LayerOne badges stop bullets; drive away

We love badges. And we’ve really got to thank [Charliex] for taking the time to write a huge post about this year’s LayerOne badges, especially since they’ve got their backs up against the deadline for pulling everything together in time.

Here it is, the stock badge on the left, with an add-on shield on the right. Now the original intent was to make this badge the chassis of an RC car. [Charliex] chewed through his development time trying to source toy cars that could be gutted for parts that would mount easily on the badge. This looked promising at first, but turned out to be folly. Instead what we have here is an Arduino compatible board with an RF transmitter which can be cut off and used separately if you wish. Attendees will be able to use the badge to take control of the toy cars (cases of them have been shipped to the conference), with the option to use the USB functionality to facilitate automation.

So what about stopping bullets? There is a bug in the module [Charliex] used to export the board design from Eagle. They came back from the fab house as 0.125″ substrate. That’s pretty beefy!

The conference is this weekend… better get on that!

Hackaday Merit Badges now available at Adafruit!

The folks over at Adafruit had this idea to make “merit badges” for different achievements. One of the major achievements they mentioned was having your project posted to Hackaday. They asked our approval and got it. The badges have finally come in, so we are happy to announce them. You can purchase them directly from Adafruit, along with a plethora of other badges to adorn your projects.

[Phil Torrone] had a great idea though. To celebrate this, they are going to give away 10 badges to the projects that you, our readers, choose to be the top 10. Go on, dig back through the ranks and post links in the comments. We’ll dig through them and try to compile a list. We will then try to contact those people to send them a free badge.

2011 CCC r0ket badge

[Geekabit] wrote in asking if we’d seen the 2011 CCC badges yet. The answer is NO, we haven’t seen them because the image above is the only sneek peek we can find on their broken-certificate website. But we are glad that he shared the link with us, because it does tell the tale of what hardware and firmware features will be on this year’s badge.

Right off the bat we need to applaud them for several things. Most notably, the 3.7 volt 600 mAh LiPo battery which can be recharged via the USB port. It boasts an ARM Cortex M3 processor which is running what they call and ‘unbrickable’ bootloader that is programmed via the USB port. You can see there is an LCD screen which we’d guess is about 128×128 pixels (correct us if you know otherwise). You’ll be able to interact using a 5-way button, via the RF transceiver, and possibly using an optical interface but we’re not sure that feature made it into the final design. They’ve also rolled in a shield system for extra harware so that you can design your own add-ons before you get there.

As always, if you get your hands on one of these, we want to hear all about your project as well as get an overview of the stock badge and its features so don’t forget to drop us a line.

Update: [Never_gonna] left a comment with a link to a series of posts about r0cket development including a video which we’ve embedded after the break. Thanks!

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A badge without a conference

We saw this one a few days ago when it was first bouncing around the interwebs but never took a close look at it. Today, when we ran across a direct link in the tips box it was the promo video (embedded after the break) that won us over. Once you dig into the particulars of The Verbalizer we think you’ll agree that this is a hackable conference badge without the pesky need to attend a conference.

As you probably guessed from the design of the PCB, this is a microphone. It’s intended for use with Google’s new voice search feature, and connects to a computer via a Bluetooth module. But really it’s just another roll-your-own Arduino with a few extra bits. You’ll find an ATmega328 and an FTDI chip which provides a USB connection for programming. The real fun starts with the microphone and speaker circuitry which is just waiting to be breadboarded at home. We found a few other things while poking around in the schematic (available by downloading their Product Docs and Schematics package). It looks like there’s some capacitive touch… you what? Isn’t it more fun if you find this stuff yourself, kind of like the hidden gems of the DEFCON badges?

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Nixie tube conference badge

troopers11_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.

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A look back at DefCon 18 badges

As he does every year, [Joe Grand] gave a talk explaining the development process for Defcon 18 badges. We looked in on these when details started trickling out back in July. They feature a neat bit of tech in the form of an LCD that acts much like ePaper. It doesn’t take any electricity to hold the image, only to change the display. This is a valuable feature for a battery powered device and allowed him to get about 9 days of juice out of a CR2032. This year’s badges also used laser-etched Aluminum as a substrate.

We’ve embedded the talk after the break and found it interesting enough to watch the entire hour. If you’re more interested in the hacks that came out of the badge, we’ve put together a playlist of videos [Joe] took while at the conference.

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Have you ever wanted to be on (Internet) TV?

Are you an independent inventor? It might just be your lucky day. The fine folks at Independent Inventor TV, a new show currently filming for Revision3, is looking for home and garage based inventors to present their inventions for the camera. Currently they are based out of San Francisco, CA and are looking to film people in person, or by Skype if you are out of town.

To apply to be on the show, send an email to Independent.Inventor.tv(at)gmail.com with the details, photos, and videos of your inventions. The shooting date of the show is November 15th, so make sure to have all submissions in well before then. The selected inventors will get to meet the hosts, Comedian Jonah Ray, as well as fellow hacker [Joe Grand] (who is the creator of many of the DefCon Badges we have covered before). Be sure to let them know Hackaday sent you!

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