I took the schematic and theory of a MiniPOV2 and adapted it to make a hat for Halloween. It is basically the same circuit as a MiniPOV2 but with a few different components to make it fit the hat better. As usual, I never take the time to document things as I'm building them. I'm just too excited to get the project built. So what you'll see is a retrospect of what I did, and some changes in what I would do again.

Step 1: Items Needed

Parts these are what I used, but yours may vary depending on what you scrape up.


20 pin socket

8 LED's (I used the mini T1's, but probably just about any would work. Make sure they are all the same, I raided mine out of novelty toys and my junk bin and some are brighter than others)

8 100ohm resistors

2032 battery holder and battery

PC mount switch

Fine enameled wire like what is used in hobby motor coils. That is where I got mine, tore apart an old non-functioning motor

Stiff wire I used .025" music wire, but in hindsight I needed something bigger, like a thin clothes hanger

Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape this insulates the LED's from the wire, and contains all the thin wires together in a bundle.

Perf board about a 1-1/4" x 3" piece

5 pin header optional, but I don't have to pull the chip out to change signs

Small hobby motor I couldn't find any specs on the one Ii used (found it in my junk box of motors) I think it was originally meant to run on 6 or 12 volts, because at 3 volts it only pulled about 20mA, and runs fairly slow, which is good.

2 "AA" battery holder with switch, or separate switch

Soldering iron
Hot glue gun
pliers/wire snips
small needle nose pliers
super glue
Dremel (optional but makes cutting perf-board easy)
small drill bit the size of the motor shaft "mine was 5/64"

I love this hat, Can you tell me what supplies can i get to do a smaller version of your hat for a pet? I would love to try this, I have a fashion show in two weeks. I'm new to all of this so any help would be great. I have purchased some stuff from Sparkfun even a lilypad pro kit lots of LED's s, coin cell battery and holder but, i see that you mention the Mini-POV, is that easy to program? Can someone write what i want my hat to display and can i then cut and paste in the library, i think that is what its called. I have never done any electronics but im so willing to dive in and learn, with a little help. I guess once i learn the basic things it will become easier. Thanks Gladys
haha! i love it! that works really well. Thanks for sharing.
btw, the camera wont show the pov properly, as pov relies on the 'slowness' of our eyes, and residual image.
Thanks for the comment. The camera doesn't do too bad. I messed with the manual shutter speed some. Too slow and it was a blur. Too fast, and it was just a partial text. I changed the batteries and the text slowed its progression around. I thought of adding a sensor, kinda like the SpokePOV, but just didn't. I would still like to rewrite the code some to where it flashes different messages up. Store 2 or three and cycle between them every few seconds. Gotta study C more though. I went from VisualBasic to Javascript and PHP.
Wow! Great work, that's awesome! Is it comfortable?
Thanks fo rthe comment. It's not bad comfort wise. The hat is a little small for me (it's the only size they had), so it doesn't sit down on my head right. I balanced the spinner as best I could, and it has just a slight wobble to it. My wife and kids tried it, and said it tickled. I think they could feel the motor more. I've got a hat theme going on for Halloween. One year I built a motorized beanie. Then to top that, I built a Jester's hat one year, where the bells are on the ens, I put ping-pong balls with LED's in them. I used a 4 channel driver chip to make them chase around. I think this one really tops them both. What's cool is I can plug it into my computer and get a new message in about 5 minutes. I'll try to post some more images with different sayings.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love fixing and building things, just about as much as tearing things apart. It's kinda like working a puzzle. The only problem with ... More »
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