Arduino Wireless Power POV Display





Introduction: Arduino Wireless Power POV Display

When I first met this little device, I liked it immediately. I decided to make my own POV. I watched lot of videos, and recognised some main problems. The power supplying of the micro-controller was the biggest. Spinning battery or sliding commutators were both refused. Only option was the air core coil for me. That solution seemed too difficult. I could manage to solve this problem successfully. I created an easy but relatively efficient circuit with a few electronic parts.

Step 1: Schematic Diagram

The schematic diagram

Step 2: Components You Need:

Component list: with links

1. Arduino pro mini ATMEGA328 5V 16 Mhz

2. DS 3231 RTC module

3. 7 pcs 1206 smd LEDs

4. 7 pcs 220 ohm resistors 0805 or 1206

5. TCRT5000 Reflective optical sensor

6. 2 pcs 4.7 nF capacitor 4.7 nF 1206

7. 1 pc SS34 schottky diode

8. 1 pc 1...4.7 uF capacitor 1 uF 1206

9. 2 meters 24 AWG ( 0.51 mm) magnet wire

10. 1 pc 1.5 nF capacitor 1.5 nF 1206

11. 1 pc BCX 56 transistor ( I tried BC 639, BC 368, worked well) BCX56

12. 1 pc 4.7k resistor 4.7k 1206

13. The motor and some other parts are from and old CD player. Or new motor with disc holder

14. 5V power supply,( USB charger or power bank).

Step 3: The Heart of This Project : Coils.

There is a simple coil in the receiver side and a bifilar coil in the transmitter side. The secret is that they have to have same size and same number of turns. In my coils this number is 8. The little trick in the bifilar coil is that coil consists two coils with 4 turns. It is not difficult to make. The preparation process same as in the single coil.

I used 24 AWG ( 0.51 mm) magnet wire for winding coil. 8 turns , 35 mm diameter.

As you can see in the picture we have 4 wires in the bifilar coil and we need a common point. Two of them will be connected to each other that point will be the common point. There are two options. 1. connect red start to blue end. Or : 2. connect blue start to red end.That's all. I am not too good at explaining things, but hope, you understood.

Step 4: Arduino Software

The software:

Step 5: Making Coils Step by Step

Step 6: Building Transmitter

It requires some soldering skills. I will make a version with bigger through hole parts.



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12 Questions

Hi again!

I have another some questions, the first one is about the RTC module, it comes with a small battery to keep the clock running when there is no external voltage (I guess), is there any reason why you have removed it? (I don't see it in the pictures)

The second one, is about the LEDs, do you have any picture of the solder between the LEDs and their resistors?

Another one, what glue did you use to keep the coil attached?

Finaly, do you have any recommendation to make a correct balancing of the upper disc?

Thanks a lot for you support!

See you, William

PS: Take a look at the small PCBs inspired by your design.

DS 3231 RTC module.jpgIMG_9596.JPG



This kind of battery is not rechargeable and I had a discharged one. I wanted to use a rechargeable coin cell battery and place it on the surface of disc as a balance weight. After that I re-thought the design and dropped that idea. Of course you can use small battery for continuous working. I used cyanoacrylate super glue for coils. I balanced the disc with a holed coin. I will upload photos about of resistors on back of LED's.

I liked your design! Well done!

Hi Mr.Holybaf. Very nice project, congrats and thanks for your patience. I have a question, I don't what it's the SMD component conected at transistor emitter pin, looks like a Tantalum Capacitor, but no appear in the Schematic Diagram. Thanks 4 u time.

PD:By the way, I'll be waiting for the mini POV with IR data transmission.



Hi WilliamM25, thank you . That is a filter capacitor between GND and 5V. 22u 16V. My next project will be the mini POV with IR data transmission hopefully next month.



Is there a difference using a sine wave or square wave signal for the transmitter part??


