In this project I will show you how I transformed an ordinary old Fan into a LED POV Display which can present you light patterns, words or even the time. Let's get started!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video gives you all the basic information you need to build this project. In the next steps though you will find all the files I created which you can use to create a similar POV Display.

Step 2: Order Your Parts!

Here you can find a parts list with example sellers for your convenience.


1x Arduino Pro Mini: http://amzn.to/1XQDzsZ

1x FTDI Breakout: http://amzn.to/1RzVqjb

5x 5mm LED Red: http://amzn.to/1UKHFVH

5x 200Ω, 1x 10kΩ Resistor: http://amzn.to/1XQDRjI

1x Slide Switch: http://amzn.to/1UKIcXH

1x 80mAh LiPo Battery + Protection circuit: http://amzn.to/1UnP79D

1x U18 Hall Effect sensor: http://amzn.to/1XQEJEY

1x Fan: http://amzn.to/1UnPHUV


1x Arduino Pro Mini: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x FTDI Breakout: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

5x 5mm LED Red: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

5x 200Ω, 1x 10kΩ Resistor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Slide Switch: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x 80mAh LiPo Battery + Protection circuit: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x U18 Hall Effect sensor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Fan: -


1x Arduino Pro Mini: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/rBMZ3f2rB

1x FTDI Breakout: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bQnE2Nnmi

5x 5mm LED Red: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/Jiy72JIuv

5x 200Ω, 1x 10kΩ Resistor: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/NrjaM7qfQ

1x Slide Switch: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/EAujuV3Rj

1x 80mAh LiPo Battery + Protection circuit: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/2z727Qrb6

1x U18 Hall Effect sensor: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/Z3NRNRjy7

1x Fan: -


1x Arduino Pro Mini: http://amzn.to/1HwhJ8d

1x FTDI Breakout: http://amzn.to/1yX3CYp

5x 5mm LED Red: http://amzn.to/1PNrrd5

5x 200Ω, 1x 10kΩ Resistor: http://amzn.to/1A2KZzi

1x Slide Switch: http://amzn.to/1UdGgqC

1x 80mAh LiPo Battery + Protection circuit: http://amzn.to/1UdGGgJ

1x U18 Hall Effect sensor: http://amzn.to/1UdGNZw

1x Fan: http://amzn.to/1PtLR4c

Step 3: Create the Wooden Stick!

Feel free to download and use my design.svg file to create a similar wooden stick that I used in the video. Make sure to open the .svg file with Google chrome and print it out without any margins.

Step 4: Build the Circuit!

Use the here presented schematic and reference pictures to create the circuit.

Step 5: Upload the Code!

When uploading one of the three Arduino sketches to an Arduino Pro Mini it is necessary to use an FTDI breakout. After a successful upload the project is pretty much complete.

Step 6: Success!

You did it! You just created your own POV Display!

Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for more awesome projects:


You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:



