POVARD Kit Build & Review

When we attended Maker Faire, I bought Adam a POVARD kit (Persistence Of Vision ARDuino) at the same time I bought the Drum Kit kit for my youngest son and the Solder:Time watch (for me!) from SpikenzieLabs.com

Last weekend we had some down time, and Adam built his POVARD. He recently completed his Electronics merit badge with Boy Scouts, so I knew he could solder it with no problems…

Some pics of the build, with notes at the end…

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The bare PCB + the first LED

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Soldering LEDs

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Snipping LED leads

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LEDs installed!

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Components go on the opposite side...

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The LEDs are in the way when soldering the resistors. Even though the instructions say to put them in first, they aren't shown in the pics of the resistor install - BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE WAY! If we do another one, we will put the LEDs in last...

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He likes this stuff :)

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Peeling off the acrylic protective sheet...

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Peeling...

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The finished product... with his Arduino UNO...

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The POVARD connects to the analog pins of an Arduino in order to program the message / graphics...

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Photographing a message is easier than viewing it in real life...

Overall, the kit was fun, he really enjoyed building it, changing the message, and showing it to friends and family. As with the Solder:Time, the quality of the kit and the parts was excellent.

He’s progressing with his soldering and kit building – but he got lucky when I noticed he wasn’t using the IC sockets and was starting to solder an IC in backwards. Sometime soon I need to let him make that mistake so that he knows how much work it is to undo it.

Some notes on the kit:

  1. Save the LEDs for last, they are in the way when soldering the other components…
  2. The timing / motion is critical to be able to see the motion, so us uncoordinated types had a hard time getting others to read it. (Read the guide for the motion, it helps)…
  3. Changing the message requires a laptop and an Arduino – so you have to plan ahead – if you take to a party or sporting event, you only have one message… I’m tempted to make a “to go” programmer with an LCD or a double 7-segment LED that lets you choose from a variety of messages, then send the selected one to the POVARD…

About Ian Cole