We're working on a cool piece about LED art for the magazine, and we wanted to mention Make's awesome little MiniPOV kit. (POV stands for persistence of vision, where your eye sees trailing light in a dark room.) Phil Torrone had given me one of these months ago, and I just built it yesterday so we could shoot it for the story. Having not soldered anything significant since I was a kid, it was a blast to put something together from the circuit level and then see it actually work!
The instructions over at ladyada.net are crystal clear, even for novices. Programming messages gets a little trickier—it involves typing arcane commands into a Run window—but I found a great program in the forums that really helped crank out custom text. For anyone keen to dive into circuit-level building and soldering or who just wants a cool party toy for those summer gatherings, I highly recommend picking up the kit.
And for a really crazy POV project, check out John's post from Maker Faire. —Mike Haney
If you live in the New York City area, come to our first meeting of the DIY minds at the Etsy Labs space in Brooklyn, Thursday, March 22 (that's tomorrow!). Phil Torrone of Make fame will be demonstrating and selling some of the Make kits, and Eric Singer, founder and director of LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, will show of some wacky electronic musical instruments, including something called the Sonic Banana. Get more detail here. Hope to see you there!