Printed Circuit Board Rulers are Getting Smarter


The printed circuit board (PCB) based ruler has been around for awhile now, with one of the most popular being introduced by Adafruit (shown first, below) several years ago. PCB materials are inexpensive and can be fabricated into custom designs by numerous board firms. The rulers most often have useful information printed or etched on each side, giving them some geek cred in addition to usefulness and style.

Custom versions of the Adafruit ruler have been made in conjunction with Mouser and Digikey, in each companies signature colors.

Adafruit PCB Rulers

With the Adafruit design being Open Source, there have been imitations, mostly from abroad. Knockoffs, without the Adafruit logo, are available on AliExpress from China and on eBay.

Some folks including Seeed Studio, nVidia, eevBlog and many others have designed their own PCB rulers in differing sizes with various helpful information on each side.

Assorted PCB Rulers

The Digilent ruler, above, is interesting as it is also a prototyping board for projects.

Not long after Adafruit’s original ruler introduction, Hackaday featured a very crafty digital logic ruler, by Brad, called DigiRule. This PCB ruler also contained a microcontroller and LEDs which simulate digital logic including gates, flip flips, and binary counting. It was offered as a Kickstarter and is still available from Brad on Tindie.

DigiRule programmable ruler

Brad recently announced the design of the DigiRule2. This 20 centimeter ruler, shown below, is planned to be an 8 bit programmable computer with a simple instruction set, similar to the Altair 8800. Brad states he plans a Kickstarter in May or June.

New DigiRule2 programmable ruler

We cannot wait to see Brad’s new ruler and any other innovative designs. Do you know of some great PCB rulers? Post the links and description in the comments!


via Adafruit

Thoughts or comments?