Peek inside a Volkswagen Ad Thingie

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Volkswagen and Indian newspaper Times of India never fail to surprise Indian readers with their advertisement campaigns. When they launched the Vento, the newspaper played their jingle when the reader opened the page, this was followed by a metallic print ad for the sedan variant, Times also had featured an ad that had scented pages ..
Today mornings copy of the times gave me a shiver of excitement.. The page literally vibrated. Flipping over the paper revealed the secret. A small black color pod with an LDR was behind the mischief.

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The paper with the thingie

The LDR was a clearcut giveaway as to how the circuit was working, and I anticipated that it was a simple example of using transistor as a switch. However that did not satiate my curiosity. The thingie was glued to the paper and I proceeded to remove it. A closer inspection revealed that the back was only a black dual sided tape.. sort of 3M variety.

I then proceeded to remove the tape to see the device guts and confirm my guess.

The PCB is single sided so it made TE circuit tracing really easy..here is the circuit and bill of material.
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This is just the dump of the circuit… however it opens a load of possibilities like modding it into a laser tripwire or better still replacing LDR with a PIR sensor and the motor with a buzzer maybe.

I will analyze the circuit more deeply and share the findings… its no rocket science, but its good to relearn or basics.

Ishan Karve

About Ishan Karve

Ishan Karve is just an every day normal guy next door who happens to be an Electronics Engineer by profession and dabbles with PHP, Javascript, C++ and python. His interests vary as seasons change.. they change from astronomy to soul searching. This site is just a reflection of what he does to keep his mind engaged when he is not occupied by work and family. He is an extremely objective guy and is always ready for some good arguments.. of course over a glass of 40% proof alcohol.
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5 Responses to Peek inside a Volkswagen Ad Thingie

  1. Kirill says:

    Hi, Ishan! It seems you’ve drawn the circuit wrong. Vibro is coonectet between collector of Q1 and “+” of battery. LDR is conncted to base of Q1 and pulled up to “+” of battery through 120k resistor. The emitter of Q1 is connected to “-” of battery, and capacitor is connnected in parallel to battery.

  2. Debraj says:

    Hello Ishan,

    I thought VW had put the vibro device only in Bangalore, but looks like its all over the country. I too opened the circuit and it is ditto as what you have. But my vibro device came of instantly due to severe vibration. BTW, I still have the last year ad which has a speaking chip inside..

    • Ishan Karve Ishan Karve says:

      Hi debraj, sorry for the delayed reply. Actually I am out of town and thus away from my desk. The Volkswagen thingie is actually very simple..however my circuit is completely wrong..I have wrongly identified the transistors pins.

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