The oldest form of television used a spinning disk with a progression of holes — a Nipkow disk — to slice the image into lines for display. They’re surprisingly simple machines and capable of unexpectedly high-quality images despite their relatively low resolution. Even better, in an age of microcontrollers and bright LEDs, making one that works is not the chore it might once have been. [Markus Mierse] has created one that uses an Arduino Mega and a set of 3D printed parts, so there’s no excuse for not having a spinning disk TV on your shelf.
The Arduino Mega is chosen because it has enough lines to drive three six-bit DACs for each of red, green, and blue. The disk is driven by a PWM motor controller, and synchronization is taken care of by a piece of reflective tape and an IR proximity sensor. Images and video are read from an SD card and displayed on the screen in glorious 32-line colour. The full build process can be seen in the video below the break.
A surprise when viewing mechanical TV is that its quality is much better than the meager resolution would have you believe, and this one with its colour display is much better than the usual monochrome devices. It’s hardly HDTV, but it acquits itself well and would provide an excellent talking point.
If you’re curious about Nipkow disks, they’re a subject we’ve examined in the past.
Source: 3D PRINT A COLOUR TV