Author Topic: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...  (Read 6376 times)

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duskglow

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I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« on: June 08, 2013, 08:44:51 AM »
So I was tearing down a D-Link network DVD player (it's scrap, I just wanted some of the parts) and came across this power supply.  This really cracked me up.

The first image is the board.  The second image is a closeup of the board.  Note the fishies swimming through the isolation channel.  I also found one of our little friends on the top, which is the third image.

I love finding these little easter eggs.

 

Online xrunner

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 08:54:56 AM »
Ha that's great!

Why not right?
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Offline tom66

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 08:55:16 AM »
While quite common to see art on silicon die it is much rarer to see it on PCBs. I wonder if there's a particular reason why.
 

duskglow

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 08:58:29 AM »
What you can't see clearly is that the name of the guy who designed it, "Charles", is also silkscreened onto the board.  So I wonder if he just took a bit of license.
 

Offline millerb

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 09:04:38 AM »
A waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Stuff always needs to be done yesterday and there's never enough time to do everything right the way you want to. End users don't care about cutesy artwork on parts they'll never see.
 

duskglow

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 09:06:59 AM »
Well it made my day, so as far as I'm concerned, thanks, Charles, whereever you are.
 

Online xrunner

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 09:09:02 AM »
A waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Stuff always needs to be done yesterday and there's never enough time to do everything right the way you want to. End users don't care about cutesy artwork on parts they'll never see.

Meh.

Maybe Charles is so damn good that he had a little extra time?

Thanks Charles!  :-+
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Offline tom66

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 09:09:50 AM »
A waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Stuff always needs to be done yesterday and there's never enough time to do everything right the way you want to. End users don't care about cutesy artwork on parts they'll never see.

Jeez I suppose if you think like that what's the point of doing anything? It's an engineer's signature. Engineering is as much an art as it is a science, and some like to sign their art. Who knows the guy probably had the fish art saved as a "stamp" and it look a minute to apply it.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 09:11:34 AM »
A waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Stuff always needs to be done yesterday and there's never enough time to do everything right the way you want to. End users don't care about cutesy artwork on parts they'll never see.


I think it's neat.  The world will become a dull and boring place when having some harmless fun is frowned upon.

I was at a clients office for a meeting on Wednesday, and during the meeting my employees sent me a crazy video of them making bizarre cookie monster noises and eating packing peanuts.  It was a laugh... and so long as the work required gets done, I'd rather have them enjoy the work day and have a bit of levity than sitting at their desks staring at the clock and counting the minutes until 17:00!
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 09:12:07 AM »
A waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Stuff always needs to be done yesterday and there's never enough time to do everything right the way you want to. End users don't care about cutesy artwork on parts they'll never see.
Well, ask yourself why dogs piss on trees >:D
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Online digsys

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2013, 09:43:44 AM »
Great find !! You wonder though, how many 1,000s never get "discovered". There are sites where die art is collected, maybe there should
be a PCB artwork site? I always spend extra time making my layouts clean and "artistic", doing nice layouts satisfies my past foray
into art, which I never have time for any more, plus it relaxes me. I used to write comments on 10-20 thou tracks once, you'd pick a line
thickness that was obviously way too thin to actually etch, but left a faint groove, enough to see under a microscope, with the right light.
Yup, it is nice to see
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Offline c4757p

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2013, 10:05:38 AM »
A waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Stuff always needs to be done yesterday and there's never enough time to do everything right the way you want to. End users don't care about cutesy artwork on parts they'll never see.

Damn straight! I wake up at 5 AM and do nothing but cranking out piles of real work all day long until I go to sleep at 1 AM. Doing something because it makes me happy? Complete waste of time! Get off your lazy hippie asses, you pansies.
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Offline David_AVD

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 11:31:32 AM »
As long as the work gets done, I reckon why not add some fun to your work day.  Sometimes my guys will share silly YouTube videos with me.  It's all good I say.   :)
 

Offline SLJ

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2013, 12:48:25 PM »
Probably a logo of a designer or manufacturer.

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2013, 03:02:44 PM »
Not PCB art,but a lot of old Tektronix manuals had funny little cartoons on the circuit diagrams.

For instance,External Sync was accompanied by a picture of a sink mounted on the side of a rustic looking cabin.
It gave Techs a bit of a chuckle whilst wading through page after page of diagrams. :D
 

Offline uoficowboy

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2013, 03:44:57 PM »
I love putting things like that on PCBs. I worked closely with a gentleman of Russian descent who had a lot of Russian pride on a board for the US military. When doing the layout, I decided he needed to personalize it as well, so we decided to put a hammer and sickle underneath a TQFP. The boss never saw the board unpopulated, so he never saw it.

