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Spinning LED Displays
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   Spinning led displays are a joy to watch. I read numerous articles on the web describing their construction in detail and was planning to build one myself. But yesterday, I came across a chinese made spinning display at a local street market. They were being sold at dirt cheap rates of Rs.30 (bargained down from 50). The moment I saw it, I knew I could hack it and add some patterns of my own.

After my niece and nephew played around with it for sometime, I decided to dissect the cute little toy. I was in for a rude shock. Where in the world did the circuit go? The actual body holds only 3 batteries, a switch and the motor, but where did the circuit go?
As a classic chinese toy example, the circuit was nicely tucked away inside the spinning head itself. And what did it consist of? Just two blobs of ICs and a capacitor :-(
I could see my hacking plans simply washed away…

Anyways, the display with its 32 different patterns is quite entertaining. I could see the amount efforts put into it while designing those patterns and stuffing them into those itsy-bitsy silicon chips.

some video grabs of the toy in action


Hey, and one more thing, the toy was suppose act like a fan and cool you with its breeze but none of that happened. In fact, I had to remove the fan for the display to spin properly!
But in the end, not a bad investment at all ;-)


17 April 2006

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