mail lists others past projects current projects tools resume bio news

>>Back to Past Projects

Project: Super POV
Date:January 2006


There are many Persistence of Vision projects floating around on the web. I have links to my favorite, well documented POV projects at the bottom of this page. This particular project has a few features that the others do not.

  • only open source tools were used for the microcontroller programming (avr-gcc/avarice/avr-gdb), and circuit design (geda/pcb)
  • all active components are reasonably easy to solder surface mount
  • bluetooth header for updating content using a 4pin BlueRadio's "BlueSmirf" part
  • jtag header for easy in circuit programming (avarice) and debugging (gdb)
  • video showing the soldering of the entire circuit board, includes first powerup and programming in circuit
  • extremely low profile and lightweight design




  1. schematic (pdf)
  2. src (html)
  3. src (bz2 tarball)
  4. gerbers (zip)
  5. schematic (gschem format)
  6. pcb (pcb format)


Part Vendor qty price SMT
AVR ATmega128 16AC digikey ATMEGA128-16AC-ND 1 $15.00 64-TQFP
ULN2003AD digikey 296-1368-5-ND 5 $0.64 16-SOIC
2xAAA Battery holder digikey 2468K-ND 2 $0.78 No
Resistors 33ohm digikey P33ACT-ND 32 $0.07 0805
Headers (jtag) digikey 929836-02-36-ND 10 (5x2) $2.94 No
Headers (for Bluetooth Serial) - digikey 929400-01-04-ND 4x1 $0.98 No
Power switch digikey EG1847-ND 1 $1.11 No
Red LEDs 0805 LSDiodes S-R084530 32 $0.45 0805
BlueSmirf (Remote Unit) Sparkfun 1 $60 No
AAA Batteries NiMH 700mAh GP-700-AAA 4 $1.15 No


I believe this project to be a excellent place to start for the UNIX geek who wants to get into microcontrollers. However, You will need to spend some money.
  • AVR JTAG MKII ICE - $300 digikey (in circuit hardware debug with gdb will save you days of pulling your hair out)
  • Keyspan USA-19HS USB/Serial adapter - $30
  • Soldering Iron, digital temperature controlled, must go over 800 deg. F., 1/64" tip. This will be a minimum of $100.
  • Solder - Radio Shack Silver-Bearing Solder 64-035 E
  • Curved metal tweezers to place and hold SMT components (plastic ones will melt)
  • Techspray Ecoline FLUX Remover - cleans up the flux that sprays about as you solder.
  • You will need magnification and lots of light. I use a combination of the desk lamps with built in magnifying glass surrounded by a circular flourescent light. I also wear that dorky thing that straps around your head and has glasses that pull down over your face that make you look crazy bug eyed.

Issues :

  • the battery holder via's are a little small, I've been using a carbin tip size 63 drill bit to expand them. next revision will resolve this.
  • the bluetooth support is not included in this version of the firmware. The "BlueSmirf" device works fine using a serial UART, I've just not written the necessary code to send updates to the POV device over bluetooth yet. (ETA: Feb 1st. 2006)

Links to some other POV projects