Learn how to build the “persistence of vision” display, which is a classic DIY project with a computer chip that flashes LED lights super fast, as you swing the gadget through the air — making them appear like hundreds of lights displaying a message.

Project Steps

Gather your Materials

Open up the MiniPOV bag and check to make sure that you have all of the necessary components to build the kit.

Insert the 3, 4.7K Resistors.

In spots, R10, R11, and R12, insert the resistor with color bands of yellow, purple, red.

Resistors are not directional, so it does not matter which way you put them in.

Tip: Clip your leads!

To avoid annoying wire leads, it is important to clip your leads once you finish soldering the components in.

Insert the Remaining Resistors

In spots, R1R9, insert the 8 remaining 47 Ohm resistors.

Solder them in, and clip the leads!

Insert the Zenzer Diodes.

The diodes are directional, so it is important to insert the diodes with the black stripe matching up with the silk-screened white stripe.

After inserting the diodes, turn the board over and solder them in. Then you can clip the leads.

Insert the Serial Port Connector.

The leads of the serial port connector sandwich the circuit board.

The 5 upper leads of the connector match up on the board with the 5 metal strips. The 4 lower leads of the connector match up with the 4 metal strips on the bottom of the board.

Be sure to properly solder the connector leads to the metal strips on the board.

Insert the 8 LEDs.

LEDs are polar, so it is important to insert them properly.

The flat end of the LED should match up with the flat part of the image on the board. In other words, the negative, shorter lead is the outward lead.

Turn the board over, and solder the LEDs in to the board. Once the LEDS are soldered in, you can clip their leads.

Insert the Microcontroller Socket.

The little notch on the IC socket should match up with the notch that is printed on the circuit board.

The socket is loose, so I used my pliers handle to prop up the circuit board to help me solder the socket in.

Insert the Battery Leads.

The (+) lead is the red wire. While the (-) lead is the black wire.

Insert the wires into their respective holes, and solder them in.

Insert IC and Batteries.

Insert the chip into the microcontroller socket.

You will need 2 AA batteries, and you can insert them into the battery holder. Find the small screw, and screw the battery holder shut.

Test it out!

Hit the switch on the battery holder, and your LEDs should begin pulsating.

Now you can follow the rest of the instructions to customize the pulsation!