For those of you who’ve had the opportunity to join us in Pasadena for Supercon, you’ll know it’s a wild ride from start to finish. Singling out a single moment as our favorite is pretty much impossible, but certainly the Sunday Badge Hacking Ceremony has to rank up there. It’s the culmination of ~78 hours of intense hardware and software hacking, and that’s not even counting the pre-show work that attendees often put into their creations. Every year, without fail, this community manages to pull off badge hacks that are beyond anything we could have imagined — and we’re the ones who made the thing in the first place.
Unfortunately, in the mad rush, we’ve never had a chance to actually photograph the hacked badges and share them with the Hackaday readers. This year, at the urging of some of the badge hackers themselves, we were able to throw together a suitable overhead light at the last minute and actually snapped shots of each badge after it was presented to the audience.
The resulting images, sorted by badge hacking category, are below. While some proved difficult to photograph, especially with an impromptu setup, we’re happy to at least have a complete record of this year’s creations. Hopefully we’ll be able to improve on our technique for 2024 and beyond. If yours shows up, or if you’d like to share your appreciation, sound off in the comments below!
To qualify for this category, entries had to not only use the original Vectorscope firmware, but do all the work on the badge itself without any additional hardware. This was a significant limitation, but the advantage was that (at least in theory) these hacks could easily be shared with others.
Vectorscope + External
Hacks for this next category utilized some external hardware to drive the Vectorscope display using the X and Y inputs. A few hacks did modify the colors of the display from the stock green on black to better match their theme, but otherwise left the badge in its original state.
These hacks abandoned the standard vectorscope display and instead simply came up with interesting graphics to show on the badge’s round LCD, which may or may not have required any external components.
Most of the hacks which reached this point essentially blew out the badge’s original firmware and replaced it with something else, a task made easier this year thanks to the onboard Raspberry Pi Pico.
This final category was a little bit of everything; if your badge had so much stuff hacked onto it that it looked like a Borg cube, then this was probably the category for you.
Live Action Hacking
If you weren’t there with us in person, do yourself a favor and check out the recorded live stream of Sunday’s Badge Hacking Ceremony. It’s one thing to look at them in all their cobbled-together glory, but there’s nothing quite like hearing the cheers from the crowd when [Sprite_tm] mic-drops his DOOM demo, or when Pluto was triumphantly reinstated as a planet.