The many iterations of [Joe's] PCB business card

[Joe Colosimo] is putting on a show with his PCB business card project. The idea isn’t new, but his goal is to keep it simple and undercut the cost of all other PCB cards he’s seen. This is the third generation of the board design, and he’s just waiting on some solder mask solution before he tries running it through the reflow oven.

The first two prototypes used some through-hole parts. Notably, the battery was to be positioned in a circular cut-out and held in place by a metal strap and some bare wires. But he couldn’t quite get it to work right so this design will transition to a surface-mount strap for one side, and the large circular pad for the other. At each corner of the board there is a footprint for an LED. He tried milling holes in the board to edge-light the substrate. Now he just mounts the LED upside down to give the board a blue glow. The LEDs are driven by an ATtiny10 microcontroller which takes input from the touch sensor array at the bottom right.

He etched a QR code on the board which seems to work better than the milled QR experiments we saw back in April. The link at the top point’s to [Joe's] main page on the card. Don’t forget to follow the links at the bottom which cover each part of the development more in-depth.

[Thanks Skitchin]

555 business card

After checking out a few beautiful business cards while working at his engineering co-op, [Cody] realized he would soon need his own. Instead of a card with subtle off-white coloring, a tasteful thickness to it, and even a watermark, [Cody] decided to make a 555 timer business card.

[Cody] started his business card project by going through a few design iterations while figuring out what he wanted his business card to do. There were a few designs not chosen – one with a microcontroller, a few with just LEDs, and some with no circuitry at all. After checking out a few project from the EEV blog 555 contest, [Cody] decided to go with a simple 555 timer circuit.

Being a business card, [Cody] kept the circuit very simple; it’s just a 555, phototransistor, and a few SMD LEDs. When a 9 Volt battery is placed on the contact points of the card, the 555 lights up the LEDs. When a laser is shone on the phototransistor, the LEDs start blinking. A very neat and sufficiently interactive circuit that is perfect for keeping component costs down.

After the break you can check out [Cody]‘s business card in action.

[Read more...]

POV business card is guaranteed to get you noticed

pov_business_card

Some say that handing out business cards is an antiquated practice due to the ubiquity of smart phones which can be used to trade or record contact information in mere moments. Instructables user [sponges] however, doesn’t agree and is pushing a “business card renaissance” of sorts with his POV business card.

Hand-built in his basement, the cards feature a handful of SMD LEDs that display his name, followed by his phone number when waved back and forth. Constructed to be nearly the same size as a standard business card, his verison uses a PIC to manage the display as well as a tilt sensor to monitor the card’s motion. His walkthrough is quite thorough, and includes tutorials for each of the steps required to build the card. He discusses constructing your own etching tank, converting a laminator for PCB transfer purposes, building a solder reflow oven controller, as well as hacking an aquarium pump for use as a vacuum-powered pick and place.

The end result is a sharp looking business card that ensures you won’t forget meeting him. Keep reading to see a video of the card in action.

[Read more...]

Hackaday links: December 26, 2010

Obligatory tech tree

It’s hard to let a Christmas go by without looking in on a geeky Christmas tree project. Luckily, [Peter Davenport] decided to share his Arduino and LCD shield tree.

Blinking USB dude

If you’ve got a 555 timer and some commonly salvageable components give this blinking LED man a try. The version above is USB powered but that’s just to take advantage of the 5V regulated power.

Propeller business card

[Jay's] business card is packing quite a punch with this Propeller microcontroller. We love seeing electronics design in cards (however unrealistic the price and portability may be), and this is a big processing upgrade compared to the Tiny85 based offering.

Flying high in NYC


We leave you with a spectacular view of New York City. This breathtaking footage is just as fascinating as the first videos we saw from these folks.

Tiny USB business card

[Frank Zhao] put together a USB business card. It’s even got the instructions printed right on the silk screen of the PCB explaining how it should be used. He based the design around an AVR ATtiny85 microcontroller. It runs the V-USB package that handles USB identification and communication protocols. The rest of the hardware is pretty standard, the uC draws power from the 5V USB rail, with a couple of 3.6V Zener diodes to drop the two data lines down to the proper level.

Once plugged in it waits until it detects three caps lock keypresses in a row, then spews a string of its own keypresses that type out [Frank's] contact information in a text editor window (video after the break). It’s not as reusable as the mass storage business card because [Frank] didn’t breakout the pins on controller. But we still enjoy seeing business cards that make you stand out.

This is a great project to tackle with your newly acquired AVR programming skills.

[Read more...]

Mass storage business card

Just snap off the corners and this business card can be used as a mass storage device. Well sort of. The tab left over has four traces on the back to make it USB compatible. The PIC 24FJ64GB002 microcontroller on the card registers as a storage device and launches [Ramiro's] resume and a cover letter loaded as an HTML file. He’s made it as useful as possible by including access to the SPI and I2C bus connections but he’s also included some firmware to act as a data logger or an oscilloscope. At about 5 euros a piece you won’t be distributing these willy-nilly but it’s not too much more than handing out breakout boards with your name all over them.

Augmented reality business card

Embedded above is a neat augmented reality business card by ActionScript developer [James Alliban]. After seeing “the most impressive business card you will ever see“, he was inspired to update his own business card. His new card has a fiduciary marker on the backside and directs you to his site. A flash app on the site displays a video where he tells you more about himself. The 3D grid of planes in the video varies in depth based on the brightness of the section. He has a few more AR and tracking demos on Vimeo.

Updated: While we’re talking augmented reality, it’s worth checking out the tech behind ESPN’s baseball tracker that uses doppler radar.

Related: Augmented reality in Flash

[via Josh Spear]