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Over the next 24 hours we’re migrating to cloud hosting at Laughing Squid.

WordPress has been a fantastic (and free!) host, but we need to move. We really want the forum to be at, and we can’t do that with the current setup. The blog domain name is mapped in a way that only WordPress can add a CNAME record to a subdomain (i.e.

The DNS changeover should start in the next few hours. After the blog is migrated we’ll freeze the forum to prevent posts while we move the database. A bit of .htaccess foo will forward any old links to to the new forum location.

Since this is the last post at WordPress, we’d like to mark the occasion with a PCB giveaway. We’ll send a free RGB color changer PCB to the first and last commenter on this post.


Ril3y left a comment on the Lincoln PCB with a few other artistic boards.

Not really a “circuit” but it was an attempt at how cool I could get a pcb. Next is to bake in a circuit next time. I try to use copper to do quite a bit of the words needed too!

Great art! Thanks for the tip!

We enjoyed this (sponsored) segment from Make about etching circuit boards. Like Collin, we got our start etching boards we found on the web, at first with toner transfer and later UV photo masking. We didn’t know how the circuits worked, but it was still exciting to build something cool.

Our current method for single-sided prototype boards is about the same as in the video, but we use inkjet masks. Usually a mix of all ink colors, often called high quality black, has better UV resistance than black ink alone. We expose the board for 1 minute and 28 seconds under a tanning lamp from a thrift shop.

This portrait of Abe Lincoln etched onto a PCB is too fun to miss. We’ve hidden signatures, graffiti, and love notes in the copper of PCBs.  How do you sign your boards?

s3c is tantalizing us with this mystery EEPROM device. It’s a small I2C EEPROM data storage chip, and it appears to be powered parasitically from the I2C clock line.

Was bored today so I opened a dongle I had laying around. It only contains an I2C eeprom and a couple of passives but it’s pretty smart, it uses a diode and capacitor to power the eeprom from the eeprom clock line.

Anyone have an idea what the resistors R1 and R4 are for? I’m assuming PIN1 and PIN2 are connected to Vcc through external resistors and are connected as SDA and SCL for normal I2C operation.

We’ll send a free PCB to the poster with the most persuasive explanation of the circuit.

Did you get any hardware or geek toys this holiday?

We received two replacement soldering irons for the Aoyue 968 rework station in the lab. The plastic handle on the old iron broke, but it still worked so we epoxied it back together. Not a fan of high heat, the epoxy often came loose in the middle of long soldering sessions. We kept gluing it back together, but it was high time for a new iron. Like most tools, this is a gift we’ll appreciate all year long.

Marisa tipped us to another interactive Christmas tree that uses Twitter. Alpay Kasal’s Twistmas Tree uses Processing to scrape Twitter search results for keywords. Ornaments with holiday keywords blink when new search results are found.

A netbook running Processing with Twitter4J is used for performing searches of predetermined holiday words and generates a queue of ornament blinks.


Dangerous Prototypes made it into Make’s open source hardware guide 2009! We got interested in open source hardware while reading Make and Hack a Day, this is a really special accomplishment for us.

Our hackable LED Christmas ornament is featured on the cover. The web platform, #twatch, and Bus Pirate are all listed in the development platforms and tools category. Thanks for the mention!

FTDI tech support took less than 5 minutes to respond to our hardware-related query. Where have you gotten excellent support?

Public domain photo by DustyDingo.