DCTransistor logo: A version of the DC flag designed to look like it is printed on PCB. 
				Each of the two bars has three 'LEDs' on it, one for each metro line, with copper traces connecting the LEDs.

1st Board Auction

Support DC Community Organizations by purchasing THE FIRST DC Metro PCB Board

A dctransistor board, but without a battery holder or chip soldered into the bottom-left quarter. Instead, four jumper wires are soldered
directly into four of the through-holes that a chip's pins would go through. In the background are a soldering iron and other solder supplies.
First board connected to the chip through jumper wires, with soldering supplies in the background

Can’t wait for production boards to be available in bulk? Want to support the DC community, particularly our most vulnerable neighbors, and get some cool wall art? Then you can own the first PCB Board to display live DC train positions.

Auction runs 7/18/2022 7:00 PM EST - 7/28/2022 7:00 PM EST. Links to eBay will generate errors before and after the auction.

100% of what the winner pays will go to members of the DC community working to support this city. Specifically, the money will be split between the DC Abortion Fund as they work to make sure people in DC, including those who come here, can get safe abortions; and local organizers as they support our migrant neighbors, especially those bussed here and left with no support system from the local or federal governments.

DC Abortion Fund Logo Sanctuary DMV Logo

How Do I Know You’re Sending the First Board?

To some extent, you’ll have to trust me. You’ll know it’s one of the 10 prototype boards because of the “first batch” label in the top-right and the distinct changes coming between these boards and the broadly available produciton ones. There are also some signs this was my go-to development board if you look for them.

Close-up photo of the chip on the back of the dctransistor board, showing heat marks from multiple soldering sessions.
Back of the first board, with slight heat marks from multiple soldering sessions above the chip.
Close-up photo of the through-holes on the front of the board where the chip is soldered on, showing heat marks and pins that were cut off to allow an easier connection.
Front of the board, also with some heat marks and multiple unnecessary pins removed from the chip.

I made sure the first board worked by soldering jumper wires into the necessary through holes (the chip I used to develop and test the software didn’t have the same dimensions as the spot for the chip on the board). Don’t worry: you’re not getting a board with jumper cables - I removed them and got a regular chip directly on the back of the board. So, the best way to know this was the first board is by all the soldering done on it: Soldering the jumper wires in (one of which had to be replaced), desoldering them and removing excess solder from the through-holes, then soldering the chip in place. As a result, there is some heat marks on the back of the board above the chip. Further, some of the extra solder made it hard to get all of the chip pins in, so I had to cut a lot of the unnecessary pins from the the chip to get it to fit onto the board - note all the pins missing from the bottom row and the edge pins missing from the top row.

None of this affects the board’s functionality, it just has marks from some of the extra work it took to develop and test on this board. Besides, I’ll be sure to sign it and include a note or some other form of personal assurance and thanks to whoever wins the auction :)

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with these organizations and this auction is not being coordinated with them. I think they are doing important and very cool work that make this city a better place, and I want to use what money I bring in from my silly little blinky board to support the much more important things happening in DC.

There are a handful of additional prototype boards that are ready in addition to the first board I’m auctioning off. Not all of them are for sale, but if you want to get one reach out to orders@dctransistor.com with a price you’re willing to pay, starting at $150. Most of the net revenue from these boards will also go the organizations mentioned above, but not 100% of the sale like the auction (these boards are not cheap to make).