We present to you another persistence of vision (POV) project for your blinky enjoyment! As the LEDs move in space, they flash different parts of an image, building up an image in your brain. We have visited this topic many times with kits and tutorials, including the parent to this iteration, the Genesis Poi. Now build it on a bike wheel!

Two strips of DotStar LEDs are affixed to the spokes of a bike wheel, one facing each direction, driven by a 5V Pro Trinket and powered by a waterproof 3xAA battery pack affixed near the hub.

Prerequisite guides:

While this project is not very difficult, it does require strong construction skills in order to be waterproof and safe. A flying battery pack can very easily cause an accident, so keep safety in mind.

Parts and Tools

Parts from Adafruit:

Parts NOT from Adafruit:

Tools & Miscellaneous:

  • Soldering station and accessories
  • Computer running the Arduino IDE software, ideally version 1.6.4 or later. Support for the Pro Trinket microcontroller can be enabled through the Boards Manager (Tools→Board→Boards Manager…).
  • Computer running Python for graphics conversion; use our sample images to get started.

Night photos and video for gifs by Andrew Baker.

This guide was first published on Jul 29, 2015. It was last updated on Jul 17, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Jul 27, 2015.

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