ok, so I found this electronics kit online (http://www.ladyada.net/make/minipov2/), and thought it looked like fun. Basically its a bunch of flashing lights, that can be used to spell out stuff based on the idea of persistance of vision (POV). This is the small kit (hence the name MiniPov), but there is a larger one that is even cooler... the SpokePov. The SpokePov can be attached to your bike wheel. Not very pratical because of all the extra weight you're adding, but still pretty cool.Anyway, I wanted to give it a try, so I got the little one. Clearly this stuff has no real life use, and is just a toy, but I'm a big kid so that's ok.
The package arrived in the mail on Friday, and Saturday afternoon I got the soldering iron out and put it together. Well, its pretty simple, and went together really fast. You program the chip using the serial port on your computer and some simple scripts. I haven't tried anything of my own, but the ones I downloaded from the website seem to work well. If I come up with anything cool I'll be sure to post it.
Here's the basic contents of the kit:
Solder everything together, add some batteries... its alive... sweet, it works first try.
Here's testing it out with a long exposure on my camera... it says "minipov!". I'll have to try some different designs.