Hypno wheel – ElectroSchematics.com

If you are looking for a DIY project linked to hypnosis or optical illusions, this simple hypno wheel idea is for you!

A hypno wheel, also called as hypno disc or hypnosis spiral, is a spinning spiral wheel popular in the 20th century. It was used to ‘hypnotise’ patients. You can use a replica of the same wheel to get optical illusions like enlarging and shrinking objects.

My attention was recently captured by a movie “Anjaam Pathiraa” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anjaam_Pathiraa). It showed a hypno disc that put victims into a hypnotic trance.

I was excited and decided to prepare one myself (just for fun). In this post I will share the project details of my minuscule electronic hypno wheel. The basic idea is very simple. A spiral wheel is attached to a dc motor which rotates as the motor rotates, and the dc motor is governed by an electronic circuitry. Ready to make one yourself?

Hardware & Software

This easy project is divided into two equally important segments – the hardware and the software.

The key hardware is an Arduino Nano (v3) microcontroller board. If you use a different Arduino board like Uno or Pro Mini, the hardware hook-up required is likely to be similar, but the layout may be different. I picked a logic-level MOSFET (rather than a bipolar junction transistor). I used the IRL520N. You do not need to use this exact one, just ensure that the specs are similar. There are many different logic-level MOSFETs out there.

The schematic of the hypno wheel is shown below.

As you can see in the schematic (and in my breadboard prototype), I used Arduino’s digital pin 3 (D3) to drive the dc motor (hypno wheel motor), and used analog pin 3 (A3) to tie a momentary push button switch (action button). The action button lets you gradually control the motor speed (speed of the spinning wheel). You can slowly turn the wheel on (min to max speed) and turn the wheel off (max to min speed) with your fingertip!

Now copy and paste the Arduino Sketch below into the Arduino IDE. Connect the Arduino board to your computer and upload the sketch. If all goes well, you are done.



 * Hypno Wheel v1

 * Simple Arduino Hypno Wheel/Disc

 * Arduino Nano(v3) + DC motor

 * T.K.Hareendran/01.2021


#define MOTOR_PIN 3 // Hypno Wheel Motor O/P

#define START_WHEEL_PIN A3 // Action Button I/P

#define MAX_SPEED 250  // Maximum Wheel Speed (Highest Possible Value = 255)

#define MIN_SPEED 25 // Minimum Wheel Speed (Set this value 0 to turn the wheel off in standby mode)

#define REG_INTERVAL 10 // Interval between speed control steps (Now 10ms)

byte setpoint;

byte value;

unsigned long timeforspeedstep;

void setup() {

  pinMode(START_WHEEL_PIN, INPUT_PULLUP); // Enable A3 internal pull-up

  pinMode(LED_BUILTIN, OUTPUT); // D13 LED as “system start” indicator

  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH); // Turn on D13 LED during power up/reset

  delay(3000); // 3 Seconds Delay

  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN,LOW);  // Turn off D13 LED


void loop() {

  if (!digitalRead(START_WHEEL_PIN)) setpoint = MAX_SPEED;

  else setpoint = MIN_SPEED;

  if (millis() > timeforspeedstep) {

    timeforspeedstep = millis() + (unsigned long)REG_INTERVAL;

    if (value < setpoint) value++;

    if (value > setpoint) value--;

    analogWrite(MOTOR_PIN, value);




Needless to say, you are free to play with and edit this Arduino Sketch. If you prefer, go ahead and enter your own code. I acknowledge that there are several ways to achieve better results with this project. Note that you can also use the D3 output to adjust the intensity of a couple of common LEDs if you want to illuminate the spinning wheel. Be aware that this obviously calls for a suitable MOSFET or BJT based LED driver circuitry.

The small dc motor I used in my breadboard prototype is a quite common CD/DVD disc motor (RF-300FA-12350) as it has a rigid hub to hold the optical disc, and allows an easy hypno wheel/disc attachment. Actually, it’s a low voltage dc motor which needs less than 50mA ‘no-load’ current to run well. At this point, note that the recommended operating voltage range of this particular torque up type dc motor is 1.5 – 6.0V, but it’s intentionally overdriven by a bit higher dc voltage in this project. However, if done again, I would likely try one hefty dc motor to drive another large hypno wheel to make a mighty electronic hypnotizer!

The hypno wheel part (the hypno disc) that I picked is in fact the platter of a defunct portable hard disc drive. I needed to use a few drops of super glue (rubber cement should work just as well) to mount the ~65mm diameter platter on the hub of the disc motor.

However, the desired spiral pattern is on order and has not yet arrived from the print house. So, I have not had a chance to hypnotize myself (ha ha). In order to run a quick test, I simply made a minimalistic pattern (similar to the hypnosis spiral shown below) on the disc with the help of a permanent marker pen.

Final Build & Quick Test

Construction of the hypno wheel is quite easy. Hook up all the components, except the motor, on a standard prototyping circuit board. Then use an appropriate handmade or 3D-printed enclosure to finalize the construction. The enclosure artwork provided below is (hopefully) simple and self-explanatory.

Now everything should be ready to go, but first you have to learn how to operate the hypno wheel. This hypno wheel is designed to run on a 9VDC supply, so you can use a rechargeable 9V battery as the power source. Next, flip the power switch to its “on” position, and make sure that the onboard (D13) LED of Arduino Nano lights up for around 3 seconds. Afterwards you can see that the hypno wheel start running at its minimum speed. If you push (and hold) the “action” button, speed of the hypno wheel increases (and if you release the button, it decreases) as worded in the code.

Congratulations, now you have a simple idea to make your own Hypno Wheel which is nothing but a variable speed rotating disk with a special spiral design printed/pasted on it. If you are using the replica of a typical hypno wheel design pattern recommended by experts (perhaps a copyrighted spiral design), it can quickly produce a somnambulistic state where one becomes very susceptible to any hypnotic suggestion. Other wheel/disk sizes and patterns may be used to render different visual effects (take some time to tweak it). Always be careful as seizures, nausea and dizziness may be experienced!


Tech Docs

Arduino Nano


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