I've watched in excitement as Badgelife took off at Defcon. Over the last couple of years, custom badges has become an attraction of it's own. At the end of DC25 I looked at a desk covered in badges I had picked up from various people at the Con. I knew I wanted to learn how to make a badge and promised myself I would make something by DC26. Mind you, I knew nothing about reading schematics, KiCad, or PCB manufacturing.
I had my first board in hand by September. It was a simple board with 0805 resistors and LEDs on it. The next board came in November was a line of 30 Charlieplexed LEDs run by an IS31FL3731. In January the first iteration of the All Seeing Eye came in the mail. It was too small, the eye was in the wrong place, and the back was filled with different masking and silkscreening tests.
I hit a stop come February as broken water main, in the center of the house, destroyed 40% of the interior walls. A crew came and dried everything up and it took me three months to rebuild in my spare time.
I picked up the project again in July with the intent to make a couple boards. The new layout was so well received that I spent 2 weeks before the con ordering revised boards and hand assembling many of them. Ajax and I managed to create 20 badges in time. What you see is our finished product.
Post con, I fixed a layout error on the badge that makes assembling future badges easier. (rev 2a and rev 3 boards)