PCB Business Card

because paper is too easy

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I decided I was tired of paper business cards, and wanted something more fun (and more impressive to show off). Having a PCB business card is also a perfect portable portfolio, showcasing my design and layout skills.

This project will span the first and all future iterations of my personal PCB business card. Ver. 1 starts off slowly with a pilfered 555 schematic but moving forward, things should get more interesting!

All of my layouts are done using KiCad, and my fab house of choice is OSHPark. This locks my color palette to the (very attractive) purple soldermask and gold pads.

  • Getting Situated

    alex.puffer05/10/2016 at 23:52 0 comments

    So with Ver. 1 completed, it's time to kick this project up a notch. That in mind, I've gifted myself with an actual test bench setup:

    • Siglent SDS1052DL oscilloscope
    • RSR Electronics 234 Analog/Digital Trainer (so much love for this thing)
    • Atmel-ICE in-system-programmer for AVR microcontrollers
    • Misc. lab supplies

    In addition I've grabbed a few ATtiny chips and an ISP so I can get my feet wet with embedded C programming. I've been feeling guilty that the only embedded work I've done as an EE was with an Arduino, so this is a great opportunity to dig a bit deeper into embedded systems and learn what's going on under the hood.

  • Ver. 1

    alex.puffer05/10/2016 at 23:23 0 comments

    With everything laid out in KiCad and boards ordered from OSH Park, I assembled the first card in my toaster oven. The touch plates didn't seem to do much. Most of the time, the LED comes on when the battery is inserted and then turns off if the OFF touch plate or anywhere on GND is touched. The ON touch plate does absolutely nothing. I don't have a test bench right now so there's not too much I feel like doing to see what the deal is, but it's still a pretty rad business card to give away.

    Fig. 1 - The circuit: 555 touch-plate design from

    Fig. 2 - Completed Board - the pads don't look gold, but they are

    Fig. 3 - Assembled board, pre-cleanup

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sg3184 wrote 08/22/2018 at 15:36 point

Hey, interesting idea! Any updates on how v2 went? Any tips on how to get going on a similar project?

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AVR wrote 05/10/2016 at 20:21 point

Been wanting to do the same thing but I'm gonna do something with an MCU, nice work, I love the look of the block pattern!

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alex.puffer wrote 05/10/2016 at 23:05 point

Thanks--it's funny you comment about using an MCU now.  Just
yesterday I created a page for Version 2.  That one's going to have an
AVR on it so it actually does stuff!

Not quite sure exactly WHAT it's gonna do, but I've got a few ideas bouncing around.

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