An amplifier circuit good enough to eat


[Dino's] kitchen skills match his hardware hacking prowess. Look really close at the image above and you’ll realize this collection of transistors and passive components is edible. Rather than decorating cookies for the holidays he built this audio amplifier from gingerbread, icing, and candy.

The thing is, [Dino] almost always has that extra touch to his presentations. If you watch the video after the break you’ll notice that the sound is not the crystal clear quality we’re used to hearing in his video. That’s because he used the hardware from which the edible offering was modeled to do the audio for the presentation clip.

After laying out the design using Express PCB he gets down to business. The base, which is gingerbread, looks just like a square of Radio Shack protoboard. To make the diodes he rolled up some tin foil around a screw driver to use as a mold for sugar and water which had been boiled long enough to give a dark color. A similar technique was used to cast the other parts. Everything was tied together using frosting and pieces of red and black licorice.


  1. niekblankers says:

    Not a hack. (sorry)

    • You’re sorry?? I’m not… it was a ton of fun, and it IS a hack. I challenge you to go buy a candy 1N4148 Diode, or a 16 V 247 mF gingerbread capacitor! You can’t. You have to hack them together. So there… :) Happy New Year!

    • Eirinn says:

      Well… technically he’s using candy for something it wasn’t intended to and one could argue that, that, makes it a hack and not just a build.

      • boo hoo says:

        If you read the article properly he used the circuit the cake thing was BASED on, ie the real electronic components. This would have been impressive if the food did the amplification but no, an ordinary and very basic circuit built from a free schematic was used. Let down.

        Oh wow he made some food look like something else. :O

  2. ejonesss says:

    that would make electronics cheaper because the material that makes up semi conductors is expensive.

    or at least make it more self destructible (military could use food based electronics in sensitive classified electronics say for example the missile guidance system or a spy satellite).

    conventional electronics could survive the fire and if the enemy can put out the fire quick enough salvage the guidance module and use it some how.

    electronics made from cake frosting then would be melted into messy glob and any attempts to put out the fire would furtherly destroy it

  3. Sven says:

    I think you need to replace that capacitor, it seems to have puffed up and leaked.

  4. Nick Johnson says:

    Nice gingerbreadboard.

  5. So says:

    That looks like a lot of fun to both make and eat!

  6. George Johnson says:

    Before I read it, I thought it was some different way to make circuits using what looked like punched cardboard and glue.

  7. Greg says:

    Sweetest hack I’ve ever seen. (hur hur)

    Replace the bias diodes with another pair of identical transistors to create a diamond buffer which has very high input impedance, low output impedance, little to no DC offset voltage, and, most importantly, very well defined bias current in the output transistors. Thermally interface the pairs to get temperature independent bias for extra credit :)

    Awesome nonetheless.

  8. JB says:

    Sweet hack! :D

  9. hurricanejames says:

    Am I the only person who thought this was about an operational food-based circuit and not just a model?

  10. dext0rb says:

    Not really understanding the lust some circles of hackers have to make edible versions of electronics. Kinda weird, but whatever floats your gingerbread boat!

  11. Krakkan says:

    I like how if you look close at the diodes they are even transparent… Nicely done :)

  12. Now I know why they call circuit boards with no copper tracks bread boards.
    Can I just warn against eating the circuit board if it is plugged in.
    PS. You can make batteries that work out of lemons.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,401 other followers