Electronic – this PCB component


I took apart a bank token (Digipass 550 manufactured by Vasco) and this is part of the board, you can see the screw hole with the gold plating together with what looks like a PCB inductor and something that looks similar to a spark gap?

Edit: Device stopped working after removing these screws, called the bank and they mentioned that once taken apart the device auto-destroys

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Best Answer

The circular trace is an inductor, what it's doing in the circuit is hard to tell, without looking at the other components in the circuit. It looks like it's connected to a ground plane along with the screw. They removed the ground plane around the inductor to avoid capacitance with the ground plane. The thing could be an antenna.

enter image description here

The "spark gap" really depends on if it is there is a gap (which isn't apparent from the picture. It's either for ESD suppression (which might make sense if its attached to a screw. If there is solder mask (darker green hourglass shape) with copper underneath, then it's simply to ground out the fastener .

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