Introduction: MAKE Controller Persistence of Vision Effect With LEDs

Picture of MAKE Controller Persistence of Vision Effect With LEDs

Hello, this is my first instructable and I hope you like it. It's a simple project, using MAKE Controller (a very useful controller from, that makes a persistence-of-vision-effect using LEDs. When you move the board quickly you can see two parallel lines drawing 'mountains' or continuous triangles.

The list of materials:

8 LEDs
2 220ohm resistors
MAKE Controller

Step 1: Preparing the Circuit

Picture of Preparing the Circuit

First, you'll have to take 4 LEDs, 1 220ohm resistor and a few cm of wire and make the circuit shown below. When you finish the first circuit, just make a second one.

Step 2: Connecting to the Board

Picture of Connecting to the Board

Now, you have to attach the two circuits to the board. One to the first 4 digital outs (0-3), and the other to the 4-7 digital outs.

Step 3: Programming the Board

Picture of Programming the Board

Now, we have to code the little task that will make the effect. I attached a '.c' file with the code and the instructions inside.

Notice that you'll need the Make Controller firmware source code, downloadable from You may also want to have a C editor. For the MAKE Controller source code I really recommend you CrossStudio ( because it includes the source editor, a compiler, and the project manager. There's an alternative instead: using GNU ARM compiler together with cygwin. Read the make controller tutorials to get more information about these topics ;-)

Step 4: Upload the Firmware and Test!

Finally, when you have compiled 'heavy' firmware, upload it to the board using the MAKE Controller helper (!!remember to erase old firmare first if you uploaded it before!!) and when done just reset the power to the board. You should get something like this:

And... that's all. You could improve it a lot, for example make the first line green and the second red, or make a character display, showing a message.

If you have found any mistake, please let me know so I can correct it. I'm also open to suggestions ;-)


cornflakes (author)2007-06-12

I've done it as my first project on this NI DAQ. working great! Attached pictures if some one is interested.

cornflakes (author)cornflakes2007-06-12

Oh, I forget, its programmed on LabVIEW (as you can see on the second picture)

Mupeg (author)2007-02-23

That's nifty. Is it the 8ms sleeps that create the effect or somthing else?

erfonz (author)2006-11-05

So it's like a persistence-of-vision thing?

gerard_mp (author)erfonz2006-11-06

Yes, it is.

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