NFC Business Cards To FPGA Cubes, Skull Badges To Bandoliers, Here’s The Hardware From Breakfast At DEF CON

We had our biggest Breakfast at DEF CON ever on Sunday. So big, in fact, that the carefully laid plans went awry immediately.

This is the fifth year we’ve hosted the event, which kicks off the final day of DEF CON with some hardware show-and-tell. We really thought we had it all figured out, since this time we actually booked a space in Paris hotel. For the first three years we were just banditing the space — asking everyone to show up at this place and it’ll become an event. Last year we planned to have it in the Hardware Hacking Village, but the casino stopped us from bringing in pastries that morning and we ended up camping out in a dining area that wasn’t open until the afternoon.

Last weekend we had a cafe booked, with pastries and coffee on order. The only problem is that you are all too awesome. We had a couple hundred people show up and the cafe didn’t want us standing, which limited our space to the number of booth seats available. No worries, as is the tradition we spilled out into a lounge area on the casino floor and enjoyed ourselves!

Here’s some of the hardware that showed up at this gathering.

Best Badge Bandolier Banywhere!

My favorite creation of DC 27 is this badge bandolier built by [LqqkOut]. Those who are bitten by the #Badgelife bug spend much of their time at DEF CON trying to acquire all the badges. this is obviously the best way ever to wear them all at the same time. The leather bandolier has a mesh layer where the badges may be hung using zip ties so they cannot fall off. Grommets allow power to be passed from the inside of the bandolier, where a set of huge lithium batteries feed multiple regulators that can be tuned to the desired voltage.

Black Badge in the Wild

When you win one of the elite-level challenges of DEF CON you are awarded a black badge that grants you free DEF CON admission for life. I’ve very rarely seen these in the wild and it was a delight to see this black badge which was acquired by [compukidmike] upon winning the 2017 Car Hacking Village CTF at DC24.

The killer detail on this is that one of the illuminated eyeballs is able to telescope out of the head of the skull. But wait, it gets even better! Once extended, that eye can look around in all directions. The badge is the work of [LosT], the long-time DEF CON puzzle master, who did the smart thing with this build: the back is clear acrylic so you can see what’s going on. A series of Bowden cables connect the eyeball to some servo motors. It’s an incredible mechanism and a delightful surprise to see it in real life!

Business Cards, Belts, Cubes, and Panels

Hackaday’s own [Brian McEvoy] showed up and brought the best Hackaday business cards I’ve ever seen. It’s PCB with matte black solder mask. [Brian] leveraged the trick of using the copper layer as a second tone of black. This makes the use of white silk screen really stand out. The business card detects NFC and RFID reader fields; hold it up to the back of your phone and the LED comes alive.

One of the members of the Whiskey Pirate crew came down to the meetup with a very special fanny pack. Make fun of the form factor all you want, but with two huge power banks and two USB charging strips, this utility belt can power 24 devices. It makes him the belle of the ball at the end of a long conference day.

[Piotr Esden-Tempski] has been crisscrossing the globe to promote his recently released FPGA platform called iCEBreaker. The demo hardware is an animated RGB cube with incredible pitch. I was happy to get a look inside to see how [Bob Miller] meticulously built the thing. Haven’t seen it running yet? You should be following @Hackaday!

My friend [Scotty Allen] (you know him from Strange Parts) showed up with the largest PCB panels at the meetup. Both of them are “art”, but it’s meme art so… anyway, he was also wearing a huge grumpy cat around his neck. Are memes the ultimate target for circuit boards?

Anyone on the hunt for awesome badge add-ons came to the right place. People were making it rain with small circuit boards. I particularly enjoyed this entire box of 1Up, Kirby, Megaman, and Mario add-ons.

A Cameo From the Hackaday Hackaday

I always get a jolt of excitement to see Hackaday shown off by the incredible people that make this a community. [James Wigglesworth] has been all over the place this year doing live demos of Dexter, the robot arm that won the 2018 Hackaday Prize. But I thought it really cool that he showed up at the breakfast with the trophy itself, which very few ever get to see!

There’s no perfect place to hold this event. It’s much more fun to have it somewhere near the con, but not in a hotel ballroom. We’ll keep trying to refine our methods for the perfect location, but as you can see, it’s the people that matter and we’re honored at the excitement and energy that made the fifth-annual Breakfast at DEF CON so much fun!

5 thoughts on “NFC Business Cards To FPGA Cubes, Skull Badges To Bandoliers, Here’s The Hardware From Breakfast At DEF CON

  1. I’m confused, the NFC business card, does it do anything with NFC other then light an LED?
    The C in NFC stand for communication, so does this business card actually has communicative capabilities?

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