Picture of Digital Zoetrope

A zoetrope is a mechanical device that animates a series of pictures by spinning them fast enough that the images appear to merge together and move, My digital zoetrope works on a similar principal, by flashing the LEDs while they are spinning it is possible to display text, patterns and possible even simple animations. My design uses an Arduino Pro mini powered by a system of brushes and a magnet and hall effect sensor for position detection.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

I used an Arduino Pro Mini from Sparkfun as the projects controller, the motor is just a small hobby motor which can be bought cheaply or salvaged for free. You'll need 7 LEDs and resistors for them, use resistor values slightly lower than those specified for your LED type, the LEDs will be switching on and off very quickly so they're not at as much risk of being damaged by the current, The resistors I used where too high so the LEDs arn't as bright as they normally would be when it is spinning.

The Hall Effect sensor was bought several years ago so I'm missing its actual parts number but it has an analog output on its middle pin that gives a reading that is proportional to the magnetic field strength on the sensor. I also used a small neodymium magnet to trigger the sensor.

I used two tins to create the base of the zoetrope, the square tin just acts like a case but the round tin lid on top must be conductive as it will be the Arduinos negative supply..

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longtolik2 months ago

Nice thing. Long ago I've made something like it. Used only one chip and 8 LEDs (and motor).

Thats great, i like it even better!

Kris Jacobs2 months ago

THat's pretty cool!

I get how you transmitted power with the brush, paperclip, etc. Would one of these make this project a lot simpler?

Nice Kris, I didn't know they made these. Thanks for passing on the info.

You're welcome!

Some extra mechanical connectivity would have to be figured out, to connect the motor shaft to the 3-holed flange - but it would certainly make the electrical connections easier I think.
jamesthequack2 months ago

Try a rotating mirror instead.

Wingloader2 months ago

Very cool! Also, I like how you cleaned up the shop... :-) HAAHAAA.

I had to look at this just because I didn't know what a Zoetrope was and it sounds like a cool word.

M2Field2 months ago

Too bad it's so loud. Would make a neat clock.

Your project could benefit greatly with a quick search of Google for "

pov display arduino".

audreyobscura3 months ago

This is a great way to make a zoetrope!