Hi, there is no difference.


so basically on what i understand, PWM is just a square wave signal with adjustable duty cycle and the blocking oscillator is just a generator of square wave signal but the signal created by that oscillator cant be adjusted like the PWM....and is it okay to use either square wave or sine wave signal for the transmitter??TIA


thank you for all your reply but i cant still grasp how the blocking oscillator can create a sine wave, can you pls explain it to me because i need it for my presentation. i hope u understand

The blocking oscillator itself does not create a sine wave, it is a square wave, however the load acts as a filter, and the higher end components of the square wave are filtered out, leaving the fundamental.


when you say square wave do you mean it as a PWM? TIA


The PWM means pulse width modulation. We talk about PWM when the rate of L and H level is important for us, like dimming LED or controlling motors. In this case no sense to use PWM or does not matter its percentage.


sorry if i misunderstand some of your reply liek for example;

my question: did u use a sine wave signal to induced a current to the other coil?

your answer: Yes, this is a simple sine wave oscillator.

and here is some of your reply: I don't use sine wave generator. My little circuit is a tipycal blocking oscillator. ( it creates sine wave by itself. The frequency is between 1-2 MHz.

You can use 555 if you like difficulties :)


Okay, It was my fault. The generator meant for me a separated equipment or device with adjustable output and sign shape. So I thought that your question referred of it. The output of ideal blocking oscillator is like square wave. When I measured the output of my oscillator the shape of the sign was rather sinusoidal than square.The reason was explained by steveastrouk (Thank you). I chose this solution because that was the simplest and most effective and really did not matter the shape of the sign. So I did not use generator but use sine wave.


can you plss share to me the schematic diagram of your blocking oscillator for my reference? i hope u can share it to me...TIA


See Step 1: Schematic diagram. That is the blocking oscillator in the left side of picture.

See Step 6: detailed description with pictures how to build it.

I hope it helped.


and in case i use the 555 ic what kind of configuration should i use is it the astable or the monostable?


Astable is simpler. Monostable needs a trigger ( eg. a second 555 in astable mode ???) Which would make it even more complicated .Why would you use 2 IC's + 1 FET instead of 1 transistor?


so what is the input voltage for your blocking oscillator? it is 5 volts?


The next project: POV with IR data transmission. Coming soon.

1 reply

Nice, clever configuration. Congrats!


Is there a difference using a sine wave or square wave signal for the transmitter part??

AMAZING, and in your HONOR i will build this also for you, and link you on my website and channel

i am a clock junky, and POV fanatic, in the best way, coming soon to see on my channel, as you can see i made my own PV stick want, and have a fan that display REAL pictures and LIVE clock and temperature, via an APP.

and yours wil be add to my collection, believe me, this is a FRACTION of what i have and is coming............ THANXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Time is a fabricated LIE just to undermine us.

3 replies

"Time is a fabricated LIE just to undermine us." Hahah. I like the Douglas Adams quote, though: "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so."

From a fellow "clock junkie."

please show me.........

thanx for the possitive words, and the quote.

do you have a channel or ? let`s combine our group.

IMG_20180308_191108.jpgIMG_20180126_003814.jpgIMG_20180126_003921.jpgclock ring.gif

Thank you. You are a real POV expert.

thanks for all the reply @holybaf u help me understand and i hope u will still answer my questions if i have one in the future

I have always been intrigued with these POV (a.k.a. "propeller") clocks. I like your use (recycling) of CDs/DVDs for the rotor and base, and also the DVD motor.

Did you use current limiting resitors on the LEDs. (Looks like you did not, but it is not clear from the photos.) If not, how did you limit current. Can you drive the LEDs using input mode with internal pull-ups? (However, with the high resistance value of the internal pull-ups I would think the LEDs would be quite dim.)

One thing I would add (and hope it works) would be to put a 3-pin IR remote receiver device on the center hub, and use the IRRemote software library, to receive commands from an IR remote. This could be used to adjust the time and/or enter custom messages to store into EEPROM. (These could also be accomplished by using the USB serial I/O to enter commands/messages while the board is not spinning, but then, you would not be able to see the POV display until you disconnect the USB and start spinning.) I am not sure, though, if spinning the IR remote receiver would mess up the received IR signals.

For example, a message (with date/time info) like "HAPPY BDAY MOM" could be saved in EEPROM, to be displayed for, say, 30 seconds every 5 minutes on "MOM's" (or whoever's) birthday. And of course, messages like, "MERRY CHRISTMAS" on Dec. 25 and "HAPPY NEW YEAR" on Jan. 1, could be permanently stored in FLASH program memory.

