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“Dead bug style” circuit wiring is the cute name for soldering together components without a printed circuit board. The “dead bug” is the integrated circuit flipped upside down with its “legs” sticking up.

Over at the Dangerous Prototypes forum, a maker shows off his dead bug skills, which he used to solder a Little Wire:

My level of boredom was not enough to actually etch a PCB for it so I did a freeform version of it. With a fine tip on the soldering iron, 0.4 mm solder, a stereo microscope and a hour or two of soldering and bending wires even an old fart like me can get the parts together without a PCB.

(A Little Wire is a USBtiny compatible AVR programmer.)

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the editor-in-chief of Make magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.


  • Alan Dove

    This style of circuit building is also known as “ugly construction,” but that name certainly wouldn’t apply here. Excellent work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.cimiluca Christopher Cimiluca

    I have a bunch of SMD Attiny85s that I can’t figure out how to program. This is very impressive.

  • http://twitter.com/srmoore srmoore (@srmoore)

    While the style certainly looks neat, never underestimate the utility of a ground plane. (Something I’ve learned the hard way with op-amps suddenly oscillating out of control without one.)

    • http://twitter.com/srmoore srmoore (@srmoore)

      err.. plain. Sorry, it’s late, spelling goes to heck.

      • http://twitter.com/srmoore srmoore (@srmoore)

        ack. had it right the first time, and no way to delete my ‘correction’?

        • alpha

          Doesn’t matter, we still love you.

  • http://www.digitalfanatics.org/2012/10/dead-bugs/ Dead bugs | Digital Fanatics

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    […] new meaning to the phrase Dead Bug, these photographs by Luca di Filippo use insects constructed from electronic components as their […]

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    […] new meaning to the phrase Dead Bug, these photographs by Luca di Filippo use insects constructed from electronic components as their […]

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