Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pen-down the circuit

Day: Friday morning.
Venue: Digital electronics lab.
I reached late; this has been the usual me this whole semester. My lab-mates were putting all their effort in constructing the digital circuit given on the xerox sheet. And I was too lazy to poke in, so all I did was, stared. Rajesh was enjoying his favourite work of cutting wires into required length, and the rest were all entangled in untangling the short-long connecting wires. I gazed at the bread-board, and this was the second time that it came to my mind – what a man the bread-board designer might be, to think of such an organized way to designing a neat and clean circuitry. Definitely, he hadn't an inch of clumsy me in himself. But still, this isn’t that comfortable. You aren’t sure whether the wires have been inserted in the holes properly or not. You can’t exactly figure out what the circuit is, as it doesn't resemble the schematic circuit you made with all those beautiful straight lines on paper. And then it struck, CIRCUIT-PEN. It would be NICE :) if we could DRAW the connecting wires which would actually conduct electricity (just like those thin lines impressed upon PCB boards). Wow!! Doesn’t it give the feel of having that ‘magic-pencil’ of ‘shaka-laka-boom-boom’ in your hand?? :)
DESIGN: This pen would have an out-case of a thick stylish pen, with metallic ink and heating circuitry inside it. The metallic ink must have feasibly low melting point and must remain solid at room temperature. Unfortunately tin/lead alloy (solder) does not seem feasible since it’s bouncy, due to high cohesion and so it will be difficult to ‘write’ with. The cross-section of opening will determine the resistance and the amount of current, drawn connecting wires can carry. This is  thankfully small in case of electronic circuits, and especially low for laboratory purposes. The pen would contain a battery for the heating circuit, preferably rechargeable. The base on which the circuit will be drawn can be the PCB sheet, which would as usual contain matrix of holes for fixing of ICs or any electronic component in it.
DRAWBACKS: This requires a new PCB sheet and the metallic ink every time, which was not in the case of breadboard and connecting wires. Also all the connections will be bare. However developing a cleaning mechanism, say by using a chemical which dissolves the metallic ink used, can make the PCB sheet reusable.
USE: Construction of practical circuits will be as easy as drawing it on paper and we can have a clear understanding of the circuit we made, hence avoiding loose connections, short circuiting, and making troubleshooting easier.

It’s wonderful to imagine how you push a button and it switches ON the heating circuit, heating the metal near the opening, resulting in smooth outflow of connecting liquid, and you DRAW the electronic circuit which actually works. Reality will be amazing. :) :)

p.s: my first technical post. yipee !!
p.s: the temperature factor was sandeep's(lab-mate) idea :).
p.s: electronics is not that bad, it will take time to be my love :P :)


  1. Wat wil be its cost ,an wen can we buy it,an the best thing abt it is its production cost wil be nil .only A4 cost .lol

  2. true ..anu :), i havent estimated its cost, but i guess will be a lil more than that of a good quality soldering iron.. easier construction will help us run away from our labs earlier.. :)