Introduction: Spinning LED Display
This project was designed by microcontroled1204. You can get the kit from Gadget Gangster. Build time is about 20 Minutes and it's an easy build.
Step 1: FAQ
How does it work?
The LED's on the PCB light up in a specific pattern. As the motor spins the board around, you're able to see the pattern - this is an example of the Persistence of Vision effect.
Does it take batteries?
Yes. The kit comes with a lithium cell battery to power the SX, but you'll need to provide 2 AA batteries to power the motor. The board is designed so you can mount it on other spinning things, like bicycle wheels, also.
Can I put it on something other than a motor?
Yes, the board has a set of holes on both ends, put a string or wire through the holes and you can tie the board to almost anything. I've tied it to my bicycle and it looks pretty cool.
What are the patterns?
You can see an example of the patterns that come pre-programmed in the video on the previous step. Arrows, animation, and text characters are all possible.
Can I change the patterns?
Yes. You'll need an SX Blitz programming key, but otherwise it's pretty straightforward. The last step of this instructable has as link to the source code that you can modify.
The Spinning LED display was designed by microcontroled1204.
Step 2: Preperation: Parts List
If you've bought the kit from Gadget Gangster, check to make sure all the parts are included. If anything is missing, just shoot us an email at email@example.com.
28 pin DIP socket (mouser part # 571-1-390261-9)
small DC Motor (Solarbotics is one source)
An SX 28 DIP (If you buy the kit, the SX will come pre-programmed). You can get this from Parallax
8x 3mm Red LED's
Spinning LED Display PCB (Source: Gadget Gangster)
1 or 2 CR2032 or CR2016 Button Cells
Button Cell holder (mouser part# 122-2420-G)
8x 120 ohm Resistors (Brown - Red - Brown)
1x 10k ohm Resistor (Brown - Black - Orange)
2xAA battery pack (mouser part # 12BH348/C-G)
Step 3: Preperation: Tools
This is a great project to learn how to solder. There are a ton of great instructables on how to solder (one here)
You'll need a few tools to assemble the project;
1 - Soldering Iron and solder. Leaded solder is easier to work with, and a 15-40 watt iron is just fine. A conical or chisel tip works well.
2 - Dykes. Diagonal cutters are used to trim the excess leads from components after soldering them down.
3 - Batteries. You'll need 2xAA batteries.
If this is your first electronics project, I suggest you start with an inexpensive soldering iron. Why? Because you'll be able to get a feel for doing electronics projects without spending a lot of money. If you enjoy yourself, then you can upgrade to better equipment and give your 1st iron to someone else who is just starting out. I offer an Elenco kit that includes a 25 Watt iron, stand, wick, and a solder sucker for $25 (pictured below). You can also get a pretty nice Weller iron on Amazon that includes extra tips and solder (but no wick or solder sucker) for $15.
Step 4: Make Part 1
The 8 identical Resistors (Brown - Red - Brown, 120 ohms) go at R2 - R9. Let's start by adding 2 of them to R8 and R9. Fold the leads at a 90 degree angle, insert into the pcb, flip over, solder it down, and trim off the excess leads.
Step 5: Make: Part 2
Then we'll do the second set of resistors. Again, 120 ohms (brown - red - brown), at R5, R6, and R7. Insert, flip, solder, and trim.
Once the first two rows are in, we'll do the same thing for the last row (R2, R3, and R4). Same resistors, 120 ohm (brown - red - brown).
Step 6: Make: Part 3
The 10k ohm resistor goes at R1. It's brown - black - orange and goes as shown on the photo.
Step 7: Make: Part 4
Let's add the LED's. Note that the LED's are polarized. The longer lead goes in the square hole (to the right). Insert it part of the way and fold it, so the LED goes past the edge of the PCB. Solder it down and trim the excess leads.
Do the same thing for the other 7 LED's. Make sure the polarity is correct - the longer lead always goes through the square hole.
Step 8: Make: Part 5
With the LED's done, let's move on to the DIP socket. Note that the notch of the socket goes closer to the 10k ohm resistor (points left in the photo).
Step 9: Make: Part 6
Flip the board over and add the button cell holder. This device is also polarized, notice how it's inserted in the photo, the 'tower' side of the holder goes through the hole closer to the LED's.
This holder will hold one or two CR2016 cells, or a single CR2032 cell. The SX isn't picky and it will run on any configuration.
Step 10: Make: Part 7
Back to the top side of the PCB, trim off the excess leads from the button cell holder and drop the SX into the DIP socket. We're almost done - the last step is to attach the motor.
Step 11: Make: Part 8
In the photo below, you can see how I've attached the motor. I used a bit of excess leads (from the resistor) to make a loop, and put the Motor spindle through the loop. Once that was done, I used a healthy dollup of solder to solder the spindle to the PCB and to the loop.
It's your choice as to where to connect the motor. If you connect it in the center, like in the photo, it will spin fairly quickly. I suggest connecting it to the edge of the PCB for a larger circle.
You also don't have to connect the motor at all - you can use the holes in the PCB to tie it to nearly any spinning device, like a bicyle wheel.
Last step - connect the AA battery pack to the motor at the 2 tabs on the motor. The battery pack has a red and black lead, but it doesn't matter which lead connect to which terminal.
Step 12: Download
I hope you enjoy the Spinning LED Display - Let me know what you think by commenting on this instructable or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the sourcecode for the SX
Here's the PCB Layout
Get the kit from Gadget Gangster
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