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An engineer's emergency kit business card

Saar Drimer

Circuit board business cards have been done. But since circuit boards are, literally, my business, I felt that I needed one too. Of course it also had to be special. Research and experimentation took a long time with this one and the design even sat dormant, ready, for a while before I sent it out to fab.

Without components

Without components

The concept was to have throug-hole components embedded within the PCB and soldered lying down. The components -- two resistors, LED, nChannel MOSFET, and a capacitor -- form a complete circuit so that when voltage is applied, the LED turns on.

Sizing up the components. Notice the wiggly piece of solder that fits into one of the slots.

Sizing up the components. Notice the wiggly piece of solder that fits into one of the slots.

It's meant to be an engineer's emergency kit. When all hope is lost, the MacGuyver engineer could snap out one of the components and save the day. Recall the countless times you desperately needed a 1 KOhm resistor to fix an amplifier at a party, only to see the girl you were trying to impress slip away with an OCaml programmer? Never again with this little kit. You even have 2 cm of solder in there to make sure the connection's electrically solid!

Components soldered into place (top side)

Components soldered into place (top side)

Consider the times when you were too drunk to recall Ohm's Law, yet was called in to fix a spaceship's control system. V=IR is written on the board to rescue you into awesomeness in spite of your inebriated state.

Components soldered into place (bottom side)

Components soldered into place (bottom side)

For those extreme situations when you need a Winston Wolfe my details are there so you know who to contact when the going gets tough. Finally, as motivation, my disapproving mug is there to stare at you as you're going about your engineering super hero day.

It's a functional circuit! The LED lights up when you apply power.

It's a functional circuit! The LED lights up when you apply power.

The board was manufactured by PCB-POOL, without soldermask or silkscreen and using their default ENIG finish. This was the first PCBmodE board I've made with this fab, and they've done a great job. I particularly like that they send pictures of the board during the manufacturing process.

Now I only need to figure out how to manufacture this design cheaply enough so I can actually give those kits away ;)

A view from Inkscape/PCBmodE. The assembly layer was used to size the cutouts. (That break in my face is an artefact from Inkscape's bitmap export.)

A view from Inkscape/PCBmodE. The assembly layer was used to size the cutouts. (That break in my face is an artefact from Inkscape's bitmap export.)

(Oh, this is an open source design! The source files are at the usual place in the PCBmodE repository.)