About: Gieskes.nl

What i (Gijs Gieskes) do:

I am a industrial-designer/artist from the Netherlands specializing in the design of electronic devices, for audiovisual use. The devices are often sold as kits but also pre assembled, check my store to see what is currently available.

I also give workshops, concerts, lectures and have exhibitions.

If you need to contact me you can find my email address here.

Me on other websites: vimeo, youtube, facebook, flickr, soundcloud, twitter, instagram.

Bio EN: When i started to make electronic things i knew almost nothing about how they work, but with simple solutions i managed to make usable instruments anyway. For instance i used a speaker as a relay, where a transistor should have been used. Because of knowing little i used my creativity in a none efficient way, i invented things that already existed. But i feel proud of these inventions, for instance the Relay the Vactrol and the Phase Locked Loop. Nowadays i know much more about electronics, but i still want to work the same way as when i started.

Bio NL:Toen ik begon met het maken van elektronische dingen wist ik vrijwel niets van hoe elektronica werkte, maar door simpele oplossingen lukte het toch om bruikbare instrumenten te maken, ik gebruikte bijvoorbeeld een speaker als een Relais waar eigenlijk een transistor zou moeten zitten. Door het niet weten gebruikte ik eigenlijk mijn creativiteit op een niet efficiënte manier, ik vond dingen uit die al bestonden. Toch ben ik trots op deze uitvindingen, zoals bijvoorbeeld de Relais de Vactrol, en de Phase-Locked Loop techniek. Tegenwoordig weet ik redelijk wat van elektronica, maar ik wil nog steeds zo werken als toen ik begon.

gijs gieskes 2017

Me 2017 or so maybe..

PCB aesthetics and Why green PCB’s

Traditionally PCB’s seem to have the color green, so when I see one I recognise it as a PCB quickly, with other color’s it can be that I don’t recognise them as PCB’s as quickly. I was educated as a industrial designer (Design Academy Eindhoven) where they were teaching Bauhaus, i think I picket up the idea that the material should be used recognisable when it is used, so when I use a PCB for something I will try to make it as easy as possible to recognise it, the easiest way to make it recognisable is to use the color green on it, because traditionally they are green. The material under the solder mask (the green paint) is tin or directly copper, then FR4. These are all materials I can show also. They have easy to see colours and are easy to recognise.

In the recent years much more different color’s are used to make PCB’s so I decided to let go a bit of the strict color usage. Also because because in eurorack the idea is to have multiple different manufacturers mixed together. It can be quite ugly to have such a big mix of different aesthetic’s, but it is what Eurorack is, and it is maybe better to accept that, ugliness also has its charm and beauty.

Some more about my green PCB’s.. Not long ago the price for ordering PCB’s was much higher, I was ordering at Futurlec, Gold Phoenix PCB, PCBCart. Back then to get a black PCB you had to pay $20 extra, so the motivation to use green PCB’s was also higher because of this reason. My background is a bit from the hacking type of approach, so when I wanted white PCB’s I was thinking maybe I can use the silkscreen text layer to paint the PCB’s all white, just have the green layer first and then the white over it. It works quite good, but sometimes the PCB’s manufacturer uses more paint then other times, so the green can shine thru the white, this can be a bit ugly. With a black background the white would become grey, which is nicer the very light green.

When soldering white PCB’s you can also see the flux very easily, on green it seems to be the last visible.

No silkscreen and no solder mask is also a thing I use, this can look real nice. When I started using this as front panels I had never seen anyone else do it like this, so I was quite happy the have found a new color to use. But I got a bit of a fear that the epoxy might be not 100% healthy for touching so I cancelled that for a while, I think it’s ok now.

When there Is copper on the other side of the PCB the color of it can shine thru to the front side because FR4 is semi transparent, this can look nice also with the green mask from the other side shining thru.

Another negative with this is that when on one side of the PCB the copper gets completely etched away the whole PCB can slightly warp.

Exposed FR4 gets scratched quite easily thou..