Nixie tube conference badge


Maker [Jeffrey Gough] was recently asked to construct a set of badges for the TROOPERS11 IT security conference held in Heidelberg last month. The badges were to reflect the overall theme of this year’s conference – personal progression, education, and striving to become better IT security professionals. To do this, he designed a badge that tracked a conference attendee’s participation in various activities.

The badge sports a center-mounted nixie tube that is used to show the attendee’s score. It is worn around the neck using a Cat-5 cable that acts as a LANyard as well serves as a power switch for the badge. The badge can be plugged in to a special programmer used by conference organizers, which updates the attendee’s score after completing each activity.

[Jeffrey] made sure to add all sorts of extra goodies to the badge, including a capacitive touch button that displays a secret message via the nixie, as well as plenty of hole and SMT pads so that hackers could get their game on.

Overall, the reception of the badge was extremely positive. All of the conference attendees had lots of fun exploiting the badges as well as adding components such as LEDs and speakers.

Continue reading to check out a quick demonstration video [Jeffrey] put together, highlighting the badge’s features.


  1. I’ve been checking this out ever since Jeri Ellsworth tweeted about it last week… SUPER NICE design ;-)

  2. HackerK says:

    Should one be worry about getting shock from the HV used for the tube?

  3. Nope, check out the design… he has clear heat shrink around the pins of the tube… and silicone encapsulant over the high voltage power supply parts.

    I guess you should be as worried as you would be about being burned while soldering. It’s possible, but not likely if you don’t stick your tongue on it.

  4. Dino says:

    These are awesome. I love nixie tubes!

  5. barry99705 says:


    I wouldn’t lick it….

  6. graymalkin says: doesn’t lead to a webpage.. hmm..

  7. h_2_o says:

    best freaking badge ever

  8. you know what would be best? – to reopen a Nixie factory and start manufacturing these cool displays. i would really love to see these in new cars as clocks :)

  9. aqualyricist says:

    thumbs up for LANyard

  10. bunedoggle says:

    Absolutely fantastic. A big bag of win.

  11. Elliott says:

    wont these cost a lot per piece?

  12. DarkStar says:

    @greymalkin Learn to nmap. but it appears to be experiencing issues right now.

  13. flow says:

    The IP is no longer used for this purpose ;) Visit us for TROOPERS12 next year ;) Jeff’s the man…

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