If my flashlight business card isn't advanced enough for you, then how about one with a full graphical display on it that can be customised for a number of scrolling messages? This one could be made in quantity for about a $5 parts cost, and it is only a little bit more expensive if you are making just a few. I won't kid you that this is an easy design to make - don't try it unless you have very good soldering skills and some experience in electronics. Some of the components here are smaller than grains of rice, so it would be useful to have good eyesight as well! Like the flashlight card, it is more of a proof of concept than something you can churn out in quantity, but it might at least give you an idea of what can be achieved, and where business cards might be in just a few years time.

Step 1: About The Design

This is the sort of card that would suit a high-tech business, or those who were involved in high-value contracts, where an innovative image is all important. I would never suggest that it would replace a conventional business card, but to impress that all-important prospective client, there would be more than a few companies who would be happy to spend just an extra few dollars. Like the flashlight card, the aim is to design a business card that people just can't throw away!

The design is really quite simple for what it does - a matrix of 5x15 LEDs, connected to a single-chip "PIC"microcontroller. A handful of resistors and switches complete the design (Schematic available below). By keeping the microcontroller in sleep mode unless the buttons are pressed, the battery can last several years, and still allow a couple of thousand displays of your messages.
You can also use jumper resistors or "000" value smd resistors to connect the horizontal lines and have some traces running under the LEDs.
<p>Great idea</p>
i want to make this, but i don't want to use surface mount, i.e. normal LEDs, batteries. so what components should i use. please help :(
yes i know i check but the battery holder in the double sided pcb <br>
Hi - the one in step 2 is 18-3780 from rapidonline.com. The one referred to in step 7 was just a couple of bits of wire soldered in - it wasn't a proper battery holder.
plz upload a photo of it or his name to buy it plz
and sorry for my question but i have another one what is this type of battery holder in the new pcb
Hi - if you check step 2 of the instructable it lists the parts and suppliers
if i want to write my name and my email plz tell me how <br>my name is fayez slim <br>and my email is fayezslim@hotmail.com <br>plz reply
Hi - if you check step 5 of the instructable it will tell you how to spell out messages
can i use your hex file in matrixcode.zip with out editing it plz reply
You are welcome to but it won't be much use for you as it will have my name and email on it rather than yours!
I am looking to build the same circuit but modify the program. I have run into a road block trying to get a PCB manufactured. My education hasn't covered creating Gerber files and such... Is the PCB simply 2 layers?
It is actually only 1 layer - very simple. Best bet to do it commercially is to find someone who accepts an Eagle &quot;.brd&quot; file which is attached to the instructables
DUDE !!! <br> <br>Seriously awesome stuff ! Many thanks for showing exactly how this is made with VERY - Clear &amp; concise pictures and steps! <br> <br>Also interested in your MK 2 version with colour OLED screen! <br> <br>Undoubtedly Awesome &amp; is every possible meaning of my words! <br> <br>You're A Genius! Simply-Said !
where did you get the parts?
check out step 2
Very interesting!
channihoney says:<br>how can write new message this display ?
I've made a few of these already, they have been working great :) I've also recently started working on a completely flush version, which will hopefully be just as thick as the pcb... All the components are sunk in, except for the LEDs! Thank you so much for this amazing Instructable, you've given me hours of trial and error and most of all a chance to learn about smd soldering and programming :)
i really like it<br>it's very well designed<br>and i really like the idea for the overlay
very nice.... <br>good job pal
got an idea tom to revise the board. Where the Battery is placed cut out a hole and place the battery in the hole, and use tin flaps soldered to the board. That will make it thinner.
Hello <br>How can I make one of these <br>
im really interested in making this into a portable sound analyzer. like a SpeaQualiser. anyway, i was wondering just how durable this is and size comparisons. like would i be able to keep this in my wallet?
May i make this commercially in Thailand?<br>Just using the idea, not the whole thing.
Sure - the information is freely available so go for it. Send us an image of what you come up with if you get one up and running - would be interested to see.<br><br>Tom
i dont no how to re name?
It's not becouse you make It in a Mac? I use only Windows, i never tried Mac. Anyway I opened It with Notepad of Windows and It says this (a little part): &euro;B | &lt; &Icirc;&euml;H&sect;(&fnof; x &trade;&nbsp;G&copy;&Iacute; &uuml;&gt;&euro;&Acirc;F&circ;&Ecirc; &uuml;&gt;&euro;&Acirc;F&circ;&Ecirc; &uuml;&gt;&euro;&Acirc;F&circ;&Ecirc; &yuml; š&trade;&trade;&trade;&trade;&trade;&copy;?š&trade;&trade;&trade;&trade;&trade;&trade;? Top Bottom Pads Vias Unrouted Dimension tPlace bPlace tOrigins bOrigins tNames bNames tValues bValues tStop bStop tCream bCream !&quot; tFinish &quot;! bFinish #$ tGlue $# bGlue %&amp; tTest &amp;% bTest '( tKeepout (' bKeepout )* tRestrict *) bRestrict ++ vRestrict ,, Drills -- Holes .. Milling // Measures 00 Document 11 Reference 22 dxf 34 tDocu 43 bDocu 56 tGND_GNDA 65 bGND_GNDA 87 wert [[ Nets \\ Busses ]] Pins ^^ Symbols __ Names `` Values aa Info bb Guide d Muster ee Patch_Top ff Vscore hh Name tt Patch_BOT yy _tsilk zz _bsilk &mdash;&mdash; HeatSink &Egrave;&Egrave; 200bmp &Eacute;&Eacute; 201bmp &Ecirc;&Ecirc; 202bmp &uacute;&uacute; Descript &ucirc;&ucirc; SMDround &thorn;&thorn; cooling P - &laquo;&laquo;&Dagger; &cedil; &oacute; &euro; \ Lightbox E &thorn;&yuml;s&euml; &ETH;qfSO28W +&euro; &amp;&iuml;&thorn;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 2 +&euro; &Uacute; PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 13 +&euro; Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 1 +&euro; &Acirc; &yuml;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 3 +&euro; ^R&yuml;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 4 +&euro; vB PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 14 +&euro; &gt;&szlig; PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 12 +&euro; &cent;&shy; PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 11 &quot;&euro; '&lsquo;&thorn;&yuml;x&aelig; &thorn;n x&aelig; &ccedil; &quot;&euro; '&thorn;n &circ;&yuml;&yuml;&lsquo;&thorn;&yuml;&circ;&yuml;&yuml;&ccedil; &quot;&euro; '&lsquo;&thorn;&yuml;&circ;&yuml;&yuml;&lsquo;&thorn;&yuml;x&aelig; &ccedil; &quot;&euro; 3&bdquo;a xo&yuml;&yuml;|ž&thorn;&yuml;xo&yuml;&yuml;&oslash; &quot;&euro; 3|ž&thorn;&yuml;xo&yuml;&yuml;|ž&thorn;&yuml; &fnof;&yuml;&yuml;&oslash; &quot;&euro; 3|ž&thorn;&yuml; &fnof;&yuml;&yuml;|ž&thorn;&yuml;&circ; &oslash; &quot;&euro; 3|ž&thorn;&yuml;&circ; &bdquo;a &circ; &oslash; &quot;&euro; 3&bdquo;a &fnof;&yuml;&yuml;|ž&thorn;&yuml; &fnof;&yuml;&yuml;&oslash; 1&euro;Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;&oelig;1 &Icirc; &gt;NAME +&euro; &ndash;&micro;&yuml;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 6 +&euro; jJ PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 9 +&euro; &uacute;&fnof;&yuml;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 5 +&euro; 2&ccedil;&yuml;&yuml;PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 7 +&euro; | PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 10 +&euro; &Icirc; PL&yuml;&yuml;&cedil;&oslash;* 8 &quot;&euro; 3&bdquo;a &circ; &bdquo;a &fnof;&yuml;&yuml;&oslash; 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&amp;&euro; 3; 00&yuml;&yuml;a&quot; k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3&times;@ 00&yuml;&yuml;&yacute;S k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3sr 00&yuml;&yuml;&trade;&hellip; k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3&curren; 00&yuml;&yuml;5&middot; k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3&laquo;&Otilde; 00&yuml;&yuml;&Ntilde;&egrave; k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3G 00&yuml;&yuml;m k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3&atilde;8 00&yuml;&yuml; L k&yuml;&yuml; &amp;&euro; 3&atilde;8 q&rdquo; L &ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3G q&rdquo; m &ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&laquo;&Otilde; q&rdquo; &Ntilde;&egrave; &ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&curren; q&rdquo; 5&middot; &ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3sr q&rdquo; &trade;&hellip; &ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&times;@ q&rdquo; &yacute;S &ETH;&Iuml; +&euro; &Icirc; &deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 21 +&euro; 2&ccedil;&yuml;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 22 +&euro; &ndash;&micro;&yuml;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 23 +&euro; &uacute;&fnof;&yuml;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 24 &amp;&euro; 3; q&rdquo; a&quot; &ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&Yuml;&Yacute;&yuml;&yuml;q&rdquo; &Aring;&eth;&yuml;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&not;&yuml;&yuml;q&rdquo; )&iquest;&yuml;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3gz&yuml;&yuml;q&rdquo; &yuml;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; +&euro; ^R&yuml;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 25 +&euro; &Acirc; &yuml;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 26 +&euro; &amp;&iuml;&thorn;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 27 +&euro; Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;&deg;&sup3; &cedil;&oslash;* 28 &amp;&euro; 3&Euml;H&yuml;&yuml;q&rdquo; &ntilde;[&yuml;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3/&yuml;&yuml;q&rdquo; U*&yuml;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&ldquo;&aring;&thorn;&yuml;q&rdquo; &sup1;&oslash;&thorn;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; &amp;&euro; 3&divide;&sup3;&thorn;&yuml;q&rdquo; &Ccedil;&thorn;&yuml;&ETH;&Iuml; &Uuml;&yuml;&yuml;$ &otilde; rf +&euro;2 p&AElig; &Auml;&deg;' P$1 +&euro;2 8c &Auml;&Auml; P$2 +&euro;2 &Auml;&Auml; P$3 +&euro;2 &Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;&Auml;&Auml; P$4 +&euro;2 9&yuml;&yuml;&Auml;&Auml; P$5 4&yuml;š&yuml;&Igrave; f #rf &quot;&euro;3&Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;8c 8c 8c { &quot;&euro;18c 8c 8c &Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;{ &quot;&euro;08c &Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;&Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;&Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;{ &quot;&euro;2&Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;&Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;&Egrave;&oelig;&yuml;&yuml;8c { +&euro; ,k&yuml;&yuml;&circ;; &oelig;1&Icirc; P$1 +&euro; ,k&yuml;&yuml;x&Auml;&yuml;&yuml;&oelig;1&Icirc; P$3 +&euro; &Ocirc;&rdquo; &circ;; &oelig;1&Icirc; P$2 +&euro; &Ocirc;&rdquo; x&Auml;&yuml;&yuml;&oelig;1&Icirc; P$4 m&thorn;m&thorn;&ldquo;&ldquo; 2rf %&euro; 3 &ouml; &ouml; { *&euro; Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;&circ; POS1 *&euro; vB vB &circ; POS2 *&euro; Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;vB &circ; NEG1 *&euro; vB Š&frac12;&thorn;&yuml;&circ; NEG2 (&euro; &oslash;* &euro; led &iacute;&yuml;&Iuml;&yuml; 1 Lrf?rf +&euro; L &nbsp;&nbsp; C +&euro; &acute;&acirc;&yuml;&yuml;&nbsp;&nbsp; A &amp;&euro; 3l&icirc;&yuml;&yuml;&rdquo; &rdquo; 4! &amp;&euro; 3l&icirc;&yuml;&yuml;&Igrave;&THORN;&yuml;&yuml;&rdquo; l&icirc;&yuml;&yuml; &quot;&euro; 3`&eth;&yuml;&yuml;&rdquo; `&eth;&yuml;&yuml;l&icirc;&yuml;&yuml;&uuml; &quot;&euro; 3&nbsp; &rdquo; &nbsp; l&icirc;&yuml;&yuml;&uuml; &amp;&euro; l&icirc;&yuml;&yuml; H&ocirc;&yuml;&yuml;&cedil; &amp;&euro; &cedil; &rdquo; &cedil; &amp;&euro; $&uacute;&yuml;&yuml; &Uuml; &cedil; 1&euro;2&ccedil;&yuml;&yuml;2&ccedil;&yuml;&yuml;&Icirc; &gt;NAME And I can't change the name, in properties and when I download It, says: Downloading FJ57QXVFT3K2QPS.tmp... Did you tried to download It in your PC? It's really strange. Now I use Windows 7
After renaming, you will need Eagle PCB (Free download) to view and edit the PCB file.
Hi in the step 8, the download link is naemd 'Led Card.brd' and when I download It it&acute;s named 'FJ57QXVFT3K2QPS.tmp'. Why It&acute;s different?Why the format is '.tmp' in stead of '.brd'? Please help me.
Strange - didn't use to do this - tried uploading again and same thing happened. You will need to rename the &quot;.TMP&quot; file to &quot;.BRD&quot; after you have downloaded it - google &quot;Change File Extension&quot; if you need to know how to do this. This is a newer version of the PCB file - a double-sided one with no need to use the &quot;mock double sided board&quot; trick with the sticky tape. Apologies, but no longer have the original board.
&nbsp;Where did you find the library for the led's? I can't seem to find the library....<br /> Sam
There is no library needed - all code is in one file attached to the instructable.<br />
&nbsp;Yah, but I would like to design my own. (Yours is just WAY to complicated for me, but it is REALLY cool)<br /> Thanks,<br /> Sam
hi...i jst gng to start wth pic mic.can u tell me which book is good to guide me properly with pic microcontroller........<br />
Sorry, but don't have any books on PICs - just done a search on &quot;PIC Microcontrollers&quot; on Amazon and their looks like to be a good few for beginners with good reviews - perhaps someone else can recommend one?<br />
Hey, Sunstone circuits (custom pcb manufacturer) requires the matrix to be in either a .RAR, .123, . BRD, or .BIN formats. Can you please upload a copy of the matrix in one of those formats so I can have a circuit printed? Thanks.
I have loaded an Eagle .BRD file on the last step of the instructable, but it is slightly different - see the comments on the last page.
Hello, I have a bit of a problem. And&nbsp; I'm asking for a help. I have&nbsp;succesfully soldered everything and programmed it. But it doesn't work as it should. When I insert the battery all the LED's are turned on. Even if I press one of the four switches nothing happens (all the LED's are still on). Could you help me with the problem, please? Thanks
Hi - sorry, but it is pretty near impossible to troubleshoot remotely without access to the circuit.&nbsp; My best guess is that the program is not running at all - perhaps due to an incorrectly programemd fuse/option bit.<br />
Hi again. I'm new in this and I'm having some troubles understanding your solution. Could you please tell me where can I&nbsp;select this fuse/option bit?<br /> Thank you for your time! I really appreciate it.<br />
Looking at the source code again it looks like I put the fuse options into the source code in the first few lines so that shouldn't be a problem.&nbsp; I would suggest programming my original hex file (from the the zip) - if this works then it is a change you made to the code that stopped it working.&nbsp; If it doesn't then things get harder to work out and it must be in the hardware.&nbsp; Let us know how you get on.<br />
Well I haven't been able to fix it so I&nbsp;decided ti make another one. And even this one doesn't work. I have checked all the connections and everything seems OK. So is it possible that I have overheated the PIC while soldering?<br /> <br /> p.s. Is it possible that you could send me one of your prototypes? I would pay you of course.<br /> <br /> Thanks<br />
Hi - really sorry, but only ever made one and this disappeared somewhere when being shown at a maker faire in the US.&nbsp; Are they programming/verifying OK?&nbsp; If so then you prob haven't blown up the chip - I think that they are less sensitive these days to heat/static etc than they used to be.&nbsp; Send me a private message with your email address and I will try to help if I can.<br />
I think I might have solved the problem. I don't know how I did that but I turned the LEDs up side down! This week I'll try to do another one and I'll tell you the result!<br />
You totally got me!<br /> I was totally curious to see what was the part number of the display, hahahaha, very nice work!<br /> <br /> I gave you 4.5 stars because I don't think the card is waterproof.<br />
this might be a stupid question, but how does the microcontroller drive a single LED at a time?<br />

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