJJMan75 (author)2015-05-11

Khalilm, be sure to add a potentiometer to the list of supplies. Without one, you can't control the speed of the motor

Khalilm (author)JJJMan752015-05-12

No need to change the speed of the motor

JJJMan75 (author)Khalilm2015-05-12

How does the Arduino know how fast it's spinning? I assumed you had to fine tune the motor speed so the letters wouldn't look stretched out or compressed.

Khalilm (author)JJJMan752015-05-12

It doesn't . I'm powering the motor with an external 9V power supply. You can vary the space between the rows of the same letter and the space between two letters by modifying in the arduino sketch the two variables "dotTime" and "letterspace". Although I wanted to use a Hall effect sensor ( you can google it for more informations) but unfortunately i didn't find it in my local electronics shop so I tried using a Reed switch but It wasn't precise enough at a high speed.

sonson (author)2015-03-15

Good job , give me a app for my Androïd phone please .

Khalilm (author)sonson2015-03-25

What's your device ?

animesh m jha (author)Khalilm2015-05-07

I want that android app

Khalilm (author)animesh m jha2015-05-07

The App will be soon released on Google Playstore for free. And I am sure that you will love it. Please wait for a couple of weeks and you will be able to download it.

paul.leger.18 (author)2015-05-07

Hello i'm student French in Electronic.
your project is very good and interesting!
I did an internship and I must create a LED pov.

your Application very interested,And could you please send me source file too for app for my project.
My email
thank you and congratulations for your project.

Khalilm (author)paul.leger.182015-05-07

Thanks for your feedback. The Android App will be soon released on Google Playstore with an App Review and some details on how to use it . Please wait for a couple of weeks and you'll get it for free

padmanabh04 (author)2015-04-14

Hello this is padmanabh. I would like to get the app that you have discussed above. Also please send some details about the processing app. From where should i get it ?

My email ID is

By the way, your project is very good

Thanks a lot for sharing it

bhawick55 (author)2015-04-07

Hi.. I have made the Hardware and have run the program on it without the processing part. It works perfectly. Can i have the Android App as well?

Please send me at Thank You.

jlowe469 (author)2015-04-07

i need help can you email me at

thered4321 (author)2015-04-05
And could you please send me source file too for app..

thered4321 (author)2015-03-31

Really nice project...
beginners will inspired by this...
Could you please send me the app..??
My device is galaxy note 2 and it's running on 4.1.2

Khalilm (author)thered43212015-03-31

Email ?

thered4321 (author)Khalilm2015-04-05

eagerly waiting for app...

Khalilm (author)thered43212015-04-05

Give your email so i can send it to you

thered4321 (author)Khalilm2015-04-05

and could you please send me source file too for the app..

Thank You...!!

_djura_ made it! (author)2015-04-04

It works with pre-coded text, but I couldn't make it work with Processing, or android app. I don't have a clue what's wrong.

Khalilm (author)_djura_2015-04-04

Did you check the COM port ?

_djura_ (author)Khalilm2015-04-04

COM port is ok, when it's not right, processing returns an error message.

Khalilm (author)_djura_2015-04-05

Ok. Try switching your Tx and Rx pins of the bluetooth module. If this doesn't work go to the Arduino IDE , go to tools then Serial port and change it to the corresponding COM port of your bluetooth module then open the serial monitor and change the baud rate to 115200 instead of 9600 and type "ABGIJPTUXYZ678d" and tell me what you got .

MasterS3 (author)2015-04-04

Send me that app. My Device is Lenovo P780
my mail

Codeck (author)2015-03-31

cool project

can you give the

link to download the app

i have MOTO-G

Khalilm (author)Codeck2015-04-01

Your Email ?

carloseg (author)2015-03-31

nice job Can you send me the app?? My email is

My device is a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 and its running 4.4

brightled (author)2015-03-22

Thanks for the instrucable,please send the app to thanks...WCH

Khalilm (author)brightled2015-03-22

what's your device?

brightled (author)Khalilm2015-03-22

HP slatebook running android 4.4

padmabhushan (author)2015-03-17

Send me that app.

I have Samsung SM-G7102

mail me at

About This Instructable




More by Khalilm:Arduino Esp8266 Post Data to WebsiteArduino + Android POV Display
Add instructable to: