Flipping dots … gently

The ultimate goal of the flipdot project presented in the previous post was to flip each discs in a controlled manner. I secretly hopped to control the position of the discs by applying a pulse width modulated signal – maybe like micro-stepping for a stepping motor. And then control at which speed the discs are flipping. I could then make a quiet display at the expense of speed, avoiding the clicking noise.

However, these dots are well engineered and the discs have two stable positions. The behavior in between, is unpredictable and different for each dots.

The positive outcome of making a custom driving system is a fast refresh-rate matrix display. But I didn’t give up the idea of a slow moving flip-dot display.

Here comes a rather dirty solution. Put everything in a fluid with a higher viscosity than air. It should have high insulation properties and be fully transparent. I choose mineral oil (called vaseline oil in French) as it is cheap and non toxic.

The display is connected to the SPI port of an ESP32, which is getting the time via WiFi.

See the result below !

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