2m PoV "Display from Hell"

November 24, 2008 // 9:14 a.m.

Tags: #amiv #atmega64 #blue-led #display #display-from-hell #led #persistence-of-vision #pov

If you've always wanted a cool light show at your parties, but always thought that the shop-bought stuff was lacking a little soupçon of danger, check out Mario Mauerer's awesome persistence of vision toy.

According to Hack a Day, the device – which uses 100 blue LEDs to generate an image whilst spinning – is built around propeller spinning at 600 revolutions per minute. While that might not sound like much, because the propeller is two metres long, that means that the ends are moving a whopping 140 miles per hour. This is a light show that is definitely not drunk-person-friendly.

Using the popular ATMega64 controller for its brain, the system is updated with new images via a wireless link to a computer, although plans are afoot for adding in SD storage so the PC can be moved safely away from the whirling blades of death.

Dubbed the “Display from Hell” by its creators, the idea came about as decoration for a party held at a high-voltage laboratory at the Akademischer Maschinen-Ingenieur Verein in Zurich. Weighing around 20 kilogrammes and made almost entirely of aluminium, the device uses two 200W brush engines to spin the propeller up to its maximum speed, at which point the human eye's persistence of vision takes over and the flashing LEDs are replaced with a single static image.

With considerable restraint, Mauerer describes the device as “very dangerous” and explains that the installation was placed inside “a protective cage, so that the coffin farmer gets less to do.

The device really has to be seen – and heard – to believe, so the site has copious video links for you to enjoy.

Tempted by a whirling blade of flashy LED death of your very own, or is it only cool when you can admire it from a very safe distance? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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