October 19, 2011 AT 11:07 pm

The magic blue smoke monster :)

Bluesmoke

You’ll see this little friend here soon as we release some (more) fun ways to share skill achievements and celebrate some of the mistakes we all make with electronics :) Say hi to the magic blue smoke monster.

Magic smoke – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Magic smoke (also called factory smoke or blue smoke) is smoke produced by malfunctioning electronic circuits. The origins of the magic smoke have become a running in-joke that started among electrical engineers and technicians before it was more recently adopted by computer programmers. The actual origin of blue smoke is the black plastic epoxy material that is used to package most common semiconductor devices such as transistors and integrated circuits, which produces a bluish coloured smoke during combustion. Smoke from other components that do not use this epoxy may vary in colour, but still be identified as the same phenomenon for purposes of the joke.

Feel free to post name suggestions in the comments :)


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17 Comments

  1. Indigo Montoya
    Wispy
    Ada-m

  2. Smudge
    Poofy
    Zap

  3. Nothing I’ve bought from the Big Red Company has ever worked. I shall call him Sparky.

  4. On a related topic does anyone have a better name for the smell I know only as “Imminent Electrical Fire”

  5. We call it the chip’s soul.
    It drifts off to space everytime one kills a chip.

  6. (little) blue devil

  7. Can we get a happy version of the blue smoke? Wouldn’t it be a little more happy that it was set free?

  8. B [insert some vowel here] MS

    Make sure you order enough badges! Most of the others went out of stock almost immediately.

  9. I have let some blue smoke out in my day, and probably more than I’d like to admit. I seem to always call the smoke ‘dang it!’ (usually followed by rapidly yanking wires out of the project I’m working on and blowing fiercely at a component that is most likely glowing at that point, with possible results of singed fingers)

    Consider the blue smoke a notch in the makers/hackers learning keychain. ;)

    Oh, and but the way, there is a repair kit for this.. http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10622

  10. gAZULa (azul=blue godzilla=monster)

  11. Kaput.

  12. neco-igneus (monster)

  13. I was inspired by your magic blue smoke monster and created a laser cut version … http://os1r1s.com/?p=525

  14. When I first started encountering this we called it “Eau du Allen-Bradley” (it was usually a 1/4 watt resistor).

  15. @Jared

    I’ve always referred to the odor as “the smell of electronic death” and no cadaver dog is needed to find it. It’s one of the reasons I’ve come to hate CFLs as the common failure is always a stink that gets my heart racing due to a childhood experience where a GE radio went off rather spectacularly, burning a trail across my mother’s wood desk top. She was pretty ticked, it was only a couple weeks old and then pretty angry as she started to realize it could have started a fire.

  16. I nominate:
    Zap

  17. And I shall call him, “Poof”.

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