For my starter project, I built a MiniPOV4 (Mini Persistence of Vision) device that creates a pattern or image when waved quickly through the air. It creates this pattern through the specific and accurate timing of LED lights, light emitting diodes. To allow this device to work, all of its major components had to be soldered on individually. To display the pictures and patterns, images are downloaded from a computer to the MiniPOV4’s USB-jack. A diode is an electrical component that only allows current to flow in one direction. The 28-pin microcontroller in the center is the brain of the device. It reads the images downloaded from the computer, using the USB Type B jack, and creates a timing for the LED lights. Two different types of resistors, 2.2k ohm and 47 ohm, balance the current sent to the LEDs so that they don’t overload. The device’s three transistors control the Red, Green, and Blue colors of the LEDs. They provide enough current to power the 8 LEDs. The blue circle is the potentiometer. The potentiometer is a dial which can change the resistance of the microcontroller, which slows down or speeds up the LED flashes. Zener diodes, like the LEDs, must be placed in a specific direction to send current in one direction. These specific diodes stabilize the voltage sent to the USB-jack. The device uses two different types of capacitors, ceramic and electrolytic. Capacitors, unlike resistors, help store energy for the device. These specific capacitors help balance the input and output voltages. The 12 MHz crystal is similar to a crystal in a watch. It keeps the LEDs flashing at a consistent speed. Finally, there’s the battery pack, which had its wires cut, stripped, and soldered onto the board. It provides power to the MiniPOV4 with three AAA batteries.