no hall effect sensor. i have reed switch.how to connect it.and how to programe it
<p>Would a 3144 Hall Effect Sensor work? Thanks for all your good work.</p>
<p>Not with a LiPo cell as a power source.</p>
<p>Will button cell work?</p>
<p>i used one and it worked just fine !</p>
<p>Can i use another type of hall effect sensor like SS49E or A3144 hall effect sensor instead ?</p>
i dont have hall effect sensor
<p>Hey great scott. Regarding the battery management, do you have a recommended procedure/charger to recharge the battery?</p>
Hey great scott.i just wabt to ask that can i use a 9volt battery instead of the lipo battery???
<p>If the arduino mini can support it, and keep in mind that it will ad a lot of weight to the wooden stick</p>
<p>Can you code/programme it to act as a clock? Man it would be so cool!!</p>
<p>yes, but it can take hours,and you have to adjust the time every time you turn the arduino on</p>
<p>I'd love to see this on a ceiling fan with RGB LEDs in time to music.</p>
That was a great project!! Nice work<br>Can you please tell me how can I display images or animations through the LEDs??<br>
Hey.i made a pov display just like u showed in the video but it isnt working.when i turns the switch on it just flashes a red led in the arduino mini.plzzz help me i am stuck
Great scott i want code how
<p>By downloading it</p>
<p>:s i hoped that you can explain the code and how to can make letters</p>
Nice build! I'm gonna try to make one with wireless power transmission to the rotor instead of the battery, based on schematics from the german Make magazine :p
<p>The arduino code to write Hacked and Great Scott! no longer open. I have already bought all the parts and am almost done. Please fix it soon:(</p>
<p>Try to delete &quot;!&quot; :) That'll help</p>
<p>Try to delete &quot;!&quot; :) That'll help</p>
<p>There is nothing to fix. It works without a problem. </p>
um where do i put the <br>LEDs?<br>can I use arduino Uno?<br>and can I use a 9v battery?<br>can I change the code part from.great Scott to<br>ROLLTIDE or something?
<p>mine just says failed to open the sketch whenever I try. Any way you could copy and paste the &quot;HACKED!&quot; code in the comments or on the instructable? Thanks (Love your videos and have been following, learning from, and making some of them for over a year)</p>
<p>No, I will not do that. </p>
<p>it dose not work for me. </p>
<p>the triangle wave will open but the other two won't</p>
<p>You can use Notepad to view the code.</p>
Hi there! First off all, great instructable! Nicely done! But how would I modify your code to display other words or numbers to make a clock of sorts?
<p>Wow that's really nice, Where did you learn how to make one like this?</p>
<p>I learned about electronics in university and through my job training. So when I saw other POV displays I wanted to create my own design with the concept. That is the result. Basically I learned how to make it by myself ;-)</p>
How many years did you study in the university and what kind of job training did you do?<br>Thanks!
<p>what name of university?</p>
<p>In which university do u study and what is name of course?<br>thanks..:)</p>
Person is able to learn electronics by himself? If yes how to do it?
<p>Learning something always costs some money. Go ahead and buy an arduino, some leds and some resistors. Now try to make a looplight (you know that thing Kitt has on front of the car in Knight Rider?). Just search for a tutorial on how to do it. But make sure that you understand what is happening. Now try yourself and change the way it works. Maybe you can change the speed? So go and buy some sensor that can change the speed (A pot meter? A light meter?) Search for a tutorial that uses such a sensor and learn how it works. Now try to combine these 2.</p><p>Do this a lot. Start with something small and go bigger once you have learnt some more. I personally like to see results fast. So try to think of some small things that can finish fast. Grow bigger over time. Don't try to do the hardest thing first. You will fail many times and give up soon.</p>
<p>Could you add in some sort of wireless connector [NRF24L01 maybe?] to allow it to stream fresh information?</p>
<p>hey scott please help me i buy every thing u said but my adrino light is not blinking please reply me as i have to submit my project fast waiting for your reply</p>
<p>is one of the best pages of electronica, this is what I was looking for to time ... you're great.<br>success</p>
<p>Could you paste the &quot;HACKED!&quot; code in the comments? It won't let me open it and I've already built the project. Thanks.</p>
Hey Scott, I have a question. I have just started to learn electronics as a hobby (I love to learn) and I bought myself an arduino. Do you jave tips/sources from where I could information so I can learn how to do it. And where did you learn how to program an arduino, and to make circuits. Thanks in advance.
<p>Hello Scot, great project, I'll try this out soon.</p><p>Hi NLTerminator If you like some free document to learn Arduino, I've written something useful. bit.ly/eve_arduino (shortcut for <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/tfrm06f0tt8fdik/Arduino%20documentation.pdf" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/tfrm06f0tt8fdik/Arduino%...</a> ). It's about 350 A4-pages, written in English (Jammer genoeg voor jou niet in het Nederlands).</p>
the arduino book you posted is great thanks
I can tell u 3 Java.instuctables! but most if not all arduino boards use language C: I no a great book u can get on Amazon or maybe even books a million if I would like? or I could just share both with u?
I do I actually know 3 great 'ibles if u would like to know?
but arduino boards use language C: but I no a book u can get on language C if u want? or I can tell u both?
Hello, it's very cool... but what arduino mini do you use ? The 3.3v or the 5v ?? thanks

About This Instructable




Bio: Awesome Electronics Tutorials, Projects and How To´s
More by GreatScottLab:Make Your Own Photovoltaic Off-Grid System DIY Class D Audio Amplifier Make Your Own Tesla Coil 
Add instructable to: