Instructables
Picture of Ceiling Fan LED Display
Seeing so many persistence of vision ideas on the web was too tempting not to try one. After considering several different motors to drive a display, a ceiling fan seemed to run at just the right speed, is out of the way, and very quiet compared with alternatives. With a micro controller based on the Arduino, this project provided plenty of both software and hardware learning and besides, the kids were involved throughout...
 
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Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
Since one of the primary goals was leaving the fan unharmed, I decided to make new fan blades out of some 1/4" plywood. The new blades were simple rectangles and are shorter than the originals. I made them smaller in an attempt to keep the assembled weight low, so as not to stress the supports when spinning. Early circuit considerations were to not interfere with the mounting hardware, scalability and one design to fit all different needs in the project. The circuit was based on the Arduino platform which provides so much support and the programming environment.

Step 2: Creating the circuit boards

Picture of Creating the circuit boards
The boards were designed using ExpressPCB. I choose to buy some single sided copper clad and etch them myself. There are plenty of how-to's for making boards but, I found the toner transfer method worked well for me. After a little experimenting with the clothes iron, overhead projector sheets printed in an old fax machine worked best. A black permanent marker or finger nail polish are good for touch ups of gaps where the toner does not adhere well to the copper. Also, the boards cut easily with a table saw since I don't have access to a shear. Muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide was the mixture of choice to etch the boards. If you don't want to deal with the acid, you could always order the boards right through the ExpressPCB program.
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nhendrick1 year ago
Could you please share the spreadsheet you are using to plan the POV?
It would be very helpful in oorganizing the display.
UncleBone (author)  nhendrick1 year ago
It's at the bottom of Step 11
fuzvulf3 years ago
Love it.
Mulato3 years ago
mmm im trying to get the list of materials but they arent... im srry to ause you trouble.. kan you writte them? plase, ill be very thankful.. =)
use my material list maker on my published instructables
Mulato3 years ago
woo ooo wooo! thanks! =) already big project helper =D
Mulato3 years ago
mmm its all perfekt, I need the diagram bekause this POV will be my projekt in my High Skhool this 11/Oktober, kan you give me the diagram? I Will be very thankful
UncleBone (author)  Mulato3 years ago
I added the ExpressPCB file to this step.
jimjinright4 years ago
This is an incredible device.  I saw it a few years ago at the Point of Purchase tradeshow; but it was on a smaller table fan.  That's great you were able to make this yourself.  It would be very cool if they could do something like this on aircraft i.e. a helicopter!
crazyrog175 years ago
Hi! Crazyrog17, Very nicely designed, is a brilliant idea, so may be I can use my picture on it? Thanks.
UncleBone (author)  crazyrog175 years ago
Very Nice! crazyrog17 sent a really great looking image. I put it on the top of the video step since it had no image. Thanks
My pleasure! Thanks for posting it! My thumb went numb clicking on my trackpad, but otherwise I'm glad to see the result! One thing to note though was the clear all button in the SS didn't work.
UncleBone (author)  crazyrog175 years ago
You need to have macros enabled under Tools > Macro > Security. Also, it takes a little time to loop through and clear them all. It is a lot of clicking. I should also put a "All ON" button and a "Negative Image" button. Because of the hole created in the middle, negative images seem to work best if the hole can be made part of the image. Thanks again
topflitejr15 years ago
Also, how much did the project cost?
UncleBone (author)  topflitejr15 years ago
I have to guess about 25 - 30 USD is on the fan. I tend to over buy in components and I made several prototype boards and still have parts and copper clad left over. Also, I didn't count the batteries which I plan to eliminate.
Cvteam5 years ago
Do you think of any chance of OverHeat or it's really safe?
UncleBone (author)  Cvteam5 years ago
Of the circuit or the fan? The blades weigh almost the same as the originals since I made them smaller. The voltage regulators barely get warm when it was on the bench.
That would be good to turn on while falling asleep.
Yea...some animated sheep would work well here. I'd love to see this updated to use RGB LEDs.
UncleBone (author)  ianlee745 years ago
RGBs are on the wish list. I considered them early in the planning but was put off by the cost.
Yeah, that wold be pretty cool. But sheep don't work for me. I counted 1000 of them the other night, and I still didn't fall asleep.
thalass5 years ago
This is truly awesome. I wonder if you could program it to display the time? If you had a clock with a seven-segment LED display output, could you convert the BCD into an image to display? Take the time, convert to an image, then wait 'till the time changes to do it again?
UncleBone (author)  thalass5 years ago
I'm sure it could be done but would require some more hardware and code.
AKA the A5 years ago
You could use the EM field from the fan motor to power this thing, it would be much more practical(& also matinance-free)... BTW nice idea for "use" of a POV...
i dont know, but wouldnt the housing around the motor be shielded in some way so there is no EM leakage from the motor?
1) no, try holding a neodimium magnet near a running one, you'll feel how it vibrates... 2) What I had in mind, was placing a coil (or two) directly onto the rotor plates(inside the housing), shape, size and placing depends on how the motor is constructed... also, there could be a stationary magnet(somewhere close to the propeller) and a coil(on the propeller of course), somewhat like a magnetto on a lawnmower & similar stuff...
UncleBone (author)  AKA the A5 years ago
It's a good idea. I do need a better power source and this is on the table so to speak. It was a bit too much in the first effort but, I might give it go along with other changes for the next one, if it ever happens.
thepelton5 years ago
I was thinking you could put it in a baby's room for amusement while he was nodding off to sleep. Of course, he could complain if he woke up two hours later, and it was off.
I had a similar thought a while back when I kept my newborn amused for over an hour just shining a laser pointer on the ceiling. She's getting older and not as easily amused now though. :)
Reminds me of a rather tasteless joke.
Is that the one about sending the kid out on the porch with a Popsicle?
No, it wasn't. This is the next day, and I can't remember what the joke was, but it had nothing to do with popsicles.
charlieb0005 years ago
batteries? when i saw the pic i thought it would run from the induction motor fields - an idea perhaps (may need a electrician then :P)
mrwolfe5 years ago
mrwolfe5 years ago
Ammonium persulfate, sodium persulfate, cupric cloride or ferric chloride are the usual choices for etching copper pcb's with, although ferric chloride is pretty messy. Ammonium persulfate is fairly clean, although it doesn't work well when it's cool - needs to be at around 70C to be effective
srilyk5 years ago
I just glanced through and didn't notice if you have to turn the thing on or if it's "always on" - or if that timing thing turns it "on". What you could do, if you have to switch it on, is make something like the attached image.
centrifugal_switch.png
Punkguyta5 years ago
This is BLOODY insane man, what if one of those flew off while it was spinning??? I'm just joking though, this is pretty neat, I had to wonder why someone hadn't thought of this before.
They did. ... I saw it in an electronics store in the mid 1990's in Houston. Also, POV (persistance of vision) projects have been on the net for a long time. One fan shop in Houston, had a ceiling fan mounted on its side in a window had one with a moving color display over 5 years ago. ... Pretty neat display. Still, doing it from scratch is a great project.
That would be EPO (Electronic Parts Outlet, http://www.epohouston.com/), which is the coolest geek store I've ever been in, and one of the things I miss most about Houston since I've moved away.
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