Final layout.

Making Broken Electronics Into Wall Art

Introduction

About one year ago (Summer of 2013) my Kindle Touch 3G died a terrible death and could no longer be charged. I tore it apart initially with the intention of getting it working again, but ended up keeping it apart and turning it into a piece of wall art after being inspired by Bolt in Boston, MA. I found looking at the internals of a well designed piece of hardware rather inspiring to my Electronics Designer brain, and decided I wanted to keep old, now defunct (or obsoleted) pieces of hardware around to remind me of what good design looks like, and an outlet to criticise designs constructively.

Materials

  1.  Heavy Duty Double Sided Tape (Amazon)
  2. 12" x 24" Clear PETG Sheet (Amazon)
    1. I would suggest getting a white (or other color) acrylic sheet (Amazon)
  3. Misc. screws, washers and anchors for mounting. This is wall specific

The Process

Teardown

I forgot to record a teardown video as I went, but I am attaching one from David L. Jones from the EEVBlog. I could not find a teardown of the exact model I have, so now I wish I remembered to record it.

Layout

To lay out the components I taped down some standard US Letter 8.5"x11" pieces of paper onto my desk and marked the corners of the PETG sheet. I also used this sheet to mark out my drill its (1/8" drill hits each 1/2" in from the sides). I made the drill hits before finishing up the layouts and then placed all the components on the white sheet and marked the corners of the components. This is one advantage of using clear plastic; however, I think the aesthetics of opaque are much better so I suggest using an opaque acrylic sheet instead.

Once I felt secure with the layout I broke out the double-sided mounting tape and mounted all of the parts down. Nothing fancy, adjust the amounts of tape so that it is making full contact. I also reccomend cleaning both surfaces with Isopropyl Alcohol before applying the tape for the best quality bonds.

Conclusion

IMG_4796

This is a simple and easy project, but can make a workspace more inspiring. I have also been thinking about doing this for old broken, or obsolete, PCBs of my own designs as a trophy wall of sorts. Have fun with it, and let it inspire you!

Resources

  1. https://medium.com/@BoltVC/why-we-exploded-hardware-and-put-it-on-our-walls-57373efe2bcd

10 thoughts on “Making Broken Electronics Into Wall Art”

  1. If this design only lasted a few years, than its an example of piss poor engineering and I don't think you want to use it as inspiration.  Instead, look at it from a perspective of failure... how not to design a device.

    1. In the case of the later two explosions (iPod and an iPod Touch), the iPod lasted for almost 8 years before experiencing major issues (headphone jack got pushed in). The touch I will admit broke much faster.

      As for this Kindle, the issue appears to have been with the usb connector getting gunked up, and some other charging related problems. I think from a consumer electronics stand point the engineering is not piss poor; from an industrial standpoint it is pretty bad. There is still a lot to learn from these devices on the good side like EMC/ESD precautions, general architecture, and some of the assembly methods used. Just have to make sure you keep everything in perspective.

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