Arc Badge - DC27 Indie Badge

An Infinity War Era Arc Reactor Badge/Prop

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Mine and Wire's (@wireengineer on Twitter) DEF CON 27 Indie Badge.  I (TwinkleTwinkie) designed the badge, purchased the components and assembled it, and Wire did the Software that makes Arc Badge work and the bulk of the Kicad design work.

Hindsight being 2020 I would have done this badge significantly differently if I were to do it over again.  For one the RGB LEDs we used weren't as bright as we hoped and in fact are being overvolted to 5V to get the brightness we needed out of them.  Some people speculated that they could swap out the resistors to make the badge brighter but the only two sizes being used for the LEDs are 10ohms and 47ohms respectively.  Those are the lowest values they can safely be without burning out the LEDs.

If I did it again I'd use 5050 Addressable RGB LEDs.  For one they're already 5V so you're not overvolting them, and for another they're significantly easier to design around.  So why did I stick to the 3528 we used?  Well because I had already bought the LEDs and had literally thousands of them so I had to use them and in the end they were good enough.  The other reasoning being that Addressable LEDs have their own issues and are notoriously difficult for hobbiest to rework.   

So if I were you and I wanted to make my own Arc Badge I'd take the files you find here, figure out what's what and program your MCU of choice and make your own bottom board.

Iron Gauntlet SAO Gerbers. Unlike the Arc Badge the Iron Gauntlet actually had some changes to its design for the second and final run so you should use these. This requires 1204 Side View LEDs (1206 soldered on sideways could work) and appropriate value 0805 Resistors and of course a 2x3 Male header.

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The final production firmware for Arc Badge.

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A very useful parts list that tells you where all the components go and what the component is. I personally used this during production.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 31.79 kB - 08/01/2020 at 04:28


Arc Badge Top to be made by JLC PCB. Recommended board thickness is 0.8mm

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Arc Badge Top, can be made by anyone, use the JLC version if using JLCPCB. Recommended board thickness is 0.8mm.

x-zip-compressed - 795.07 kB - 08/01/2020 at 03:59


View all 8 files

  • 1 × PIC16F15344 PIC MCU
  • 1 × TPS613222ADBVR Voltage Booster from the 3V battery to 5V the badge needs. SAOs are going directly to the battery.
  • 1 × MSK-12C02 Switch
  • 2 × 22uF 0603 Capacitors C1608X5R1A226M080AC
  • 1 × 4.7 uF 6.3v 0603 Capacitor

View all 13 components

  • Pre-Release F.A.Q.

    TwinkleTwinkie05/29/2019 at 19:31 0 comments

    I've been getting a lot of questions about the Arc Badge so I wanted to  take a moment to address them here on the Project Log so I can quickly share it.

    What will it do?

    The Arc Badge lights up with various colors and patterns.  The default mode is the classic blue one expects out of an Arc Reactor Prop.  There are other color options and more lively animated modes.  Video demonstrations of these modes will be shared closer to release and will accompany the Tindie listing.

    It also holds 2 SAOs (Shitty Add-ons) and the two female connections will be populated with the correct keyed female connector.

    How is it powered?

    Arc Badge is powered by 2xAA batteries.  We haven't done any kind of formal battery testing but early indicators show that the badge by itself will probably last throughout DEF CON.  Granted that's the badge alone and doesn't take into account SAOs and their potential power draw.  It's always a good idea to play it safe and bring a spare set or two for your AA powered badges.

    Who is your board house and who is doing the assembly?

    Board house: PCBWay.  No particular reason other than I've done a lot of projects with them and know what to expect.  Wire (@wireengineer) (who you might recognize from the Tymkrs) is doing the heavy lifting with the software.  I (TwinkleTwinkie) am handling all of the assembly & programming by myself.    I wanted to do all my own assembly again this year, next year I will likely consider outsourcing.

    How many are you going to make?

    I'm aiming for 200 to sell and 20 for donations and trading, final numbers will depend on final yield of course.

    Will the firmware be made open source?

    Most likely yes, my intention is to release the firmware for those who want to tinker with it.

    When will it be available?

    The final board designs are in production now and I'm hoping to get them within a week of this posting.  The 1's and 0's are coming together nicely as well so I'm expecting to launch in June.

    Where will it be sold?

    At the moment I'm only planning on selling them on Tindie (  Depending on timing and inventory available I might have some for Hacker Warehouse to carry at DEF CON.

    What's in the box!?

    The Arc Badge will come with:

    • Assembled Badge
    • Iron Gauntlet SAO (Badge Exclusive)
    • Red Dual Lobster Clip Lanyard
    • 2x AA Batteries

    How much will it cost?

    The Arc Badge will be listed on Tindie for $90 USD with $10 USPS Priority Shipping.   Shipping outside of US & Canada will probably not be an option this time.

View project log

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robbmarva wrote 07/25/2023 at 14:39 point

Thanks for sharing your experience with the DEF CON 27 Indie Badge! It's always interesting to hear about the design process and the lessons learned. Using 5050 Addressable RGB LEDs sounds like a great idea for future projects. Best of luck to anyone wanting to create their own Arc Badge using the provided files for more info visit

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