Another colleague there had a 6 layer PCB with its own Easter egg. He put a smiley face on an inner layer. It would have been completely invisible due to there being 2 power planes, so he put holes in the power planes just big enough for the face to shine through. However, the holes were not directly above/below the face - you had to hold the PCB at a specific angle to see the face. Nobody would ever find it unless they were shown how to look for it.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2013, 05:43:58 PM »
Another nice artful silkscreen, from a young hobbyist:

http://robotgrrl.com/blog/2012/07/25/robobrrd-brain-board-v2-lessons-learned/
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Offline carpelux

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2013, 07:44:05 PM »
Also not a PCB but nonetheless quite amusing is the reverb tank in a Guitar Amp I have. The reverb tank is made by O.C Electronics and has a sticker saying "Manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton, Wis. under controlled athmospere conditions"

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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2013, 07:58:35 PM »
This reminds me of Bunnie's hidden cake.
Whoa! How the hell did Dave know that Bob is my uncle? Amazing!
 

Offline millerb

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2013, 09:41:20 PM »
It's all fun and games until said doodles and eastereggs accidentally leads to some sort of unintended consequence and then you find yourself in the embarrassing situation of having to explain your behavior in a meeting. Or perhaps the cute bits don't have anything to do with the latest fsckup but your boss is convinced that it's all because you've got more time for doodles than solving problems. Not good for your career.

That's my two cents. This kind of stuff is unprofessional unless it adds appeal to the product. I get that some people think that's boring but I don't think electronics and software is boring. Well designed circuits and software are works of art in their own right and creating elegant solutions to problems is rewarding enough.
 

duskglow

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2013, 10:03:14 PM »
I dunno, Frank, the "robotgrrl" one seems to go too far in that direction.  I think a bit of tasteful art is fun and a nice surprise, but to me, that board kind of crossed the line into "cluttered and really hard to read".  It's a difficult line to articulate, but I found myself thinking "wow, did she have any room to actually label the components?" and then spent about ten seconds finding the answer to that question.  That's too cluttered, IMO.  Now, all that said, for a hobbyist, that's just fine and don't read that as being overly critical - but for a "professional" board I'd probably be thinking more "wtf" than "that's cool!"

I think millerb is articulating the other, stuffy, direction.  There's a happy medium, and Charles found it quite nicely.  A few fishy stamps in the isolation channel, some nerd in Portland got a nice surprise, everyone's happy.  And some boss HAD to sign off on that, because unlike the sickle and hammer, that's nearly impossible to hide.

A part of me wonders if the silkscreen in the isolation channel helped with seepage in any way.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2013, 11:47:53 PM »
I agree, that one is really going too far and produced a "wtf?" from me - one of the pads even got scribbled on.

Here is something more tasteful, another fish in the DG4062 (from Mike's teardown).
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2013, 12:43:08 AM »
I dunno, Frank, the "robotgrrl" one seems to go too far in that direction.  I think a bit of tasteful art is fun and a nice surprise, but to me, that board kind of crossed the line into "cluttered and really hard to read".
Right, maybe too much. But I guess the target audience like it, young DIY people. But you have a point: any non-functional artwork should not make it difficult to read the symbols etc.
Quote
A part of me wonders if the silkscreen in the isolation channel helped with seepage in any way.
This is an interesting question, for normal labeling, too. I guess the printer's ink is non-conductive (but how much compared to the solder resist?), but maybe the small bumps of the ink could result in collecting more dust and debris?
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Offline SeanB

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2013, 02:11:00 AM »
Still more creepage distance there than most Chinese equipment has, and any way the ink used for the printing will be similar to the soldermask ink in most cases, similar solvents so they do not react and go pink like sometimes happens.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: I love it when I encounter a bit of personality...
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2013, 02:38:42 AM »
The engineer responsible for the power supply board probably finished his design and was waiting on the other engineer(s) or team(s) to finish theirs. If you've got nothing better to do, then might as well doodle. If nothing else, it's a small amount of additional practice. I personally cannot stand to be idle while someone is paying for my time. Heck - for all we know, the engineer might have done it while staying at work late on his own time.

So what some see as pointless or counterproductive activity, I see as a sign of someone who has outgrown their job role and needs to be promoted into a higher level of responsibility and challenge.

The person who enjoys their work enough to make it artful is exhibiting passion, which is a key trait for success. He/she will leapfrog past those who don't give a shit about it and count the hours until it's time to clock out every day.
 


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