I might work on something like this some time in the future.

4 replies

Thank you! The current limiter resistors are under the LEDs. There is a GND wire on the picture that is the common point of resistors.

Thank you, Ferenc.

This looks like a great project, and I really want to build one. Like one of your earlier responders below, I, too, am a "clock freak", and own several types and styles of clocks.

Two more questions:

1. Is there any special connection or control for the DVD motor? I read that, in DVD players, the motor speed is variable, so the linear velocity past the reader head is constant - i.e. in a DVD reader, the motor spins faster when the head is near the center spindle and slower when it is near the outside edge of the disk. So how is the motor powered for the POV clock? Do you know the speed of your motor? (I know that you sync with the led/phototransistor pair, so my question is not about syncing, but how you actually power the motor.)

2. In your YouTube video that demonstrates the wireless IR remote, what did you use for the IR transmitter device, to send alphabetic characters? Was there some kind of IR transmitter connected to your computer? Better yet, do you know if there is maybe an Android app that can send alphanumeric IR codes from a smart phone? (I am going to have to look for that at the Playstore. ;)

I might also look into using Bluetooth, but there is an issue with connecting those 3.3V HC-06 modules to a 5V Arduino board, so not sure if that is really the route to go. Besides, the IR receiver devices is much less expensive than a Bluetooth module, anyway.

Thank you again.

Hello Makedougall,

1. Your knowledge is right about spindle motors, but this motor is from a cheap DVD player, that is a normal DC motor. It works with 5V DC directly, but I put a serial 47 ohm resistor between the motor and power supply to reduce speed. The motor speed in this case about 1500 RPM.The text is readable, the operation is silent and there is no any vibration. Nothing special connection or driver.

2. The transmitter is an Arduino Uno which connected to my computer and gets data from there. If no connection with computer it is capable to send time ( or any saved data) to the rotating Arduino. I found and implemented this idea from here:

I managed to send data via my smartphone, but my experiment stopped here due to the lack of time. I used "BLYNK" app from Playstore. We are thinking about things same :) I bought a bluethoot module for more playing, but it is still in the untouched plastic bag in my drawer.

My apologies.

I missed your comment from two months ago: "The next project: POV with IR data transmission. Coming soon." and the photo shows a picture something like what I was thinking (the IR receiver mounted over the center of the hub). And I found your YouTube video demonstrating this. Well done!

I would love to make this but there are far too many blanks in the instructions. Please elaborate on this "instructable."

3 replies

Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I will share much more information soon. Topics: how to gather parts, how to make coil, how to tune the coil pairs, how to solder SMD parts, how to programm arduino mini via Arduino UNO, how to set up the motor speed, how to balance the disc. Please tell me if I missed something.


I agree. Well done but too many blanks. Parts gathering it important. I would be interested to know where you got that piece that fits on the Arduino side and connects to the motor. I would also like to see explanation on the purpose of the coils. I assume it powers the board? Does it also transmit / receive data? When can we expect an update? :)

Thank you for reminding me. I linked the parts, actually everything's reachable on Aliexpress. I mined the motor from an old DVD player and the part you asked is the upper plate of the disc holder. Yes,the coil powers the board and no data transmission. The coil provides about 6V 100 mA. I attache pictures how it works. About updating... I will upload more and more details but I don't know which parts are more important. First step was updating the part list as many of you asked. Every post and question helps, I appreciate them.


Great instructable! Inspired by this instructable, I am working on a similar thing with 32 leds driven by four 74HC595 shift registers and I want to use wireless power transfer for it. The max current for each 74HC595 is 70mA, so for four of them it becomes 280mA. My question is can this wireless power transfer design will able to deliver 300 to 350 mA of current at regulated 5 volts? Sorry if I sound stupid as I am very new to electronics and have limited knowledge about all this.

2 replies

Hi, thank you.It is a reasonable question. My circuit provides approximately 100 mA because my goal was to build it as small as it possible. 300-350 mA is reachable, I would try: raise the input voltage to 12V, decrease the base resistor to 3.3K , replace the transistor to a stronger one with heatsink and dont forget to use a 5V regulator in the receiver side.

Thank you for replying and helping, I would definitely try out the modifications you said.