Radio circuit board laid out like the London tube map


Yuri Suzuki's "London Underground Circuit Maps" is being shown at the London Design Museum until next January. It was developed through the museum's Artist-in-Residence programme.

responding to 'thrift' as a theme, suzuki's work explores communication systems in consumer electronics. a printed circuit board (PCB) is used as a precedent for developing a electrical circuit influenced by harry beck's iconic london underground map diagrams. by strategically positioning certain speaker, resistor and battery components throughout the map, users can visually understand the complex networks associated with electricity and how power is generated within a radio.

Cue humourless, robotic legal threat from Transport for London in 5, 4, 3...

yuri suzuki: london underground circuit map radio (via Red Ferret)

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  1. Curious use of FR4 to display The Tube Map while trying to make a functioning radio. The text doesn’t state if it works or not – I have my doubts since the RF circuitry for the FM band would need to be packed together to function. A 1 inch length of copper trace is a significant circuit element at 100 MHz.

    Don’t get me started on the artists’ statement: “by strategically positioning certain speaker, resistor and battery components throughout the map, users can visually understand the complex networks associated with electricity and how power is generated within a radio.”

    What on earth is this trying to say?

    1. The antenna (at the lower left) is a ferrite rod.  These are commonly used in what we in the States call ‘AM’ radio; others might say ‘medium wave’.  Down around 1 MHz, layout is much easier.  It is also possible (though perhaps unlikely, due to the challenges of getting all the geometry to match a pre-established ‘layout’, ie, the metro map) that some of the traces are calculated to act as distributed circuit elements, rather than discrete lumped RLC components.

      1. But there’s also that FM rod antenna at the top. That’s the one I’m concerned about.

        BTW, I built my first AM radio 40 years ago at age 10, and built a complete FM pirate station with STL uplink from scratch 15 years ago, and I currently build electronics for radio telescopes, so I do know a thing or two about RF PC boards.

        Looking at the way the IF cans are distributed around the board, it doesn’t look like the design has that much Rf layout attention paid to it. but I could be wrong. I’d have to see a website created by the artist to be sure.

          1. Nothing, but the FM broadcast band is 87-108MHz and AM broadcast is 0.5-1.7MHz. Those are world standards, so FM is synonymous with 100 MHz when discussing a broadcast receiver, and AM is synonymous with 1 MHz for same.

      1. Piccadilly Circus, perhaps?

        That would be wonderful, a tube radio in a tube map. Although it would have five tubes.

  2. I’m not so sure this helps me “visually understand the complex networks associated with electricity and how power is generated within a radio.”

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