A PCB Diary

[Gijs Gieskes] has made another eye-catching PCB wonder, this time a diary built from several circuit boards which are assembled into a book, not unlike a PC/104 system. But with [Gijs]’s system you can easily open the stack-up to access single boards without disassembling the whole thing. We don’t see brass piano hinges on PCB assemblies very often, but [Gijs]’s PCB designs are anything but conventional. Hint: if you wanted to recreate this technique using more ordinary hardware, you can find hinged PCB standoffs from various suppliers.

Bicycle, soccer ball, smoke on the “No no no no no…” PCB

Apparently it’s more than a passive piece of art.  Each board has several circuits, some of which (all?) are functioning is ways not clearly described, which seems to be intentional. According to his build log, different things happen when you mix and match the inter-board ribbon cables in various ways. We are told in the instructions “to just try and see what happens”. No schematics are posted, but there is a partial description of the circuits in the manual and parts on the two-layer boards are well-labeled. Although after spot checking a few circuits board photos, we’d guess that no small number of traces, and perhaps some parts, are wild goose chases.

The project claims to be a diary for the years 2018 and 2019, but we will leave it as an exercise for the reader to interpret the messages that [Gijs] has embedded into this fascinating piece. We have written about several of his projects over the years, such as this crazy bent Casio SK-1 from all the way back in 2005. And before dismissing this “book” style of circuit board stack-up as only for artists, check out this teardown of a Soyuz clock we covered back in January.

8 thoughts on “A PCB Diary

  1. Neat idea!

    In true diary form, one could show the progression of their electronics/computer knowledge over the years.
    My first page would probably an electric bicycle horn I bought in the 3rd grade. Then, tearing apart an electric mixer (Sunbeam?) in middle school. High School electronics class… repairing 8-track players, then US Army Radio School,
    and on and on…

    1. Old PC hardware is always so nuts!

      It’s usually obvious that someone had way too much fun with the sheet metal stamping machine, because for some reason people actually like to build wobbly dent prone boxes with sheet metal and too many screws, and exactly no shock absorbtion besides the wobbly metal.

      Oh yeah and there’s also lots of thin wire uncomfortably close to the sharp edges of the metal, where your hands also need to be to work on it.

  2. This white logo in the center is from the dutch national railroad carrier, the NS (ns.nl). It actually consists of two arrows, each with a bend in the baseline.
    This is the most eye-catching part of the cover-image of this article, but unaddressed, so that’s why I wanted to explain :)

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