The LayerOne Hacking Conference Is Around The Corner

We just wanted to give a heads up to everyone to remind them that the annual layerOne hacking and security conference is coming up soon. They have announced their speaker line-up which includes talks on home monitoring, lockpicking, mobile malware and tons more. The event is located in Anaheim California on May 28-29.

They sent us sort of a press release with some information on the event and some details on the badge. You can read their email after the break.

The annual LayerOne hacking and security will be held on May 28-29,
2011 in Anaheim, CA. As always, there’s a great speaker lineup
( at Layer One 2011. Some
highlights include John Norman talking about DIY Access Control
Systems (, Sam Bowne
talking about Layer 7 DDoS attacks
(, and Jimmy Shah talking
about For-profit malware on mobile devices

LayerOne includes a full fledged Lockpicking Village
( and Hardware Hacking Village
(, both of which will have
demonstrations and training for those interested in picking locks,
cracking safes, making blinky lights, or learning how to surface mount
solder. This year will also be LayerOne’s first Tamper Evident Contest
(, where teams compete to
see who can best defeat mechanical, adhesive, and electronic tamper
indicating technologies while leaving no trace of their attacks.

This year’s badge will be a custom PCB that can be worked on in the
Hardware Hacking Village to make a mini synthesizer. Designed by
Charliex of Null Space Labs (, it is
based on the open source meeblip ( and the AVR Synth
( (The meeblip
is a reworked version of the AVR synth.) It has a 16 bit output with a
DAC that’s loaded 8 bits at a time. To cut down costs and assembly
time we used a simple R2R ladder and dropped off the amp stage, since
R2R’s pretty much rock.

The design was changed to surface mount (from through-hole); we don’t
have any through hole soldering equipment and it’s not 1980. The CPU
was switched to the ATMEGA64 or ATMEGA128 for those needing next-level
beats and more hackability. The MIDI interface is on a seperate mini
PCB that connects to the badge so you can play Rockband’s pro keyboard
or guitar. The pots were changed to linear slide and the switches to
momentary to save cost and space. Our intial meeblip version we
reworked at NSL worked out about half the cost of the original —
this one is even less than that. Both ISP and JTAG are broken out,
since the ATMEGA64/128 is one of the bastard children of the ATMEL
series. Finally, 20 charlieplexed LED’s were added because blinky
things are a must have at any premier security conference.

Speakers will have their own top-secret 4-layer PCB badges designed by
Krs (, who is also giving a
short talk on their design and her experiences going from EE newbie to
designing complex PCBs in less than a year.

20 thoughts on “The LayerOne Hacking Conference Is Around The Corner

  1. “The design was changed to surface mount (from through-hole); we don’t have any through hole soldering equipment and it’s not 1980.”

    They don’t have any…soldering irons? Sounds like quite the hacker conference.

  2. I know right, what the hell people you’re obviously using through hole technology on that low tech copper proto board, what did you carve it out with chisels and a toothpicks too ? Don’t come in here and be all like , soldering irons and thru hole suck and not useful for anything, don’t try to come here and try to teach people how to surface mount, thats just stupid hipster crap, its only good for making money for microsoft repairing dead xboxes!!!!

    Quickly people lets get to the pitchforks and torches and burn these heretics to the ground.

  3. In all seriousness, if we can for moment,…

    The volunteers for the conf and hacking village are going to do their best to make a decent setup, we’ve got about 20 metcal irons, ovens, hotplates, solder dispenser syringes with automatic solder paste feeders, thru hole, scopes, meters , power supplies etc. stocked up on about 10+ million parts. And a lot of us will be on hand to help people to surface mount and thru hole parts.

    We’re also bringing a lot of boards we’ve made at NSL for people to build, simple stuff like the blink lights and mini 8 bit logic analysers. You can take a look over our wiki and various flickr pages to see examples of what sort of things we’ll have on hand to build.

  4. That line about the lack of through hole soldering quipment confused me also. At first I thought it meant the didn’t have access to PCB drill but then it said ‘soldering equipment’ so that rules that out, plus the 3.5mm jack uses through hole so they must have had access to a PCB drill of some sort. Gah

  5. @charliex,

    It’s not an attack on what you guys are doing, it just seemed odd to carry on about not using through-hole when it is being used on the board being described. Besides, we hipsters are all about mounting teh componentz, surface, or otherwise…

  6. It was just a joke, i’m not sure one reference quantifies ‘carry on about’ none of us feel attacked, but i am kinda amazed people think we actually don’t have soldering irons, of course i’m sure some are just trolling.

    People tend to be afraid of SMD material when they come into NSL and we teach them it is generally easier than PTH. Also that picture is of an earlier prototype board so some of the thru hole parts are gone, some parts have to be PTH for structural integrity, not readily available in SMD, or the PTH versions were significantly cheaper than the SMD and keeping costs down was a big part of what we’re trying to achieve at NSL/layerOne

    For anyone interested in soldering/eletronics/etc in the Los Angeles area, we run free classes too, or just pop in and make one of our cylons.

    Or come to layerOne and hang out with us, unless you are hipsters.


  7. James from MeeBlip here. MeeBlip was designed as a through-hole board to make it as accessible as possible. So far, we’ve had over 300 successful builds and it’s the first synth project for the vast majority of builders.

    I agree with Charlie that many people are needlessly afraid of SMD parts. That said, there is a whiff of elitism here that seems to be rubbing people the wrong way.

  8. I don’t see any elitism I see just the usual let’s focus on one misintreptation of humour , or find one flaw, and run with that, instead of let’s all hang out and make cool stuff, learn some new skills at the same time

    It’s the usual this is srsbizness When in reality it’s all just a bit of a laugh.

    Anyone is welcome to come along, Learn and build but if you’re unable to have a laugh at the same time and drop the seriousness perhaps you won’t have a fun time.

    We give away our stuff for free.

  9. “This year’s badge will be a custom PCB that can be worked on in the
    Hardware Hacking Village to make a mini synthesizer.”

    Is the term “badge” to infer a wearable item??
    In the past projects had blinky lights, and perhaps large but geeky wearable.
    Wearing a synthesizer? Do I wear a speaker box too?

    Someone please clairify…

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