palm tree island electrical storm

This symbol is stenciled on the circuit board for Compaq PS2021 ATX power supplies. I spent almost half an hour on Google trying to identify it, and I haven't even gotten close. I thought it might be an old company logo, but nothing came up on that search either.

Has anyone seen this symbol before? If not, can you hazard a guess as to what it might represent?


3 Answers 3


It's not an official symbol.

Often times PCB designers will add in some of their own artwork. It appears to me that the lightning bolt was there to indicate that there is high voltage present. The clouds and island was some "artistic liberties" the PCB designer took. That kind of thing is not uncommon.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ It's funny that it's hailing the letters #REFDES from the left cloud. Seems like the layout software wouldn't accept the picture without wanting to impose a name for it, but the engineer left the default value and didn't change it to "STORM1". Maybe the reason was that once it would have been changed to "STORM1", the thing would have shown up in the parts list and the purchase department would have wondered from which distributor they could have gotten a quote and the respective lead time info for it... \$\endgroup\$
    – zebonaut
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 7:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @zebonaut - yeah, that could be a long-lead item. \$\endgroup\$
    – JustJeff
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 11:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @justjeff I used to work for Cirrus Logic. They always had a hard time making those non-Cirrus storm clouds. \$\endgroup\$
    – user3624
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 12:19

It's not a symbol. Looks like the layout person just had fun one night before sending off the PCB production data to the manufacturer.

This example seems to have been created just for the purpose of fun. On the boards of an audio power amp I have fixed recently, I found the letters "MORE POWER TO YOU!" printed in the silkscreen layer. This could even have been a requirement by product management to impress reviewers of audio magazines who would test and take apart the amp.

Related: chip art and this question.


Sometimes the artwork is related to the codename of the project. Like maybe this power supply project was called "pacific storm" or something like that.


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